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Travel Notes



Before You Go

From money matters to packing tips, we’ve got all the information you need to prepare for your upcoming Vantage journey. Just click on an item below to read more about it.

Passports & Visas


Planning your trip

Tour trip will be here before you know it! Here's some information specific to the destinations you'll be visiting to help you prepare for your journey.

Travel Documentation

Passport
Please take a moment to confirm that your passport meets all of these requirements:
• It should be in good condition.
• It should be valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled return to the U.S.
• It should have at least 4 blank pages.
• The blank pages must be labeled “Visas” at the top. Pages labeled “Amendments and Endorsements” are not acceptable.

Visa requirements
The following information applies to U.S. citizens only. Those traveling on anything other than a U.S. passport should contact the embassies or consulates of the countries they are visiting for further information and special requirements.

Country Passport Visa
Kenya Y Y
Tanzania Y Y


Travelers are required to possess an electronic visa to travel to Kenya.
Please see details about obtaining an e-visa below. 

A visa to Tanzania is required and obtainable upon arrival at a cost of $100. (Subject to change at any time).

Please note: Visas issued on arrival are valid for 3 months so guests will only pay this fee once for each country. The first visa will be payable on arrival into Kenya and the second visa fee at the border crossing between Kenya and Tanzania. These visas are then valid for 3 months, so guests will not be required to pay any visa fees for the duration of the trip irrespective of how many times they cross borders between Kenya and Tanzania. This information is subject to change at any time without notice. Queues can be long on arrival at Kenya for visa purchases.

The government of Kenya has introduced an electronic visa application. Travelers wishing to visit Kenya need to apply as follows:

1. Visit the electronic visa page at www.ecitizen.go.ke.

2. Click on "Register" in the top right-hand portion of your screen. Then, click "Create an account" as a visitor.

a. After entering your information to create an account, you will receive a confirmation email that you need to click on to verify and confirm your registration.

b. At this point, you will be asked to UPLOAD A DIGITAL PASSPORT PHOTO (Maximum size: 500 px by 500 px).

3. Once logged in, select Department of Immigration Services.

4. Select Submit Application.

5. Select Kenyan Visa.

6. Select the type of visa (single) and read the instructions carefully.

7. Complete the application form. (Please note: Incomplete applications will be rejected and cause you to forfeit your processing fees.)

a. You will need a scan of the main page of your passport (with your name, date of birth, etc.)

b. You will then need to re-upload your passport photo.

8. Pay using a Visa card, MasterCard or other permissible credit card.

9. Then, wait for your approval, which will be sent to you via email. Be advised that this could take up to 7 days, so be sure to apply early.

10. Once you have received the email confirming the acceptance of your payment, log back into your ecitizen account and download your visa.

11. Print a copy of your visa to present to the immigration officer at your point of entry into Kenya.

Some things to remember:
• Be advised that the visa application process takes up to one week and must be completed in advance.
• You will need a scan of your passport and passport photo.
• An approved visa does not guarantee you entry into Kenya.
• It is illegal for anyone who possesses a visitor's visa to engage in any sort of business or employment while in Kenya. 

Please note: You may not be allowed to board your flight to Kenya or else you may be denied entry into Kenya if you do not have a printed copy of your e-visa with you.


Should the above requirements change, you will be notified in a mailing prior to departure. All visa, entry requirements, and fees are subject to change without advance notification by action of the government and port authorities. Vantage is not responsible for any additional charges resulting from such changes.
For up-to-date information, please visit Generation Visa at http://www.genvisa.com/vantage

U.S. Customs Information

If you are traveling internationally, it is important to understand U.S. Customs regulations including required documents, rules for bringing back items, and duty-free exemption. Please click the link below to visit the U.S. Customs website and read their helpful booklet, "Know Before Yo Go." This publications is available online and as a printer-friendly "PDF" document.

View "Know Before You Go"
(Link opens new browser window.)

Gratuities

We realize that tipping can be confusing on a group tour, so we've included the following recommended guidelines for gratuities:

  • Included Meals: Gratuities are included
  • Outside Dining: Varies according to local customs; your Tour Director will advise
  • Local Guides: $2.00 - $3.00 per person per day for each
  • Local Drivers: $1.00 - $2.00 per person per day for each
  • Vantage Tour Director: $8.00 - $12.00 per person per day
  • Porterage: Included except in Customs areas

Vaccinations

Yellow fever vaccination is mandatory for travel to Kenya and Tanzania. Malaria prophylactics are also strongly advised. For more information on health related issues while traveling overseas, contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by visiting http://www.cdc.gov/travel or calling toll free 1 (800) 232-4636. 

Climate/Time Zone


Time Differences

Country
Time Difference
Kenya 8 hours
Tanzania 7 hours
Note: The above times are based on Eastern Standard Time.

Climate

Use the chart below to get an overview of the average temperatures at your destination. Average High/Low Temperature (Farenheit)
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Nairobi H 77 80 80 76 74 73 71 72 76 78 75 75
L 58 58 60 61 59 56 54 54 55 58 60 59
Arusha H 84 84 81 77 72 70 69 72 76 80 81 81
L 50 51 53 57 52 48 49 48 47 51 51 50
Lake Manyara National Park H 84 84 81 77 72 70 69 72 76 80 81 81
L 50 51 53 57 52 48 49 48 47 51 51 50
Tsavo West H 89 92 93 89 86 85 83 83 85 88 89 87
L 69 69 70 70 69 66 64 64 65 67 69 70

Money Matters


Country Unit of Currency  
Kenya Kenyan shilling Get Exchange Rate
Tanzania Tanzanian shilling Get Exchange Rate


Exchanging Money 
It is recommended to bring U.S. cash in small denominations for purchases during your adventure. Credit cards are accepted at all hotels and lodges during your stay. It is not possible to exchange travelers checks.


How much to bring? 
We recommend between $200-$300 for you entire trip for ad hoc purchases such as refreshment stops, curios and markets. Small denominations are always good to have and we do not recommend bills higher than $20.

Meals 
Your adventure is on a Full Board basis throughout, including breakfasts, lunches and dinners. 

Tipping 

We realize that tipping can be confusing on a group tour, so we've included the following recommended guidelines for gratuities:
• Included Meals: Gratuities are included
• Outside Dining: Varies according to local customs; your Tour Director will advise
• Local Driver Guides: $2.00 - $3.00 per person per day for each
• Vantage Tour Director: $8.00 - $12.00 per person per day
• Porterage: Included except in Customs areas

Packing Guidelines


Looking for the right gear for your adventure in Africa? We have everything you need for the trip in our Safari Essentials Shop. Click to browse these high-quality essentials and start getting ready for your adventure today!

As you will experience a wide range of temperatures and weather conditions, we suggest several layers of clothing. 

Layers for game drives: Many game drives are in the early morning or late evening. Even at the height of summer, these times of day are cooler than the afternoon. Therefore we suggest bringing a piece that you can wear over your clothing for cooler mornings and remove as the day heats up (windbreaker, jacket, sweater, sweatshirt, etc.). And just a reminder: South of the equator, the seasons are reversed. Travelers on summer departures will want to bring more than one layer—it is winter in southern Africa.

Style Hints & Color Choices
• Dress on this safari adventure is functional and casual. In local communities, and to some extent in the lodges, your dress should be modest and conservative. 
• We suggest clothing in muted earth tones because they don’t show dirt easily, coordinate well, and don’t distract animals. Very bright colors have traditionally been used to keep animals away (that’s why many tribal peoples wear bright clothing) but some species are color-blind, so if you prefer bright clothing it won’t scare off all the animals.
• Avoid white clothing because white is a danger signal for some species.
• Avoid wearing all black or all blue clothing—these colors attract tsetse flies. This is a matter of comfort, not a health concern. Tsetse flies bite, but are not disease carriers in the places we travel.

Recommended Clothing Checklist
• Shirts: A mixture of short- and long-sleeved shirts in a breathable fabric, like cotton or cotton-blend.
• Polo shirts are more versatile than t-shirts. Sleeveless tops are an option, but expose you to sun and insects.
• Trousers, jeans and cargo pants: They should be lightweight and dry easily. We strongly suggest that one pair be a bit heavier for warmth in the evenings.
• Walking shorts: Cut long for modesty
• Shoes and socks: You might be on your feet more than you expect (for example, standing in a parked vehicle to watch game.) Comfortable and supportive shoes are key. You might consider light hiking boots for increased ankle support, but sneakers are also fine. Bring plenty of socks, you may find yourself wishing to change a couple times a day.
• Warm clothing: A sweater or sweatshirt is a good idea for early morning game drives and evenings, no matter the season. For June-September departures, we strongly recommend a warm jacket, like a Polartec fleece jacket or a light insulated parka; warm hat and gloves; flannel shirts to layer; warm socks
• Light rain jacket/windbreaker with hood
• Wide-brim sun hat and scarf to keep the dust off your hair
• Sleepwear. Warm sleepwear is recommended year-round. For example, a t-shirt and flannel pajamas.
• Even during the hottest months, it can be cool at night; during the winter it can be downright cold at night.
• Optional: Swimsuit for pools, and robe or cover-up

Other Essential Items
• Daily essentials: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, hairbrush or comb, shaving items, deodorant, etc.
• Shampoo, soap, and insect repellent are provided by the lodges during your trip, but you may wish to bring your own. (For insect repellent, we suggest using a kind with DEET—30%-35% strength.) Most lodges do not provide a washcloth, so you may wish to pack one.
• Lightweight binoculars. To avoid disturbing the animals’ natural activities, we stop the vehicle at a respectful distance. Everyone in the group should have their own binoculars. Models such as 8 x 21 or 6 x 16 provide suitable magnification and illumination. 10 x models are usable, but are usually heavy, expensive, and require a very steady hand.
• Spare eyeglasses/contact lenses; sunglasses with 100% UV block
• Sunscreen: SPF 30 or stronger
• Insect repellent. Our Trip Leaders suggest a repellent with DEET because insects are a year-round nuisance.
• Light folding umbrella
• Moisturizer and sun-blocking lip balm
• Packets of pocket-size tissues or small roll of toilet paper
• Moist towelettes or baby wipes, they can be used to freshen up
• Flashlight or headlamp—with extra batteries/bulb—or consider a wind-up or solar-powered model.
• Electrical transformer and plug adapters: see "Electricity" for details. We do not recommend electric shavers or hair dryers, as electricity is limited at many of our lodges.
• Camera gear with extra batteries or battery charger

Medicines
• Your own prescription medicines
• Travel first aid kit: Band-Aids, headache and pain relief, laxatives and anti-diarrhea tablets, something for upset stomach. Maybe a cold remedy, moleskin foot pads, antibiotic cream, or allergy medication.
• An antibiotic medication for gastrointestinal illness
• Optional: A strong prescription pain medication for rare emergency purposes
• Optional: Motion sickness medicine if you are susceptible (the roads are very bumpy).
• Optional: Medication for allergies or asthma, if you are susceptible (the roads are also dusty).
• Optional: Anti-malarial medication—discuss with your doctor first

Electricity

When traveling overseas, there are a few differences to keep in mind about electricity. First, the voltage is usually different. Second, the plugs might not be the same shape. Lastly, the availability of power can vary.

Voltage

Electricity in Kenya and Tanzania is 230-240 volts. In the U.S. it is 110 volts. Most of the things a traveler will want to plug in—battery chargers, MP3 players, tablets or computers—can run off both 110 and 220-240. But you should check the item or the owner’s guide first to confirm this before you plug it in. If you have something that needs 110 volts—like a shaver or a hair dryer—you can bring a transformer to change the current. (But transformers tend to burn out, so it might be better to leave whatever it is at home.)

Plugs

The shape of plugs will vary from country to country, and sometimes even within a country depending on

when that building was built. Different plug shapes are named by letters of the alphabet—Type A, Type

B, and so on. Standard U.S. plugs are Type A and Type B. Here is the list of plugs for the countries on

this trip:

  • Kenya: G
  • Tanzania: D or G

To plug something from the U.S. into a D or G socket, you’ll need an adapter that fits between the plug and the socket. Because there are multiple types of plugs in this region, it may be easier to purchase an all-in-one, universal adapter/converter combo. Versatile and lightweight, these can usually be found at your local electronics goods or hardware stores. Sometimes you can buy them at large retailers, too, like Target or Walmart. If you forget to bring an adapter, you might also find them for sale at the airport when you arrive at your destination.

Availability

In the remote lodges, the generator that supplies electricity may operate during limited hours. It is possible to recharge camera batteries, but only while the generator is running. Therefore, bringing two batteries—one to use while the other is recharging—is recommended. Electric current is usually adequate to run an electric razor, but not a hair dryer. The lighting at the lodges may not be as bright as you are used to; a small LED flashlight can be useful.

A constant electricity supply cannot be guaranteed during overnight stays. Travelers dependent on electricity supply for health reasons may want to consider a different adventure. Some lodges and the tented camp cannot accommodate CPAP machines, so this adventure is not recommended for travelers with sleep apnea. Travelers with sleep apnea who chose this adventure must be able to do without their CPAP.

Internet

Internet is available at all lodges and hotels but speed is extremely slow. We recommend a low bandwidth email address like Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail to keep in touch with friends and family.

Telecommunications

Reception in main towns is good but reception in some National Park areas may have little to no cell reception or data reception.

Photography

You can photograph just about anything in Kenya and Tanzania, although pictures of government buildings and officials in uniform are discouraged. Please ask your Adventure Leader for best practices. 

In any culture, it is polite to ask permission before taking pictures of people, and Kenya and Tanzania are no exception. If you photograph a curio shop, for instance, it’s customary to make a small purchase.

When not using your camera, always keep it in your pocket, in a case attached to your belt, or hanging on a strap around your neck.


















Electronic devices

Bring your iPad, Kindles, and/or smart phones. This way you will have access to city guides, post trip survey and trip information while on tour. This will also allow you to take pictures and communicate with friends and family easier.

Luggage Restrictions

To help make your travel experience as smooth and simple as possible, Vantage will provide you with the safari bag that will be your only checked bag you are allowed to bring, due to space restrictions on the safari vehicle and weight should not exceed 34 pounds. Recommend using the safari bag provided or something very similar – one bag per person. Hard covered bags will not be allowed on Safari vehicle and weight should not exceed 34 pounds. There are laundry services at all lodges. One small carry-on bag per person is allowed. Although airlines will generally allow more luggage, the transportation on your Vantage tour does have stricter space limitations.

Travel Light [top]

Most travelers end up packing much more than they really need. We recommend that you start packing a few days before your trip, so you have time to remember everything that you need — and to decide what is essential and what is not. And don't forget to leave room for souvenirs and gifts you may purchase during your trip.

Besides the basic necessities and the items covered below, you'll want to pack sunglasses, a hat or visor, and sunscreen for daytime use. You might also want to bring a small alarm clock, pocket tissues, travel pack of soap powder, needle, thread, safety pins, and personal face cloth. In many countries, your washcloth is considered to be of intimate usage and is not provided by hotels.

Depending on your destination, you may also want to bring insect repellent (we recommend repellent with a high "deet" content). Binoculars are also handy when travelling to areas where flora and fauna may be observed.

Remember, Vantage provides you with your safari bag, and there are weight restrictions as well: see above. We suggest visiting our Safari Essentials Shop to buy everything you'll need for your adventure!

Casual Dress [top]

Dress on safari is generally casual. Your travel wardrobe should be planned according to the climate of the areas you will be visiting and the length of your stay.Average high and low temperatures for the destinations visited on each Vantage Tour are listed under "Climate". A HELPFUL HINT — plan to avail yourself of the laundry and valet services available at an additional fee.

Warm Clothes [top]

Weather is never predictable so be sure to be prepared for just about anything. You'll want to take along a sweater or jacket for cool evenings. It's a good idea to dress in layers, which will allow you to adjust to changes in temperature.

Rain Gear [top]

We suggest a practical raincoat or waterproof shell with a hood, and/or a fold-up umbrella. The shell could also be worn with other layers in lower temperatures.

Good Walking Shoes [top]

One of the most important items you'll need for any vacation is, of course, comfortable walking shoes for touring. We suggest you refrain from purchasing new walking shoes just prior to departure — it's best to wear a broken-in pair that you know are comfortable.

Pool and Sauna Apparel [top]

On many programs, some accommodations will feature pools. So if you plan to use them, bring along a swimsuit and pool slippers.

Cameras and Film [top]

Be sure to test the working order of your camera before you leave home, and to insure your equipment against loss and damage. It is also important to take along an ample supply of film. Film can be expensive and specific kinds of film may not be available in certain areas. Some airport x-ray equipment may harm valuable film. For utmost protection, film should be packed separately in hand luggage. Also, be sure to bring at least one extra battery for your camera.
If you are using a digital camera, check on how many images you can take on your memory card at the resolution you are using. You may wish to bring along an extra memory card so you will not run out of memory half way through the trip. Bring along the battery charger, but remember you may need a voltage converter. The alternative is to carry a spare charged battery with you.

Valuables [top]

Please remember that it is not wise to bring valuables with you when you travel. If you decide to do so, please carry them on your person when flying. Make sure to use hotel safe deposit boxes or safes to ensure the safety of possessions that you may want to have with you.

What to Leave Behind [top]

Do not pack aerosol cans; they tend to leak during air travel. Also avoid packing glass bottles; use plastic containers instead. Leave at home any credit cards and checkbooks that you don't anticipate using on your trip; valuable jewelry; brand-new shoes (instead pack your most comfortable walking shoes); and, in general, anything that you would hate to lose.

Electric Current [top]

If you wish to take along an electric iron, razor, or hair dryer, be sure they are adaptable to different currents, volts, and cycles. Most appliances will require an adapter plug and/or an electrical converter/transformer which are available for purchase at most department stores or luggage shops. These kits are available for electrical settings in countries outside the United States.

Flight Information


Flight Information

When planning your flights, Vantage considers each airline's reputation for quality, service, and routing options to the destination. Vantage selects flights that both serve our groups' needs and ensure the best balance of quality and cost. Our flight team members will do their utmost to select flights that will get you to your destination as quickly and easily as possible.

First and Business Class Airfare Upgrades
Many of our programs offer first and/or Business Class upgrades, for more information, please visit our FlightChoice page.

Vantage encourages you to check current airport security regulations well in advance of travel, as rules may have changed since your last trip. For the latest information on airline security guidelines and boarding procedures, please visit the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) web site.

While on Tour


While on Tour

The information below applies in general to Vantage escorted land tours. To learn more about our full line of escorted land tours, click here.

Briefing sessions

At the beginning of your tour, a Vantage Tour Director will conduct an informative briefing concerning the daily schedule, local customs, and the included features of your tour. It is strongly advised that you attend this briefing.

Extending Your Trip

Vantage offers specially arranged pre- and post-extensions on many of our escorted land tours. See specific tours for details. In some cases, your Tour Director that will be on your base trip will be there also on the extension, but not always. On some pre- and post-extensions, there will be a Vantage representative to assist you.

Additionally, if you would like to do some exploring on your own, either before or after your tour, Vantage can help you arrange the details. In most cases, your flights can be adjusted for either an earlier arrival date or a later return date. A non-refundable administrative fee will be assessed, plus any additional costs that may apply to the air ticket and hotel. Transfers to and from your hotel are not included when traveling independent of a Vantage group. Please ask a Vantage Sales Representative for additional details. Note also that some airline contracts may exclude changes to routing.

NOTE: Should you wish to make any changes to your plans to extend your trip, please do so no later than 60 days prior to your scheduled date of departure. Change or cancellation penalties may apply to tickets once they have been issued.

Your Health & Comfort

Vantage wants you to have a safe, healthy, and happy journey. Our tours are planned to combine just the right amount of activity and leisure. For personal medical attention while on tour, your Vantage Tour Director can refer you to reliable physicians in the cities on your tour.

Please note that Medicare and U.S health insurance are generally not accepted in foreign destinations. If you have an insurance claim, it should be made upon your return to the USA and filed through your health insurance provider or through the Vantage Travel Protection Plan if you have purchased it. Keep relevant receipts and doctors' reports for processing your claim.

Jet Lag Precautions

When you cross several time zones to reach your destination, you often lose many hours of regular sleep. Upon arrival your body must quickly adjust to new sleeping and eating patterns. The result is jet lag. Its symptoms may include fatigue, irritability, and vague disorientation. You cannot completely avoid jet lag but you can minimize it. Here's how:

  • Try to sleep on overnight flights
  • Avoid heavy eating and drinking caffeine or alcoholic beverages right before - and during - your flight
  • Drink plenty of water and/or fruit juice while flying
  • Try to stay awake your first day until after dinner

Pace of the Tour

Vantage Tours are planned to provide a well-balanced mix of activities and free time. Certain tours, however, may prove to be more challenging than others, particularly for passengers with physical limitations.

Passengers with physical difficulties or concerns about the pace of the tour should contact their Vantage Customer Relations Representative for tips on which tours best suit their individual needs and abilities. See also Medical Issues, below.

Your Personal Safety

Please keep in mind that in any tourist destination, you need to be aware of your surroundings. We recommend that you use a money protector that can be worn around your neck. Flashy jewelry should be left at home. Never place your camera or purse down, or hang it on the back of your chair. Although incidents of theft and pickpocketing while on tour are rare, it is important to be cautious and aware.

Medical Issues

Click here to read important information about travelers with a physical, emotional, or mental condition that may require professional attention or the use of special equipment. "Medical Issues" information also appears in the "Tour Participation Agreement - Terms and Conditions" bound into Vantage catalogs and printed on the back of your invoice.

Hotels

Vantage makes every effort to reserve only hotels that offer well-appointed rooms and a central location. We remind you that quality of accommodations may vary from destination to destination. Vantage strives to provide the best hotels available that meet our standards of quality. You can check descriptions of the hotels for your chosen trip under Accommodations on the website for that trip.

How We Rate Our Hotels

While some tour companies devise their own ratings systems (based on their particular standards), Vantage ranks hotels based on the industry-accepted classifications published by the Hotel & Travel Index - the travel industry standard.

Deluxe/Moderate Deluxe ***** Outstanding accommodations in every way, offering superior service, facilities, and location.

Superior First-Class ****+ Above average accommodations, with many special amenities, including more restaurants, shops, and usually a fitness center.

First-Class/Moderate First-Class **** Comfortable, well-equipped standard rooms with private bath, attractive public areas, and amenities.

Please Note: In some areas where the hotels aren't rated, it's often due to the fact that the hotel may be too new, too remote, or too small. However, the hotel where you stay has been inspected and approved by Vantage personnel.

Religious Services

At Vantage, we count individuals from all walks of life and all religious denominations among our customers. Although we do not offer religious services on our travel programs, services may be available in the cities and towns you visit while on tour. Your Vantage Tour Director can advise you when religious services are available. Please keep in mind that not all religious denominations have a presence in every travel destination. We cannot guarantee the availability of religious services.

Shopping

Shopping for local merchandise is always a part of the travel experience. We are aware that local guides do recommend shops on their tours. Always keep in mind that a purchase is between the buyer and the seller. Always keep receipts and credit card copies. Shipping should always include insurance in the event of breakage. Iit is best to check with your credit card issuer for any insurance that may be included when you use your card.

Sightseeing & Cultural Connections

Vantage offers a variety of included sightseeing tours and special cultural events to enrich your travel experience and bring you "closer to the world." Our tours are specially designed for Vantage travelers. They let you feel the atmosphere, gain a cultural understanding, and become a part of the area you are visiting. They include all transportation and the services of expert local guides.

Optional Excursions

Vantage makes every effort to provide the right balance of both included activities and time for exploring on your own. We've found, however, that many of our passengers prefer an additional guided activity in lieu of free time. For that reason, some of our tours may include a limited number of optional tours and activities, which you may choose to take at a moderate fee. In no case do we replace an included sightseeing tour with an optional tour. Optional tours are strictly voluntary, providing you with the opportunity to visit an attraction that you may not see otherwise.

Taxes

All hotel taxes and hotel service charges are included in the tour price. If airport arrival and departure taxes apply, they are payable in cash at the airports and are not included.

Transfers

All transfers between airport and hotel/pier are included in conjunction with Vantage air and tour packages and will be via private transportation. Travelers purchasing their own airline tickets will be responsible for their own transfers to and from the airport/hotel/pier based on the itinerary.

Travel Itinerary

Each Vantage Escorted Land Tour is planned with two criteria in mind: It must be to an interesting destination and the tour must offer good quality at an exceptional value.

Although everything is planned well in advance of your departure, our ultimate goal is to ensure that each departure is enjoyable, interesting, and safe. Therefore, the day-by-day itinerary provided for each travel destination is subject to change depending upon local conditions. If any significant changes occur in advance of your departure, Vantage will notify you by phone or by mail. If changes occur while on tour, your Vantage Tour Director or local representative will notify you.

Your Vantage Tour Director/Local Representative

During your tour you'll be accompanied on tour by an experienced Vantage Program Manager. You will also benefit from the insights of expert Local Representatives and tour guides. Both your Tour Director and Local Representative can provide suggestions on the best restaurants, shops, and local sights; will help coordinate optional tours and excursions; and assist in any manner possible.

Vantage Hospitality Desk

For your convenience, a Vantage Hospitality Desk will be available daily during scheduled hours at many of the hotels on your itinerary (staffed by an experienced team of local travel professionals or by your Vantage Tour Director). The desk hours vary, depending on your daily scheduling. Tour members will be advised of the desk hours during the briefing held upon arrival at most hotels.

Tipping

We include tipping for all meals that are included in your package, all porterage and tips for local guides and drivers. Tips are not included for your Vantage Program Manager, your driver if he does the entire trip or any maids or other personnel in hotels, ships or trains.

Payment Information


What does my Reservation Deposit Guarantee?

Payment of your initial deposit holds your spot on your journey. However, it does not guarantee the price of your trip. Participation in our Smart Pay Discount Plan can save you up to 10% on your Vantage trip AND it ensures that the land, cruise, and international airfare portions of your trip will not increase. This includes 100% guaranteed protection against most additional taxes (does not include entry fees or arrival taxes), fuel surcharges, and currency fluctuations, from the moment you pay in full under the terms of Vantage's SmartPay Discount Plan. If you do not participate in our SmartPay Discount Plan, all prices are subject to change.

When is my Final Payment due?

Final payments are due 90-120 days prior to departure, depending upon the program.

Can I extend my final payment due date?

Unfortunately, we are unable to extend any final payment due dates because of our vendor contractual obligations.

What is an E-Check?

ECheck is a commonly used term to refer to an online payment method via electronic check from your bank account.

What are the benefits of paying via E-Check?

Paying by E-Check is fast, easy and 100% secure – and there is no fee involved. Plus, paying by E-Check with our SmartPay Discount Program, you can realize hundreds of dollars in savings right away. When you compare those savings to the frequent flyer miles you might earn when you pay by credit card, you come out on top for two reasons: first, you enjoy your savings right away, whereas frequent flyer miles need to be accumulated over time before you cash them in; second, frequent flyer miles have restrictions of usage.

How do I make payments via an E-Check?

It's easy to set up E-Checking on My Account. Have your checkbook handy and simply go to the Make a Payment screen and follow the instructions provided. Please note that E-Check payments appear on your invoice immediately but take 2-3 business days for your bank to process.

What is the SmartPay Discount Plan?

The SmartPay Discount PlanSM allows our travelers to receive a discount by paying for their trip in full before their final payment due date. The further in advance of the final payment date you pay, the greater the discount. Just as important, you’ll guarantee your price against price increases resulting from currency fluctuations, fuel costs, and other unanticipated occurrences.

How can I take advantage of your SmartPay Discount Plan?

You can only take advantage of our SmartPay Discount PlanSM when paying by E-Check. Paying by E-Check is fast, easy and 100% secure – and there is no fee involved. All you need is your checking account number and bank routing number, both of which are printed on your checks. 50% of your trip’s total cost must be paid by check. Payments made inside of 60 days prior to departure will not qualify.

Can I pay by credit card and still take advantage of your SmartPay Discount Plan?

While we do accept credit card payments, you can only take advantage of our SmartPay Discount PlanSM when paying by E-Check, unless part of your payment is made by credit card and at least 50% of your total payment is paid by E-Check.

How do I redeem my Vantage Credit Voucher?

Vantage credit vouchers should be mailed once you receive your first invoice. Any overpayment that results from the credit voucher will be refunded to you, if applicable.

How do I cancel my trip and how long will it take for me to receive a refund?

If you must cancel your trip, you should contact our Customer Service department. Refund requests must be made in writing – indicating the reason for cancellation – and received by the respective final payment due date to avoid additional cancellation charges.

Vantage realizes that most people who cancel their reservations do so out of real necessity. Nevertheless, there is a non-refundable administrative fee of $300 per person for each program you cancel. This low fee covers only our costs of reservation maintenance or cancellation.

Payments made to your credit card will be refunded as a credit to that card. Payments made by check will be refunded by check. Payments paid by electronic check will be refunded electronically. Please allow 35 days for refunds to be manually verified and processed by our accounting department. Please refer to the Tour Participation Agreement for your program's cancellation fee schedule.

Why does it take just one day to charge my credit card at the time of booking but 30 days to refund it in the event of cancellation?

After you book a trip with us, we process charges within 24 hours in order to hold and confirm your reservation quickly for you. Because refunds are processed manually by our accounting department, we require a 30-day processing period to assure utmost accuracy.

I was just reviewing my invoice online and noticed a discrepancy. What should I do?

Please contact us and we will attempt to resolve the situation as soon as possible. To help expedite matters, you should print out your invoice and have it handy when you contact us.

Contact Vantage

CALL 1-800-848-5773

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Vantage Tauck Tours Vantage Advantage
Journey On Safari in Kenya & Tanzania: Up Close With the Big Five Kenya & Tanzania: A Classic Safari
Price without Air* $5,799 $8,465+$1,000 on-tour air Save $9,132 per couple!
Trip Length 14 days 13 days Lower price & one additional day!
Per Diem $414 per day $728 Save $758 per day per couple!
Small Group travel Yes! No more than 18 travelers per departure! No Small Group Departures - All Departures are limited to 30 travelers Smaller group size, lower price!
Extend Your Value 4 Days Pre-Trip in Nairobi & Sweetwaters Tented Camp No extensions Since you've come this far we offer you the choice to make the most of your international airfare and extend your discoveries at an unbeatable value!
Sightseeing ALL SIGHTSEEING INCLUDED 25 Sightseeing Tours & Cultural Connections — a $4,730 value per couple! 16 Sightseeing Tours 9 MORE TOURS— The Most sightseeing plus exciting Cultural Connections planned to enhance your experience and immerse you in the local culture!
Meals ALL 39 MEALS INCLUDED 36 meals More meals!
FREE Single Supplement Yes! Available on every departure date - a value of up to $899! Single Supplement starting at $600 Best Savings for Single Travelers! Free Single Supplement & Roommate Matching available on every departure date!
Preferred Traveler Rewards 5% Vantage Travel Reward to use towards your next Vantage journey $100 per person BEST REWARDS PROGRAM IN TRAVEL!
10 Ways to Save Referral Rewards — $200 per traveler referred after 2 referrals; Buy direct & save big, 100% Travel Protection; SmartPay — pay in full, 12-months in advance and save 10% Travel Protection THE MOST WAYS TO SAVE!

*Prices are subject to change & based on comparable March or November departure dates
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