Posts Tagged ‘Africa’

Get a Tanzanian Visa to Watch Wildlife in Luxury

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011

If you’ve always wanted to go on safari but were a little bit put off by the idea of “roughing it” in the wilds of Africa, you’ll be pleased to note that a new, luxury camp has opened in the Serengeti. (via Gadling.) Lamai Serengeti Camp, run by Nomad Tanzania, is situated in an isolated part of the park, close to the Mara River. It’s the perfect place to view the creatures of the African savanna without having to give up your own creature comforts.

The camp’s location also gives you front-row seats to the Great Migration- specifically, that “Trials of Life” moment when the wildebeest cross the river.

The camp is subdivided into two smaller camps, each with its own facilities, including a bar, a swimming hole, a dining hall and a library. The tents have indoor plumbing and flushable toilets.

Plus, if the camp’s blog is to be believed, the camp itself is beautiful. The tents, built on wooden platforms, are light and airy. The bathrooms are huge. And the whole camp, when viewed from a distance, seems to disappear into the surrounding landscape.

Of course, all this luxury comes at a price: $4,200 per week or more, to be exact. That includes drinks, food, laundry and activities, but of course it doesn’t include getting there. You’re on your own for that.

One additional item you’ll need to procure is a Tanzanian visa. US citizens can apply for one for upon arrival at the airport. However, if you get yours before you leave the US you’ll be able to leave the airport much more quickly. Whatever you decide, you’ll need the following documents to apply for the visa:

  • 1 Tanzanian visa application form
  • 2 recent passport photos
  • A copy of a recent bank statement
  • An international certificate of vaccination for yellow fever
  • A travel itinerary. If you’re making it up as you go along, you can instead provide a bank statement showing a minimum balance of $2,000.
  • If you’re going on an organized tour, you will need a letter from the tour operator showing you are paid in full.
  • Your passport. Check the expiration date, as it must be more than 6 months in the future. If it expires before then, no visa for you!

RushMyTravelVisa makes negotiating the Tanzanian visa application process easy and quick. We assist you with the paperwork to help you avoid common errors that could delay your application. Then, we expedite your application for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Tanzanian visa today!

Places to Go With Your Tanzanian Visa: Tarangire National Park

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

The Serengeti gets all the glory, but if you’re visiting Tanzania, make sure you carve some time out for Tarangire National Park as well. Frommer’s, who recently named Tarangire one of the best parks in Tanzania, says that “While the focus for most travelers to Tanzania is nearby Serengeti, many come away claiming lesser-known Tarangire as the real highlight of their trip.”

What makes Tarangire so special? At only 2,850 square kilometers, it may not be the largest park in Africa, but it has one of the densest wildlife populations – proof that sometimes good things do come in small packages. Here, you’ll see elephants, zebra, wildebeest and scores of antelope, including the fabled oryx, often thought to have inspired the legend of the unicorn.

Look up in the ancient baobab trees, and you might be surprised to see climbing pythons or even regal lions draping themselves across the branches. The Tarangire River, which runs through the park, is one of the regions most important and reliable sources of water during the dry season, so there’s little chance that you’ll leave disappointed.

To see Tarangire National Park, you’ll need a Tanzanian visa. US citizens are eligible to apply for their visas when they arrive at the airport, but if you apply in advance you’ll be able to escape from the airport much more quickly. Whatever you decide, you’ll need the following documents to apply for the visa:

  • 1 Tanzanian visa application form
  • 2 recent passport photos
  • A copy of a recent bank statement
  • An international certificate of vaccination for yellow fever
  • A travel itinerary. If you’re making it up as you go along, you can instead provide a bank statement showing a minimum balance of $2,000.
  • If you’re going on an organized tour, you will need a letter from the tour operator showing you are paid in full.
  • Your US passport, which must be valid for at least 6 more months after you plan to travel.

RushMyTravelVisa makes negotiating the Tanzanian visa application process easy and quick. We assist you with the paperwork to help you avoid common errors that could delay your application. Then, we expedite your application for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Tanzanian visa today!

Get a Kenyan Visa for a Safari in Masai Mara

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

If you’re in Kenya looking for wildlife, you have a lot of national parks and reserves to choose from.  However, Masai Mara National Park is quite possibly the best place to go. The reserve is huge in and of itself, with 938 square miles of protected area. It’s also contiguous with the Serengeti Reserve in Tanzania, giving the animals even more space and allowing for a diverse population of wildlife.

The “Big Five “– lions, leopards, buffaloes, rhinos and elephants — get top billing, but you can also see a staggering number of smaller but equally interesting creatures, including wildebeest, baboons, giraffe, zebra, hyena and many different types of antelopes.  Plus, there are multitudes of birds including ostriches, cranes and hornbills.

The park is well-developed for tourism, with options ranging from lodges to tent camping. Camping, naturally, is the most economical way to go. Another way to cut costs is to avoid the park during the Great Migration, which happens from July to September. You’ll still see plenty of wildlife, though the chances of rain are higher in the off-season.

To get to Masai Mara National Park, you will need a Kenyan visa. You can get a visa at the airport, but expect delays if you do. You’ll get through immigration more quickly if you get a visa in advance, before you leave the US. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Kenyan visa application form
  • 1 passport photo
  • A copy of your travel itinerary

When you apply in advance for a Kenyan visa, the information on the form is required to be typed. You’ll need to go to Kenyan Embassy’s website online, fill out the form, then print it.

RushMyTravelVisa makes it easy to get the visas you need for your trip. We’ll go over your itinerary and research it, making sure you have all the documents you need before you leave. Then, we’ll walk you through the application process and expedite your paperwork to get it processed as quickly as possible.

Ready to go on safari? Apply for your Kenyan visa today!

Travel Visas for the Tour d’Afrique

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The Tour de France? That’s nothing! Try riding across the entire African continent on a bicycle! Since 2003, a hardy bunch of cyclists has been doing just that, as part of the Tour d’Afrique. The Tour d’Afrique crosses the entire African continent, from Egypt to South Africa, approximately 7,500 miles. While some participants are there to race, many others are just there for the experience and travel at their own pace, so people of all ages are welcome as long as you are in good shape and like to ride.

The Tour d’Afrique takes a good four months to complete, and like most epic-level travel experiences, it’s not cheap. The full tour will set you back €8,900, not including your bike, supplies for your bike, food on rest days, flights or visas. Fortunately, you can also sign on to just do a specific part of the tour.

As far as travel visas are concerned, the requirements vary depending on which country you’re looking at. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Egypt: If you’re flying in, you can get a 30-day tourist visa when you arrive at the airport, or apply in advance if you’d like. If you’re entering by land, you’ll need one in advance.
  • Sudan: US citizens should apply for a visa in advance at a Sudanese embassy or consulate.
  • Ethiopia: If you’re riding in, you’ll definitely need to apply for your visa in advance. Theoretically, if you’re flying in, you can get a visa on arrival, but the US Department of State recommends against it as airport officials sometimes refuse to issue them. So, be a good Boy/Girl Scout and “be prepared!” See Ethiopian Visa Requirements for Tourists for more details.
  • Kenya: US citizens need to apply in advance to enter by land. If flying in, you should be able to get a visa on arrival but be prepared to wait for the privilege. See Kenyan Visa Requirements for Tourists for details.

Get an Ethiopian Visa to Get Up-Close-and-Personal with a Volcano

Saturday, January 15th, 2011

Last week, I highlighted Ethiopia for its amazing adventure travel potential. This week, I found an awesome (if expensive) vacation package that proves the point: Volcano Discovery’s Ethiopian volcano tours. Their “Desert, Salt and Volcanoes” tour takes you into the Danakil Desert, a place that National Geographic once referred to as “the Cruelest Place on Earth.”

In the desert, you’ll visit salt mines, including an active volcano buried under a thick layer of salt. You’ll also climb to the top of the active Erta Ale volcano and spend three days and nights observing the volcano and the fiery lakes of lava in its crater.

This 14-day expedition costs a mighty 3,760 Euro, but you’ll be rewarded with the trip of a lifetime and the ability to forever boast that you stood in front of a volcano.

If that’s a little too rich for your blood, there’s a shorter expedition called “Fire and Salt in the Desert” that’s only 9 days long for 2190 Euro.

Of course, you’ll never make it to the volcano without an Ethiopian visa. Technically, you can get one on arrival at Bole International Airport. However, in practice, some US citizens have reported issues getting visas on arrival. After the long flight to Africa, the last thing you want is to get held up at the airport, right?

The best way to avoid delays and frustration is to get your visa ahead of time, before you leave the United States. For more information about what you’ll need, see Ethiopian Visa Requirements for Tourists. (more…)

Get a Mozambique Visa to See Elephants in the Maputo Special Reserve

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Famous for its elephants, Mozambique’s Maputo Special Reserve also provides shelter for herds of zebra and antelope, plus crocodiles, hippos, and many different types of exotic birds. N0w, the World Bank is investing in a new, community-owned project to build an eco-resort in the park. That means that if the lodge is successful, the community as a whole will benefit. It should provide local people with a new source of income as well as providing them with an incentive to take care of the park and its wildlife.

It will also make the park much more attractive to tourists; as this article on notes, currently “accommodation is also a bit wild and rugged. With bathroom facilities being relatively non-existent, camping is not for the faint-hearted. Most camping sites provide you with little else besides a cleared area, with your major pro being wonderful beach access.”

To visit Mozambique, US visitors need both a passport and a visa. In theory, you can get a visa on arrival in Mozambique; however, the US Department of State strongly recommends you get your visa beforehand.

Before you apply for a Mozambique visa, check your passport. The expiration date needs to be at least 6 months further in the future than the date you plan to enter Mozambique. You need at least 1 completely pristine page in the back of your passport if you’re applying before you leave the US. If you plan on taking your chances and applying for a visa at the border, you need 3 blank pages.

You’ll also need:

  • 1 completed copy of the Mozambique visa application
  • 2 passport-sized photos
  • A copy of your hotel reservations
  • If you’re visiting a friend or family in Mozambique, you’ll need a letter of invitation that clearly states your first and last name along with your address.
  • Payment of the appropriate visa fees. Contact the Mozambique Embassy or your visa agency for the precise amounts.

You don’t need a yellow fever vaccination to get your visa, but you will need one to enter the country. Don’t forget to bring your International Certificate of Vaccination for yellow fever with you and keep it with you as you travel. If you arrive in Mozambique without it, they will revaccinate you and charge you $50 for the privilege.

No matter where you’re going in Africa, RushMyTravelVisa can review your itinerary and help you get the visas you need quickly and easily.

Let us help you apply for your Mozambique visa today!

Madagascar Visa Requirements for Tourists

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Tucked away off the coast of Africa, Madagascar doesn’t make it on many American tourists’ life lists — at least not yet. That may change as the country more fully develops its eco-tourism industry, assuming logging companies and assorted other extractive industries don’t “harvest” all of Madagascar’s pristine rainforests first.

Right now, while it’s somewhat difficult to get around the country, there’s enough of a tourist infrastructure to make it doable as long as you’re willing to deal with occasional inconveniences like delayed flights and rough roads, and more than enough gorgeous wilderness and exotic wildlife to make it worth your while.

In a recent article, New York Times’ travel writer Jeffery Gettleman explained the charms of Madagascar:

“Cut off from the mainland 160 million years ago, Madagascar is host to some of the rarest and most unusual flora and fauna in the world. There are hissing cockroaches, giant jumping rats, pygmy chameleons, moths as big as dinner plates, along with various kinds of lemurs. You’ll see odd, wavy plants growing out of the desert that look as if they belong underwater. In fact, there is so much uncharted life here that scientists are constantly discovering more…And there are also beaches, really good ones.”

Lemurs, beaches and a pirate graveyard? I’m in!

Before you go to Madagascar, you’ll need to do 2 things (not counting making travel reservations, packing, etc). First, check your passport. It must have an expiration date that’s at least 6 months after you plan on entering the country, plus at least one blank page in the back. Before your trip, renew your passport or add passport pages as necessary.

Second, do yourself a favor and get a visa ahead of time. Madagascar visas are available at the airport, but you should expect substantial delays. Mr. Gettleman of the New York Times described an excruciating wait at passport control, and offered the following advice to fellow travelers: “Get the visa ahead of time, even though Madagascar gives free tourist visas at the airport. We saw other tourists who had done this; they breezed right through.”

For instructions on how to get a Madagascar tourist visa, check out the instructions at the Madagascar Embassy’s website. Keep in mind that you may have connections in other countries and that they may also require you to have a visa. RushMyTravelVisa can research your itinerary and assist you in getting any transit visas you may need for your trip.

Need help getting a visa? Contact our visa experts today!

5 Reasons to Get a Tanzanian Visa

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Tanzania is a beautiful, relatively stable country, and a trip there is a great way to start exploring Africa. Here are 5 great reasons to get a Tanzanian visa and go visit:

1. Mt. Kilimanjaro: The tallest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro ‘s three snow-capped, volcanic cones tower over the surrounding landscape. Whether you choose to appreciate its grandeur from a distance or test your strength and endurance in an attempt to summit, the mountain is definitely worth seeing.

2. Old Zanzibar: The old stone buildings of Zanzibar are nothing if not charming. The historic center of the town preserves buildings and architectural styles that date back to the 1830′ s.  Old Zanzibar is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

3. The Serengeti:Serengeti National Park is the oldest national park in Tanzania.  It is home to over a million and a half wildebeest and 250,000 zebra. Their annual migration is a spectacle right out of “The Trials of Life.”  The northern section of the park has more hills and trees and is a perfect habitat for elephants and giraffe.

4. Kalambo Falls: Located along the border between Tanzania and Zambia, Kalambo Falls is the second-highest waterfall in Africa. Plummeting 772 feet into the Kalambo Gorge, the falls are definitely a sight to see. The area is also a fascinating archaeological site, with artifacts and other evidence of human habitation that stretches back 250,000 years.  A large breeding colony of Marabou storks live next to the falls. Interestingly, despite that old story about storks delivering human babies, the Marabou stork is actually a scavenger that eats carrion as well as preying on smaller animals and birds. In other words, a stork would probably sooner eat a baby sooner than deliver it.

5. Gombe Stream National Park- This national park is Tanzania’s smallest and is only reachable by boat. The park is home to many different types of primates, including the family of chimpanzees that Jane Goodall made famous.

If you’re an American citizen, you do need a visa to visit Tanzania. Although you can get a visa on arrival, the US Department of State recommends getting one before you leave the US, in order “to avoid long delays at entry points.”

For more information about getting a Tanzanian visa, see Tanzanian Visa Requirements for Tourists.

RushMyTravelVisa can make applying for a visa much quicker and easier. We’ll examine your itinerary to make sure you have the right travel documents for each stop, so that there are no unpleasant surprises. Then, we’ll assist you with the paperwork and expedite your application for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Tanzanian visa today!

With a Kenya Visa, You Can Stand Face-to-Face With Wildlife On Crescent Island

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

Most African wildlife parks require visitors to give wildlife a wide berth, preferably viewing them from the relative comfort and safety of an automobile or from behind  a fence. With predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas around, it’s easy to see why.

However, at Crescent Island on Kenya’s Lake Naivasha, the barriers between you and some of the largest and most beautiful animals in Africa vanish. On Crescent Island, you can get as close as you like to many of the animals, so you’re almost guaranteed to come back with great stories and spectacular photos.

In a recent article, New York Times travel writer Alexis Okeowo explains what makes the place so special:

Crescent Island rivals any zoo for diversity: zebras, impalas, giraffes, wildebeests, gazelles, waterbucks, antelopes, dik-diks, steenboks, buffaloes and several other types of animals populate the island. And because there are no predators, fences or cars, visitors can walk freely among the animals.

During her visit, Okeowo was even able to play hide-and-seek with a baby giraffe. Awwww!

It’s not all Disney out there, though. If you visit Crescent Island, remember that hippos and water buffalo, both of which live on the island, can be extremely dangerous if you make them mad or if they see you as a threat. In fact, just about any type of large wildlife can hurt you if you corner it or otherwise harass it.  Use some common sense, and remember that this isn’t a petting zoo!

To visit Kenya, Americans need both a valid passport and a Kenya visa. Here’s what you need to have to get a Kenya visa if you are visiting as a tourist:

  • 1 Kenya visa application form.  The form must be filled online and printed, as it is required to be typed no matter how neat your handwriting is.
  • 1 passport photo
  • A copy of your travel itinerary

RushMyTravelVisa makes getting a Kenya visa much quicker and easier. We offer help with the application and then expedite your visa by hand-delivering your application for the fastest possible processing.

Apply for your Kenya visa today!

Travel Visa Requirements for the African Tour of a Lifetime

Sunday, May 9th, 2010

Every year, National Geographic publishes a list of recommended “Tours of a Lifetime.” This year, they have several tours of Africa listed, but this “Once in a Lifetime Africa” tour from  Travcoa really stands out for its comprehensiveness and in-depth nature.

It promises to let you experience, in a single journey, “the vast variety and beauty at the soul of Africa.” This is made possible by flying you to and from a variety of amazing destinations on a private plane. This tour takes you to South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Zululand and Mozambique. You’ll visit game reserves and beaches, and you’re guaranteed to see a wide selection of African wildlife.

Of course, this kind of tour doesn’t come cheap-expect to spend about $34,900. That’s why they call it “Once a lifetime Africa”-you probably won’t be able to afford to go again!

Whether you see these countries on your own or as part of this tour, it’s important that you are prepared with all of the necessary travel visas documents-you wouldn’t want to miss the trip of a lifetime, would you? Here’s what you’ll need to visit each one:

  • South Africa- No visa needed for stays of up to 90 days. However, make sure your passport has plenty of space in the back-you need at least 2 blank pages to enter the country.
  • Botswana- No travel visa needed, but make sure your passport has at least 6 months left before it expires.
  • Zambia- You do need a visa. A single-entry travel visa can be purchased on arrival. but if you need a multiple-entry Zambian visa, you must apply in advance.  Also, check your passport-you need two blank pages to enter Zambia.
  • Mozambique- You need a travel visa, and the Department of State recommends you apply in advance even though a single-entry visa is theoretically available at the border. Your passport needs to have at least 3 blank pages. You should also get a yellow fever vaccination and bring your certificate with you when you enter Mozambique.

RushMyTravelVisa can help you plan your next trip to Africa, researching your itinerary and helping you apply for the necessary travel visas. If you need to renew your passport or have pages added to the back, our sister company can help you obtain an expedited passport renewal.

Need a travel visa? Apply today!