– HOW DIFFERENT ARE TOURS AND PHOTO TOURS?
Unlike travel agents who plan your holiday based on what is hot in that season with almost no inclination to offer you what you would want to see, Photo Tours are innovative ways to experience a place through the guidance of a professional photographer. All of our photo tours are fun with a loads of learning and knowledge sharing. Moreover, since the group consists of photography enthusiasts only it makes your experience your experience more focused and fun filled.
– WHAT SI SO SPECIAL ABOUT MASAI MARA DURING MIGRATION?
The Great Annual Migration of Masai Mara is much more than a mere river crossing. It is a phenomenon in itself for it is here you see the best of nature and its various forms. The African savannah is flooded with wildlife and numbers can sweep you off your feet. Over 1,240,000 wildebeests, 200,000 Burchell’s zebra, 18000 elands and 500,000+ Thomson’s gazells – the statistics are staggering.
This is a period when predator behavior in Mara changes on a daily and weekly basis. While the mean Nile crocs have a feast during the initial river crossings their responses become slower as the migration progresses. With more and more wildebeests covering the entire landscape of the Mara Triangle, the lion action heats up.
– WHAT IS THE PROCESS FOR OBTAINING A VISA FOR TRAVEL IN NAIROBI?
You can obtain your visa at the Immigration desk when you arrive at NBO. You will approach the Immigration desk before you reach the baggage claim. You will need to have two forms in hand, a completed visa application form and the arrivals card you will have received on your flight prior to landing. Additionally, you will need to present a current passport and cash to pay the visa fee (see below). Passports should be at least 6 months prior to the expiration date. You will be photographed and/or fingerprinted at the Immigration desk. Visa fees are as follows:
***Please note if you are paying in USD, bills printed before 2006 will NOT be accepted due to counterfeit concerns. This applies to any place in Kenya that you may wish to exchange your money or pay with USD. You will need to bring bills that are 2006 or newer. We recommend that you bring $100 and $50 bills. While bills of lesser value are accepted, you may not get the best exchange rate.
– WHERE CAN I EXCHANGE CURRENCY?
You can exchange your money at the Bureau de Exchange located at NBO upon your arrival. You may have other opportunities to exchange money at a Forex Bureau, which can be found at various locations throughout Nairobi. However, it is not always guaranteed that you will have an opportunity to access a Forex Bureau throughout your travels. Therefore, it is recommended that you exchange your currency at Bureau de Exchange at NBO. You will usually get the best exchange rate at this location, as well.
You may also exchange your money at any bank in Nairobi. You will need to present your passport if you wish to exchange at the bank. Also, note that banks tend to be very busy at the end of the month when employees are paid, so expect longer lines and wait time during these times.
– CAN I USE A CREDIT CARD IN KENYA?
Visa Cards may be used at most ATMs to withdraw money. However, please be aware of charges that may be attached to the transaction.
– ARE VACCINATIONS REQUIRED TO TRAVEL TO KENYA?
Yes. YELLOW FEVER VACCINATION is a MUST if you are travelling to Kenya from India. It must be taken at an Authorised Center in India and get a Certtificate for the same. You must take it atleast one month before your arrival in Kenya.
You may also take Oral Polio Vaccine before you leave for Kenya as that may be asked by Indian Authorities on your return from Kenya.
– IS IT SAFE TO DRINK THE WATER IN KENYA?
Bottled water is recommended for drinking throughout your trip. Avoid drinking tap water or adding ice to your drinks unless you are absolutely sure of its quality and that it has been properly filtered. Bottled water is available at most any café or restaurant you may wish to dine at during your travels throughout Kenya, as well as all of the accommodations where you will be staying during your visit.
– IS IT SAFE TO EAT THE LOCAL FOOD IN KENYA?
It is advisable that you take precaution and wash any raw fruit or vegetables before eating them. This is mostly a concern with produce that you have purchased from street vendors, local markets, or grocery stores. Typically, eating the food that is served at your accommodations throughout your trip will not be an issue. Professional Kenyan chefs prepare the food you will be eating at each of your accommodations. All food is trucked in from Nairobi from high quality distributors and is stored and prepared in a safe manner.
– HOW SHOULD I DRESS WHILE I’M VISITING KENYA?
While you are in Nairobi or at your safari accommodations you will only interact with locals accustomed to tourists so feel free to wear any reasonable daily clothes. However, if you venture out into the local villages, you will want to consider your dress. Locals understand western dress in tourists and any reasonably modest clothing is acceptable. As is usually the case, female dress is more sensitive than male dress. General rules are keep shorts long and loose and shirts modest. In Africa legs are the modesty issue. Males and females should try to cover their legs above the knee. For males, pants and any semi-knee length shorts are fine. For females, pants and capris are fine and if you wear shorts or skirts/dresses keep them around knee length or wear a wrap over them. Shirts should be modest and not skin tight, not very low cut, and should cover your abdomen. Normal t-shirts and blouses are fine as well as reasonably modest tank tops.
– WHAT LANGUAGE IS SPOKEN IN KENYA?
The national language of Kenya is Swahili. However, English is the official language of the country and all business must be conducted in English. Therefore, English is well spoken in Kenya. Most people in the cities will speak and understand English well. You will likely encounter fewer people who speak English fluently in more rural areas. However, many people of a younger generation may speak English well since English is widely spoken in the classroom.
– WHAT IS THE ETIQUETTE WHEN TAKING PHOTOS?
As a general rule, ask before you take a picture. In Nairobi be careful of openly taking pictures of the airports or police. Ask permission from the locals before you take pictures and consider giving something in exchange for the picture. Kenya is welcoming to tourists so it is generally not an issue if you are respectful.
– SHOULD I EXPECT TO TIP WHEN I TRAVEL TO KENYA?
Tipping is common practice in Kenya. Most laborers make between 5-7 dollars a day, slightly higher in Nairobi. Tip accordingly but over tipping never hurts in a third world country. Generally, in Kenya a 10% tip is reasonable for services rendered.
– WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT BARTERING?
Bartering is expected at all markets. How good a deal you get depends on how well you barter. No matter what story they give you, the shop owners will not sell to you at a price where they lose money. They will push as hard as they can to get as much as they can, so do not be afraid to push back. Also, do no be afraid to walk away from a deal. It is not offensive to stop and walk away even if you have started bartering. As long as you are friendly and respectful, it is all part of the game.
– WHAT IS THE SUGGESTED EQUIPMENT FOR THIS TOUR?
For wild animals a mid telephoto lens in the range of 70-200 or even 100-400 works best. For birds however you require a longer focal length lenses but a minimum requirement is 100-400 lens. However prime lenses with higher focal lengths like 500mm or 600mm work the best, but we never advise anyone to go for those lenses just for coming on this tour. Wide angle lenses like 10-22 or 16- 35 are required to capture the beautiful landscapes and cover the spectacle called migration. Camera bodies which work better in low light conditions and which have a crop sensor and high fps are suggested. We always advise to carry a monopod / tripod and a bean bag to stabilize your camera to get tack sharp pics. The tracks can be very dusty which can harm your camera, so we strongly suggest a dust bag to keep your gear protected when not in use.
– WHAT ARE THE PRE-REQUISITES FOR THIS TOUR?
Other than good health and an avid interest for Wildlife and/or photography, the only other requisites are:
– A valid passport and other documents required for a Kenyan visa
– Valid yellow-fever vaccination, which is mandatory by law (taken at least 10 days prior to arrival in Kenya and within the last ten years)
– HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL SHARE MY VEHICLE IN SAFARI?
We believe in giving you sufficient space to move around to adjust quickly to situations and shoot with comfort. The safari vehicles allow 4 people to be in one jeep, however if you wish to have lesser people in vehicle, you can do so by paying some additional amount. In case of a unique unavoidable situation of odd no. of participants one or more vehicles may have max 5 people sharing the vehicle but we will try and avoid the situation to its max.
– WHAT ARE THE CHANCES OF WILDLIFE AND MIGRATION SIGHTING?
Kenya is known for its wildlife and since we will be visiting during peak migration time, we are certain of witnessing a lot of wildlife. We take utmost care in timing our schedules and itineraries to maximize your chances of sighting. We even work in close coordination with local people there to ensure we all come back with one of the finest experiences with sighting and photography. But because of the mere fact that we are there in uncontrolled environment and we cannot time their migration to suit our travel plan, we do not take any guarantees of the same and should not be held responsible.
– I AM A RANK BEGINNER IN WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY / I ONLY HAVE A SIMPLE POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA. CAN I BE A PART OF THIS TOUR?
Oh yes very much! We always encourage every nature and wildlife enthusiast whether an experienced photographer or not to attend such organized photo tours.
Feel free to be a part of this tour and get to take valuable tips home from our skilled team of experts and other participants as well.
– HOW MANY PARTICIPANTS ARE EXPECTED TO SHARE A ROOM?
All participants are accommodated in twin-sharing rooms. Single supplements are charged extra. Please enquire with us about your single supplement charges.
– ARE THERE ANY DISCOUNTS?
Discounts may be available only for our old loyalist