256.702.304020 info@cornerstonetoursandtravel.com

What you need to know

We love to answer your questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What you need to know about Uganda.

Do I need a passport?

Certainly! Most African countries require that you are in possession of a valid passport with an expiration date no less than six months.

Travel Documents

• Passport (with any Visas required for this trip)
• Travel insurance including insurer details
• Emergency contact telephone number
• Flight tickets, e-ticket
• Trip confirmation email
• Photocopies of important documentation – to be kept discretely

Do I need travel insurance?

Travel insurance is compulsory for all Corner Stone tours and travel travelers and should be taken out at the time of booking. At the least, your travel insurance must cover accident, death, medical expenses, emergency evacuation and personal liability. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation and loss of luggage.

Currency Information

Travelers’ checks are not common practice anymore so it is a good idea to travel with a credit card and ATM card, or a bank issued cash cards specifically for travel. Having a couple of options will assure that you are covered if one doesn’t work. Visa cards are more widely accepted than Master card, however, both will work in most countries.

Do you handle air tickets?

We work with a partner who is able to handle all of your air ticket arrangements and we are able to be of assistance in the event that changes need to be made to your flights.

What Airlines fly to Africa?

Many of the major world airlines such as Emirates, KLM, British Airways, Brussels, Egypt Air, Ethiopian Air, Lufthansa, Qatar, South African Airways, and Swissair fly into Africa several times a week.

Is it safe to visit Africa?

Our utmost concern is your safety. We relentlessly monitor each country and region to ensure that you and your group will be in a safe and secure environment. Upon inquiry on a specific trip, the political situation in that specific area is highlighted in the discussion.

However, petty theft can occur in Africa’s major cities as it does in most parts of the world. Visitors should take the same care as they would normally take in any other destination worldwide. Keep a close watch on handbags, wallets, and cameras when walking in crowded places. Avoid walking alone at night and keep valuables in safe deposit boxes at hotels.
While away at safari lodges and tented camps you are far removed from human settlement and crime is typically unheard of but we still advise that valuables be locked away in a room safe or kept under the supervision of the camp or lodge management while you’re out experiencing the wild.

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag on a camping safari?

For a typical camping safari all camping equipment will be provided for you at the site. If you sign up for a camping safari with your own equipment then you should bring a sleeping bag, tent and other related items.

How far in advance should we plan and book our safari?

Most of the safari lodges and camps we recommend are relatively small, exclusive and extremely sought after. To ensure availability we suggest planning and booking your travel arrangements at least 4-6 months in advance.

How Do I Plan My Adventure?

Cornerstone Tours and Travel takes the initiative to personalize each and every tour to our client’s wishes. We spend a substantial amount of time communicating with our clients prior to their trip so that we organize a special tailored trip that will go beyond their expectations. Our team is very well-informed on East African travel and knows the ideal places to visit, from the most scenic routes, to the best accommodation in the different regions. We cannot wait to plan your safari!

What Should I Pack for a Safari?

• Passport (with any required Visas for this trip)
• Travel insurance including insurer’s details
• Emergency contact telephone number
• Flight tickets, e-ticket
• Trip confirmation email
• Photocopies of important documentation – to be kept discretely

Which Type of Luggage Should I Carry?

Suit case, backpack or bag with wheels and straps…

Tell Me About The Money?

• Money (US dollars, British pounds, or Euros in large notes)
• Credit cards
• Travelers’ Cheques (optional) – keep a note of the serial numbers of your traveler’s cheques and the emergency contact numbers.
• Fanny pack

Weather protection?

• Light Raincoat (optional) or waterproof jacket
• Waterproof bags for rain protection while walking

Camping?

• Inner sleep sheet
• Ground sheet (or polythene sheet) if you want to sleep under the stars.
• Warm sleeping bag (3 seasons)
• Head flash light/lamp

Foot wear?

• Hiking boots (if necessary)
• Comfortable walking shoes with a good grip
• Sandals/flip-flops/dressier shoes for evenings out
• Walking sticks (if needed)

Travel Accessories ?

• Comfortable daypack to carry your personal needs during the day
• Personal audio player/Portable games/playing cards (optional)
• Reading material
• Cloth/reusable shopping bag to reduce plastic bags
• Flashlight
• Binoculars
• Mobile Phone
• Camera equipment/ Film or memory cards/Spare batteries/charger

What is Safari Accommodation Like?

Up market safari lodges, tented camps and hotels in Africa provide world class accommodations. Rooms have proper beds with mattresses and duvets, en suite (attached, in room) flush toilets, and showers with hot and cold running water. Other commonly found amenities include mosquito netting, fans, lamps, purified water, and wardrobes. There is also provision for the luxurious kind of accommodation where you can find presidential suites.

Adventurous travelers may consider budget or mid-range tours where facilities are slightly more limited. For mid-range tours, clients will sleep in private, comfortable accommodation typically in a lodge or canvas tent, en suite. Budget safaris and tours may include camping with one’s own equipment or the equipment provided by the campsite.

Such accommodation typically has shared bathroom/showers and communal meals. These types of tours are for those people who are looking for an exploratory experience, staying in the natural environment.

Will I be able to recharge my camera, phone and other batteries?

Yes – at nearly all hotels, lodges, and permanent tented camps you will be able to recharge your camera and video batteries either in room or in the main lodge. We recommend that you bring your own plugs – plugs C and H for east and southern Africa. Please make sure your electronic equipment switches automatically from 110 to 220 electricity (most do – it should indicate on the plug or in the manual). If they do not switch automatically a converter will be needed.

Do cell phones work on safari? What about satellite phones?

Tri-band and quad-band cell phones work in most major African cities and towns however you must check to ensure your service provider has an agreement with the local provider. Also check rates as these can be up to US $3 per minute.

If your phone is unlocked it is possible to get a SIM card and use your cell phone in East Africa with a local phone number. Cell phones may have service in some national parks. Often times they may not work at many safari lodges and camps in Africa as there are few cell phone towers.

Can we have our clothes washed while on safari?

The majority of safari lodges and camps offer complimentary laundry service (some charge a small fee), please note that undergarments are often excluded

Do I need to bring a sleeping bag on a camping safari?

For a typical camping safari all camping equipment will be provided for you at the site. If you sign up for a camping safari with your own equipment then you should bring a sleeping bag, tent and other related items.

Can I access Internet or WI FI while on safari?

Internet access is typically available at most city hotels or nearby cafes. The majority of safari lodges and camps do not have internet access (only a few do).

Will I be able to access electricity while in Safari?

Some safari lodges and camps are not connected to a main electrical supply and instead use a generator or inverter for electricity. Solar lighting (backed up by batteries) is also common. Lanterns also provide light at night. In most areas you will not be able to use a hairdryer or electric shaver.

What if a family member has to get hold of us about an emergency back home?

The vast majority of hotels in Africa have telephones and can be easily reached. In case of an emergency we suggest client’s friends and family contact our office so we may assist.

Which types of food are served on safari?

The food served at most up-market safari lodges and tented camps is of the highest quality like fresh baked breads, and produce soups, salad and entrees that could easily grace tables at top restaurants around the world. Meals are international in flavor with soups, salads, cold meats, pasta dishes, meat and fish dishes.

Your day will often include tea and coffee and a light breakfast before your morning activity, a late morning brunch or early afternoon lunch, then a three course dinner which may consist of an appetizer followed by meat, fish and pasta dishes served with assorted vegetables and sauces.

Are there any foods I should avoid? What about drinking water?

In the vast majority of cases it is safe to eat ALL of the foods offered by lodges and camps as they take great care to ensure that food is prepared in a healthy manner. If you are really worried about contracting a “stomach bug” don’t eat raw vegetables such as salads, avoid ice cubes in drinks (however many places use purified water for ice cubes – simply ask, if you are concerned), and eat only fruits that have thick skins which are peeled (pineapples, mangoes, bananas, etc).

In most East African countries it is wise to drink only bottled water. In addition refrain from swallowing water during a shower and use purified water for brushing teeth if you choose. Bottled water is always readily available.

What drinks are available on safari?

On most safaris drinks are not included in the all-inclusive daily rate and you must pay for these separately. You will be able to find a full menu of drinks at most locations. This includes water, soda, juice, wine, spirits, and beer.

What about special dietary needs (vegetarian, diabetic, no spicy foods)?

Special diets are not a problem as long we know your needs in advance.

When is the best time to travel to Africa to view wildlife?

In East Africa, safaris are best enjoyed from mid-December through to the beginning of March and from June through to mid-October each year. Wildlife viewing is, in part, predicated on the amount of surface water available. During the rains (November through March) wildlife is scattered as there is abundant surface water (puddles, perennial rivers) to drink.

Once the rains end (mid March) wildlife congregates around remaining surface water supplies (pools, lakes, and large rivers). Please note that travel during southern Africa’s “green season”, November through April, does have some advantages.
The bush will be lush and green and many wildlife species will have newborns in tow. Dust, which can be a nuisance during the dry season, is greatly reduced and nighttime temperatures are milder than during the dry winter months.

What is the weather like in East Africa?

In general east Africa (Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania) temperatures are moderate throughout the year with average daytime temperatures around 70 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit or 25-28 degrees Celsius. Evenings and mornings are often cooler dropping down to 60s or 50s Fahrenheit, or 15-20 Celsius in the more rural areas.

This region experiences dry weather during the months of June through October. There are two rainy seasons – the long rains which fall from mid-March through to May and the short rains which pour in mid-October continue until mid-December.

Do people speak English in East Africa?

English is spoken widely throughout East Africa (with the exception of Rwanda). Southern Africa has many local languages however it is usually easy to get by with English alone. In Uganda and Kenya English is actually the national language along with lots of local languages, while Rwanda speaks French, along with other local languages.

In Tanzania they mostly speak Swahili but not to worry, you will be able to find many people who speak some English.

How do we book a safari with you?

First you need to contact us by email: info@cornerstonetoursandtravel.com letting us know when you would like to travel, how many people will be traveling, and the trip you are interested in. If you would like to arrange a tailor-made trip, simply let us know your requirements and we will gladly make suggestions. With your input we can easily design a safari that suits your needs.

What if we have to cancel our safari plans?

All cancellations must be made in writing, signed by the client, to Corner Stone Tours and Travel and all trips may be subject to the following, per person, cancellation charges based on the number of days before trip departure upon receipt of your written cancellation request:
• More than 60 days: Loss of deposit
• Between 30 and 60 days: 50% of trip cost per person
• Less than 30 days: No refund of trip cost
We require all travelers to purchase comprehensive travel insurance including trip cancellation and interruption coverage at the time of deposit.

Transportation – How will we get around in Africa?

While on safari you will be transferred between lodges, camps, hotels, and different national parks by road, boat and air. Air travel is the most convenient and preferred method of moving between destinations.

Depending on your choice of safari you may travel by scheduled flights. The majority of commercial airlines use modern jet or turbo prop aircraft. Alternatively guests may fly aboard smaller single, or twin, engine charter aircraft seating 6 to 12 people.

What types of vehicles are used on safari for wildlife viewing?

In east Africa most safaris are conducted in closed Land Rovers, Super Customs, or other vehicles with seating for up to 6 passengers (all with window seats) with a guide and roof hatches for game viewing

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