• Your guide to visit East Africa this summer

    Vika
    May 27, 2021

    Travelling to East Africa this summer - a great idea and a wise conclusion!

    To realize your great idea support your wise conclusion with updated information on pros, cons, and of course the latest Covid regulations. Daily updated and thoroughly checked information will surely help you to get an informed decision.
    Pros surely include fewer visitors, curious animals, a higher standard of service for a lower price, easily maintained social distancing, and more profound contact with nature.
    Cons may be different Covid protocols when entering each country.

    1. Tanzania


    The undisputed queen of African safaris, Tanzania, is home to the Wildebeest Migration for ten months of the year, it is where the World Heritage-listed Ngorongoro Crater shows off the unique wildlife, where Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa's tallest mountain protrudes from the average, and the gorgeous island paradise of Zanzibar is being caressed by the sea.
    One of the advantages is "front row seats" for the great migration spectacle - dare to fight the croc for its bite? Pre-covid times witnessed rows and rows of cars waiting to catch a glimpse of nature's wonders, now great views are on display.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All travellers are now required to show a negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate not older than 72 hours. Upon arrival, all travellers will be subjected to rapid Covid-19 testing. The cost of this test is 25 USD and will be paid by the traveller on location. You are required to fill in the health form, available online, before travelling.

    2. Rwanda


    This green heaven in the heart of Africa invites with its unparalleled treasures. Gorilla and chimpanzee trekkings are always on the top, you can spot all of the big five here, and don't forget the amazing birdlife as well.
    Volcanoes national park, Akagera, Nyungwe, or the newest Gishwati Mukura national park all have lots to offer, Lake Kivu shares a different perspective, just as a visit to the sombre Rwanda Genocide Museum in Kigali.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All arriving travellers are required to have a negative PCR Covid-19 test certificate conducted within 72 hours before departure. Before arrival, you are required to fill in the Public Health Passenger Locator Form online and attach the PCR certificate. All passengers are required to stay 24 hours in quarantine, while passengers from India are required to complete 7 days in mandatory quarantine upon arrival at a designated quarantine hotel at their own cost.
    All travelers departing from Rwanda must test negative for Covid-19. A PCR test must be performed within 72 hours before departure. The Covid-19 test is not mandatory for accompanied children under 5 years.

    3. Uganda


    No country in Africa can offer quite what Uganda does: world-class gorilla and chimpanzee trekking, terrific game drives, all big five, bustling birdlife, and the majesty of the mighty Nile.
    Winston Churchill fondly called Uganda The Pearl of Africa, and we certainly agree with that sentiment, adding our cognition - Uganda's wild charm and variety of activities make it a great place to plan a safari.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    Arriving passengers will be subject to temperature checks and will be screened for infectious diseases by the Port Health Authorities. If a passenger shows signs or symptoms of any infectious disease they will be taken by ambulance to a local isolation centre to undergo a COVID-19 test at their own cost. Test results will be returned within 24 to 48 hours; passengers will be expected to remain at the isolation centre until the test results are returned. Passengers coming from India or being there less than 14 days ago, are not permitted to enter Uganda. Passengers from certain countries will have to undergo PCR testing on the border /airport at their own costs.
    Departing passengers are required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate, issued no more than 120 hours before travel. The 120 hours begin on the day the sample is collected for testing.

    4. Kenya


    Often referred to as "Africa's safari capital", home to the world-famous Maasai Mara and hosting the famed Wildebeest Migration in August and September as well as boasting the best views of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Kenya is also an affordable and well-developed tourism market that is great for families or people traveling on a budget. Many different options to choose from in every rank, for every taste.

    Covid-19 regulations:
    All arriving passengers must take the PCR test 96 hours before departure from the first embarkation point and present the negative test. You must complete the “Travelers Health Surveillance Form” online before departure.
    Currently, flights from the UK and India to Kenya are suspended until June 2021.
    Passengers who have been to or transited through India in the past 14 days are not allowed to enter Kenya.

  • Covid-19 test in Tanzania & Zanzibar

    Vika
    May 6, 2021

    Getting a Covid-19 negative certificate for your return flight from Tanzania is a simple process. There are several locations in Tanzania where you can have a sample taken. All samples (except those, taken at Mount Meru Hospital in Arusha, which has its own lab) are sent to Dar es Salaam for processing in the national laboratory. The results will be delivered to you by email 48 hours after your sample has been taken.

    There are 4 easy steps - below you will find more information per step:

    • Register online
    • Pay
    • Take Sample / Swab
    • Get the result

    Registration for your Covid-19 PCR test

    In both, Tanzania and Zanzibar, tests must be registered and paid for in advance. Online registration for a test in the mainland of Tanzania can be done via this link: https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz
    For a test on Zanzibar go to this link: https://zanzibarcovidtesting.co.tz

    It is best to register 5 days in advance - with your phone number and passport in hand.

    Pay

    It is best to pay for a test in advance to a “wakala” based on the control number that you received by telephone or email during registration. The payment can also be made in the hospital itself, but the process will take longer. There are many officially registered “mobile money” or “wakala” points in Tanzania. Your Shadows of Africa guide will assist you, making a short stop of about 10 minutes during your safari to complete the payment. Cash payment is preferred.

    After payment you will receive proof of payment, which is also a necessary document when leaving the country, so don't lose it!

    Taking a Covid-19 PCR test in Arusha

    In Arusha, it is best to have a test taken at Mount Meru Regional Hospital or Arusha Lutheran Medical Center. The Mount Meru Hospital has its own lab, which means that the tests do not have to be taken to Dar Es Salaam. This means that results can be expected as early as 24 hours after taking the sample.

    Taking a Covid-19 PCR test in Zanzibar

    The Zanzibar Ministry of Health has currently designated three sites for Covid PCR testing:
    Emergency Operation Center in Lumumba
    Global Hospital in Vuga
    North Valley Hospital in Nungwi

    Taking a Covid-19 PCR test in the Serengeti

    There is even a test site in the Serengeti - this is located at the airport in Seronera; so in the heart of the Serengeti! Your guide will take you to the special testing station in the morning and then you can continue on a safari. With a test in the Serengeti, you can combine the pleasant with the necessary.

    Sample taking

    When you arrive at your test location, you register and show your proof of payment, and provide your personal and flight details. You should bring your passport. You will then be given a control number and when it’s your turn, your sample will be taken. The samples are taken from both, the nose and the throat.

    Test results

    It takes up to 48 hours to get the results as the samples are sent to Dar es Salaam for testing (except at Mount Meru Hospital). If your airline has strict rules regarding the validity of the certificate, make sure you take your sample in the morning so that it can be sent to Dar es Salaam the same day as the collection. The date printed on your certificate is the date the certificate is issued, not the date the sample was taken. At the airport, you will occasionally be asked for a printed version of the test - so ask your hotel if they can print it for you.

    In short, you can meet all requirements.

    Latest update / Rapid test before departure

    Since January 26, 2021, KLM requires a Rapid Covid-19 test as an additional requirement to the PCR test. This rapid test must be taken no later than 4 hours before departure. Rapid tests are performed at all airports KLM flies to and from: Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, and Dar es Salaam.
    The cost for this test is USD 25 per person per test and is payable in cash at the airport. Allow enough time for this test to avoid any problems and arrive at the airport at least five hours before departure.

    If you fly with KLM, you must do this rapid test in addition to a classic PCR test - and you must therefore have a Covid-19 negative certificate + the rapid test before you can board. This is no longer applicable to passengers who only transfer in the Netherlands.

  • Flexible & Secure with Shadows of Africa

    Vika
    March 30, 2021

    We know many of you are still dreaming of Africa and are eager to start planning. Perhaps now more than ever. We’re just as excited to welcome you to our home! Whenever your travel plans might be, we are here to help and we will make the process as easy as possible.
    We, at Shadows of Africa understand that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic makes it more difficult to plan international travel. Therefore, we are working closely with our hotel and ground partners to ensure the maximum degree of flexibility when it comes to planning your trip with us.
    As such, our Terms & Conditions have been tweaked to ensure you can book your trip with us without worrying about losing your deposit on your dreamtrip.
    The following amendments to our terms apply to all new bookings until further notice:

    • The non-refundable deposit has been reduced to 10% (from 30%);
    • Balance payments are due one week ahead of your arrival dates (down from 45 days);
    • In the event that you need to postpone your trip for any reason, we can arrange a free rescheduling to any date within two years of your original travel dates.

    When postponing a trip, we endeavour to ensure that the price is not adversely impacted by the change of date. However, we reserve the right to increase the price if your new travel dates would fall in a more expensive season or if the change of dates necessitates making changes to your accommodation. Any rate increase due to a change in season or third party costs, for example Park Fees, will be to the client’s account.
    In the event of any unforeseen circumstances not covered by our T&C, or events asking for even more flexibility, we will review on a case by case basis and seek to establish the most flexible and understanding approach possible. For group bookings special terms and conditions are available.

    We continue to monitor the global situation and the exceptional circumstances that are constantly evolving. These extraordinary times ask for extraordinary flexibility Shadows of Africa, as a multi-destination tour company has decades of experience adapting to changing circumstances.

    So sit back and enjoy peace of mind leading up to your adventure, by booking with Shadows of Africa.

  • What camera to bring on safari

    Giulia
    March 30, 2021

    If you are wondering what camera gear to pack for your safari experience, look no further! Here is the comprehensive list of all the camera equipment and accessories you will need for your safari.

    This photography gear list is brought to you by our resident photographer Giulia Cimarosti, safari specialist at Shadows of Africa and professional photographer. Guilia also leads groups on our special photographic safaris in Tanzania.

    Generally speaking, depending on the device you use you can expect different results. Let’s go through some options:

    Mobile Photography on Safari

    You don’t have to own super pricey, professional equipment, however it’s quite safe to say that using a mobile phone to take photos during your safari won’t make good close-up images of the wildlife possible, no matter the phone’s model or quality.

    Mobile phones tend to have very poor zooming capabilities, however they can be great for African sunsets, photographing a herd in the landscape, and of course to take the occasional short video for social media, when a curious cheetah decides to climb on the vehicle!

    Keep in mind though that during your safari you won’t always get very close to the animals, so the best way to frame the subject is to use a zoom-telephoto lens on an actual camera.

    Cameras and Lenses on Safari

    If you want to take really good photos on your safari, make sure you bring your DSLR camera! A digital single lens reflex camera will allow you to use manual settings, adapting them to the lighting situation, the distance to the subject and the effects you want to achieve.

    Now you may be wondering what camera body is the best one, but the answer is not an easy one. There are cameras of all formats and brands, but they all have one thing in common: manual settings!

    The thing you need to concentrate on, when thinking about the right photography gear for safari photography, is what lens - or better, lenses - to bring.

    Zoom lenses

    The must-have kind of lens for safari photography is a zoom or telephoto. This is the kind of lens that allows you to zoom into the subject, making it appear closer. There are countless zoom lenses on the market, but make sure your telephoto lens has a focal length of at least 200 mm.

    • Budget
      28-300 mm or 70-300 mm lenses are good budget options for beginners.
    • Medium
      A 150-600 mm lens will allow you to shoot almost anything in daylight, taking your photography to the next level with a reasonable investment.
    • Pro
      A 70-200 mm f/2,8 prime lens, although the focal length is not extreme, is an excellent lens that will not disappoint.
      There are other lenses such 400 mm f/4 or even f/2,8 prime lenses which are top choices but at an extremely high price tag.

    If there is a lens worth an investment when planning to go on a photographic safari, it has to be the zoom!

    Medium and Wide Angle Lenses

    Although zoom lenses are the first ones that come to mind when thinking about safari photography, a wide angle lens also goes a long way when it comes to shooting the animals in their habitat, dramatic African skies and sunsets, and large herds moving during the Great Migration. Make sure you pack a wide to medium lens too!

    • Budget
      The 18-55 mm “kit lens” that comes with most camera kits works perfectly for this kind of photos. As a budget option, any kit lens works perfectly, actually!
      Lenses in the 10-24 mm range are much wider - another good option that will allow you to take creative photographs during your safari.
    • Medium
      A 15-30 mm f/2,8 wide lens is a high quality choice for landscape.
    • Pro
      The 24-70 mm f/2,8 is a “classic”, very sharp lens that never disappoints, allowing you to shoot landscapes (or good quality files to stitch in panoramas later on) and zoom into the subject too.

    Bear in mind that a good wide angle lens also allows you to take wonderful nocturnal photos of the clear skies of the savannah.

    Other accessories

    Now that you know what to use to shoot your safari photographs, let’s think about the accessories you shouldn’t forget:

    • Spare batteries. Although all our vehicles have charging stations to recharge your batteries during the game drives, having one or two extra batteries is always a good idea to keep shooting without a single worry!
    • Memory cards. Believe it or not, I can guarantee you will find yourself shooting dozens and dozens of photos to the same animal or scene. It’s easy when you have lions posing for you, or a hunting scene taking place. So pack extra memory cards!
    • Battery charger. There are regular battery chargers and also double battery chargers that work with USB and/or car power outlets. I like these, as you can charge 2 batteries at once.
    • Protection for your camera gear. The savannah is dusty, and dust is the real enemy of cameras and their sensors. Try to keep everything protected from dust except what you are using. Camera bags or pouches/cloths will work great.
    • Cleaning kit. A full kit includes the sensor cleaning kit and tools to remove dust and clean the camera. Try to keep everything clean by gently removing the dust every day after the game drives. Please note: the sensor tends to get dirty with all the dust of the safari, but at the same time cleaning the sensor is a very delicate task so don’t risk it if you are not sure how to do it!

    Are you ready to embark on your photographic safari adventure? Please let us know if you need more suggestions and information about what camera gear to pack for your safari. We look forward to having you travel with us!

  • Personal information for your safari booking

    Vika
    February 18, 2021

    On the 1st of January 2021 TANAPA — the Tanzanian safari parks authority — has implemented new administration rules. The updated regulations require that a copy of the passport of every visitor is digitally registered before visiting. This regulation is aimed at minimizing corruption and increasing efficiency.
    This requirement is at odds with European laws on privacy and personal data — which do not allow you to send full passport copies. But of course, we want to spare you administrative delays at the park entry. Who wants to be stuck right at the edge of a National Park waiting for paperwork - while you could already enjoy a game drive?
    So, therefore, we ask only the demanded information - with unnecessary information blocked out, to spare you delays at the gate of your chosen safari park — while not jeopardizing your privacy.
    Tanzanian authorities require the following information to be visible:

    1. Passport number
    2. Age (birthdate)
    3. Name
    4. Photo

    persoonlijke-gegevens-safari

    You can make a standard copy at home and blacken all the additional data and then scan & send that in a pdf to us.
    Alternatively, we recommend this app, that works on Android supported phones:
    KopieID.
    With this app you can take a photo of your identity document, cross out privacy-sensitive information. In the picture you can indicate who the copy is intended for and for what purpose. This text and the date are added on the copy as a watermark. You can now send the copy, print it or save it safely for later use. Saving the copy is only possible if you have crossed out something.

    We want to thank you for your cooperation, and we are looking forward to welcoming you in Africa!

  • Get your PCR & Rapid Covid Test in Arusha, Zanzibar and the Serengeti!

    Vika
    February 3, 2021

    Latest update!

    Since 26th of January 2021 KLM requires a Rapid Covid-19 test as an additional obligation to the PCR test. This rapid test must be taken no more than 4 hours before departure. Rapid testing is performed on all airports that KLM flies from and to: Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam.
    The cost for this test is 25 USD per person/test. To be paid in cash at the airport.
    Reserve enough time for this test to prevent any issues, and arrive at the airport at least five hours before departure.

    Where to get a PCR test in Arusha

    A PCR test can be taken in Mount Meru Regional Hospital

    and in Arusha Lutheran Medical Centre

    Where to get a PCR test on Zanzibar

      The Ministry of Health Zanzibar has currently designated three locations for Covid PCR tests:

    • Emergency Operation Centre in Lumumba
    • Global Hospital in Vuga and
    • North Valley Hospital in Nungwi

    What's the cost

    The cost of the test is 100 USD.
    In Zanzibar private hospitals charge 150 USD.
    In the Serengeti the cost are $100 for the test and $17 for the handling fee

    Where to get a PCR test in the Serengeti

    To be able to get the PCR test in the Serengeti you also have the register via the normal website: https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz
    After registering, a control number will be generated. Pay the test fee, which is equivalent to 100$ in TZS, following the instructions provided when the control is generated.
    For taking a test in the Serengeti there is a small extra handling fee covering the extra cost with taking a test in the Serengeti. Pay the handling fee via Mpesa, through Vodacom pay ‘Number 5106362 Tanzania Association of Tour Operators’. Shadows of Africa can assist with this. The handling fee is 40,000 TZS or roughly $17
    Go to the Testing Center in Seronera between 8AM and 12AM. No appointment needed.
    The test will travel to Dar es Salaam for the physical testing. The results take 48 hours to be delivered to you via email, WhatsApp - like with tests taken in Arusha & Zanzibar.

    How to take a PCR test in Arusha or on Zanzibar

    Since 4th of January 2021 new rules have been implemented by the Tanzanian government.
    You need to register on the official test site: https://pimacovid.moh.go.tz, with your passport and telephone number. You should do this 5 days before you plan to take your test.

    Choose a hospital, pay and get tested.
    Roughly, this is the procedure on arrival in the hospital:
    Get in a line to pay for the test. Cash is preferred, although cards are accepted. Using cards to pay might cause some trouble or delay. After paying, you'll receive a receipt, which is also a necessary document when leaving the country, so don't lose it!
    You'll then proceed to another line. You'll present your paid receipt and submit your personal information and flight details. In the third line, you will then declare how you want to get the results, on-line via WhatsApp or email or a printed copy. We suggest the latter since you will need a printed result to present at the airport.
    You will then receive a control number, and when it's your turn, you get tested. The samples are taken from your throat and nose.

    How long does it take to get the result?

    It will take up to 48 hours to get the results since the samples are sent to Dar es Salaam for testing. If your airline has strict regulations regarding the validity time of the certificate make sure you perform your sample taking in the morning - so it can be sent to Dar es Salaam the same day of the sample taking.

    Will I get the results on time to comply with the requirements of the airline or the country I'm travelling to?

    The date stated on your certificate is the date the test was performed in Dar es Salaam, not the date the sample was taken. So in short, yes you can meet all requirements

  • Travelling to Tanzania during Covid-19 pandemic – all you need to know

    Vika
    January 4, 2021

    Travelling in the times of the pandemic can be tricky. The key to successful travel is good preparation, which starts with credible information. Let's start with some facts:
    The Government of Tanzania is collecting tracking information for all international passengers arriving in Tanzania. Temperature scanning for all international passengers arriving in Tanzania is implemented. If you show symptoms of Covid-19 upon arrival, you may be required to take a test. And, of course, you should comply with any additional screening measures instituted by the authorities.

    There are some sanitary regulations and restrictions, like recommended wearing of face masks, disinfecting your hands and keeping social distance, just as almost everywhere else in the world. They are strictly obeyed, and most accommodations have their own Corona coordinator, to keep you and the Tanzanians safe and healthy. You may also like the fact, that there are no significant numbers of sick people, that the average age of the population is 18 years, and they are generally very healthy.

    Life in Tanzania is (close to) normal, public transportation is operating, restaurants, cafes and bars are open, as well as non-essential businesses and attractions. And once again, this pure piece of Africa has everything to offer and the Tanzanians are overjoyed to be able to show you their beautiful country again.

    The natural parks currently host much fewer visitors, thus the animals are being very curious. Our guides report of doubled spottings and much longer observing time for the visitors, so your experience can be really unique and also quite intimate. And remember, the visitors protect the animals from poachers! Equally unique and intimate can be any trekking experience; imagine Kilimanjaro or Ngorongoro with your group only. Or a long sandy beach caressing you while resting alone…

    As for the cherry on the top, all these jewels can be enjoyed for a very, very reasonable price. A slow flow of tourists because of the pandemic pushed the prices low, but don't rely on them staying there.

    So, to summarize: Tanzania implemented precautions due to Covid-19 situation, people understand and obey them, lodges and hotels take special care of hygiene and sanitation, wildlife and nature are even more amazing and the prices are historically low. A great melange for the best travel ever. Experience it with us!

    Source on travel restrictions: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/tanzania/entry-requirements
    Last update: 1 day ago.

  • Money Tips for Travel to Tanzania

    AdminSoa
    April 27, 2020

    Below are few good to know insider money tips for travel to Tanzania that can turn out useful knowing them prior to arrival to the country.

  • Why is Tanzania the Top Safari Destination in Africa? 10 Reasons to Visit Tanzania in 2020

    Chris
    February 10, 2020
    Tanzania is Africa's foremost safari destination, and there are so many reasons for this. Here are the ten most appealing reasons to visit Tanzania in 2020.

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