Travel tips

  • Crossing the Border on Safari: What You Need to Know

    Chris Walker Bush
    July 12, 2019

    Crossing the Border on Safari

    If you're taking part in one of Shadows of Africa's many fantastic multi-country safaris, your trip is likely to include a border crossing.

    Whether you're flying from Kenya's Maasai Mara to Tanzania's Serengeti or crossing into Uganda from Rwanda for your gorilla trekking, you'll have to go through immigration.

    While this can be a stressful experience, your Shadows of Africa driver will be on hand to offer help and guidance.

    You'll also find plenty of helpful information on crossing the various borders that stand between you and your safari adventure.

    Namanga Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

    The most commonly crossed border between Tanzania and Kenya, Namanga lies between Arusha and Amboseli National Park.

    Crossing the border at Namanga can be a slow process, as it is a popular border crossing for tourists and locals alike.

    With immigration needing to check and issue visas as well as check baggage, you can expect anywhere from 1 - 2 hours at the Namanga border crossing.

    Thankfully, you'll have your Shadows of Africa drivers on hand to help you out. No matter what direction you're crossing the border, one driver will wait for you to cross before you meet with your new driver.

    As local law forbids Kenyan drivers from driving in Tanzania and vice versa, you'll switch cars here for your onward travel.

    Isebania Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

    If you look at a map, the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti look close together, but it's not as simple as all that.

    Crossing from the Maasai Mara to the Serengeti requires either two flights or the long, dusty drive via the Isebania border crossing.

    Weighing in at anywhere between 10 and 12 hours, the Isebania crossing is not one we recommend unless you're on a tight budget. It is not only a long, boring day of driving, but it also eats up an entire day. You won't be seeing much (if any) wildlife during your drive.

    Like Namanga, you'll need to go through immigration and customers when crossing the border. You'll also need to switch drivers.

    wildbeest tanzania

    Migori-Tarime Border Crossing: Kenya and Tanzania

    For those wanting to experience both the Maasai Mara and the Serengeti, flying between the two is the best way to avoid a wasted day in the car.

    Crossing the border when there are no international airports on either side means landing and making a land transfer, but the process is much the same as other border crossings.

    You'll land, transfer via shuttle to the border crossing for immigration, and then continue onwards to your second flight.

    While flights between the two parks can be quite expensive, we always recommend it for those who can afford it. The Isebania drive is an unpleasant one.

    lion-tanzania-safari

    Rwanda - Uganda Border Crossing

    Due to the higher prices in Rwanda, more and more people are choosing to fly into Kigali and do their gorilla trekking in Uganda.

    While there are a number of different border crossings between Rwanda and Uganda depending on where you are trekking, the process is the same at each.

    Unlike Tanzania & Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda do not forbid drivers crossing the border, so you'll have your guide on hand at all times to help if you run into any snags.

    Just make sure you have an East African Visa if you are planning to cross back into Rwanda after you've finished your trekking, or you'll need to pay for a second Rwandan tourist visa!

    tanzania-serengeti-cheetahs

    How to Speed Up Crossing the Border

    While some things are beyond our control when crossing a border, there are certainly ways to make the process as quick and painless as possible.

    1. Have your visa already

    While Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya can all process visas on arrival at border crossings, this can be a major time drain. Get your visas in advance either online or through your local consulate to avoid the long visa on arrival queues.

    2. Have Your Vaccination Card Ready

    When crossing into Tanzania after having spent time in Rwanda, Uganda, or Kenya, you will be required to present your Yellow Fever vaccination card.

    It is possible to get this vaccination done at the border for an additional fee, but this can be time-consuming (and a tad painful). Have your Yellow Fever vaccination card ready and you'll breeze straight through!

    3. Pack Smart

    The Isebania and Namanga border crossings both have extensive customs and security checks for your luggage, so you'll need to carry everything with you and wait for staff to search it.

    If your bag is a jumbled mess, this may take the security staff longer to check.

    Be careful not to travel with plastic bags, animal products, or any other forbidden products. Local laws can be very strict and tourists are not exempt!

    4. Don't panic!

    It can be nerve-wracking dealing with the crowds and the bureaucracy at a border crossing, especially on your own.

    Just remember, you've got Shadows of Africa drivers waiting for you on both sides of the border and our head office is just a phone call away!

    You're perfectly safe at border crossings, so it's just a matter of following the signs and you'll be on your way in no time!

    5. Avoid scammers

    A number of enterprising locals have made a cottage industry out of helping tourists carry their bags from security to their safari cars.

    While these people are not likely to steal from you, their charges can be a tad high. Don't be afraid to give a firm but polite "no" if you don't want to tip $10 USD for their services.

    Food available at the border is also similarly high-priced, so we would advise skipping those bags of cashew nuts or dried peas unless you've got a powerful hunger.


    We've Got You Covered

    Regardless of where you're crossing the border, the Shadows of Africa team is on hand to help out.

    While you may not be able to immediately grab your driver's attention during immigration, you'll have the contact number for our head office as well as your booking agent.

    Don't hesitate to give us a call if you are confused or held up at immigration. We're not going to leave you high and dry!

  • How Can I Pay for my Safari?

    Chris Walker Bush
    May 20, 2019
    When it comes to paying for your safari, Shadows of Africa offers a number of payment options to make things easier on you.
  • Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Going on Safari (but were afraid to ask)

    Chris Walker Bush
    May 9, 2019
    Got a question about going on safari that you're afraid to ask? We've covered all of the bases in this post! From what to eat to where to pee, it's in here!
  • How to Apply for a Tanzanian eVisa

    Chris Walker Bush
    February 22, 2019

    The Tanzanian eVisa - Finally!

    For a long time now, visitors to Tanzania have had two options when it came to getting a visa:

    • They could arrange this on arrival and deal with airport queues;
    • They could apply in advance by mailing their passport to the nearest consulate or embassy.

    While both of these options were relatively painless, neither could boast the convenience of the online visas that so many other countries offered.

    At long last, Tanzania has moved into the 21st century and is offering future tourists the chance to fill out an easy online form to get their Tanzanian eVisa.

    Let the Shadows of Africa team walk you through the simple process of applying for your Tanzanian eVisa.

    #1 - Go to the Tanzanian eVisa website

    First thing's first. Go to the Tanzanian Visa website. It should look like this:Tanzania Visa 1

    You're going to scroll down to the box in the lower left corner: New Application.

    Go ahead and click that.

    #2 - Set Up An Account

    On the next page, you'll be prompted to enter your email address as well as selecting a security question and answer.

    You'll also need to complete a CAPTCHA form to prove you're human. If you are not human, you can't get a visa, I'm afraid.

    On the next page, you'll be presented with your application information: an application ID and the date. You'll want to write both of these down!

    #3 - Fill Out Your Application

    The next few pages will have you fill out the meat and bones of your application.

    • Page 1: Fill out your personal information such as name, date of birth, and nationality.
    • Page 2: Provide contact information, your present and permanent addresses, and your employment information.
    • Page 3: Provide your passport information as well as information on your parents. Weirdly, you are required to provide information on your legal guardian. Just put your own name or your parents' name here.
    • Page 4: This one is a little trickier, so we'll cover it in the next section!

    Tanzania Visa 2

    #4 - Travel Information

    Up until now, this has all been pretty straightforward, but the fourth page of your application gets a little more complicated.

    1. You'll be asked to list the country in which you are applying and the nearest embassy. There is a limited selection of embassies here, so choose the one in your country or, if all else fails, select immigration headquarters.
    2. When asked for your Type of Visa, you'll need to select Ordinary (or Multiple Entry, if need be). For Purpose of Your visit, select Leisure and Holiday.
    3. If you have visited Tanzania previously, you'll need to provide the date of your last entry as well as your visa number from that visit.
    4. For your travel plans, select all that apply. Be sure to select the correct Port of Entry - the airport or land border crossing. If you aren't sure, ask your Shadows of Africa Safari Expert!
    5. When asked for your Local Host, select:Host: Company/Organisation
      Full Name: Shadows of Africa
      Mobile Number: Enter the contact number provided in your booking contract
      Email: Enter the email address of your contact at Shadows of Africa
      Company: Shadows of Africa
      Relationship: Tour Operator
      Physical Address: Mateves, Arusha, Tanzania
    6. Lastly, it will ask you for your accommodation. Ask your Shadows of Africa contact for the address of the first hotel in your itinerary and enter this.

    #5 - Travel Companions

    On the following page, you'll be asked two questions:

    • Are you traveling as part of a group or organization?
    • Are you being accompanied by minors?

    If the answer to either of these is 'yes', you'll be prompted to provide additional information.

    #6 - Documents

    On the next page, you'll be asked to upload a passport sized photo, a copy of your passport's photo page, and an invitation letter.

    An invitation letter is not actually needed for a tourist visa, but the system is set up to require one.

    Your booking contract will work in place of a formal invitation letter.

    #7 - Final Steps

    On the next page, you'll be asked to review the information you've submitted and agree to a Declaration Statement.

    Make sure everything is 100% correct, as you can't change it after this.

    You'll then make payment for your visa and be provided with confirmation.

    Visas are $50 USD (or $100 USD for US citizens), just as they would be at the border or airport upon arrival.

    You're done!

    Checking the Status of Your Tanzanian eVisa Application

    To check on the progress of your application, return to this website.

    You'll find a Visa Status button in the bottom right corner. Enter the details you were provided in step two and you're all set!

  • 5 Insider Tips for Planning a Budget Safari in Tanzania

    Chris Walker Bush
    March 26, 2018
    Planning a budget safari in Tanzania can be intimidating, but it's entirely possible to have an unforgettable private safari without breaking the bank.
  • Tsetse Flies in Tarangire National Park and Tanzania: What to Expect

    Chris Walker Bush
    January 20, 2018
    When planning your Tanzanian safari, you'll want to learn a little about the biting tsetse flies and African sleeping sickness. While not a big risk to visitors, here is our guide on how to avoid a nasty surprise on safari.
  • What Vaccinations Do I Need for Africa?

    Chris Walker Bush
    June 23, 2017
    What vaccines do you need ahead of your safari adventure? We highlight the vaccines and medications you should look into ahead of your trip to Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, or Tanzania.
  • Planning a Dream Honeymoon in Africa

    AdminSoa
    June 1, 2017
    Planning your dream honeymoon? The Shadows of Africa team can arrange something truly unforgettable across our huge selection of destinations.
  • Do's & Don't's on Safari

    Chris Walker Bush
    September 12, 2016
    A safari is the ultimate vacation experience, but there are a few do's and don't's you need to know to ensure you stay safe and have fun.

Items 1 to 9 of 41 total

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5