Kenya Study Tour Next Steps and Travel Checklist

Welcome to the AJWS Study Tour to Kenya! Now that your space is reserved, it’s time to start planning your trip. Please follow the checklist below and contact Neely Grobani (212.792.2800; ngrobani@ajws.org) or Aliza Schlusselberg (212.792.2868; aschlusselberg@ajws.org) with any questions.

  1. Purchase trip cancellation insurance: We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself from any unforeseen circumstances. Please note that some insurance companies require purchase within 24 hours of making your deposit to AJWS, while others require purchase within two weeks. Elevate Destinations, AJWS’s partner travel planner, recommends the Travel Insurance Center, a broker of travel protection products. For assistance contact Alan Lightbody at alightbody@travelinsurancecenter.com or 1-866-979-6753 ext. 3648. AJWS and Elevate Destinations recommend that you evaluate the insurance options provided by the Travel Insurance Center, or any other travel insurance company of your choosing, and inquire directly with the providers about coverage if the trip is cancelled or if your plans change. Please see AJWS’s payment and refund policy for details.
  2. Contact Elevate Destinations, AJWS’s partner travel planner, for all your logistical needs: Elevate Destinations is available to help you with all your travel logistics, including visa and passport questions, booking flights, securing additional nights at the hotels, trip extensions, and any other services you may need. Please be in touch with Naomi Garner – naomi@elevatedestinations.com or Meredith Hauser – meredith@elevatedestinations.com and mention that you are traveling on the AJWS Study Tour to Kenya.
    • Passport: Check that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date you depart and has at least two blank pages for your visa and entry/exit stamps.
    • Booking your flight: It’s never too early to start looking into flights, especially if you plan to use air miles. The Study Tour will officially begin with a welcome dinner on Sunday, October 14, 2018 and end with lunch on Sunday, October 21, 2018. You should book a round trip ticket into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport arriving by the afternoon of Sunday, October 14, 2018, and departing in the late afternoon or evening of Sunday, October 21, 2018. If you are continuing on to the optional safari extension, you should book your departing flight on the afternoon of Wednesday, October 24, 2018.
      • **If you are booking your flights on your own, please have Elevate Destinations review your proposed itinerary prior to booking to confirm your arrival and departure times. Once you have finalized your travel plans, please share your confirmed itinerary with Elevate Destinations so they can track your arrival and arrange your airport pickup and drop off.
    • Additional nights at the hotel: If you will be arriving before Sunday, October 14, 2018, or departing after Sunday, October 21, 2018, please contact Elevate Destinations so they can help you arrange additional nights at the hotels.
    • Applying for your visa: All U.S. citizens need a valid passport and valid Kenyan visa to enter and exit Kenya. Please make sure your passport is valid for six months from date of entry to Kenya and contains at least two blank pages. U.S. citizens seeking to enter Kenya solely for tourist purposes may apply for an e-visa online in lieu of applying for a tourist visa at a Kenyan embassy or consulate. A single-entry e-visa costs $50 and we recommend starting the process no later than 60 days in advance of departure. For more information, please visit the US Embassy in Kenya’s website or contact Elevate Destinations.
    • Optional safari extension: We invite you to continue your travels with an optional safari on the Masai Mara National Reserve from October 21 – 24, 2018. If you would like to participate in this extension, or plan your own, Elevate Destinations can help you with all your booking needs.
  3. See your doctor for medical approval and travel vaccinations and complete your physician form: You will need to see your doctor prior to traveling with AJWS. If you have not traveled to a developing country within the last two or three years, you may need vaccinations and medications. We recommend seeing a doctor specializing in travel medicine. For more information on recommended vaccinations, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) webpage here to learn about staying healthy in Kenya.Your doctor must complete and sign a physician certification form to ensure that you are healthy enough to travel. The completed form is due 60 days prior to the trip (August 15, 2018) and can be submitted by email (studytours@ajws.org), fax (212-792-2930) or snail mail (45 West 36th Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10018).
  4. Stay safe while abroad: We do everything we can to ensure your trip with us is safe and pleasant, including conducting scouting trips to countries we have not traveled to before and consulting with private travel safety and security experts. However, travel to the developing world always comes with a certain degree of risk. We strongly suggest reviewing the travel recommendations from the U.S. State Department, CIA and CDC. Before you leave, make two photocopies of all your important documents (passport, e-visa, credit cards, flight itineraries, medical insurance card, list of medications and driver’s license). Keep one copy with you (separate from the originals) and leave the other copy with someone in the U.S. who you can easily contact.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the country and culture: To get the most out of your journey, you may want to research the country and culture prior to your arrival. You will receive a packet in the mail with more detailed background information on Kenya and the grantees we are scheduled to visit about one month prior to the trip. In the meantime, see our list of recommended resources to begin familiarizing yourself with Kenya’s unique history and culture.
  6. Making purchases abroad: At the time this document was written, the exchange rate was 1.00 USD = 103.93 KES. For the most up-to-date exchange rate information, please visit Oanda.com. Credit cards will be accepted at the hotels, most restaurants and some shops and ATMs will be available. Remember to call your credit card company and bank to notify them of your travels before you depart. Outside of the cities, it’s recommended to have cash on hand. You can exchange a small amount of money at the airport or hotel upon your arrival. Remember – your accommodations, meals, ground transportation and gratuities will all be taken care of, so you should only need cash for souvenirs, alcoholic beverages and other incidentals. Don’t forget to leave copies of your credit cards and at home in case they are lost while traveling.
  7. Don’t forget your toothbrush! Click here to download our recommended packing list for Kenya.