Travel information

Meeting

Travelling through Africa is not the same as going on holiday in Europe. We therefore think it is important to prepare the holiday together with the travellers. This site is therefore a great way to find information, including practical tips. In group tours we usually organize a meeting to take care of everything, give tips and-for those who want-to arrange the visas. Are you going alone or in a small group? You can also count on good support in the preparation, via the mail, telephone or through a personal conversation.

Passport

Your passport must be valid for at least six months on the return date. Please note that in your passport there are sufficient empty pages for the visa and entry and exit stamps.

Luggage and clothing

You may bring 2 x 23 kilo (large) baggage to most airlines, but it is wise to take less if you still plan to take back clothing, instruments or souvenirs from Africa. For each kilo above the maximum must be paid. There are also often clothes that are left behind in Africa when they return to the Netherlands for the people there. You can take one piece of hand luggage on the plane. It is wise to keep valuables like credit card, papers, medications and some toilet equipment in your hand baggage in case your other baggage does not arrive on time. Do not include liquids, a knife, fork, scissors or any other sharp object in your hand baggage, as this will be confiscated by Customs for safety reasons. Bring light cotton clothing, but do not take too much of it. You can make your clothes washed quickly and cheaply. A thick jacket will not need you, but a sweater for the evening hours can be welcome. Long trousers, thin socks and long-sleeved blouse offer pleasant protection against the mosquitoes in the evening. Besides sandals, also bring close shoes, if only on the plane. Separate walking shoes are useful for long walking tours in the "Bush" (savannas) and otherwise sandals are practical.

Money

The money type in Burkina Faso and Mali is CFA. One euro is about 655 CFA. You can bring a Visa card in addition to cash. With more and more banks in the larger cities you can withdraw money from the dispenser with a Visa card. If you deposit money for your Visa account before departure, the withdrawal costs are low. Paying with visas can only be very limited (expensive hotels). Other credit cards are not accepted yet. Cash Exchange You can get the banks, supermarkets and the larger hotels. Expenditure on own account: The costs for the midday and evening meals, drinks, entrance fees and personal expenses are not always included in the price of the trip. The group transport is controlled by Thiosane Travel, but rent of a (moped) bike or use of taxis is of course at your own expense. With a budget of € 10-15 per day You can come around very well, and depending of course on your own wishes you can make it more expensive or cheaper. When calculating your budget, keep in mind any unforeseen expenses.

Health

Those who travel in West Africa with attention to hygiene and skincare will reduce the risk of health problems. Here are some things you can look out for. Skin Care The tropical sun is fierce. Burning and solar stings are easier to walk than you think. Avoid the sun as much as possible on the hottest hours of the day, wear a headpiece or umbrella as you walk and use a good sunscreen. It can be best taken from home. Drink a lot, because of the heat you lose large amounts of moisture. Make it a habit to treat every sore, no matter how small, with something like iodine. Infections in the tropics are rapidly incurred and often persistent. Malaria the World Health Organization (WHO) advises all travellers to Africa to ' take all possible preventive measures to prevent malaria '. It is bitter need to avoid getting stung and swallowing malaria tablets. Especially in the rainy season the chances of malaria are bigger (more mosquitoes). Let the GGD inform you about the different profylaxen. Also bring evening clothes that offer the legs and arms protection. An anti-mosquito repellent with "DEET" in it is recommended. Most rooms where we sleep have standard and mosquito net. Should this be missing or no longer in order, please discuss this with the travel supervisor so that it can solve the problem. Vaccinations We advise you to start with information about the necessary vaccinations six weeks before the departure date. At customs, your ' yellow passport ' will in any case be checked for yellow fever. A DTP injection is standard. Meningitis can occur locally to an increased extent, especially in the dry season. Always consult the GGD or other specialised agencies what you need. This depends on previous vaccinations, possible susceptibility to certain resources, pregnancy, age, and of the topical health situation on the spot. Check with your health insurance provider to see if you are reimbursed for vaccinations and malaria pills. Diarrhea the most common health problem besides burning is diarrhea. Holidaymakers are often affected in the tropics if they are just a few days. In Most cases it is a completely harmless phenomenon caused by change in dietary habits, the heat or by innocent bacteria, where your body quickly rebuilds. The main risk is the likelihood of dehydration. Dehydration means that the body loses more moisture and salts and glucose than it gets inside. A feeling of lethargy and limping is the result. This can be avoided by drinking water with a O.R.S. solution. These bags, which are available in the Netherlands and Belgium at the pharmacy, contain all the minerals and sugars that the body loses in diarrhea. Instead of this solution, soft drinks can also be drunk without carbon dioxide and firmly salted broth. If the diarrhea is accompanied by a severe fever, blood in the stool or severe vomiting, it is advisable to consult a doctor. If the diarrhea persists for more than a few days without the above symptoms or if you have to travel, you can take the drug Imodium a few times. Contact Lenses: If you are wearing contact lenses, take a spare glass if you can. Contact lens carriers often suffer from irritated eyes by dust and opstuivend sand. Medications ask your pharmacy to prepare a KNMP travel document (medical Passport) for you. It lists the substance names and the exact composition of the medicines you use. Keep this document and your medication in your hand luggage. If you suffer from a chronic illness, ask your GP for a statement of your condition and the therapy in English. Some more advice for a pleasant stay Gun your body and mind time to calmly adapt to the new time zone and location. Avoid tensions, don't plan anything right away. Do it at least calm the first day. Standing up early is a good habit; In warm countries the morning temperature is often most enjoyable. The people in the countries you visit are also accustomed to getting up early. If you adjust to their rhythm, you will see most of the country. If you are well equipped, you can handle all the new impressions best, you have enough energy to do much and most resistance to disease. More information most and most recent information is given to the GGD in your region. On the website of the National Coordination Centre for travellers advising you can find general information by country. In Belgium you can find information on the site of the Institute Tropical Medicine. For questions about healthy travel in tropical countries, you can visit www.tropenzorg.nl. There you will also find information about products and precautions before and during the trip. Travel pharmacy for abdominal pain and diarrhea: entosorbine and/or diacure in case of bowel complaints and blockage: laxative (sennocol or herbal tea) in the case of stomach upset: Gastrocure in Fever: Paracetamol (500 and 1000 MLG) against dehydration: Orisel saline solution Motion sickness: Excellent tour with colds: inhalation ointment, nasal spray, suction tablets in sore throats in wounds: bandage, leukoplast, disinfectant iodine, sterile in burns: ointment or biogauzes insect bites: Deet (Prevention) and Afterbite (against itching) Dry lips: Lipbeschermer with sunscreen for blisters (for dancers and percussionists): Compeed (blistering foot) in case of muscular pain: Midalgan or Tantum (cream with pain and inflammatory inhibitor

Tips against Annoyances

A few tips to avoid minor annoyances:

  • Africans ask for your phone number or email address rather quickly. Be careful with this, if you don't want to be bothered with all kinds of requests later.
  • Never give money or valuables to someone in custody, unless you know that person very well.
  • If you want to buy something, you can make it a sport to negotiate yourself, but if you want to know that you are paying a normal price, then consult with the tour leader.
  • Don't walk too flashy around with valuable stuff (checques, passport, cameras, jewels). It is better to leave it in your room than to carry it everywhere. Make sure you only have small money in your wallet, mount the rest in a cash strap or special carrying case for under the clothes, or leave it ' home '.
  • If someone insists as a guide, and continues to walk with you, let it be clear whether you are served there or not. If you let accompany you, this ' guide ' also expects a reward and chances are that he will offer you his services the next day.

Accessibility

There are plenty of possibilities to stay in touch with the home front and the rest of the world. In most countries in West Africa there is a great chance that you can use your own mobile phone to make phone calls and SMS, but that's quite expensive. In a number of places and especially in hotels you often have Wi-Fi and there are also possibilities to connect to a mobile Wi-Fi device via Thiosane Travel. If you stay longer in West Africa, you can also buy a prepaid SIM card (for about €10). You can easily reach yourself for phone calls from abroad, and the total costs are lower.

Insurance

An insurance is not included in the trip. Thiosane Travel encourages you to take a good travel and cancellation insurance right after booking. As a rule, your own health insurance provider reimburses medical expenses incurred abroad. Compensation always takes place afterwards, based on a declaration with receipts. Enquire with your insurer or also sickness costs outside Europe and additional costs of treatment are reimbursed.

Visa

For most countries in West Africa you need a visa. Thiosane Travel offers an extra service to arrange the visa for you at a rate that is cheaper than a visa agency.

Flight

Thiosane Travel offers as a service to arrange free flight for travellers. If you do this yourself it is a time-consuming activity, because prices vary widely by society, day and departure location. The latter is Amsterdam, Düsseldorf or Brussels (sometimes Paris). We usually find the cheapest fares under the most favourable conditions such as extra baggage, good communication with the booking agency and the latest information on flight changes.

Filming and photographing

No license is required for taking pictures or video. However, it is forbidden to photograph military objects, police offices, airports and some public buildings.

If you want to take pictures of people on the street, it can cause problems. Some Africans think that Europeans will sell the photos later and become rich. When they discover that they have been photographed ' sneaky ', unpleasant discussions can arise. First questions is a matter of respect and courtesy and with it you reach the most.

Checklist

  • Passport (Tip: Also take a copy with you, if you lose it is useful)
  • Yellow Passport with vaccinations
  • Money, cheques, Visa card
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun hat
  • Sun cream
  • (swimming) Clothing
  • Bath Towel
  • Toiletry bag
  • Medicine/Travel Pharmacy
  • Photo/video Camera
  • Mobile Phone and charger
  • Flashlight