to take and general information
1. A GOOD ATTITUDE - Perhaps the most critical thing to bring with you to Africa is a flexible attitude. Africa is beautiful and largely undeveloped country which is the principal attraction for visiting. But vast distances must be covered on a standard tour, often overland, and western ideas about efficiency and convenience are sometimes less developed than we might like. Cape to Cairo and your tour operators are committed to doing everything reasonable to ensure that you have an enjoyable and comfortable trip, but situations may arise that require adjustments by your tour operator or that you will have to attend to. Please try to understand. We cannot alleviate the vicissitudes of travel that experienced travelers have come to expect even traveling domestically.
2. BOOKING CONDITIONS AND ACCEPTANCE ON THIS SAFARI/TOUR. Please ensure that you have read Cape to Cairo’s terms and conditions provided to you upon booking. You must understand that you are accepting the risks associated with international travel, safaris and adventure travel as laid out in our terms and conditions.
3. REFUNDS – With exception noted on you itinerary tours, safaris, hotels, and activities are prepaid and nonrefundable in the event of a no show. While individuals will frequently be told that they will receive refunds because a service was not used because of missed flights or you made local changes, it is very difficult for us to obtain those refunds and forward them to you. It is therefore best if you can work out the refund locally. This is not meant to exclude refunds on those occasions where a substantial service was not provided that you paid for, and we will work out refunds with the tour operators involved – though this has never, to our knowledge, happened.
Checklist - things you must arrange before you depart:
|4. INCLUSIONS AND EXCLUSIONS.
Generally tours will include flights, transfers, and accommodations as indicated. Safaris will include full board, game activities and park fees. Laundry and drinks will be provided per the policy of the lodge itself and may be for your own account. Special activities such as white water rafting, microlighting and elephant rides are only included if we have specifically included it in the itinerary and invoiced you for the extra charges.
a) NEVER NEVER NEVER leave money, airline tickets and passports in checked luggage, hotel rooms or in public places where they can be stolen or go astray. Please keep copies of travel documents in separate locations. The costs, delays, and hassles associated with trying to get replacement passports, visas and airline tickets will ruin your trip. While our clients in general have experienced very few inconveniences in Africa, this is the single most frequent problem that our clients have encountered. There is little that we can do to help. b) Please check State Department travel advisories for each country you are traveling to. c) Remote safari camps and national parks are generally safe. In cities the most frequent crime is mugging and violence is rare, but you should exercise the same prudence you would anywhere in the U.S. d) Do not photograph or make inquiries about local military installations or operations. This WILL land you in trouble with local authorities in Africa. e) You must follow the instructions of you safari guides and tour operators.
In general high quality hotels, lodges and restaurants in Africa exercise very high standards of hygiene. Nevertheless, there are a few basic health matters that require care and attention. We are obviously not medical practitioners and the following are only recommended guidelines. Please consult your doctor if in doubt. Please, also, check with your health department prior to departure for any changes in health regulations.
Please note that we are not medical practitioners and therefore these recommendations should be treated as a guideline only. If you are in any doubt at all please consult your doctor.
Malaria is widespread and its control has become increasingly complex. Both chloroquine resistant and normal strains of malaria are in the region, but with a few basic precautions, malaria is easily manageable. Malaria is transmitted by some female Anopholes mosquitoes which are sometimes active in the early evening and sometimes throughout the night - usually when one is sleeping or sitting around campfires in the evening, but with sensible behaviour, the problem can easily be managed. MALARIA prophylaxis recommendations for African travelers.
Expert opinion differs regarding the best approach to malaria prophylaxis. It is important to bear in mind that malaria may be contracted despite chemoprophylaxis, especially in areas where chloroquine resistance has been reported. It is inadvisable for non-immune, pregnant woman to visit malaria areas as malaria infection during pregnancy can result in severe effects to the mother and the foetus.
An effective and safe drug is Proguanil [Paludrin®] where the dosage is two tablets per DAY with a meal. Proguanil should be taken in conjunction with Chloroquine [Nivaquine®] and the dosage is two tablets per week also with meals. An effective alternative drug is Mefloquine which is sold under the trade name Lariam®. The dosage is one a week beginning 7 days prior to entering a malaria area and continued for 4 weeks after leaving a malarial area. It is a long-acting preparation with some side effects, Larium should NOT be taken in conjunction with Proquanil or Chloroquine; it should not be used during pregnancy or lactation (breast-feeding); it should not be used by people over 65 years of age; people with heart conditions; or people with tendencies towards depression and it should not be taken for longer than 3 months. If you suffer from a heart condition it is essential that you consult your doctor regarding prophylactic regimes. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that drug prophylaxis be started 1 week prior to entering a malarial area (except Proguanil where 1-2 days beforehand is adequate). This is partly to confirm that a particular drug is well-tolerated and partly to establish a prophylactic routine.
Please remember that the best insurance against contracting malaria is to try to prevent oneself from being bitten. 95% of malarial infections take place between 8pm and 6am. So use mosquito repellents liberally; long-sleeved shirts and trousers/slacks in the evenings; if staying in a bungalow or tent, spray with an insecticide like DOOM® or equivalent [ozone friendly] to kill the mosquitoes. Use bed nets where supplied or available. Most of the tented camps have tented rooms which are easily sealed and can be kept buy and insect free. Zip up your tent at night. Mosquito coils are also effective and we recommend that you bring some along.
If you become ill on your return, whilst still on prophylaxis or even once you have stopped, make sure that your doctor does everything necessary to establish that your illness is not malaria. It is essential to seek specialist advice - a delay of even 24 hours can be dangerous. Prompt and proper treatment of malaria should always be successful. Six/seven days is the minimum incubation period. We recommend that everyone travels with stand-by malaria treatment such as Fansidar® which is ONLY to be used for treatment and NOT as a preventative. If you are allergic to sulphur-based drugs, you should rather consider quinine tablets for treatment.
B. YELLOW FEVER - a World Health Organization Yellow Fever Vaccination certificate is required to travel between Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar. While a certificate is not generally required otherwise, please verify the specifics for your particular itinerary.
C. Other health requirements and precautions. We strongly urge you to consult with your doctor and the Center for Disease Control for information on travel to Africa.
7. INSURANCE - Cape to Cairo and your safari operators, agents and associates cannot be held responsible or liable for loss, damage, or theft of personal luggage and belongings, nor can they be held liable for personal injury, accident or illness or costs associated with trip interruption or cancellation. Please ensure that you have yourself and your belongings adequately insured before your departure. Cape to Cairo can provide trip insurance. Rates and information are available on our website at http://www.capetocairo.travel/information/tripins.html
a) Health Insurance Before you travel anywhere it is advisable to have medical and accident insurance which covers you while you are away, as well as for emergency repatriation. b) Cancellation Insurance - you might have to cancel your safari due to unforeseen circumstances. If you cancel a trip close to departure date for any reason you will lose all that the safari was going to cost you. Dependent on the reason, cancellation insurance should cover you for this eventuality. c) Baggage Insurance - Airline liabilities with respect to your baggage is limited. It is advisable to take out insurance if you are carrying expensive and valuable camera equipment. You should always carry such equipment as "carry-on" luggage. Do not put anything of value in your checked baggage [including airline tickets]! d) Claims - If you anticipate an insurance claim upon your return, be sure to document as accurately as possible any accident, injury or loss. Doctor’s notes and police reports will aid any claim.
8. MONEY Tour fares are generally fully inclusive as detailed in the itineraries and invoices. However, personal expenditures are excluded. We suggest that you allow US$ 30 per day to cover the cost of drinks, souvenirs (within reason) etc. It is usually best if you change money when you arrive. Exchange rates in the U.S. are often very poor, and many African countries restrict the transport of currency into and out of their country. Often you must declare currency you are carrying, and you cannot take a country’s currency in or out.
It is advisable to take a reasonable amount of US currency in small denominations ($1, $5, and $10) as these are frequently accepted for local payments and tips. Large bills generally cannot be exchanged except at banks or large hotels.
Credit cards are accepted as payment in most international hotels and better restaurants as well as safari lodges and local airlines. Money is best exchanged at banks or exchange bureaus rather than at hotels who will often charge 10% or more for the transaction. Never exchange money in unofficial locations or on the black market as there are many scams and it is often illegal.
9. TIPS - Tipping is not compulsory and is done because you have received good service. The general guideline is $5-$10 per person per day for your guide and $3= $5 per person per day into the camp kitty for the camp staff. Your safari operator or camp manager can suggest appropriate amounts locally.
10. LUGGAGE – for your own travel enjoyment try to keep luggage to a minimum. We highly recommend that you try to travel with a single standard carry- on suitcase (soft-sided) as this will minimize disruption from potential lost luggage on international flights. Additionally, this is about the right size and weight for charter flights on safari. You do not need a lot of luggage to enjoy your trip and the attraction of Africa is getting away from the culture of personal possession.
11. LAUNDRY - will be available for a fee at most lodges. It is often included by top end luxury lodges and , but we follow the policies of the individual lodges and camps and we cannot make separate arrangements.
12. PASSPORTS AND VISAS
(a) Generally passports must have an expiration date that is at least 6 months past the last expected date of your return. Please ensure that your passport is up to date prior to departing. All passport holders should verify entry requirements with the relevant consulates and embassies. If you are extending your journey to other countries please establish those countries entry conditions as well. (b) Please ensure that you have all the necessary visas prior to departure (unless available on entry) as neither we nor your tour operators can be responsible for any errors. (c) You must be prepared to pay any entrance or departure fees in US$.
The choice of the correct camera equipment and film will determine the quality of your photographs on the trip. For good photography of birds and animals, a good SLR camera and telephoto lens is necessary. The minimum size is 200 mm and a zoom lens can be extremely useful on safari. Consideration should be given before traveling with any lens bigger than 400 mm as most interesting shots are taken using hand held equipment.
In considering a camera you must, however, evaluate your own objectives and the reality of photographing animals. Many of the best shots will be at close range, and require quick setting up to shoot. Good photographs can be taken with pocket auto-focus 35mm with integral zoom lens.
Digital cameras and recorders work fine. As an example of the excellence of modern digital cameras for African wildlife photography we can recommend a review of the website of Michael Poliza http://www.poliza.de/ .
12VDC chargers work in safari vehicles and most camps have electricity where batteries can be charged at some time during the day. You should have enough batteries and capacity to get you through a couple of days, however. Please note that you will require plug adapters for the various countries that you will travel through.
Colour reversal film (slides) will give far greater quality than prints. The guides on these safaris have found that they are getting the best results using Fuji film. Fuji have brought out a new range of emulsions including an excellent high speed film which gives good colour with very little grain (less so than any of their competitors). This is especially useful when using a big lens in low-light situations. The guide's personal preferences are slower films, either 50 or 100 ASA, as this gives almost perfect quality for normal lights. The only disadvantage with the low ASA film is that you need a tripod for the early morning and evening shots.
IMPORTANT : BRING LOTS OF FILM AS IT IS OFTEN NOT AVAILABLE! BRING A SPARE CAMERA BATTERY!
For additional assistance on fine safari photography, you may call the B&H toll free safari number - 800 618-2999. Any sales will help support the Wilderness Safaris Wildlife Trust www.wildernesstrust.com. The Wildlife Trust supports a wide variety of projects in southern Africa, within the fields of wildlife management, research and education. These projects address the needs of existing wildlife populations, seek solutions to save endangered species and provide education and training for local people and their communities.
14. TORCHES/FLASHLIGHTS As the grounds of lodges and camps are generally unfenced it is essential that you bring a small flashlight (torch) as you may encounter WILD ANIMALS in camp at night. You should also bring a spare globe (bulb) as well as batteries as they are unobtainable. Many camps supply a flashlight, but it is good to have your own as a back-up.
15. DRIVING CONDITIONS - The roads are rough and bumpy, particularly in National Parks, and occasionally you will travel "off road" where it is possible that injuries may occur if for example a hidden pothole etc is struck. Staff members, associates or agents can be held liable for any accidents or any damages!
16. LOSS OF ARTICLES Please note that we cannot accept any responsibility for the misplacement of any article during your trip. Naturally, we will do all possible to get your luggage to you as soon as possible, but the logistics of inter-camp communication and the schedule of charter flights for the period may not be favourable for the returning of articles. Any costs incurred will be for your account.
17. RESPECTING WILDLIFE - Many of the animals and reptiles we will see are potentially dangerous. Attacks by wild animals are rare. To date we have had an unblemished record but no safari in Africa can guarantee that such incidents will not occur. Safari operators, park officials, their staff members, associates, agents, nor their suppliers cannot be held liable for any injuries caused during an incident involving the behaviour of wild animals. - Observe the animals silently and with a minimum of disturbance to their natural activities. Loud talking on game drives can frighten the animals away. - Never attempt to attract an animal's attention. Don't imitate animal sounds, clap your hands, pound the vehicle or throw objects. - Please respect your driver-guide's judgment about our proximity to lions, cheetahs, leopards and other game. Don't insist that he take the vehicle closer so you can get a better photograph. A vehicle driven too close can hinder a hunt or cause animals to abandon a hard-earned meal. - Litter tossed on the ground can choke or poison animals and birds and is unsightly. - Never attempt to feed or approach any wild animal on foot. This is especially important near lodges or in campsites where animals may have become accustomed to human visitors.
18. SMOKING - There is no smoking on game drives. The dry African bush ignites very easily, and a flash fire can kill animals. In addition, please be considerate towards other guests.
19. SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT LIST
Formal clothes are not required on your trip and each camp will provide laundry. The lodges in Namibia and Botswana will provide toiletries and linen.
Therefore, we recommend that you keep your luggage down to the basics, traveling with basic cotton or easily washable clothing. Bright colours and white are NOT recommended on safari. ARMY CAMOUFLAGE UNIFORMS AND HATS ARE FORBIDDEN (khaki and neutral colours are fine).
Please note that on charter flights you are limited generally to 20 kgs per passenger of baggage.
1) Good quality sunglasses,
preferably polarized - tinted fashion glasses are not good in strong light
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