Travel tips

  • What vaccinations do I need to travel to Africa?

    Vika
    September 27, 2022

    The African continent is full of wonders, with many of the most beautiful places on earth. Unfortunately, there are also several diseases here that may not be a problem in your home country.

    Vaccinations are an important factor to consider before traveling to Africa. Some vaccinations are required by law to enter certain countries. Others are simply important to make sure you don’t spend your safari time in bed recovering from an illness..

    The most important thing to do before traveling is to talk to a medical professional. Don’t let your time on this magnificent continent be disturbed by worries about health.

    Your local doctor will be able to give you up-to-date medical information about the countries you are planning to visit, and advice that is specific to you and your medical history. It’s important to do this before your trip.

    Consulting a doctor should be part of your travel preparation process.

    COVID-19 & entry requirements

    Unfortunately, COVID-19 is not going anywhere. However, the restrictions on border crossings are frequently changing. You should be aware of the current entry requirements before visiting a country, as well as take measures to protect your health and the health of others.

    Some countries require entering visitors to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19, others require negative PCR tests. It is also important to be aware of and adhere to any measures to reduce the spread in places inside the countries you visit.

    See the Center for Disease Control (CDC)’s website for guidance on COVID-19 and the related travel restrictions.

    We also keep up-to-date information on entry requirements for East-African countries in our blog. See the latest information for each country here: Tanzania, Zanzibar, Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda.

    Routine vaccinations

    There are some diseases that may not be prevalent in your home country thanks to widespread vaccination among the population, but may be more of an issue in other countries which do not have mass vaccination campaigns.

    For this reason, even if you have been vaccinated before, it may be worth returning to your doctor for a booster shot just before your trip. A greater prevalence of the disease means a greater risk of contracting it, so giving your immunity a fresh boost might be a good idea.

    Some routine vaccinations you should talk to your doctor about include:

    • Flu;
    • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella);
    • Polio;
    • Hepatitis A & B;
    • Human Papilloma Virus (HPV); and
    • DPT (diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough, and tetanus).

    See the CDC's website for more information on routine vaccines for travelers.

    Yellow fever

    Yellow fever is spread by a species of mosquito common in parts of Africa and South America. It’s easily preventable with a highly-effective vaccine that is readily accessible at most travel clinics.

    Several African countries require vaccination against yellow fever prior to entry and more need it if you’ve recently been in one of the “yellow fever belt” countries.

    See the CDC’s website for guidance on dealing with yellow fever and up-to-date information on vaccination entry requirements.

    Malaria

    Even though it’s one of the most common diseases in Africa (especially when and where mosquitoes are most prevalent), malaria is preventable and treatable with antimalarial medication.

    It’s important to speak to your doctor as soon as you know your travel plans and to follow the prescribed schedule of the antimalarial prophylactics.

    On top of medications, there are some further measures you can take to reduce your risk of having unfriendly contact with mosquitoes, such as applying insect repellent regularly to any exposed skin, wearing light-colored clothing at night, having a mosquito net over your bed and keeping the doors of your room or tent fully closed at night.

    See the CDC's website for guidance and up-to-date information about malaria-related entry requirements.

    We are travel experts, not medical experts

    We can help you with everything travel, but we are not medical professionals. Our advice as travel experts: consult a medical expert.

    Make sure to familiarize yourself with any diseases that might be present in the places you are traveling to. This means first and foremost learning how to prevent them, but also how to recognize them, and what to do in case of an infection.

    Be informed. Be prepared.

    Even if you’re perfectly healthy now, don’t take any risks with your health while traveling. See a doctor before you leave on your trip, and let your excitement build without worrying about easily-preventable diseases spoiling things.

    When you’re in Africa, you won’t want to miss out on anything, believe me!

  • Plastic-free safari

    Vika
    April 19, 2022

    It has long been a thorn in the side of travel agencies like us to send out safari vehicles packed with single-use plastics.

    Our Tanzania team has already found and implemented a solution: we have now installed refillable water canisters in our safari vehicles.

    We designed custom brackets to fit the reusable canisters in the back of our safari cars, so everyone out on the trail with us has constant access to drinking water, without any unnecessary plastic footprint.

    We ask all of our travelers to bring their own reusable water bottles. Alternatively, they will have the opportunity to borrow or buy one for their safari.

    ♻️ Reduce your carbon footprint with us ♻️

    So when you’re preparing for your next safari with us, don’t forget to pack your own reusable drink bottle . You can refill your bottles on our safari vehicles.

    We can also provide you with a bottle for your trip. All you need to do is email us in advance and we will bring one for you. We appreciate you returning this at the end of the safari - we would like to recycle and minimize our waste as much as possible.

    East Africa is a world-leading region on minimizing waste and banning single-use plastics. Travelers are not allowed to bring plastic bags when traveling to Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda or Zanzibar.

    People here realize the harm that single-use plastics can cause, so we expect everyone visiting to keep this in mind as well. Help us create a plastic-free Africa.

    Our Shadows team is always striving to minimize our impact on the natural environment that we are lucky enough to call our home. We want to do everything possible to make sure our visitors can have a plastic-free safari too.

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Zanzibar

    Vika
    August 4, 2021

    Last update: March 2022

    Looking for the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS to Zanzibar? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    • Vaccinated travellers no longer need a PCR Test. Travellers will be required to present a valid vaccination certificate with a QR code for verification upon arrival. The only accepted vaccines are those that have been approved by the URT and the World Health Organization.
    • Passengers not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated, and those not eligible for vaccination due to their country’s policy will be required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR or NAATs certificate with QR code obtained within 72 hours before departure
    • An online health form needs to be filled out by the traveller before travelling via this link: https://afyamsafiri.moh.go.tz/

    The Tanzanian & Zanzibari government is taking the safety and health of our travellers seriouslyand has implemented regulations that will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy a safe safari. Tanzania has been lucky enough to be a safe destination to visit and these new measures will ensure it will continue to be so.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Zanzibar - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Uganda

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: April 2022

    Looking for the latest covid entry requirements to Uganda? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the latest covid entry requirements. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    For fully vaccinated travellers:

    • NO requirement for a negative PCR test done on arrival
    • NO requirement for a negative PCR test for departure.

    Travelers with partial or no vaccination will be required to present a negative CPR test done within 72 hours of travel.

    Travelers below 5 years are not required to present a negative PCR test on arrival or departure.

    The Ugandan government is taking the safety and health of our travellers seriously, and has implemented regulations that will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy a safe safari. Uganda has been lucky enough to be a safe destination to visit and these new measures will ensure it will continue to be so.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Uganda - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Full Ugandan travel advisory

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Kenya

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: March 2022

    Looking for the latest covid entry requirements to Kenya? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the latest covid entry requirements For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    • All travellers who are fully vaccinated are exempt from the requirement of a PCR test
    • All travellers arriving in Kenya must have a certificate of COVID-19 vaccination.
      The following categories of travellers are exempt:
      • Below 18
      • Travellers with medical conditions precluding vaccination
      • Travellers who have recovered from a Covid-19 infection
    • All documents have to be uploaded pre-travel into global haven before boarding: https://globalhaven.org.
    • All travellers will be expected to fill out the traveller's locator form and submit before travel to https://ears.health.go.ke/airline_registration and thereafter submit daily health information for 14 consecutive days.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Kenya - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Kenyan Ministry of Health

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Rwanda

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: September 2022

    Looking for the latest covid entry requirements to Rwanda? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the LATEST latest covid entry requirements. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    • Covid-19 negative test: Arriving passengers must present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to the first departure.
    • All travellers must be fully vaccinated before travel
    • Health declaration: All travellers must complete a Passenger Locator Form online. On completion, travellers will be given a Unique Health Code (UHC) which they must present on arrival.
    • For Departing Passengers from Rwanda, a negative Rapid Test is required, must be taken 72 hours before departure. PCR test must be presented if only it is required at the final destination.
    • The wearing of face Masks in Rwanda is no longer mandatory however people are encouraged to wear masks while indoors.

    The Rwandan government is taking the safety and health of travellers seriously and has implemented regulations that will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy a safe safari, as well as protect the endangered primates. Rwanda has been lucky enough to be a safe destination to visit and these new measures will ensure it will continue to be so.

    Note: Tourists are required to take a PCR test 72 hours prior to visiting a national park (except for Akagera). Tourists visiting Akagera are required to take a rapid antigen test, available at numerous walk-in clinics in Kigali (RWF 10,000). No tourist will be admitted to any national park without a valid negative test result.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Rwanda - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Latest Rwanda Travel Advisory

  • Latest Covid Entry Requirements Tanzania

    Vika
    July 21, 2021

    Last update: March 2022

    Looking for the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS to TANZANIA? Shadows of Africa has got you covered. With our team living on the ground, we are always aware of the LATEST COVID ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. For a quick overview, see below. Our safari experts are ready to give you tailored advice.

    Latest Covid entry requirement summary:

    • Vaccinated travellers no longer need a PCR Test. Travellers will be required to present a valid vaccination certificate with a QR code for verification upon arrival. The only accepted vaccines are those that have been approved by the URT and the World Health Organization.
    • Passengers not fully vaccinated, unvaccinated, and those not eligible for vaccination due to their country’s policy will be required to present a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR or NAATs certificate with QR code obtained within 72 hours before departure.
    • An online health form needs to be filled out by the traveller before travelling via this link: https://afyamsafiri.moh.go.tz/

    Please be reminded to check the regulation of any country you might be transiting in.

    Children aged 5 years and below, travellers in transit and aircraft crew are exempted from both RT-PCR certificate and COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test.

    The Tanzanian government is taking the safety and health of our travellers seriously and has implemented regulations that will help make it possible for everyone to enjoy a safe safari. Tanzania has been lucky enough to be a safe destination to visit and these new measures will ensure it will continue to be so.

    If you want to plan a safe and responsible trip to Tanzania - don’t hesitate to contact us to start planning & dreaming.

    For the full document please click this link: Full Tanzanian Travel Advisory

  • 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.

  • 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

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