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Travelling to East Africa
  • Climate: The climate of Africa is the most generally uniform of any continent. July and August mark the East African winter. Temperatures elsewhere depend on altitude.
  • Coastal climate: In general, the East African coast is hot with an average daytime temperature of 27-31 degrees centigrade.
  • The rains: Typically, January-February is dry, March-May is wet, June-September is dry, October-December is wet.
  • Time: GMT +3 all year-round. Sunrise is typically 06.30 and sunset at 18.45.
  • Electricity: 220-240 volts AC, with standard 13-amp three square-pin plugs.
  • About internal air travel: Domestic flights are a convenient and relatively affordable means of travel. It is also well worth seeing this diverse and beautiful part of Africa from the perspective of the air. Frequent scheduled and charter flights operate between the main towns and national parks. 
  • How to get around :
  • Taxis: There are plenty of taxi ranks to be found outside the main hotels, shopping arcades, and central city points. Alternatively there are a number of dial-up taxi firms in operation in the major towns.  A tariff sheet should be available and it is wise to agree the price of the journey before you set off.
  • Car Rental: There are plenty of well-established and reputable car hire companies in operation. To hire a car you must be over 23 and under 70 years and have held a driving license for a minimum of two years. Kenyan motorists drive on the left and overtake on the right. Road conditions in many places are difficult.
  • Malaria: Malaria is endemic in tropical Africa and protection against it is absolutely necessary. It is recommended that one of several reliable prophylactics be taken for two weeks before arrival, all the time in the country, and for four to six weeks after returning home. In mosquito-ridden areas it is recommended that visitors sleep under mosquito nets, cover arms and legs in the evening and use an insect repellent.
  • Hospitals and doctors: There are plenty of highly qualified doctors, surgeons, and dentists in East Africa. In addition, most lodges and hotels in the remoter game reserves usually have resident medical staff. Most lodges also have radio or telephone contact with the Flying Doctor Service in Nairobi. Nairobi has five modern and well-equipped hospitals, Mombasa two.
  • AIDS: AIDS is a serious problem throughout Africa; between 7 and 9 per cent of the Kenyan population is HIV positive. 
  • Snake Bites: Of the 126 species of snakes found in Kenya, 93 are neither venomous nor dangerous and over half of the bites inflicted are ‘dry’ (not envenomed), either because the snake intended the bite as a warning, or because it was low on venom. However, prevention is better than cure so when walking in the bush: follow the instructions of your guide; wear boots, socks and trousers, avoid walking in long grass and look where you are putting your feet. If you are bitten do not panic; immobilize the bitten limb with a rough splint and apply a bandage to the bite. Do not apply a tourniquet, do not cut either side of the bite, and do not suck the bite. Get medical help as soon as possible.
  • Personal Safety: Since East African society is less affluent than that of the developed world, ostentatious or careless displays of wealth or valuables will attract unwelcome attention. Best, therefore to leave all valuables in the hotel safe, wear no jewellery, and carry no expensive items of technology. Guests are also advised not to walk in the towns or cities by night. Wise also to walk briskly and politely but firmly decline all offers of friendship, guiding or any other interaction: sadly, the majority will be of dubious intent.  
  • Insurance: It is recommended that travellers take out adequate medical insurance.

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