Some tips and advice for birdwatching/birding in East Africa:

1. Research your Destination: Do some research on the specific bird species found in the area you plan to visit. This will help you identify and appreciate the birds you see during your trip.

2. Hire a Local Guide: Hiring a local guide who is knowledgeable about the birds in the area is essential for a successful birdwatching trip. They will be able to show you the best spots to see birds and help you identify them.

3. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Dress in comfortable clothing that is suitable for the climate and terrain. Lightweight, breathable fabrics are ideal, and long sleeves and pants can protect you from the sun and insect bites.

4. Bring the Right Equipment: Binoculars are essential for birdwatching, so make sure to bring a good pair. A camera with a telephoto lens can also be useful for capturing photos of birds.

5. Be Patient and Quiet: Birdwatching requires patience and the ability to sit quietly and wait for birds to appear. Move slowly and quietly to avoid disturbing the birds and always follow the instructions of your guide.

9. Keep a Record: Keep a record of the birds you see during your trip. This can be a fun way to remember your trip and to compare your sightings with others.

6. Respect the Environment: Be respectful of the environment and the wildlife you encounter. Do not litter or disturb the natural habitat of the birds.

7. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially in hot and dry areas. Snacks or energy bars can also be helpful to keep your energy levels up during long birdwatching sessions.

8. Be Prepared for Different Weather Conditions: East Africa region has a varied climate, so be prepared for different weather conditions depending on the time of year and location. Bring appropriate clothing and equipment to suit the conditions.

By following the above¬† tips and advice, you can make the most of your birdwatching trip in East Africa and enjoy the beauty of the region’s diverse birdlife.

LANGUAGE

In our beloved country Kenya, English is the official language while Kiswahili is the National language. In addition to this, most tribes (over 42) have their own language.

HEALTH

Since rules concerning disease prevention change from time to time, a check should be made with the nearest Kenyan High Commission, Kenya Tourist Office or any airline flying scheduled services into Kenya. Malaria is endemic to most parts of Kenya and intending visitors should start taking anti-malarial tablets before departure and continue taking them for the prescribed time after their return. To avoid being bitten, we suggest using insect repellants spray on arms and legs. Sleep under a mosquito net. If you wish to take prophylactics, we suggest Proguanil (Paludrine), as it is safe also for children & expectant mothers. Avoid Mefloquine (Lariam) as it can cause disturbed sleep.

DRINKING WATER

Drinking water from the tap must be considered risky. Hotels and lodges usually furnish safe water in a thermos flask in guest rooms. Bottled mineral water is available in every hotel and supermarket.

SECURITY

Normal precautions as in any other destination world-wide should be taken. Visitors are advised not to leave cash and valuables in their hotel rooms but to make use of safe deposit boxes and safes. Avoid carrying large sums of money. As in all major cities walking alone or in small groups at night should be considered a hazard and avoided. Reliable taxis are available at all the principal hotels. Taking photographs at airports, near military installations, of policeman, the president, the national flag, the State House, state lodges, soldiers, prisons and prisoners etc., is prohibited. Before photographing local people, permission should be obtained and a fixed price agreed. Seek the assistance of your driver/guide in this matter.

CLIMATE

Temperatures in the highlands are very pleasant, and reach a maximum of 29-30 C (daytime)during the hottest months of December – April period. Nights can be cold in the higher altitudes particularly during our winter of June-October.

LUGGAGE

Luggage on safari should be kept to a minimum. Space on vehicles and on light aircraft services is limited. Luggage should preferable be in soft canvas bags. Nairobi hotels have storage facilities for baggage.

CLOTHING

The emphasis is on informality, and comfort. Cotton slacks, jeans, and shirts, are ideal. Most lodges/hotels have a swimming pool, so bring your swimwear, sunglasses and a hat. Pack a warm pullover for chilly nights up-country.

CURRENCY

Foreign currencies can be exchanged in cash or travelers checks at banks all over the country, at forex bureaus in Nairobi and at most large hotels. US Dollars and Sterling Pounds are most acceptable and will cause the least delay. As a norm, always ask what commission and charges will be deducted first and prior to transaction. Banks are usually open from 9.00 am to 3.00 pm, Mondays through Fridays and from 9.00 am and 11.00 am on Saturdays.

CREDIT CARDS

Visa, MasterCard andAmerican Express are widely accepted for tourist services. There’s usually a 5%mark-up on top of the price as establishments are charged a fixed percentage oftheir transactions.

VOLTAGE

Both mains electricity and generated supply in lodges provide 240 volts AC. Most large hotels and some game lodges provide shaving points with 110 v. Sockets are normally three pin and of the ‘square’ variety.

TIPPING

Although hotels and lodges include a service charge, it is customary to tip porters, waiters, taxi drivers and safari drivers/guides.

ARRIVALS AND DEPARTURES

Kenya has two main ports of entry by Air: Jomo Kenyatta International Airport which is located in Nairobi (Capital City) is only about 16 km from the city center. Moi International Airport, Mombasa, located 12 km from the town center. Mombasa is the main port of entry by Sea.

OPENING AND SHOPPING HOURS

Major stores, tourist services, offices and museums open from 8.00 am to 5.00 PM in large towns though offices often break for lunch. In rural areas and out in the bush small shops can be open at almost any hour. Souvenirs to take back home can include wood and soap stone sculptures and carvings, sisal baskets, bead work and tribal regalia, masks, textiles and gemstones set in unique jewelry pieces.

POST AND TELEPHONES

Keeping in touch by mail and telephone is generally easy. Direct overseas dialing is possible from major centers and increasingly from remote places such as game lodges. Call home bureaus are in plenty in Nairobi as are the Cyber café for e-mail and Internet access.

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Twinspot Tours & Travel Ltd