Different countries have different visa requirements, so do make sure to check with your travel coordinator prior to travel. In general, visa information can be found by enquiring at the local consulates of the countries you are traveling to.
All visitors to Botswana except citizens of the Commonwealth (excluding citizens of India and Sri-Lanka) require a visa. The fee for the Visa at border posts is $107.
All visitors to Kenya except East African Citizens require a visa. Residents of the EU, US, Switzerland, Australia, India and other countries can obtain a three months visitor visa upon arrival. The cost of a tourist visa is 50 US$ per person.
All visitors to Lesotho except British, Canadian, Australian, American, New Zealand, South African, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Israel and Japan, Finland and Irish passport holders, require a visa.
All visitors to Malawi except British, Canadian, Australian, American, New Zealand, South African and Irish passport holders, require a visa.
Citizens and permanent residents of all states require a visa to visit Mozambique. The charges for visas vary.
All visitors to Rwanda except nationals of USA, Germany, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Mauritius, South Africa, Kenya, Great Britain, Sweden, Singapore, Hong Kong and Burundi, require a visa. The cost of a tourist visa is 60 US$ per person and can be obtained upon arrival.
Most nationalities do not require visas to enter Seychelles. However, the following documents must be shown in order to obtain immigration clearance: a passport valid on the date of entry to and exit from Seychelles; Return or onward ticket; and Proof of accommodation.
Depending on visitor’s nationality, and the purpose and duration of their visit, foreigners may not need a visa to South Africa. Visitors who need a visa should apply for it at least four weeks before their departure for South Africa. Visas are not issued at South African ports of entry.
A visa is required for citizens of the US, UK, Australia and Canada. Tourists can obtain a visa valid for up to three months at a cost of US$50 per person at the point of entry. For US citizens it costs US$100.
All visitors to Uganda except nationals of the UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Mauritius, South Africa and Hong Kong, require a visa. The cost of a tourist visa is 50 US$ per person and can be obtained upon arrival.
All visitors to Zambia except citizens of Commonwealth (excluding citizens of the UK, Canada, India, New Zealand and Australia) require a visa. The cost of a tourist visa depends with the country of origin and can be obtained upon arrival.
Visa requirements for foreign nationals entering Zimbabwe vary. Please verify with the Zimbabwean embassy in your country before travelling.
Health & Insurance
Many countries have specific requirements for travel to Africa. Check with your government requirements and be sure your routine vaccinations are up-to-date: influenza, chickenpox (or varicella), polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT). Check the links below to see which vaccinations are recommended by your local government.
US : www.cdc.gov/travel UK: www.doh.gov.uk/traveladvice CAN: www.travelhealth.gc.ca AUS: www.dfat.gov.au/travel
We highly encourage you to purchase travel insurance for your trip and international travel health insurance for your trip.
While Enchanting-Africa does not provide travel insurance itself or endorse any particular insurance provider, several of our past customers have used the following companies for travel insurance: Travel Guard (USA and Canada), AIG (Australia), Insure & Go Ltd. (UK).
Some Additional Notes:
For travel to Botswana, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda & Zambia, anti-malarial prophylactics are strongly recommended. Bring long-sleeved shirts, trousers and socks for the evening.
For travel to Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania & Uganda, a valid yellow fever certificate of vaccination is required on entry.
We also recommend hepatitis and typhoid vaccinations for travel within the region.
Please note that many countries, especially Botswana and Swaziland, have a high prevalence of HIV. As such, necessary precautions should be taken.
We encourage you to speak to your local health practitioner for further information.
What To Pack
What to pack for a trip to East Africa largely depends on the time of year you decide to travel and the activities you wish to pursue. For those embarking on safaris, pack comfortable shoes, a hat, sunglasses, sunscreen and accessories such as binoculars and flashlights. Evenings and early mornings can be chilly so bring warm sweaters and long sleeved t-shirts. For treks that include mountain climbing, you are also advised to pack a wind and waterproof jacket, hiking boots and gloves.
In areas where there are significant Muslim populations, a culturally sensitive, more conservative dress code is recommended.
Your travel consultant will be able to further guide you on what to pack on your trip to East Africa.
Language, Faith & Religion
Botswana: Christianity, Islam and Hinduism are the predominant religions. Setswana is the national language and English is the official business language.
Malawi: Predominantly Christian followed by Muslim. The official language is English, although the national language is Chichewa.
Mozambique: An eclectic blend of Roman Catholicism, Islam, non-Catholic Christian faiths and a few other indigenous religions. The official language is Portuguese although several other native languages are used by locals.
Kenya: Predominantly Christian followed by Muslim, Hindu and others. Swahili and English are the official languages, with several other native languages used by locals.
Lesotho: Predominantly Christian though other religions such as Islam also exist. The official languages are Sesotho and English.
South Africa: Predominantly Christian though other religions such as Islam also exist. English and Afrikaans are two of the eleven official languages.
Rwanda: Predominantly Roman Catholic, Protestant and Muslim. French is the official language, although Swahili, and in recent years English, is understood.
Seychelles: Predominantly Roman Catholic, Protestant and Anglican. The three official languages are Creole, English and French. Many Seychellois also speak fluent Italian or German.
Swaziland: Predominantly Christian though other religions such as Islam also exist. Siswati and English are the official languages.
Tanzania: Christianity and Islam are the predominant religions. Swahili and English are the official languages spoken, with several other native languages used by locals.
Uganda: A predominantly Christian country with a significant Muslim minority. The official language is English, but Luganda and Swahili are also spoken.
Zambia: Predominantly Christian. English is the official language with several other native languages used by locals.
Zimbabwe: Predominantly Christian though other religions such as Islam and Hinduism also exist. The official languages are English, Shona and Ndebele.
Remember that seasons in the Southern Hemisphere are in reverse when compared to the Northern Hemisphere:
Summer (December to March)
Autumn or Fall (March to June)
Winter (June to September)
Spring (September to December)
Kenya, Tanzania & Uganda have two distinct annual rainfall patterns: long rains occur from April to June and short rains from October to December.
Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia & Zimbabwe experience rains between November and March.
Rwanda has a pleasant tropical highland climate with two rainy seasons from February to April and from November to January.
Seychelles has two main seasons, the Northwest Monsoon and the Southeast Monsoon separated by two relatively short Inter-Monsoon periods. It experiences a lot of rain all year round.
South Africa’s climatic conditions generally range from Mediterranean in the south-western corner to temperate in the interior plateau, and subtropical in the northeast.
Lesotho’s climate is a mixture of temperate and sub-tropical.
Swaziland’s warm months are from October through to April during which most rain falls in heavy thunderstorms. May to August are cooler with cold temperatures during the nights in June and July.
Your Travel Consultant can provide you with more detailed weather information and the best times to travel depending on the specific destinations you choose to visit.
Even though US dollars are generally widely accepted in all tourist establishments, you should always carry local currency, preferably in smaller denominations. Great Britain Pounds and Euros will be accepted for exchange, however Australian and Canadian dollars are generally not widely accepted for exchange outside Kenya, Tanzania & South Africa.
Refer to www.google.com/finance/converter for the most up to date exchange rates.
Kenya: Kenyan Shilling
Malawi: Malawi Kwacha
Mozambique: Mozambique Metical
Rwanda: Rwandan franc
South Africa: Rand
Tanzania: Tanzanian Shilling
Uganda: Ugandan shilling
Zambia: Zambian Kwacha
Zimbabwe: Since the indefinite suspension of the Zimbabwean dollar, Zimbabweans now use the US dollar mostly and other major foreign currencies.
Botswana, Lesotho, Seychelles, South Africa & Swaziland: International credit cards are widely accepted.
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda & Zambia: International credit cards are accepted at major hotels. In Uganda, there is a surcharge of 10%. In Kenya & Tanzania, there is a surcharge of 2-5%.
Rwanda & Mozambique: International credit cards are accepted at major hotels in Kigali and are increasingly accepted in Maputo, but not beyond the capital cities.
Zimbabwe & Malawi: The use of credit cards is still very limited and ATMs are scarce.
Away from major towns, always carry cash or traveler’s checks as backup. Always check in advance whether your card can access banking networks and ask for details of charges.
Always keep the emergency lost-and-stolen numbers for your credit/debit cards in a safe place, separate from your cards, and report any loss or theft immediately.
In general, money can be exchanged at international airports and at authorized dealers and banks. The US Dollar is the easiest currency to exchange.
Rwanda and Zambia: The US dollar is widely accepted as a form of payment.
Seychelles: The foreign exchange regulations require visitors to pay for all services in major foreign currency notes or by credit card. To change Rupees back into foreign currency on departure requires the official receipt from the initial transaction.
Lesotho & Swaziland: The South African Rand is also accepted as legal currency.
Purchase Traveler’s checks for use in the case of an emergency and not for general purchases since they are not widely accepted in the region and commissions are quite high. To make replacement quicker in case of theft, keep a record of check numbers and the original bill of sale in a safe place. Even with proper records, replacement may not always be as quick as the companies tend to promise.
It is a good idea to carry a handy multiple adapter while traveling as you will find several types of sockets used everywhere. The standardized voltage used in the different countries is as follows:
Botswana: M with 230V and 50Hz
Kenya: G with 240V and 50Hz
Lesotho: M with 220V and 50Hz
Malawi: G with 230V and 50Hz
Mozambique: C, F & M with 220/240V AC and 50Hz
Rwanda: C & H with 230V and 50Hz
Seychelles: G with 240V and 50Hz
South Africa: C, G & M with 220/230V and 50Hz
Swaziland: M with 230V and 50Hz
Tanzania: D & G with 230V and 50Hz
Uganda: G with 240V and 50Hz
Zambia: C, D & G with 230V and 50Hz
Zimbabwe: D & G with 220V and 50Hz
Mobile telephone coverage is available in all major cities throughout the region. However, outside these areas and especially in remote locations, the signal may by poor. Perhaps the best option for calling abroad while in Africa is to purchase a pre-paid phone card to be used with a local land-line phone (e.g in hotels). These can be purchased at local convenience stores or you can ask your Trip Coordinator to assist you.
Most city hotels offer internet (usually subject to a charge) while airports, restaurants, cafés and shopping centers offer Wi-Fi to their guests.
More detailed information and advice is available in our electronic Africa Travel Guide that you will receive from us when you book your Enchanting-Africa holiday.