Passports and Visa
Travellers arriving in Africa are required to have permanent passports that will be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival and contain at least three pages for affixing visas and arrival stamps.
For most travellers visas may be purchased on arrival in Kenya. Visas may also be purchased in advance which will save time on arrival. This can be purchased by the Kenya e-visa system (http://evisa.go.ke/evisa.html)
Travellers visiting Kenya (and other African countries) will need to purchase a visa for each country. Travellers staying less than 2 days in a country may qualify for a transit visa. Generally, travellers arriving in one country, proceeding to another country and returning to the first country may re-enter on the original single entry visa unless they have returned to their home country.
It is important that tour members understand the climates of the places they will visit. Some people expect that all of Africa is always hot and are quite surprised at the cold temperatures on the rim of Ngorongoro Crater. Nairobi (at 1661 m) and Arusha (at 1403 m) are both at fairly high elevations and can be cooler than people expect.
The coasts of Kenya and Tanzania including the islands of Zanzibar and Mafia Island have much warmer climates.
It can rain any time during the year. Rain is more common in April, May and November. The April/May rains are generally heavier at night with some showers during the day. Around the month of November, showers are frequent but often short.
Many counties in Africa now require proof of yellow fever vaccination for travellers arriving from or having visited countries listed as endemic for yellow fever. Though this should not pose a problem for travellers arriving from North America or Europe, as Tanzania is considered endemic, you are required to provide the proof of vaccination when travelling between these countries – both by air and road.
Travellers transiting in airports who at in a country for less than 6 hours and do not leave the airport are not required to provide the vaccination certificate. However, as travel plans may change (such as flight cancellations) it is a good idea to have this vaccination and carry the certificate when you travel. If you have been advised by your doctor that you should not have the vaccination, a letter from your doctor confirming this is generally accepted in lieu of the certificate.
Private Conservencies v National Parks
Private Conservancies tend to be situated either inside a National Park, or bordering it – though not necessarily meaning they are fenced off. A National Park is government owned and managed, where a private concession is usually privately owned, or has been tendered by the government to a private safari operator to manage. Both areas have rules and regulations to follow with regards to conservation and wildlife protection, but there are differences in the safari experience.Private Concessions have strict limitations on the number of tourists allowed into their reserve. As a result, the safari experience is less crowded and arguably more authentic: there will certainly be a lot less vehicles around, and is likely to result in a better all round game viewing experience. Private Concessions are only accessible to guests staying at a lodge within the concession. Further, off roading is only allowed on Private Concessions: so if a lion is hiding behind a tree, or in the distance, in a Private Concession, the game vehicle can take a closer look. Inside the National Parks, vehicles must stick to the marked roads. Lodges and Camps within Private Concessions tend to be small, offering an intimate experience, with an emphasis on luxury, cuisine and a high staff to guest ratio.Private Concession areas also have more flexibility in the activities that they can offer: whereas National Parks have designated opening and closing times, requiring vehicles to be back by sunset, Private Conservancies are allowed to undertake night game drives. Depending on the area, Private Conservancies may also offer a range of other activities, including walking safaris, horse riding, mountain biking, etc.