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Tips for organizers of school trips and group tours to Africa

Organizing a group tour or school trip to Africa can be scary. When you book with Msafiri Tours we are always on hand to help your plan your trip and to answer any questions you may have. Some of the tips below will help you get started with organizing your group tour or school trip to Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda.

If you are leading a group tour or school trip to Africa, please have a look at these very useful and important tips:

  • If you are traveling with a school, academy or college group to East Africa, you will need written authorization from parents, senior management teams or school administration.
  • On the day of travel, allow plenty of time for getting to the airport and checking in.
  • It is good practice to have all group members give their passports to the trip leader to ensure that nobody accidentally leaves his/her passport behind on the day of departure.

All travelers

  • All travelers should visit their doctor or local travel clinic at least 6 weeks prior to departure to discuss relevant vaccinations and malaria prophylaxis, if applicable. Some countries will permit entry if you do not have the necessary evidence of certain vaccinations. Group leaders and Msafiri Tours should be made aware of any pre-existing medical conditions and any special requirements of any group members.
  • Establish a home contact (e.g. head teacher, church leader, club leader) who will be available while the group is in Africa.
  • Ensure that everyone has read and understood the suggested packing list and pre-departure information provided by Msafiri Tours and that belongings are packed properly.
  • It is best practice for everyone to travel on the same insurance policy if you are traveling as a group. Ensure that you are covered for your particular destination and any activities you plan to undertake. Your policy must satisfy the minimum standards laid down by Msafiri Tours. Take copies of your insurance details with you when you travel.
  • Check that all passports are valid for the entire trip and for at least six (6) months after your return date. Visas for Uganda can be pre-arranged or purchased at Entebbe International Airport upon arrival. However, for Kenya and Rwanda, you must buy your visa prior to travelling. If you are unsure about the visa requirements for your trip, contact Msafiri Tours immediately. If you will be purchasing a visa upon arrival on African soil, ensure that all members of the group have all of the requirements needed (photos and all necessary documentation).

Organizing your paperwork

Organizing your documentation in an orderly fashion is vital for the efficient management of a trip, especially in the event of an unforeseen incident. It is best practice for all adults on the trip to carry copies of vital documents, emergency procedures, contact numbers and personal information. For schools, a copy of this information should be held by the designated home contact and may also be carried on a USB stick and/or emailed as an attachment to a global access email account.

Suggested documents and information to be carried

  • Passports & visas
  • Photocopies of passports & visas
  • Flight tickets*
  • Your itinerary & flight details*
  • Travel Insurance policy information & travel insurance emergency contact number
  • Medical vaccination certificates (e.g. Yellow Fever)
  • Local tour operator contact information*
  • 24 hour emergency contact number for the tour operator*
  • 24 hour contact number of designated group representative
  • Personal information of all group members, including names, ages, dates of birth, passport details, and medical issues/allergies
  • Recent photo of all participants
  • Contact number of the local embassy or consulate*
  • Risk Assessment (for school groups)*
  • Paper & pen to record incidents or events

* indicates items supplied by Msafiri Tours

Emergency preparedness

  • Ensure sound procedures are in place well before you travel.
  • Identify “what if” scenarios and plan accordingly.
  • Ensure all members of staff (on a group trip) understand their roles.
  • Schools should put together a contingency plan and policies for dealing with and informing parents, local and national media, and other students in case of an incident.
  • Establish an emergency fund.

We are members of the UGANDA ASSOCIATION OF TOUR OPERATORS and RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL.COM. Should you need any more references please contact these organizations.