Kenya and Tanzania may surprise you for their natural beauty and fascinate you with their richness and depth of their diversity cultural heritage. They in fact, offers over 85 between natural parks and reserves of various kinds (from Masai Mara to Serengeti, from Amboseli to Ngorongoro Crater just to mention a few), where they live about 190 different ethnic groups, belonging to different religions.
Paradise of endless opportunities, characterized by strong contrasts of natural, social and cultural factors that makes parks and reserves of Kenya and Tanzania among the most extraordinary destinations in Africa, if not of the entire world.
Great values such as reciprocal respect of different peoples, the peaceful cohabitation of different religions, explosion of colors and richness of fauna and flora, endless places where time passes slowly (“pole pole”) without running, where the sky passes through and not above you, where people greet you (“Jambo”) even if they don’t know you.
A world where all is true even the unpleasant things, because all is life. A strange sensation that we don’t know how to give an exact name… A cocktail of emotion of which many of us call “African sickness”.
To get into Kenya or Tanzania, you need to have a current and valid passport and depending on your nationality or country of origin, you may need to apply for a visa. You may apply and receive a visa before visiting Kenya or Tanzania from the various embasses in your country or apply it on arrival in Kenyan or Tanzanian airports. The cost of the visa is 50 dollars. Your passport should not expire before six months from the end of your travel. We advice you to make some copies of your actual passport and visa before travelling. If you are travelling with children, make sure you ask all the required documents from your local police station.
There are currently no inoculations that you must have when travelling to Kenya or Tanzania, We advise visitors to take anti-malaria tablets and to make sure that you protect yourself from mosquito bites, wearing long sleeved shirts/blouses and long pants, use mosquito repellent, mosquito nets. Drink well sealed mineral water and avoid street foods, take with you a necessary first-aid box. The vaccination against yellow fever becomes mandatory in Kenya and Tanzania when you transit in epidemic countries like Uganda, Etiopia etc.
Kenya and Tanzania enjoys tropical climate almost all year round with temperatures that run between 22° to 30° in the coastal areas. In the highlands and in some parks at around 1500 metres of altitude, the temperatures run between 15° to 24° during day time and dizzy during the night. (5 / 7 grade)
Along the equator, the sun presence is constant in every 12 hours. The sun rises at around 6.00 am and set around 18.00 pm. Seasonal alteration does not exist. The rainy season is between march and may, and the short rains are between november and mid-december.
GMT + 3.
The Kenyan and Tanzanian currency are in shillings. 1 euro is around 100 (KSHS). In Tanzania 1 euro is around 2200 shillings. Most of the major international currencies are accepted and you can convert into Kenyan or Tanzanian shillings in the Hotel reception, in the Bank, or Forex Bureau. The major Credits Cards (Master Card, Visa, American Express, Diner’s etc) are widely accepted in all major hotels and establishments, however you will need cash in hand because the smaller shops only accept cash. Remember to take your documents with you.
Tipping: Most major hotels and restaurants include a service charge in the bill, although tipping is not mandatory, you may tip porters, waiters, drivers, guides, rangers etc at your discretion.
The best clothes for a vacation, holiday, safari or leisure in Kenya and Tanzania are bright light casual wear; pants, jeans, cotton shirts. Jeans and decent tops/blouses for ladies. You can dress differently for special occasions; especially when going clubbing/dancing, to church, sporting etc. For dinner in some restaurants and clubs, you will probably be OK to wear shorts and t-shirts, in some up-scale restaurants you will have to dress elagantly. During safari, non-synthetic, comfortable fitting, neutral clothes, (khaki, brown, olive colours are ideal), avoid bright coloured clothes. Pack a jersey, pullover, safari jacket, shorts, long trousers, short sleeved safari shirts, long sleeved safari tops to protect you againest mosquito bites. Light weight safari shoes/trainers. No heavy boots unless you are doing a walking safari. Don’t forget to carry safari hats. In luxury lodges and camps, generally you have to dress formally for diner (trousers for men). If you wish to continue with beach holiday after your safari, we advise you to have 2 bags: a soft bag for safari (max 15kg) and the beach suitcase that you will leave it to our staff on arrival at the airport. Our staff will help you find it in hotel/resort on arrival from safari.
The official languages in Kenya and Tanzania are Kiswahili and English. English was inherited from the British colonials and mostly used for business. Swahili is one of the twelfth most spoken languages in the world, spoken by almost 44% of the world population. It is pronounced exactly as written. Kenyans and Tanzanians speaks other local and foreign languages as well.
We advice you to carry emergency photo camera rolls, battery, battery richarger, video cassetes, card memory etc because sometimes its not easy to find them around. Its forbidden to take photos of public offices, Kenyan flags, police stations, courts etc. Ask for permission before taking photos to people, in some cases you may be required to offer a tip for those photos. (Its normal) For the nocturnal animal photos in savanna, the camera should be without flash.
The Kenyan and Tanzanian diet is comprised of food from different ethnic groups. The popular staple foods include; rice, beef, ugali (mais flour) chapati (type of indian bread) chicken, goat, fish, tilapia and an assortment of fresh vegetables and fruits. Nyama choma is the famous national dish; a form of charcoal-grilled beef or goat meat, very popular in authentic Kenyan restaurants and pubs. Kenya is one of the major tea and coffee exporters, infact in Kenya anytime is tea time when it comes to drinks. The Kenyan tea in the form of chai (tea with milk and sugar) It is served for breakfast and any hour of the day. (in the tourists restaurants, villages, camps and hotels, you will find international foods).
The Kenyan and Tanzanian beers are also famous: pilsner, premium, tusker, white cup, gueness. Kenya and Tanzania doesn’t produce wine, but you can get all types of imported wine all over. Kenya produces spirits; Kenya Cane, Safari Cane, Kenyan Coffee, and Brandy like Amarula among others.
Kenya and Tanzania has a very wide access in GSM cellular network. You can buy local calling cards to make your international calls. Or you can buy local sim card, in this way you will not pay for the incoming calls, only the calls you make. You can also make international calls from your hotel, cyber cafes, Phone booths and other places that offer international calling services.
The current is 220/240AC - 50HZ. You will have to bring an universal adapter with you.
We remind you that during safari, in many lodges and camps, the generators are switched off between 23.00 pm and 10.00 am. We advise you to carry a torch-light with you.
January 2016: I am pleased to inaugurate the 2.0 version of our project, our adventure. Several years have passed since our 1.0 version, but the thanks owed are always many and some still valid since last time! A renewal thankful to my wife Laura Stuardo, mother of Mamasavana, who created a logo by now recognizable and who renewed the entire layout of the website and corporate identity, complaining to be the worst client ever had! Paolo Lentini who has been besides us from the beginning, with advices, tips, ideas, suggestions which were always fundamental and who had the courage to review, correct and customize all our texts and Danilo Rolle for valuable digital advice. Pino - nicknamed Jaguar - and Gianna (in-laws), always present to support our choices, all my big family, genoese and malindina, for their continue support. A special thanks goes to all Mamasavana friends and guests, that have helped to enrich this website with their wonderful photographs: Diego Rumazza, Alessandra Dagnino, Roberto De Sibi, Patrizia Garone, Manuela Calistri, Fabiano Ciampolini, Jennifer Schiano, Leandro Fantolini, Lara Cappelli, Pietro Cocco, Gianluigi Crovini, Agata Boschi, Ilaria Martinalli and Francesco Pezzini. Finally, last but not least, Sandro Ghini of which without him, we could not have the website you are looking at! John