1. How much baggage can one carry?
Baggage space on safari is restricted to one medium suitcase or hold all per person, plus hand baggage (private safaris where there are less than 7 persons in the vehicle are not subject to this restriction).
Visitors to Treetops and the Ark are asked to take overnight bags only; suitcases can be left at the base hotel. Hotels will normally store baggage at no extra cost. Baggage can also be stored at Highlight Safaris offices.
A baggage weight restriction of 15 kg per person applies on air safaris. Where very small aircraft are used this maybe reduced to 10kg.
2. What is the local currency?
Hard currencies can be exchanged in cash or travellers cheques at banks all over the country, at forex bureaus in Nairobi and at most large hotels. US Dollars and Sterling Pounds are most acceptable and will cause the least delay. As a norm, always ask what commission and charges will be deducted first and prior to transaction. Banks are usually open from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, Mondays through Fridays and from 9.00 am and 11.00 am on Saturdays.
3. Are credit cards acceptable?
VISA, MASTERCARD and AMERICAN EXPRESS are widely accepted for tourist
services. There’s usually a 5% mark-up on top of the price as establishments are charged a fixed percentage of their transactions.
4. What is the basic health information?
Since rules concerning disease prevention change from time to time, a check should be made with the nearest Kenyan High Commission, Kenya Tourist Office or any airline flying scheduled services into Kenya.
Malaria is endemic to most parts of Kenya and intending visitors should start taking anti-malarial tablets before departure and continue taking them for the prescribed time after their return. Insect repellants should be made use of after dusk and suitable cover up clothes should be worn in the evenings.
Flying Doctors Society Membership of the Flying Doctors Society is strongly recommended. In event of accident or sickness while on safari, the society will fly patients by air ambulance to Nairobi for admittance to hospital. The current cost for 1-month membership is US$ 25 per person.
5. Is there clean drinking water?
Drinking water from the tap must be considered risky. Hotels and lodges usually furnish safe water in a thermos flask in guest rooms. Bottled mineral water is available in every hotel and supermarket.
6. What are the major security concerns?
Normal precautions as in any other destination worldwide should be taken. Visitors are advised not to leave cash and valuables in their hotel rooms but to make use of safe deposit boxes and safes. One should never carry large sums in cash and women should keep a tight grip on handbags in crowds or busy streets.
Jewellery snatching is quite common in city streets. As in all major cities walking alone or in small groups at night should be considered a hazard and avoided. Reliable taxis are available at all the principal hotels.
Taking photographs at airports, near military installations, of policeman, the president, the national flag, the State House, state lodges, soldiers, prisons and prisoners etc., is prohibited. Before photographing local people, permission should be obtained and a fixed price agreed. Seek the assistance of your driver/guide in this matter.
7. What is the local voltage?
Both mains electricity and generated supply in lodges provide 240 volts AC 50 cycles. Most large hotels and some game lodges provide shaving points with 110v 50 cycles. Sockets are normally three pin and of the ‘square’ variety.
8. Is there a standard rate for tipping and porterage?
Although hotels and lodges include a service charge, it is customary to tip porters, waiters, taxi drivers and safari drivers/guides.
9. Which is the commoly used language locally?
Kiswahili is the lingua franca while English is the official language. In addition, most tribes have their own language.