Get Connected | Contact Us

Traveling in Kuwait

by Aleia 5. December 2012

Recently RN Charles Dugan transported a patient from Kuwait to Florida.  Later this week we will be posting an interview with Charles about his experience on this trip.  Today we are going to share some general travel tips for anyone planning on visiting Kuwait in the near future. 

Entry into Kuwait

  •  Nationals of 35 countries (including the U.S. and U.K.) are eligible for Kuwaiti visas upon arrival to their port of entry.  An on-arrival visa is valid for a single-entry lasting up to 3 months and the cost is minimal.  Please keep in mind that only Kuwaiti Dinar (K.D.) is accepted for payment.
  •  Israel nationals are banned from Kuwait and you may be refused entry into the country if you have an Israeli entry stamp in your passport. 
  •  Kuwait International Airport (KWI) is the only airport.
  •  Upon arrival in Kuwait please bear in mind that it is illegal for regular cab drivers to pick up arriving passengers, only Airport taxis are allowed to do so.

Transportation by Ground

  •  Public transportation is adequate throughout the country.  The three major bus systems are KPTC, CityBus, and KGL and they run many routes in major cities.  All buses are air conditioned by law and are mostly reliable.
  •  Taxis are recognizable by their orange license plates.  Negotiate fares beforehand because like most countries some taxi drivers will take advantage of tourists.  Tipping is not expected.
  •  The road system is well maintained and all signs are in Arabic and English.  If you have an International Driving Permit you may rent a car and insurance will be drawn up on your visa.  Keep in mind that if you are involved a vehicular accident you should not move your car for any reason until police have shown up as this is illegal and you can be arrested.
  •  Gasoline prices are among the lowest in the world and are often cheaper than water! 

Health and Safety

  • Before traveling to Kuwait the CDC recommends the following vaccines:  Hepatitis A & B, Typhoid, all routine vaccinations are up to date,
  •  Emergency line is 112
  •  At least one pharmacy stays open all night by rotation; a particular pharmacy's opening night and telephone numbers are shown daily in the newspapers and also on KTV 2 after the 8 o'clock evening news.
  • Always check with your insurance company before you travel to make sure any charges incurred will be covered.  We urge you to look into travel insurance while planning a trip to cover incidentals from healthcare to sudden cancellations.  
  •  Hospitals and major clinics are open 24 hours a day.  Arabic and English are widely spoken but private hospital are more likely to have English speaking staff. 
  •  Public hospitals include the Al-Adan Hospital (Tel. 965-394 0600), Amiri Hospital (Tel. 965-245 0005), Farwaniya Hospital (Tel. 965-488 8000),Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital (Tel. 965-531 1437) and the Sabah Hospital(Tel. 965-481 200).
  • ·Private hospitals include the Al-Salem Hospital (Tel. 965-253 3177), Hadi Private Clinic (Tel. 965-531 2555), International Clinic (Tel. 965-574 5111),Kuwait Clinic (Tel. 965-573 5111) and the Mowasat Private Clinic (Tel. 965-571 1533).

Important Information

  • Arabic is the official language but the Kuwaiti dialect is used in everyday conversation.  English is very commonly spoken.
  • The national currency is the Kuwaiti Dinar (K.D.).  Exchanging money is difficult and handling traveler’s cheques even more so.  ATM’s tend to be your best bet. 
  • Plan on using roughly $80 USD daily. 
  • Everything is tax-free and tipping is not expected. 
  • Country code is 965 and local numbers are 8 digits long.
  • The work week is Sunday-Thursday so keep that in mind when planning your trip. 
  • Always eat or drink with your right hand.
  • When possible keep your feet flat on the ground and do not cross your legs as this is seen as offensive in most Arabic countries. 
  • When travelling in predominantly Muslim countries you will be awakened by a muezzin (or recorded tape) calling devout Muslims to prayer.  This will happen 5 times throughout the day (dawn, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall).  All newspapers publish prayer times.  If you are a non-Muslim you are not expected to participate but it is suggested that you should not stare or walk close to anybody’s prayer mat.
  • During the holy month of Ramadan (usually October) do not eat, drink, or smoke in public. 

Tips for Traveling to Nairobi, Kenya

by Aleia 1. November 2012

Nairobi is the largest city in Kenya and has roughly 3-4 million people. The official languages are Kiswahili and English so while English-speakers may have an easier time getting around, it is still always best to know a few phrases in the local language.

Visas:

  •   You will need both your passport and a visa in order to travel in Kenya.  For a single entry visa it is normally $50USD and these can be obtained prior to travel or once in the Kenyan airport,  although it is suggested that you acquire one before traveling so there are no mix-ups. 
  •  Citizens of certain countries are not required to have a visa for entry, for a complete list of these please visit the following link:   http://www.kenyaembassy.com/visa.html
  •   As a rule most international credit cards are charged fees so that is something to keep in mind when entering the country.

When to Travel:

  •  The high season is November to February and is the most popular with tourists. If you are traveling on a budget you might like to travel during the rainy season (Marc h to May/ October to December) as the flights and hotels are less expensive.
  •  Taking weather into account the summer tends to be sunny and warm, but not intensely hot and winters are mild and cool, and can become very chilly in the evenings. When planning a trip it is important to keep this in mind.

Transportation:

  •   DO NOT accept advice on accommodations from taxi drivers.
  •  Traffic in Nairobi is notoriously bad so any activity or meeting that there is a time limit on should include long traffic waits during the planning phase.
  •  Taxis are the safest way to get around the city but always ask for a price before departing, many taxi drivers will take advantage of tourists. Taxis here are marked with a yellow line on the  side.
  •  The buses are usually reliable and everyone should travel in a Matatu (mini-bus or shuttle) at least once. Matatus are normally obtained on River Road which can be a dangerous place so it is wise to have a taxi pick you up/drop you off there.
  •  DO NOT walk around after nightfall.

 Safety:

  • The number for emergency services is:999
  • The number for less urgent Police matters is: 240000
  • 24hr Tourist Safety Hotline 02-604767
  • Current travel along the Kenya/Somalia border and within 60 miles of it is discouraged.
  • Always be aware that theft is relatively commonplace. Do not carry around large amounts of cash and be aware that they have a mobile case movement that is very popular in the area, one of which is the M-Pesa.
  • Many young children will enthusiastically speak to you and can be excited to see travelers but avoid any children over approximately 10 years old because there is a chance they are pick-pockets.
  •  It is important to try and get vaccinated roughly 6 weeks before travel to any African country most specifically: Tetanus, Dyptheria, Polio, Typhoid, Hepatitis A & B, Yellow Fever, Rabies, and Meningitis.
  •  BRING bug spray (preferably one with DEET) and make sure to spray any exposed areas and your lodgings on a regular basis.
  • DO NOT smoke in the streets, it is illegal. There are designated smoking areas available.
  • The Nairobi Hospital is a private hospital located at Argwings  Kodhek  Rd,, P.O. Box 30026, Nairobi, G.P.O 00100 Kenya.  They have a 24-hour Accident and Emergency Centre and are fully staffed for all medical emergencies.
  • When traveling it is important to buy Travel Insurance because most insurance companies do not take care of costs accrued during international travel.  Being prepared for all eventualities is the best way to avoid potential problems during traveling.

Things to Do:

  •  Nairobi has a thriving nightlife with many clubs, bars, and hotels to choose from.
  • If you are adventurous when it comes to cuisine be sure to check out The Carnivore Restaurant where you can try ostrich, zebra, and ox balls. Also for sale is traditional Kenyan barbequed meat.
  • Nairobi is considered the safari capital of the world and has many amazing safari options to choose from.
  • Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage is an amazing place to visit especially for animal-lovers.
  • 14 Falls is a beautiful place to visit with a park to wander in.
  •  Maasai Market is a great flea market/bazaar to visit, it can be found somewhere in the city most days of the week and is excellent place to hone your bartering skills. When carrying cash always try to have change on hand to make bartering easier.

 


© Commercial Medical Escorts. Optimized website design by MoreVisibility.