East Africa Essential Travel Information and COVID 19

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How do you get to and around East Africa?

East Africa can be accessed through Air, Road and Water though the later is less reliable.

Uganda – Entebbe International Airport
Rwanda – Kigali International Airport
Kenya – Jomo Kenyatta International Airport
Tanzania – Kilimanjaro International Airport, Julius Nyerere International Airport and Zanzibar International Airport Regional flights operated at Kigoma Airport, Mtwara Airport, Mwanza Airport, Songwe Airport.
Overland – There are cross Border Buses link East Africa Countries.

Major airlines include:  Air Kenya, Air Tanzania, Air Uganda, Coastal Aviation, Rwandair, Kenya Airways, Precision Airways and ZanAir

Flights: A number of international airlines fly directly within East Africa among them British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Egypt Air, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, Qatar, KLM, South African Airlines and Turkish Airlines. Most major towns have an airstrip as do most National Parks and Game Reserves. There are regular scheduled flights between most airstrips, and there are reputable charter operations as well.

Looking for cheap flight tickets to/out of East Africa? Contact or travel consultants right away.

What are the visa requirements for East African Countries?

Visa Uganda:

Uganda Single entry visas costs US $50 per person. All travelers must make and pay for visa applications online through https://visas.immigration.go.ug 

Effective 16th September 2021, ALL travelers who have had COVID-19 vaccination and hold a certificate must still present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate taken within 72 hours from the time of sample collection to boarding aircraft. Foreign nationals without a valid negative test certificate will be denied entry. Children aged three and under are exempt when accompanying parents arrive with a negative test certificate.

Travelers arriving from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Turkey, USA, United Arab Emirates or United Kingdom are subject to a PCR test upon arrival. This does not apply to passengers with a COVID-19 vaccination certificate showing that they were fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic.

Visa Rwanda:

Rwanda single entry visa costs US $30 per person. Visas have to be applied for online via the Rwanda Immigration website. You will need a copy of the approved application at the entry point where the visa will then be issued and paid for. The citizens from the following countries are required to pay visa fees but are allowed to obtain their visa upon arrival without prior online application: Australia, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA.

All travelers must complete a Health Declaration Form before departure at https://travel.rbc.gov.rw/ . All Passengers entering or transiting through Rwanda must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival. This does not apply to passengers younger than 5 years. Passengers are subject to a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival and quarantine for up to 24 hours until the result is ready. Travelers who in the past 7 days have been to India or Uganda are subject to quarantine for 7 days at their own expense.

Visa Kenya:

Kenya single entry visa costs US $50 per person. All visitors to Kenya will be required to apply and pay for the visa online. Please remember that the visa process may take one full week. Kenya Embassy .

All travelers entering or transiting through Kenya must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 96 hours before arrival.
Passengers must complete the “Travelers Health Surveillance Form” online at https://ears.health.go.ke/airline_registration/ 
Please note that some travelers could be subject to quarantine. A list of quarantine exemptions can be found at https://www.kcaa.or.ke/quarantine-exempted-states. 

Visa Tanzania:

Tanzania single entry visa costs US $50 per person and is applied for via Tanzania Consulate

All travelers must have a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken at most 72 hours before arrival. All travelers are subject to a COVID-19 antigen test upon arrival at their own expense at 25 USD per person and must complete a “Traveler’s Surveillance Form” within 24 hours before arrival at https://afyamsafiri.moh.go.tz/home and present it to the Port Health Authorities upon arrival.

East African Tourist Visa:

If you are planning to travel to East Africa and and travel to the East Africa countries (Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya) it is recommendable to request for the East African Tourist Visa. This special East Africa tourist visa costs US $100 per person and valid for 90 days multiple entry to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.

How to obtain the East African Tourist Visa:

Applications for the East Africa Tourist visa is at any of the diplomatic representation of the Republic of Kenya, Republic of Rwanda and Republic of Uganda at the Immigration Offices of the respective countries or online where applicable.

  • Uganda : All travelers must apply for visas online through https://visas.immigration.go.ug 
  • Kenya: Any travelers visiting the country have to apply for their visa online via the portal www.ecitizen.go.ke and present a copy of their E-visa upon at the immigration.
  • Rwanda: online via the Rwanda Immigration website. Similar to the application for the single entry visa but make sure to select the East African Tourist Visa.
  • Tanzania has not yet joined the East African Community.

What health issues should I be aware of?

We do value health of our customers and highly recommend the Yellow Fever Vaccinations that are compulsory to ease your visit. If you are travelling during the rainy season, we do recommend taking precaution with anti- malaria tablets. Prescription drugs can be bought affordably and with ease over the counter in Kampala. Personal travel and emergency evacuation insurance is strongly advised.

Kenya Rwanda Uganda Important Travel Information - East Africa Essential Travel Information

When to travel to East Africa?

Dry Season – July to October and it’s easier to find / spot game due to less vegetation cover and around water holes and water bodies in the national parks.

October and November have short rains that rarely disrupt safari plans

Wet Season March to May – Longer rain patterns and wildlife might be sparse and game tracks impassable

Travel Seasons

High Season – June – August – Game spotting is easier, Less Vegetation Cover, Animals around water sources

Green Season – September- February – Short rains in October and November, Greener Landscapes

Low season – March – May – Heavy rains that may disrupt safari plans, fewer travelers and low season discounts offered on travel packages.

What to wear?

There is no particular dress code in East Africa and most people are Casual dressers. It tends to get hot, cold and rainy depending on the seasons. It is recommended that a variety of light clothing: shorts, light long pants, t-shirts, flip flops, hat, rain jacket, as well as study shoes (essential for tracking). Long sleeved-shirts and a sweatshirt or fleece are needed for evenings. Accommodation facilities don’t have dress codes and they do follow a casual theme.

Money and currency

The Local Currencies are recommended to use while on safari and it is best to bring Dollars or Euros to be exchanged. There are numerous forex bureaus and banks in the capital and the main towns. Credit cards are accepted in major hotels and restaurants though VISA is most widely accepted, with MasterCard occasionally accepted. AMEX and others are not recommended as establishments usually don’t support them. Note that a surcharge of 5% is attached to their usage.

US$ Dollar bills smaller in denominations than US$100 may attract a less favorable rate of exchange and notes older than 2006 are not accepted by hotels, banks etc. ATMs are located in the major towns /centers and they do take VISA or MASTER cards or both. Take note that some ATMs have a limited amount of money to be withdrawn.

  • Ugandan Shillings (Ush)
  • Tanzania Shillings (Tsh)
  • Rwanda Franc (RFr)
  • Kenyan Shillings (Ksh)

Exchanging Money

Forex Bureaus are located in major towns and have regular banking hours Monday to Friday at 08:30hrs to 16:00hrs. Saturdays open 09:00hrs to 12:00hrs. Travellers Cheques may be changed in major towns/cities however they do attract a low rates and it’s recommended to forego this option. Note: A purchase receipt is often asked by the bank and forex bureaus and once cheques are lost, you can’t get replacements.

Tell me about accommodation and meals

Within East Africa, accommodations ranges are budget, midrange, and luxury/top end facilities. These consist of Guest Houses, Motels, Dormitories, Camping grounds, Hostels, Hotels, Lodges, Luxury Tented Camps, Fly in Camps, Cottages /Cabins. During your itinerary designing, we always advise accordingly with descriptions of the facilities and do aim for comfort, cleanliness, safety, and a good location.

Rooming and Single Room Supplements (SRS)

Within the national parks, most of rooms are twin bedded rooms despite the fact that the rooms may be booked as single rooms as well. There is supplement to book a single room. If you are travelling as a family, most facilities lack family settings however some do arrange triple rooms from time to time what is normally called Extra Bed Supplement – a twin bedded room with an additional bed
Meals

Most of the lodges around and in the national parks offer rates inclusive of meals (Full Board) however you may request for a bed and breakfast option to get advice accordingly. Children rates are offered between 2 -12 years –usually 50% off adult rate though this has to be reconfirmed.

Meals range from local cuisine to intercontinental cuisines

Internet Access

Internet Cafes are located in the major towns though some accommodations do have WIFI in their main areas especially reception / lounge areas though at times it does become unstable and limited to particular times. If you must have internet during your travels, consider buying a dongle or USB stick from the main mobile providers and credit that rangers from USD 15- USD70.

Do I have to tip for services?

Tipping is an important part of the safari adventure based on service satisfaction. From time to time tipping is extended to driver guides and hotel/lodges staff. Tips range from USD $ 10 – USD$ 15 per day per group, it is recommended to give your tips directly to the staff though most lodges/hotels have a tip box to be shared amongst all staff.

Can I use my mobile phone?

Local SIM cards are readily available and can be used in most International Mobile Phones. It is important to note that roaming costs are high hence it’s better to acquire local SIM cards within a particular country.

What should I pack for the safari?

  • Binoculars and Camera plus extra batteries
  • Rain Gear, waterproof / good steady hiking boots
  • Sun glasses and a hat
  • Waterproof rucksack
  • Mosquito / Insect Repellent and Sunscreen
  • Hand and Toilet tissue paper
  • For trekking / walking safaris – carry light weight, long sleeved shirts and trousers and long socks.

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Kenya

Capital Nairobi
Official Languages Kiswahili, English
Population 45 M (2014)
Currency Kenyan Shilling (Ksh)
Time Zone EAT (UTC +3)
Traffic Drives Left Side
Dialling Code +254

Rwanda

Capital Kigali
Official Languages Kinyarwanda, French, English
Population 11.3 M (2015)
Currency Rwandan Frank (RWF)
Time Zone CAT (UTC +2)
Traffic Drives Right Side
Dialling Code +250

Uganda

Capital Kampala
Official Language English, Swahili
Population 34.6 M (2014 Census)
Currency Uganda Shillings (Ush.)
Time Zone EAT (UTC +3)
Traffic Drives Left Side
Dialling Code +256

Tanzania 

Capital Dodoma
Largest City Dar es Salam
Official Languages Kiswahili, English
Population 51.82M (2014)
Currency Tanzanian Shilling (TZS)
Time Zone EAT (UTC +3)
Traffic Drives Left Side
Dialling Code +255
MAKE AN ONLINE ENQUIRY or Request for a brochure

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A safari (səˈfɑːri) , defined by Wikipedia as an overland journey, usually a trip by tourists to Africa. In the past, the trip was often a big-game hunt, but today, an African safari refers to trips to observe, experience and photograph wildlife—or hiking and sight-seeing as well.

In 1836 William Cornwallis Harris led an expedition purely to observe and record wildlife and landscapes by the expedition’s members. Harris established the safari style of journey, starting with a not too strenuous rising at first light, an energetic day walking, an afternoon rest then concluding with a formal dinner and telling stories in the evening over drinks. This is what Travelers Link Africa Safaris is all about and beyond. The experience is undeniably soul enriching and we would like to extend this enchanted African safari experience to you all.

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The East African Wildlife Safari Adventures

A Noah’s Ark of wildlife brings the East African landscapes to life, with a tangible and sometimes profoundly mysterious presence that adds so much personality to the African savanna wild. So many of the great beasts, including elephants, hippos, lions and the magnificent mountain gorilla (found no where else in the world), call East Africa home. Going on safari may be something of a travel cliché, but we’re yet to find a traveller who has watched the wildlife world in motion in the Masai Mara, stumbled upon the paradise that is in Murchison Falls National Park, or communed with mountain gorillas in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and has not been reduced to an ecstatic state of  wonder.

Whether you’re a wide-eyed first-timer or a frequent visitor, East Africa cannot fail to get under your skin. The canvas upon which the continent’s epic story is written is itself astonishing, and reason enough to visit. From the tropical rain forests of Central Africa to the endless rippling dunes and waterless tracts of the Sahara, from the signature savannah of the east to jagged mountains and green-tinged highlands all across the continent, East Africa has few peers when it comes to natural beauty.

Allow Travelers Link Africa to take you on an unforgettable East African Safari adventure with our safari experts that will give you all the exhilarating details about Eastern Africa, the wild, the community, people, the cities and the history that shaped humanity many many years ago. Plan your trip with us – a tailor-made safari to suit your holiday plans or chose from pre-planned itineraries.

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