What to bring?

By December 11, 2014Travel Tips

Supplied in Our Camps

  • Hairdryer
  • Flashlights
  • Umbrellas
  • Insect Repellant
  • Soap & Shampoo
  • Cotton swabs & Q-Tips
  • Laundry soap for underwear
  • Basic First-Aid supplies

Essentials You Should Bring

  • Plenty of sunscreen & lip protection
  • Best quality sunglasses + a spare pair
  • Your reading glasses + spare pair
  • Prescription medicines

Tipping Guidelines for Staff and Guides

Guests who have traveled with us on safari over the years have been incredibly generous to our professional camp staff and guides and the staff at the various lodges. For the years 2010, 2011, 2012 the average tip per guest was $300 for a 10-12 day safari. This included tips of about $10 per guest per day at lodges such as Lewa Downs, Sirikoi, etc. If you plan to give your tip in US Dollars, please make sure the bills are newer than 2000 – older currency is not accepted in Kenya banks.

If you are planning a camel safari, gorilla trek, or mountain climb, there will be another formula for tipping which we are happy to help with.

Gift Giving

Many people ask us to recommend appropriate gifts they can bring along on safari – especially for kids. Although our policy is to never give presents to individual children (this is to prevent begging which is now so prevalent with kids – thanks to kind but misguided tourists), we give generously to schools, churches, and community programs who then distribute gifts to the children equally. Treasured gifts for kids could include ink pens, pencils, crayons, writing tablets, and balloons. If you have the room in your luggage and you have access to secondhand elementary school books, one schoolbook could change a child’s life. Many of our guests give financial support to our community conservation projects, and we have a registered 501 (3) c US charity for our projects in Africa. Please let us know if you would like any more information about our involvement in community conservation.

Keeping Fit on Safari

We offer escorted walking wherever possible, and we can design hiking, camel treks, mountain climbing, horseback riding, fly fishing, wake-boarding, water-skiing, kite-surfing, and mountain biking into the itinerary at your request. While staying in our camps, you will have plenty of floor space on the verandah of your tent for stretching, yoga, skipping rope, etc. We are happy to supply a yoga mat upon request. Although running is technically not allowed in the National Parks and Reserves, we can always find a quiet corner where you can run a few miles each day.

Spa Treatments, Massage, etc.

Massage, hairdressing, manicure & pedicure are available upon request in our camps at extra charge (payments accepted in local currency or US dollars). Spa treatments are also available at almost all lodges as well, but please let us know in advance so we can make reservations for you.

Retail Therapy

Most shops at the lodges accept VISA and MasterCard, but most artisans and street vendors prefer payment in local currency or US Dollars. Make sure your US currency is undamaged and carries a printing date after the year 2000. Traveler’s Checks are not popular in East Africa. ATM machines are available around Nairobi, though not at the lodges or hotels.