Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a visa to get into the country?

Visa requirements depend on your country of origin and your destination, so be sure to check online for your specific requirements. Ghana, Togo, and Benin require visas for many people travel from Europe and the Americas, while Senegal and Gambia do not require visas for many of those same countries. Visas can be complicated, so email visas@uprisetravel.com with any specific questions. We are here to help!

Do I need any shots or vaccinations?

All countries where Uprise Travel operates require proof of Yellow Fever vaccination. Be sure to carry it with you in your carry-on luggage whenever you travel. Check with your doctor, your public health department, or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to see if any other vaccinations are recommended.

Do I need to bring any medicine with me?

Malaria is prevalent in much of West Africa, and many of our guests take a malaria prophylactic to stay safe, so be sure to check with your doctor to see what they recommend. In the event of gastrointestinal issues related to travel, it is advisable to bring Pepto Bismol, Immodium, or other helpful stomach-soothers. Pharmacies are common in much of West Africa, so be sure to talk to your guide if you are having any issues.

Is there lots of access to ATMs/cash machines? How much money do I need to bring?

Uprise tours include almost everything, but you will often need to pay for your own lunch, dinner, drinks, or souvenirs. Be sure to check the specifics of your tour to make sure you have enough additional money. Lunches and dinners often range from $5 to $15 US dollars, while beers cost from $1.50 to $2 US dollars, and a small painting in the market might cost $10 or $15. Automated Teller Machines are often not available outside of many major cities in West Africa, so be sure to withdraw money before departing places like Accra, Banjul, Dakar, or Lome.

Will my driver/tour guide stay with me the entire time?

For safety reasons, our guides drivers are on duty 24/7, but they may leave you late in the evenings to sleep in a nearby hotel or lodge. Adult travelers should expect their guides to be with them as long as they need them everyday, while student groups and other large groups should expect their guide to be nearby for 100% of their tour.

Can I bring donations?

We would love for you to bring donations, but we ask that you check with an Uprise staff member to see what specific items are needed. We do not accept donations unless our community partners have identify them as items of need. For travelers to Ghana, we always accept English-language books of all genres and skill levels. These books will support a future library in Ghana’s Volta Region.

How much should I tip?

You do not have to tip any of the vendors, boat drivers, safari drivers, or other people that you meet throughout your trip. Tips are included in the price of the trip. Tips for your Uprise guide are always appreciated, though all of our guides make living wages and are paid an additional sum for each day on tour.

Do I need travel insurance?

For your safety and financial security, we highly recommend that you buy a travel insurance policy for your time spent in West Africa. Accidents happen, and we don’t want our clients getting stuck paying medical bills or evacuation costs if you are injured on your tour. For recommended travel insurance options, email info@uprisetravel.com.

Will my cellphone work when I arrive?

If you are interested in having cell service and internet access on your mobile device, be sure to check in with your guide so that they can help you get a local SIM card. If you request a SIM card in advance of your trip, your guide will provide it for you at the airport when you arrive.

Is there a culturally appropriate dress code?

Women often wear tank tops in metropolitan places like Accra or Lome, but many parts of West Africa require more conservative outfits from both men and women. We highly recommend bringing loose-fitting clothes the cover your knees and shoulders. Bikinis are acceptable at beaches and pools, but the moment you leave, you should cover your shoulders and knees out of respect for local customs. Be sure to check the packing list to make sure you don’t miss anything.

Have a question?