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First time in Africa



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 22nd, 2008, 01:36 PM posted to rec.travel.africa
Sapphyre
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 257
Default First time in Africa

Hi folks, hoping someone here can advise me...

I'm planning a trip to Africa starting in Tanzania, ending in South
Africa. I intend to transit Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana overland.

I need visas for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania, are these difficult to
get? They want a travel itinerary. I'll just have one that says I'm
flying into Dar es Salem, flying out of Cape Town.

Some more questions...

Is it still possible to travel overland from Dar Es Salem to Lusaka on
the train? My country's travel report says a particular crossing
between Zambia and Tanzania is closed, but I'm not sure if they meant
to put that it's not possible to pass this way.

I'm going first class on any train ride I take, my travelling
companion and I will book all four bunks if that's the best we can get
(for our own safety). What can I expect overall?

I love Ethiopian food (with the bread they serve it with), is that
what I can expect to eat (stuff like that without utensils) when I
head south?

How difficult is it to change money when entering a new country? I do
believe I cannot buy some currencies before I leave here. Where is it
prohibited to have any currencies when leaving? Does that include
pocket change?

Is there anything in particular I should bring with me (that we take
for granted at home), like toilet paper?

Should I be planning a specific itinerary and pre-booking hotels? Or
can I find accomodations when I get some place? (Major cities and the
like). Since we are travelling by train, and it's so unreliable, I'm
not sure if we can stick to a plan.

Is a month long enough to do this trip?

Thanks in advance,
S.
  #2  
Old February 23rd, 2008, 02:09 PM posted to rec.travel.africa
Hans-Georg Michna
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Posts: 108
Default First time in Africa

On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 05:36:51 -0800 (PST), Sapphyre wrote:

Is there anything in particular I should bring with me (that we take
for granted at home), like toilet paper?


Check http://michna.com/kenya.htm#Preparations . The check lists
are meant for people driving through Kenya, but most of their
content applies to all travellers in Africa.

Hans-Georg
--
No mail, please.
  #3  
Old February 25th, 2008, 07:31 AM posted to rec.travel.africa
Marc Lurie[_1_]
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Posts: 209
Default First time in Africa

On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 05:36:51 -0800 (PST), Sapphyre
wrote:

Hi folks, hoping someone here can advise me...

I'm planning a trip to Africa starting in Tanzania, ending in South
Africa. I intend to transit Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana overland.

Sounds like a lovely trip, however, I'm not sure of your intended
route. I would choose between Zimbabwe and Botswana, probably
preferring Botswana at the moment. What time of year are you thinking
of viviting? This makes a huge difference to the countries you should
visit.


I need visas for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania, are these difficult to
get? They want a travel itinerary. I'll just have one that says I'm
flying into Dar es Salem, flying out of Cape Town.

Which passport do you hold? Many countries passport holders can get
Zambian, Zimbabwean, and Botswana visas at the borders. For an
itinerary, just make up a very basic travel itinerary. They won't hold
you to it, and it's really just a bureaucratic bit of nonsense. Just
make sure that you show a long enough time on you itinerary.


Some more questions...

Is it still possible to travel overland from Dar Es Salem to Lusaka on
the train? My country's travel report says a particular crossing
between Zambia and Tanzania is closed, but I'm not sure if they meant
to put that it's not possible to pass this way.

I'm afraid I can't help with train info as I have only ever used road
transport in these countries.



I love Ethiopian food (with the bread they serve it with), is that
what I can expect to eat (stuff like that without utensils) when I
head south?

If you eat at local restaurants, you can expect to use your hands. In
many places, they will bring you a bowl of water to wash your hands
before eating. It is very bad manners to not wash your hands before
eating. If you eat at more modern/international places, they will have
standard utensils. Ethiopian food is very different from East African
and Southern African food. Down here the staple carbohydrate is maize,
while in East AFrica it is plantain (matooke), casava, and maize. Goat
meat is very popular, as is chicken. As you get further south, beef
becomes more popular.

Personally, I am not very impressed with the food in East and Southern
Africa, apart from the seafood and fish from the coastal areas of
Tanzania and Mozambique. Mozambiquan food is EXCELLENT!



How difficult is it to change money when entering a new country? I do
believe I cannot buy some currencies before I leave here.

Depending on where you are going, there are ATM's in most large
centres in Zambia and Botswana, and all over South Africa. I'm not
sure about Tanzania regarding ATMs as I haven't been there since 2004.

Banks or Bureaus de Change are found in every city and larger towns.
My advice is to NEVER change money on the street unless you are with a
local who you absolutely trust.

If you are going to be carrying US Dollars, make sure you have the
notes with the larger head in the design. I don't recall the date
after which the larger head is used, but older notes are often NOT
accepted, even at banks.

Where is it
prohibited to have any currencies when leaving? Does that include
pocket change?

The only country in the area that actively tries to prevent you from
removing their currency is Angola. I have never had a problem with
taking small amounts out of the countries you will be visiting.

Is there anything in particular I should bring with me (that we take
for granted at home), like toilet paper?

Toilet paper (I always take a few spare rolls, but I'm in a Land
Rover) is available in all larger centres. Your best friend will be a
South African supermarket chain called "Shoprite". You can buy almost
any western requisite at Shoprite including shampoo, conditioner,
feminine hygiene products, safety razors, breakfast cereals, health
foods (limited), etc. There is a Shoprite in all major cities in the
region where you can stock up for the next leg of the journey.


Should I be planning a specific itinerary and pre-booking hotels? Or
can I find accomodations when I get some place? (Major cities and the
like). Since we are travelling by train, and it's so unreliable, I'm
not sure if we can stick to a plan.

This depends on the time of year that you plan to travel. If it's out
of season, I wouldn't pre-book any accomodation.

The only thing you can plan in Africa is your arrival date. Any plans
made after that WILL change. ;-)


Is a month long enough to do this trip?

Yes. You could easily make the trip last a lot longer, but 4 weeks is
a good length. I highly recommend that you include Mozambique, but you
will need to self-drive to have the best time there.

Thanks in advance,
S.

Regards,

Marc
  #4  
Old February 25th, 2008, 02:58 PM posted to rec.travel.africa
the_niner_nation[_3_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1
Default First time in Africa


"Hans-Georg Michna" wrote in message
...
On Fri, 22 Feb 2008 05:36:51 -0800 (PST), Sapphyre wrote:

Is there anything in particular I should bring with me (that we take
for granted at home), like toilet paper?


Check http://michna.com/kenya.htm#Preparations . The check lists
are meant for people driving through Kenya, but most of their
content applies to all travellers in Africa.

Hans-Georg
--
No mail, please.


Hans, when I was preparing for my recent safari to kenya and asked for help
on this NG, your web site was an absloute godsend, I printed it off and took
it with me...thanks so much for sharing that with everyone!


--
Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com

  #5  
Old February 25th, 2008, 06:26 PM posted to rec.travel.africa
Hans-Georg Michna
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 108
Default First time in Africa

On Mon, 25 Feb 2008 14:58:47 -0000, the_niner_nation wrote:

"Hans-Georg Michna" wrote in message
.. .


Check http://michna.com/kenya.htm#Preparations . The check lists
are meant for people driving through Kenya, but most of their
content applies to all travellers in Africa.


Hans, when I was preparing for my recent safari to kenya and asked for help
on this NG, your web site was an absloute godsend, I printed it off and took
it with me...thanks so much for sharing that with everyone!


Nice to hear that. Thanks!

I'm always open for improvement proposals.

Hans-Georg
--
No mail, please.
  #6  
Old February 26th, 2008, 01:42 PM posted to rec.travel.africa
rec.travel.africa
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 3
Default First time in Africa

www.toursa.com







"Sapphyre" wrote in message
...
Hi folks, hoping someone here can advise me...

I'm planning a trip to Africa starting in Tanzania, ending in South
Africa. I intend to transit Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana overland.

I need visas for Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania, are these difficult to
get? They want a travel itinerary. I'll just have one that says I'm
flying into Dar es Salem, flying out of Cape Town.

Some more questions...

Is it still possible to travel overland from Dar Es Salem to Lusaka on
the train? My country's travel report says a particular crossing
between Zambia and Tanzania is closed, but I'm not sure if they meant
to put that it's not possible to pass this way.

I'm going first class on any train ride I take, my travelling
companion and I will book all four bunks if that's the best we can get
(for our own safety). What can I expect overall?

I love Ethiopian food (with the bread they serve it with), is that
what I can expect to eat (stuff like that without utensils) when I
head south?

How difficult is it to change money when entering a new country? I do
believe I cannot buy some currencies before I leave here. Where is it
prohibited to have any currencies when leaving? Does that include
pocket change?

Is there anything in particular I should bring with me (that we take
for granted at home), like toilet paper?

Should I be planning a specific itinerary and pre-booking hotels? Or
can I find accomodations when I get some place? (Major cities and the
like). Since we are travelling by train, and it's so unreliable, I'm
not sure if we can stick to a plan.

Is a month long enough to do this trip?

Thanks in advance,
S.


 




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