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I need kayak experience?|
Not at all! Kayak experience is useful but not necessary. The only prerequisite is a healthy spirit for adventure and fun. The choice of tandem, stable, sit-on-top kayaks makes it possible for novices to enjoy kayaking. Tandem kayaks offer more stability and improve energy efficiency. Sit-on-top kayaks allow easy entry and exit whilst in the water and do not require technical (Eskimo) rolls.
How fit should I be?
Whilst our expeditions are not designed to be too strenuous, you should be of good general health and physical condition. You should be reasonably fit, have no debilitating injuries and be able to swim. It is advisable that before you start your kayak expedition you exercise the muscle groups that will be used (shoulders, arms, torso). A good option is to do two weeks of light upper-body work, like rowing, skipping or gym circuits. If you are overweight, in poor health or have special medical needs please contact us for advice on your tour options. Those with health or medical risks should contact their physician for advise before beginning our expeditions.
Is there an age limit for participation?
Anybody above the age of 16 can participate in one of our kayak expeditions – as long you are reasonably fit (i.e. hiking fit), can use your upper body and have no health problems or debilitating injuries.
What travel documents will I need?
It will be necessary for you to have a
Yellow Fever vaccination certificate
when travelling in and out of Kenya. Please
call on your local physician or travel clinic
for advise on what vaccinations you may
require. Certain countries require a visa
for their citizens to enter Kenya, please
ask your travel agent if you need one. It
is possible to get a visa through your travel
agent, Kenyan High Commission office or
to simply obtain one upon arrival at Nairobi
International Airport (current cost is US$50).
Guests must have travel insurance
that will cover them for the duration of
All tourists to Kenya should take malaria
prophylactics. Malaria may be present
in coastal villages and towns. Please see
your doctor or pharmacist for the appropriate
preventative medication. Yellow
fever vaccination is necessary
when travelling to Kenya, please ask your
travel agent, physician or travel clinic
for this and any other precautions they
may recommend. Because of the outdoor nature
of our kayak expeditions please take appropriate
sun protection, including
a wide brimmed hat, loose fitting clothing
and sun cream. Whilst each tent has an insect
screen and the coastal breeze does a good
job keeping most flying bugs at bay, it
is advisable you bring insect repellent.
What are the local customs?
Lamu Town was designated a World
Heritage Site in 2001 based upon
its architecture, the cultural influences
from India, China, Europe and traditional
Swahili, the interaction between the various
cultural groups and its important position
as a centre for Islamic religion and Swahili
culture. It is the oldest best-preserved
Swahili settlement in the East African region.
The local residents are friendly and hospitable
and pride themselves on their knowledge
of sailing, fishing, handcrafts and donkeys!
Being an Islamic area locals do not drink
alcohol and women are conservatively clothed.
Alcohol is only found in those lodges that
house international tourists. It is advisable
that when in public areas tourists respect
When making your reservation please specify any special dietary requirements or food allergies.
Will I need cash once on the expedition?
Each expedition is fully inclusive of accommodation
and food. It is advisable to bring some
loose cash should you wish to purchase any
local crafts or offer tips to staff. It
is not advisable to carry any large sums
of money or valuable jewellery that may
get lost or damaged.
The expedition carries a comprehensive first aid kit and the guides are trained in first aid. Should you have a serious condition the trained staff will be able to stabilise you for transfer to a medical facility. The expedition carries a marine radio, there is often cell phone reception and there is the support dhow (with backup engine). Whilst we believe we are thorough in our safety and guiding there is always an inherent risk of injury when participating in an outdoor activity. When you choose to participate in one of our expeditions you must also assume responsibility for the possibility of personal injury. You should also comply with safety advice from your guides and do your best to contribute to your own personal safety and that of the groups. On expeditions into remote areas preparation and prevention are your best defence, please ensure you have followed the checklist carefully, have taken the appropriate preventative medicine, have adequate sun block and insect repellent and are physically prepared for the expedition.
Where will we camp?
Each night of your expedition will be
spent on one of the many islands within
the Lamu Archipelago. Preselected sites
have been chosen, depending upon the route
and weather. Most nights on the 4-night
tours are on uninhabited islands within
Kiunga Marine Reserve. On the 7-night tour
you will spend one night in a lodge within
Lamu Town on Lamu Island.
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Sand Dollar Kayak Expeditions was ranked in the top 50 adventures to do in Africa by Jacques Mares in his book, Great African Adventure: A Guide to the Mother Continentís Ultimate Outdoor Adventures.