June Kenya and Tanzania Safari

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May 12th, 2003, 06:26 PM
  #1
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June Kenya and Tanzania Safari

We will be leaving June 9 for the month to africa with 2Afrika. My husband and I are looking forward to it. We do wonder about money though. Some people say to take small american bills. Others say take traveler's checks. What should we do.Can we change travelers checks in typical safari lodges? Also, are there many souvenirs to purchase on a safari in Kenya and Tanzania. Outside of guide fees and beverages all else is paid for. How do I handle souvenirs? Do I ship them or take them? What should I expect to purchase and how much should I allow?
Have all the shots waiting to take the malaria pills. Trying to find dust proof bags. Hope I have them. Film I have is 400 and 100 for the times of day about 40 rolls. Besides wet ones, mosquito repellant, sunblock,hat, journal, long sleeve shirts, flashlights, binos, birdbooks, animal books. What else do I need? Please help with the currency and money questions.
PReyburn is offline  
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May 12th, 2003, 06:39 PM
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First of all, have a wonderful trip!!! When we went to Kenya and Tanzania last year, we brought $1,100 cash (in 5's, 10's and 20's) and $400 in travelers checks. We did not use any of the travelers checks. We did bring one credit card to pay for alcoholic beverages that, in most places, are not included in the meal plans. We also used the credit card at another camp to charge the laundry service. But aside from that, we used cash to pay for souvenirs, which run the gamut from t-shirts to wood carvings to postcards, etc. I would recommend you just carry the small souvenirs with you home. For those that are larger (huge wood carvings or very delicate items), I would suggest you have them shipped. As far as dust proof bags, we just use plastic bags with sealable tops, like Ziploc freezer bags or the like. They work very well. I would also suggest you each bring your own pair of binoculars. There is nothing worse than trying to share a pair or use a pair that have not been taken care of. I am sure you will get loads of ideas from other Fodorites. Again, have a wonderful trip!!!
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May 13th, 2003, 05:11 AM
  #3
nkh
 
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Which 2afrika trip are you going on? I ask because we are also going to Kenya and Tanzania with 2afrika on June 9 - on the Wangiko safari (wouldnt that be a coincidence!)

I will be interested to see the replies to this thread since obviously we are also interested We are currently planning to acquiring a supply of small american bills since we thought it might be hard to come up with cash for small tips etc., have some other cash also and intend to use credit cards at lodges. We have a few travellers cheques form a previous trip that we will take also. We will see how this mixture works out

Our big question is also do we change any dollars for schillings, or should we just shop in US dollars - how much should we change if the former? What would be advantages?

Do you have a beanbag or similar to rest your camera on for stability? This has been suggested as a very good idea (a tripod apparently isnt much use on game drives). As I have been told, remember to take a warm sweater (nights can get cold!). Other than that, your packing list looks pretty similar to ours.

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May 13th, 2003, 05:14 AM
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Message: Like Susan we used the plastic ziplock bags for our film. Such also encouraged hand inspection at airport. You may want to check the posting "Tanzania and back" from our June 2002 trip via 2Afrika. We did not use credit card while in Tanzania nor travelers check. We could have used the card to pay for tanzanite we purchased but rate with cash was much better. We paid for laundry and beverages with US currency.I suggest you also take along a good supply of $1 bills. Nice when tipping porters carrying luggage. We were told the going rate was $1 per bag. Our first morning in Tanzania we stopped at the Predators Safari Club office for a briefing. There we also were able to exchange for local currency. But, American dollars worked quite well. Depending on your guide the opportunity to shop may vary. Besides the items in gift shops in the lodges, we also were able to buy things during optional visit to Masai village, at stands along the way and also at a major store at the Heritage Cultural Center on the outskirts of Arusha. Stuff in the lodge shops are much more expensive. Also you will be able to purchase post cards, books, and other items at little shops at entrance to some parks, at the Oldauvi (sp)Gorge visitors center, and even during gas stops. Starting at the shop at the Heritage Cultural Center we were encouraged to "bargain" and that can be an enjoyable aspect of the trip. Our guide never imposed shopping stops on us. Rather he asked what we would like to experience. And, he provided tips on local customs including buying and selling. We carried all the items we purchased but then we did not have anything of major size. Have a great time and if there is anything else of a specific nature feel free to contact me at [email protected] We hope to be able to return to Tanzania maybe in 2004.
Dick
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May 13th, 2003, 05:23 AM
  #5
 
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Hi PReyburn:

In addition to taking some cash, ABM are becoming more prevalent. In my research I had picked up a copy of 'The Rough Guide to Kenya' which had maps of many of the towns along the way and the maps showed the location of the Barclay's & Standard Bank's ABM.

So the American bills I brought were simply to tip our travel coordinator, I used local currency for everything else and picked up the local currency as I needed it. We found that the gift shops while indicating prices in US $ actually preferred local currency as they could use it more easily.

We had no travelers cheques and only used a Diners Club card (that I only have for international travel) for a few incidentals.

Also, the beverages at the lodges that we were charged for included all beverages (water, soda as well as alcoholic beverages) except coffee & tea.

Z
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May 13th, 2003, 01:36 PM
  #6
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NKH,
We too are on the June 9 Wangiko safari. We are a group of 2. It is a small world.
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May 13th, 2003, 02:09 PM
  #7
nkh
 
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Nice to meet you! It is indeed a small world. My husband and I (group of 2 only) are also very much looking forward to the trip - we will see you then and hopefully all have a wonderful experience together

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May 13th, 2003, 02:21 PM
  #8
zuni
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Besides the ziplock bags for film it is also good to buy the jumbo size and use for packing your clothes. Just put the item in and roll it up to get the air out. You can save a lot of room plus your clothes will stay clean. They sell expensive bags at travel stores that do the same thing but this will cost $3. Have a wonderful time we were there in 2001. Can't wait to go back. On the money issue small bills (US) worked great even out in the middle of no where
Carol
 
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May 16th, 2003, 04:37 PM
  #9
sandi
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While I had some Traveler Cks (in case of emergency) I never used them. Did convert some USD into local currency, but mostly used USD in small denominations. Lots of $1, $5, $10 some $20. Be sure your currency is relatively new (don't have to be right from the mint), but not torn. Strange but many locals check the date money was printed and if more than two years, won't take them. Important: Be sure all the $5, 10 & 20s are of the new form with the large face on them. Someone we met tried to pay for something with two $20s, one with new face the other old, and they wouldn't take the older bill??? Wait till the new colored bills come out!!!

Film - I've never used anything less than 200 and rarely used 400, though my partner did. Everything taken with 200 developed as well as with 400, whether bright sun, rain or cloudy. Kept my film in a leadlined bag for storage purpose more than the xray scanners and I was never asked to open it. I number each roll as I put it into camera so when I return (and number the developing envelope) so I know order in which photos were taken. If you're traveling with a partner arrange that you both don't take all of the same shots or you'll wind up with to much of everything. Never worked with anything more than 150 zoom and our drivers always got close enough to animals to even get the eyelashes of elephants. Make sure driver stops the car and turns off engine, though I've been surprised how many photos taken while moving actually developed perfectly.

In Kenya it's fun buying souvenirs as there are stands all along many of the roads you take (unless you're flying between camps), while in Tanzania, not so and you depend on the Heritage shops mostly. Prices at camps are way more expensive than you'll find at stops along the road and you can bargain for just about anything. Have a wonderful trip.
P.S. Suggestion for women... wear a sports-bra for traveling over the roads, you'll thank me.
 
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May 17th, 2003, 05:01 AM
  #10
LizFrazier
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Sandi- That's the best idea yet I've seen here. Sports bra. I found some lightweight ones before our last trip to Botswana. I got them for wearing on the flight over to Africa. They dried in a minute and were so comfortable that when I got home I bought about 7. They are great. I never thought of posting it. Thanks. Liz
 
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