Information

Where should I go for online information on animals endemic specifically in Mozambique?

Where should I go for online information on animals endemic specifically in Mozambique?


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I've been involved with the citizen science project "Wildcam Gorongosa" for over half a year now (website, forum). As there are lots of unexperienced volunteers, many questions are being asked. Often I'd like to answer, but also not having a biology background I usually have to do some research first to give an accurate answer. For this reason, I'm looking for informative, up-to-date online resources, like e.g. search engines, animal guides etc.

I have come across a few websites that give some information on animals in the whole of Africa (e.g. ultimateungulate.com) - but I wonder if there are more suitable places to go if I'm specifically looking for animals in Mozambique (or even Gorongosa National Park). I'm still relatively new to the topic - where would a scientist involved with research on Mozambican ecology go and look for this kind of "specific" information? As the project deals with pictures taken by wildlife cameras, I am only interested in animals of a certain size (I guess rat-sized and larger). I'd be happy to find e.g. more information on the appearance of each species, its geographic distribution, their respective habitats and their general behavior.

I realize that this question is somewhat broad - please do ask ahead, I'll try to add details if necessary!


  1. Here is a large list of animals (sorted by guilds) that can be found throughout Mozambique.

    • Each animal in the list is linked to a page with picture and information!
  2. Wikipedia maintains a few lists of animals found in Mozambique.

    • See here for a list of mammals (sorted by order).

    • See here for a list of birds (sorted by order).

    • They also have 2 lists for mollusks (fresh-water, marine) and 1 for plants.

  3. Gorongosa's own website provides a list of common animals found in Gorongosa: http://www.gorongosa.org/explore-park/wildlife

  4. As user Sudachi mentioned in a comment below, iNaturalist and GBIF also have lots of well-managed species lists and observation data.


Volunteer in Portugal

The Azores are one of Europe's best-kept secrets. Unbeknownst to many (thanks to their location in the middle of the Northern Atlantic Ocean), the Azores lay 1500 kilometres from Portugal's capital of Lisbon. Those that do know of the Azores believe that their charm lies in their ruggedness and rustic charm, and some even refer to the nation as Europe's answer to Hawaii.

Each of the Azores' nine islands have developed at a different speed, yet they are all verdant, peaceful, and diverse. As well as being extremely beautiful, the Azores are known for their impressive volcanic landscapes, their mossy-green terrains, and an incredible azure sea awash with currents and a wealth of marine life. By volunteering here, you will surely become acquainted with the creatures which make this destination so mesmerising.

As a volunteer in Portugal (or, more specifically, the Azores) you will have the opportunity to assist in the island's whale conservation and dolphin conservation initiatives. You will get the chance to experience field research and to observe whales and dolphins in their natural realm, whilst learning about whale biology, marine conservation, species identification and photo-ID and behavioural data collection techniques. Joining a wildlife conservation project in Portugal could be one of the most rewarding things that you ever choose to do, so what are you waiting for? Visit the Azores and volunteer abroad in Portugal today!


Theileria

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Pictures

TitleLife cycle of a typical Theileria species
CaptionThe life cycle of a typical Theileria species, as illustrated by those of T. annulata and T. parva, comprises a cycle of clonal replication of schizonts in mononuclear cells in lymphoid and reticuloendothelial tissues followed by the appearance of 'piroplasms' - small (<3u) and plemorphic organisms - in erythrocytes. T.parva proliferates as schizonts its piroplasms do not multiply. Schizonts are the major proliferating stage of T. annulata.. In infections of T. annulata, at least, elevated parasitaemias arise when erythrocytes are invaded by massive numbers of merozoites produced by large populations of schizonts. Members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli group proliferates mainly as piroplasms. In every species, piroplasms include parasites undergoing gametogony and producing the gametocytes which are infective for ticks. Differentiation into gametes and sexual recombination occurs in the tick gut. Kinetes developing from zygotes in the gut cells appear to migrate directly to the
CopyrightElsevier Science
TitleThree-host tick life history
CaptionThe role of three-host ticks in the transmission of Theileria spp. and Babesia spp.
CopyrightModified with permission of Elsevier Science
TitleTypical host
Caption'Exotic' European Holstein-Friesian cows on a small holder farm in Asia Minor (Central Turkey).
CopyrightThe University of Edinburgh
TitleDiagram
CaptionDiagrammatic representation of the intra-erythrocytic stages of T. annulata, T. parva and members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli group. Some forms of piroplasms dominate in certain species: round and oval forms in T annulata rods in T. parva rods and elongate forms in T. orientalis/T. buffeli. Veils consist of a haemoglobin derived substance bars are connected with the parasite and the outside of the cell. Both structures are thought to be of parasite origin. T. parva only produces a veil in Syncerus cafffer. Bars occur in all strains of T. orientalis/T. buffeli veils are absent in N. American strains and not yet recorded for Chinese or African strains.
CopyrightUsed with permission from Academic Press Ltd.
TitleUltrastructure of Theileria species
CaptionMerozoites of Theileria equi: a free merozoite and a merozoite entering an erythrocyte (Note scale)
CopyrightProf. H. Mehlhorn
TitlePathogens
CaptionMetaphase stage in the division of Theileria-infected cells, with theilerial body.
CopyrightModified by permission of Nature
TitlePathogens
CaptionTelophase stage in the division of Theileria-infected cells, with no strand.
CopyrightModified by permission of Nature
TitleCow with Theileriosis (Theileria annulata)
CaptionTaurine cow infected with T. annulata showing debilitated condition.
CopyrightThe University of Edinburgh
TitlePathogens
CaptionTelophase, with theilerial body separating into two.
CopyrightModified by permission of Nature
TitlePathogens
CaptionReconstruction, both daughter cells with theilerial body.
CopyrightModified by permission of Nature

Identity

Preferred Scientific Name

Taxonomic Tree

  • Domain: Eukaryota
  • Kingdom: Protista
  • Phylum: Protozoa
  • Subphylum: Apicomplexa
  • Order: Piroplasmorida
  • Family: Theileriidae
  • Genus: Theileria

Diseases Table

Pathogen Characteristics

Shared features of the life cycle and morphology of Theileria species

The life cycle and morphology of Theileria annulata and T. parva in their vertebrate hosts has been reviewed by Mehlhorn et al. (1994). After invading mononuclear cells, the sporozoites develop via trophozoites into multinucleate schizonts. This process is associated with activation of the host cell, which starts to proliferate, and at each cell division the parasite divides in synchrony with the transformed host cells ( Hulliger et al., 1964 ). The infection is disseminated throughout the lymphoid tissues, by clonal expansion and metastasis of the schizont-infected cells. The schizonts then differentiate into merozoites. The mechanisms responsible for differentiation have been reviewed by Shiels et al. (1999, 2000). Released from the host cells, the merozoites enter the erythrocytes and, as intra-erythrocytic piroplasms, become available to ticks. The ultrastructure of the life cycle in their vertebrate hosts has been described and reviewed (Schein et al., 1978 Jura et al., 1983a, b Mehlhorn and Schein, 1984 Shaw et al., 1991 Mehlhorn et al., 1994). Development and sexual recombination in ticks has been described for T. annulata (Schein et al., 1975 Voreb'eva, 1992 ) and for T. parva (Fawcett et al., 1982a, b).

Genetic diversity and relationships of Theileria species

The taxonomic relationships of the members of the order Piroplasmida have been controversial ever since they were discovered (Neitz, 1957 Markov, 1962 Krylov, 1978 Uilenberg, 1981 Norval et al., 1992). The species were first defined according to their morphology, hosts, tick vectors, distribution, antigenic relationships and ability/inability to cross-protect against other organisms. Molecular tools are now being used to confirm their identities and distributions, and to characterize their biological properties and host-parasite interactions (Allsopp et al., 1993 Morzaria et al., 1999 Sparagano, 1999 Sparagano and Jongejan, 1999). Molecular systematics have identified two monophyletic groups of Theileria: one group includes T. annulata, T. parva and T. lestoquardi [T. hirci] the other group includes the members of the ‘T. orientalis/T. buffeli/T. sergenti' group and a new pathogen of small ruminants from China ( Schnittger et al., 2000 ). 

T. annulata has proved to be genetically diverse, both within regions and across its endemic range (Melrose et al., 1984 Ben Miled et al., 1994 Katzer et al., 1998 Gubbels et al., 2000a ), as have the different stocks of T. parva isolated from cattle and buffalo (Conrad et al., 1987, 1989 Allsopp et al., 1993). However, the different stocks of T. annulata are generally accepted to represent one species, and sub-speciation of members of the T. parva complex into T. parva parva, T. p. bovis and T. p. lawrencei is also not justified ( Anon, 1989 Allsopp et al., 1993 Lawrence et al., 1994).

The widespread members of the T. orientalis/T. buffeli/T. sergenti group are also genetically diverse (Matsuba et al., 1992 Chae et al., 1998 Kim et al., 1998 Chansiri et al., 1999 Kawazu et al., 1999 Gubbels, 2000b ) and their relationships difficult to resolve. Many cattle are infected with mixed populations of geographically variable parasites and, as well as those parasites already described as T. orientalis, T. sergenti and T. buffeli, other as yet undefined species probably exist in East Asia (Kim et al., 1998). T. sergenti is an invalid name according to Uilenberg (1981). Some authors propose retaining the name T. buffeli for parasites of the Asian buffalo, until the two species are shown to be identical. They suggest using the name T. orientalis for cattle parasites and creating two subspecies to distinguish the Japanese, Ikeda stock (T. o. sergenti) from all other members of the species (T. o. orientalis) ( Kawazu et al., 1999 ). Others would prefer to call all members of this group T. buffeli, until individual 'species' can be defined, as they may all have originated from a group of buffalo parasites, and the name T. buffeli takes precedence over T. orientalis (Stewart et al., 1996 Gubbels et al., 2000a ). In contrast to both these views, OIE (2013) says that there are two species: T. sergenti (occuring in the Far East) and T. buffeli/T. orientalis (with a global distribution).

A number of other species exist, but most are not major pathogens.

Distribution

For information on geographical distribution, see the datasheet on the disease theileriosis.

Further information

See the datasheets on Theileria annulata infections, Theileria orientalis/Theileria buffeli infections, Theileria parva infections, bovine theilerioses, and some of those on individual Theileria species.


Athlete's Foot: Best Treatment, Symptoms, and Causes

The fungus that causes athlete's foot can be found on floors and clothing, and the organisms require a warm, dark, and humid environment in order to grow. The infection spreads by direct contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. As the infection spreads, it may affect the soles of the feet or the toenails.

What is athlete's foot? What are causes and risk factors of athlete's foot?

Athlete's foot is a term given to almost any inflammatory skin disease that affects the sole of the foot and the skin between the toes. It is usually scaly and maybe a red, raw-appearing eruption with weeping and oozing with small blisters. It affects the feet of athletes and non-athletes alike. Although it is frequently caused by a fungal infection, other causes may be indistinguishable without proper testing.

The medical name for fungal athlete's foot is tinea pedis. There are a variety of fungi that cause athlete's foot, and these can be contracted in many locations, including gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, communal showers, nail salons, and contaminated socks and clothing. The fungi can also be spread directly from person to person by contact. Most people acquire fungus on the feet from walking barefoot in areas where someone else with an athlete's foot has recently walked. Some people are simply more prone to this condition while others seem relatively resistant to it. Another colorful name for this condition is "jungle rot," often used by members of the armed services serving in tropical climates.

Fungal infections are promoted by warmth and moisture. There is some speculation that before enclosed shoes became common, tinea pedis was less prevalent. Up to 70% of the population may develop athlete's foot at some time. An infection by athlete's foot fungi does not confer any resistance to subsequent infections.

What are the symptoms and signs of athlete's foot?

Many individuals with athlete's foot have no symptoms at all and do not even know they have an infection. Many may think they simply have dry skin on the soles of their feet. Common symptoms of an athlete's foot typically include

The skin may frequently peel, and in particularly severe cases, there may be some cracking, fissuring, pain, and itching in the toe webs. Occasionally, an athlete's foot can blister.

What does athlete's foot look like?

Fungal athlete's foot may cause a rash on one or both feet and even involve the hand. A "two feet and one hand" pattern is a very common presentation of an athlete's foot, especially in men.

  • Hand fungal infections are called tinea manuum.
  • Fungal athlete's foot may also be seen along with ringworm of the groin (especially in men) or hand(s).
  • It is helpful to examine the feet whenever there is a fungal groin rash called tinea cruris, or jock itch.
  • It is important to treat all areas of fungal infection at one time to avoid reinfection.
  • Simply treating the soles and ignoring the concurrent fungal infection of toenails may result in recurrences of athlete's foot.

Is athlete's foot contagious?

If an athlete's foot is caused by a fungus, it is potentially contagious. Some people do not develop an infection of the skin after exposure to the fungus. The exact cause of resistance or susceptibility to fungal infections is unknown.

What else causes foot rashes?

There are many possible causes of foot rashes. Additional causes include

  • irritant or contact dermatitis, rashes from shoes or other creams,
  • pompholyx (dyshidrotic eczema), ,
  • yeast infections, and (gram-negative toe web infection and erythrasma).

Since these conditions are often indistinguishable on superficial visual examination, it is important for your doctor to do his best to identify the precise cause. Since fungal infections are potentially curable, it is important not to miss this diagnosis.

Your physician may perform a simple test called a potassium hydroxide (KOH) preparation for microscopic fungal examination in the office or laboratory. This test can be used to confirm the presence of a fungal infection. This test is performed by using a microscope to examine small flakes of skin from the rash. Many dermatologists perform this test in their office with results available within minutes. Rarely, a small piece of skin may be removed and sent for biopsy or fungal culture to help confirm the diagnosis.

What are risk factors for athlete's foot?

Walking barefoot in wet, dark areas frequented by many other individuals like indoor swimming pool decks, communal showers, and locker rooms result in frequent exposure to pathogenic fungi (dermatophytes) that cause athlete&rsquos foot. Wearing occlusive footwear is thought to play a significant role in the increased frequency of tinea pedis. Exposure to moisture either from excessive sweating or from an external source is a risk factor. Wearing the same shoes and socks for an extended period may damage the skin. Patients with diabetes are predisposed to develop tinea pedis. Some believe that eczema (atopic dermatitis) can predispose one to tinea pedis. It appears that many more men have tinea pedis than women. Pedicure performed in contaminated environments can spread disease.

How do health care professionals diagnose athlete's foot?

The most reliable way to diagnose athlete&rsquos foot is to correctly identify its cause. Fungal athlete's foot is relatively straightforward to diagnose and treat. Visualization of the fungus in skin scrapings removed from the affected areas of the feet is a painless and cost-effective method for diagnosis. Rarely, it is necessary to identify fungi in portions of skin removed during a biopsy. If no fungus is found, other causes of athlete's foot must be investigated.

SLIDESHOW

What is the treatment for athlete's foot?

Since there is no single cause for athlete&rsquos foot there is no single treatment. Nevertheless, all causes of this condition benefit by promoting a dry, clean, and friction-free environment for the feet.

  • Occlusive shoe materials, such as vinyl, which cause the feet to remain moist, provide an excellent area for the fungus to proliferate.
  • Likewise, absorbent socks like cotton that wick water away from your feet may help.
  • Some individuals who sweat excessively benefit from the application of antiperspirants like 20% aluminum chloride (Drysol).
  • Powders can help keep your feet dry.
  • Although counterintuitive, if your feet can be soaked in a solution of aluminum acetate (Burow's solution or Domeboro solution) and then air dried with a fan, this can be very helpful if performed three or four times within 30 minutes.
  • A home remedy of dilute white vinegar soaks, using one part vinegar and roughly four parts water, once or twice a day (as 10-minute foot soaks) may aid in treatment followed by evaporation can be helpful.

For fungus infection, there are plenty of options. Many medications are available, including

    (Micatin, Zeasorb powder),
  • econazole (Spectazole), (Lotrimin), (Lamisil),
  • naftifine (Naftin),
  • butenafine (Mentax), (Loprox), (Nizoral), (Jublia),
  • luliconazole (Luzu),
  • sertaconazole (Ertaczo),
  • sulconazole (Exelderm), and
  • tolnaftate (Tinactin).

Ask your health care professional or pharmacist for a recommendation. It is difficult to know which of these drugs is most effective since they have not been tested against each other. Cost is probably the most significant differentiating factor, and many are available without a prescription. Treatment for athlete's foot should generally be continued for four weeks or at least one week after all of the skin symptoms have cleared.

More advanced or resistant cases of athlete's foot may require a course of an oral (pill) antifungal like

Laboratory blood tests to make sure there is no liver disease may be required before taking these pills.

Topical corticosteroid creams can act as a "fertilizer" for fungus and may actually worsen fungal skin infections by suppressing the body's immune defenses. These topical steroid medications have no role in treating fungal foot infections but can be quite effective in treating noninfectious causes of athlete&rsquos foot.

If the fungal infection has spread to the toenails, the nails must also be treated to avoid reinfection of the feet. Often, the nails are initially ignored only to find the athlete's foot keeps recurring. It is important to treat all of the visible fungi at the same time. Effective nail fungus treatment may be more intensive and require prolonged courses (three to four months) of oral antifungal medications.


Cost of living

The suggested daily budget for living as an international volunteer in Vietnam is between US$ 12 and US$ 37. This is an estimate made considering the average price of some of the services you might need and things you might want to buy. It gives you a general overview of how much things cost when you’re abroad, so you can be prepared and save the money you will need.

Additional costs you should consider will be:

  • program fees
  • flight tickets ( find cheap flights to Vietnam )
  • travel insurance (we recommend World Nomads )
  • fees for your visa
  • personal expenses

An exemplary overview of living costs in Vietnam (in US$, for one person) is:


3 RESULTS

3.1 Known records

We compiled 42,441 georeferenced bat records for Brazil. Almost 60% of data compiled were discarded due to inconsistent coordinates, problematic taxonomy, or due to proximity and autocorrelation. Therefore, our database used 13,321 records of unique localities. Forty-eight per cent of the records were from Atlantic Forest biome and 21% from Amazonia the Pampa presented the lowest value, with <1% (Table 1). Thirty-one per cent of the records were collected in just two states (São Paulo and Espírito Santo), in an area equivalent to only 3% of Brazil. Although covering an area similar to those two states, Alagoas, Sergipe and Roraima states were the least sampled (<3% of the national records–Figure 1).

Biome Records % spp. %
Atlantic Forest 6,387 47.9 121 66
Amazonia 2,759 20.7 139 76
Cerrado 2,481 18.6 120 65
Caatinga 1,306 9.8 98 53
Pantanal 304 2.3 56 30
Pampa 84 0.6 33 18
Total 13,321 132
  • Data up to 2016. Percentage of species was based on a total of 183 known species for Brazil (see Nogueira et al., 2018 ).

Nearly 76% of the Brazilian bat species were recorded in Amazonia, 66% in the Atlantic Forest, and 65% in the Cerrado biome (Table 1). Thirty-four species are currently known to occur in a single biome (Table S3). Phyllostomidae was by far the most recorded bat family (71% of the records), followed by Vespertilionidae (11%), and Molossidae (9%). Twenty-two per cent of the records were obtained inside protected areas: 10% in Strict Protected Areas and 12% in Sustainable Use ones.

3.2 Distribution modelling

A total of 48 species (25%) were eliminated from our analysis due to a scarce number of records (<6 records). We modelled the distribution for 135 species based on 13,321 occurrence records. This is

73% of all bat species known for Brazil. The modal number of records per species was 70.2, ranging from 6 (e.g., Dryadonycteris capixaba) to 557 (Carollia perspicillata). Nine species (Eumops bonariensis, Lophostoma carrikeri, Macrophyllum macrophyllum, Micronycteris microtis, Micronycteris schmidtorum, Promops centralis, Nyctinomops aurispinosus, Tonatia bidens, and Sphaeronycteris toxophyllum) did not present a significant model, considering the cumulative Binomial test (p > 0.05) and/or AUC (<0.7) meaning that models for those species may be showing a randomly produced distribution (see Table S2). Mean AUC was 0.87 ± SD 0.07 for tests, and 0.89 ± SD 0.05 for training, suggesting that the species' distribution models adequately fitted the input data.

3.3 Species richness, endemic and threatened species distribution

Bat species richness in the 5 × 5 km grid cells varied between 23 and 117 species (mean 80.74 ± 14.76 modal 74–85 species/25 km 2 –Figure 2). Species richness is high in almost the entire country: 70% of Brazil's territory was predicted to have between 50 and 90 species, and 25% >90 species (cells H6, I6, K5, K6, L3-L6, O6, P6, Q6, Q18, R6, R7, R11-R16, S7-S11) only 5% was predicted to have <50 species/25 km 2 (between cells I9-L9 to I12-L12, and P9-P12–Figure 2). Our analysis indicated that the areas with the highest potential of bat species richness are located in the coastal Atlantic forest, mainly in its north-eastern region, and along its contact zone with the Caatinga biome (Figure 2). However, those areas are poorly covered by strict protected areas. Other high species richness areas were found in the central and northern part of the Amazonia, in eastern Amazonas, central Pará and northern Maranhão states. The lowest species richness was found in the southern of Amazonia, and the transition zone between Cerrado and Caatinga. Our models suggest that the Pantanal and Pampa biomes are under sampled, and the current species richness there was <50% of their expected species richness.

The most relevant areas of endemism for bat species (i.e., at least five of the eleven endemic species for Brazil—see Table S3) are in the Caatinga, Atlantic Forest, and Cerrado biomes (Figure 3). Specifically, those are areas harbouring Dryadonycteris capixaba, Lonchophylla inexpectata, Lonchophylla peracchii, Platyrrhinus recifinus, and Xeronycteris vieirai. There were also areas of endemism in the southern region of the country, with at least four endemic species in the eastern part of the Atlantic Forest. For most of the cases, those areas were associated with elevations > 1,000 m, in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Santa Catarina states.

The Cerrado, Caatinga, and the Atlantic Forest were the most relevant areas harbouring threatened species (i.e. with at least five of the seven officially endangered bat species in Brazil—see Table S3 Figure 3). In the Cerrado, areas of endemism were specifically located in southwestern Bahia, eastern Goiás, the Distrito Federal, and in Minas de Gerais. In the Caatinga, those areas were located along the borders between Piauí, Ceará, Pernambuco, and Paraíba (Figure 3).


U.S. Embassy Lusaka

Subdivision694/Stand 100 Kabulonga District
Ibex Hill Road
Lusaka, Zambia
Telephone:
+(260) 211-357-000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(260) 211-357-000 or +(260) 966-877-805 or +(260) 761-107-000
Fax: (+260) (0) 211-357-224
Email: [email protected]

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Zambia for information on U.S. - Zambia relations.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

A passport and visa are required to enter Zambia. Passports must be valid for at least six months upon arrival and have at least three blank pages upon each entry. Travelers transiting other countries on the way to Zambia, particularly South Africa, should refer to their Country Information pages for additional blank page requirements.

Zambian entry visas can be obtained online through the Department of Immigration’s e-Services website or upon arrival at any port of entry. Visit the Embassy of Zambia’s website or the Department of Immigration’s website for information on all types of visas and their costs, as well as the most current visa information.

You must carry the original or a certified copy of your passport and immigration permit at all times. Certified copies must be obtained from the office that issued the permit. If your passport is lost or stolen, visit the Zambian Department of Immigration to obtain a replacement entry permit at no cost before attempting to depart the country.

Departure Tax/Security Charge: U.S. citizens must pay an airport departure tax in local currency. This tax is included in the cost of international flight tickets. For domestic flights, passengers pay a nominal charge in Zambian kwacha prior to entering the departure hall, only for chartered flights.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Zambia.

Safety and Security

Zambia is rated Level 1 for security (exercise normal precautions) and has few major security concerns. Visitors can avoid criminal activity by utilizing common sense measures provided below.

Political activity, especially during national and local elections, can lead to civil unrest and low-level violence. Spontaneous demonstrations occasionally occur and are often exacerbated by police action. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly turn confrontational and escalate into violence. To stay safe you should:

  • avoid large crowds, demonstrations, and political gatherings
  • follow media coverage of local events
  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • exercise caution when traveling throughout the country
  • avoid walking alone in the downtown areas, high-density residential compounds, public parks, and poorly lit areas—especially at night.

Border Areas: Travelers should not drive off-road or in remote areas near the borders with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Angola because of the danger of undetected land mines and unexploded ordnance. If you must travel to these areas, you should drive in convoys and carry satellite telephones. Parts of the DRC border area can be plagued with unrest and/or armed criminal elements. See the Country Information pages for the DRC and Angola for additional information.

Crime: The most commonly reported crimes committed against Westerners in Lusaka are non-violent confrontations characterized as crimes of opportunity (theft of unattended possessions in public places or hotel rooms, confidence scams). Pickpockets operate in crowded markets and on public transportation, and visitors have reported snatch attacks of bags and smartphones on busy city streets as well as smash-and-grabs of valuables from vehicles idling in slow traffic and from parked cars. Other crimes, including thefts, violent attacks, including home invasions/robberies, and sexual assaults have occurred on many occasions. Victims are, on occasion, followed from banks, nightclubs, and ATMs and robbed at gunpoint, on the street, or upon arrival at their residence. Walking alone is not advisable in the downtown areas, high-density residential neighborhoods referred to locally as a “compound”, public parks, and other poorly illuminated areas, especially at night.

  • Pick-pockets operating in crowded markets and on public transportation
  • Snatch attacks of bags and smart phones on busy city streets
  • “Smash and grab” of valuables from vehicles idled in traffic and from parked cars
  • Thefts, violent attacks, home invasions/robberies and
  • Recent incidents involving sexual assaults.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Report crime to the local police at 991 or 112 and contact the U.S. Embassy at + (260) 011-357-000 or + (260) 966-050-123.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crime.

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance.

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is typically available only in/near major cities and there are no trauma facilities in the country. First responders are generally unable to access areas outside of major cities and to provide urgent medical treatment. U.S. citizens are advised to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled or arrested.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the U.S. Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Drugs: Possession of more than 0.5 grams of an illegal substance can constitute drug trafficking in Zambia. The Zambian Drug Enforcement Commission has detained a number of U.S. citizens for possession of antihistamines, such as Benadryl and other over-the-counter medications, containing small quantities of diphenhydramine which is on Zambia’s controlled substance list. Travelers in possession of such medications have been charged with drug trafficking, had their passports confiscated, and have been fined or jailed. When visiting Zambia, you should consider leaving such medications behind and carry prescribed medications in their original bottles with a doctor’s prescription.

Wild Animal Products: It is illegal to purchase tortoise shells, rhino horns, elephant ivory, or any items made out of these materials. Other wildlife products, such as hippo teeth, crocodile teeth or skins, flat skins, horns, or animal bones, should only be purchased from animal product vendors licensed with Zambia’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife, which provide certification of purchase. Travelers must present the items and certification of purchase in person to Department of National Parks and Wildlife officials within 45 days of departure to obtain an export permit. Permits for items derived from CITES regulated species, such as hippo or crocodile, may take a number of days to obtain, may include additional fees, and may require an import permit from a destination country. Wildlife products with no export permit will be confiscated upon departure and the Government of Zambia will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law with penalties ranging from large fines to minimum five year prison sentences. It is illegal to export game meat in any form: dried, processed, or raw.

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Zambian law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity and penalties for conviction of engaging in “acts against the order of nature” are 15 years to life imprisonment. The lesser charge of “gross indecency” carries penalties of up to 14 years imprisonment.

LGBTI persons in particular are at risk of societal violence due to prevailing prejudices, misperceptions of the law, lack of legal protections, and inability to access health services.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Zambian law prohibits discrimination in general, but no law specifically prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities. The Zambian government has not mandated accessibility to public buildings and services for persons with disabilities public buildings, schools, and hospitals generally do not accommodate persons with disabilities.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers.

Health

Private medical clinics in major cities provide reasonable care, but major medical emergencies usually require medical evacuation to South Africa, Europe, or the United States. The nearest air ambulances are based in South Africa. Government hospitals and clinics are often understaffed and lack supplies. Basic medical care outside of major cities is extremely limited. Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the Zambian government to ensure the medication is legal in Zambia.

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Malaria
  • Rabies
  • African trypanosomiasis
  • Cholera
  • Typhoid
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis A
  • African Tick-Bite Fever
  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue
  • Tuberculosis

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Vehicle travel is extremely hazardous under normal conditions but particularly at night and in inclement weather.

When traveling in Zambia, please be aware:

  • Secondary roads are not well maintained use major roads whenever possible.
  • Most roads do not have shoulders or sidewalks and are poorly lit.
  • Pedestrians and livestock use the roadways.
  • Passing another vehicle is dangerous given the general condition of roads.
  • Lookout for tree branches or other debris which local drivers often place behind their cars to indicate a breakdown or trouble.
  • Cars with non-functioning headlights and taillights are a common hazard.
  • Night driving is discouraged.
  • There are no emergency services for stranded or injured drivers.
  • Auto accident victims are vulnerable to theft by those pretending to be helpful.
  • Vehicles drive on the left side of the road.
  • Vehicles in traffic circles travel clockwise.
  • It is illegal to turn left on a red light.
  • Splashing a pedestrian as you drive through water is a traffic violation.
  • You should come to a stop and pull to the side of the road if you hear sirens indicating an emergency vehicle or official motorcade.
  • Use of seat belts is mandatory, as are helmets for motorcyclists.
  • A child's seat is not mandatory by law but is recommended.
  • It is illegal to use a cell phone while driving and the minimum fine if caught is equivalent to $60.
  • The speed limit in Lusaka is 30 mph/50 km and 60 mph/100 km outside of city limits, unless otherwise indicated.
  • If you are stopped by police and asked to pay a fine, you should obtain an official receipt or be directed to the nearest police station where you can make payment.
  • Drivers under the influence of alcohol who are involved in accidents are tested at Lusaka's University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and then taken to court.

Public Transportation: City traffic is comprised mostly of cars and privately operated minibuses motorcycles are rare. Some relatively nice buses travel between Lusaka and Livingstone and the Copperbelt. Minibuses serve as the primary means of intra-city travel in Zambia but are often overcrowded, poorly maintained, and seldom punctual.


Galapagos Islands - Detailed Guide for Land-based Travellers

This thread has been created as a comprehensive guide for future travellers to the Galapagos Islands who have no interest in taking a cruise but want to have a great travel experience without it becoming a “wallet-crippling” trip. This is my 2nd edition on this subject with updated information and additional details from my own land-based experience as requested by the fans of my previous thread.

I tried my best to be as accurate and up to date with prices for food, accommodation and Day Trips, but it’s almost impossible to get straight answers regarding costs online. Websites continually quote prices of $100 USD or more over the prices you can get when you are actually on the islands (in some cases 3 times more expensive). This forced me to rely solely on comments by people in various forums who had travelled to the Galapagos reasonably recently. This is why I continually use words like “about” and “around” in regards to costs (meaning that it is a “best guess estimate” but you could pay slightly higher or slightly lower that the price quoted). So it is better to look at “costs” in this post as a rough guide rather than an “absolute”.

All “COSTS” in $’s you see throughout this guide are in US North American Dollars (USD) which is the standard currency of Ecuador.

*Note - Some people chose to print out my thread last time (and even laminated the pages) to take with them on their Galapagos trip and found it useful to read each night to help plan or prepare for their next day. You’re also more than welcome to do that with this new improved version on the condition that you pass it on to another “worthy traveller” before you leave the islands (I recommend setting narrow margins on the pages before printing because it’s pretty long).

(This guide has been divided into 7 separate “chapters” in the comments directly underneath the initial post on Page 1 of this thread).

590 replies to this topic

GENERAL THINGS WORTH KNOWING

The regional language of Ecuador (and the Galapagos Islands) is Latin American Spanish. Because a great deal of tourists travelling to the Galapagos speak English, most people employed at any level of that tourist industry will usually have some level of English speaking ability (some exceptional, some more basic). Most people involved in tours have good English (tour operators, guides etc) as do most people working on the “tourist strips” of the islands (restaurant staff, hotels, shops etc). Many of the taxi drivers also have at least a reasonable grasp of the language.

However, when you leave the “touristy” areas (back street café’s, areas outside of the towns that aren’t designed specifically for tourists to visit etc) English ability starts becoming more random with some locals speaking it quite well and others only understanding some words or sometimes none at all. So while knowing Spanish is not essential, learning some basic words can occasionally come in handy (and locals seem to love it when foreigners try to speak the local language, even if it is awkwardly or incorrectly).

DO NOT book anything big or expensive for your 1st day of arrival in the Galapagos. Plane flights get delayed and things can go wrong, which runs the risk of your time and money getting wasted and can ruin your trip before it has begun. Things like accommodation is fine to book for day 1 on the islands, but be smart and organise your bigger expenses for later days when are confident that you will have definitely arrived, got basically settled and had a little time to orientate yourself.

The less things you book before you arrive, the more money that you can save. Online pre-booking of things like accommodation and Day Tours can cost as much as 3 TIMES more than what you can pay if you just wait until you are on the islands in person. If arriving in the Galapagos without arranging anywhere to stay makes you too nervous, then I recommend booking only the 1st night (or 2 nights max) for when you arrive, which should give you plenty of time to find alternative accommodation in the following days. *Note - While I admit that not booking ahead is a bit of a gamble, I literally booked nothing but my plane tickets when I travelled there in early August for 16 days (14 full days and 2 half days). Despite August being considered to be in the last month of the “peak tourist” period, I still had a plethora of options of places to stay from day 1 and never experienced any problems whatsoever. I also never missed out on any of the Day Tours I wanted to do and in the process saved myself a MASSIVE amount of money.*

The “peak tourist” seasons are considered to be around mid-December to mid-January (near Christmas and New Year’s) and from around mid-June to early September. During these times it may be more difficult to barter for discounted accommodation and Day Trips due to higher demand and things may be filled up or sold out on some days if they are popular. Therefore, it might be best to decide what your “must have” experiences are and consider booking those specific things in advance, but be prepared to pay more for the privilege. The “low tourist” seasons are considered to be April to May and September to October.

Weather wise, the Galapagos Islands only has slight climatic variations throughout the year. The warm, slightly rainier season is from late December to June. This means warmer waters for swimming, but the chance of cloud and showers (though these are often quick passing).

The cool, dry season is from late June to December (meaning blue skies and occasional mid-day showers). However, “cool” is a relative term in the Galapagos as the days are still warm but the water is cooler due to the southern tradewinds. The warmest and sunniest months are usually February and March and from December to May the waters are meant to be clearer and calmer which should mean increased visibility underwater.

**IMPORTANT - Ecuador only uses North American dollars (USD) and locally minted Ecuadorian coins as its currency and once on the islands there’s nowhere to exchange foreign currency.

There will be a $20 fee for the INGALA Transit Control Card (up to 90 day Tourist Visa) which you MUST PURCHASE at the “check in area” BEFORE going through security at the Airport in Quito or Guayaquil (they won’t let you board the plane without it and you risk potentially missing your flight). There’s also a $100 fee per adult ($50 for children 11 or under) for the National Park Fee that you buy after you’ve landed at the Galapagos Airport (which is a requirement for all foreigners). THIS MUST BE PAID IN CASH before you can enter the islands (so credit/ debit cards will be useless for this). Therefore it’s 100% NECESSARY to have the PHYSICAL MONEY you need on you BEFORE catching your plane.** *Hint - You can fill out your details for the $20 “INGALA Transit Control Card” (Tourist Visa) online and pick it up in the Ecuador Airport to save yourself some time and hassle.*

*Additional Hint - As soon as you receive your $20 “INGALA Transit Control Card” at the Ecuador Airport, KEEP IT INSIDE YOUR PASSPORT at all times for your entire trip. You do not want to lose it until well after you have left the islands and returned to Ecuador.*

**WARNING - There’s a local rumour that the $100 National Park Fee is going to be increased to $200 per adult at some point this year (unconfirmed).**

**IMPORTANT - While the islands are much more expensive than the Ecuadorian mainland, many things in the Galapagos are still cheap enough to make credit cards worthless for smaller purchases and services (also there’s between 12% up to 22% for VAT and card surcharges). On top of that, most places do not take credit cards anyway, which MAKES CARRYING PHYSICAL MONEY ALWAYS ESSENTIAL in the Galapagos (preferably in lower denomination notes as many local vendors will also refuse to give change for $50 and $100 notes).** *Note - Traveller’s cheques are pretty much useless as well. But the banks on the islands MAY accept them (but I couldn’t confirm this).

There are several ATM’s at Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz) and near the San Cristobal town waterfront, but they have a withdrawal limit of $300 per ATM and $600 maximum daily total withdrawal limit. This being said, there have been past reports that sometimes ATM’s in the Galapagos have been used for “scamming”. Therefore the safest method to withdraw money is from one of the banks and getting your cash from a human teller directly (You will need to bring your passport as proof of ID to do this). Banks will also exchange $50 and $100 notes into smaller “more useful” denominations for you. There’s a bank on the main street of Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz that is perfect for this.*Hint - If carrying large amounts of money to cover foreseeable expenses on your trip, it’s probably in your best interests to seek out accommodation that has onsite or in-room safes available (I found multiple mid-range expense accommodation that offered these).

**IMPORTANT - THERE ARE NO ATM’S OR BANKS ON ISABELA ISLAND OR FLOREANA and Credit Cards are useless there. So MAKE SURE you are cashed up BEFORE catching the “inter-island” boat (ferry) to Isabela or Floreana.**

MORE SPECIFIC THINGS WORTH KNOWING

Things To Bring With You - Most things that you need can be purchased in shops on the islands with few problems and “reasonably” (cough, cough) cheaply. HOWEVER, there are a few things that are so mind-bogglingly expensive in the Galapagos that I STRONGLY RECOMMEND you bring them with you in your luggage. These include… Sunscreen (which you will definitely need, so bring enough for your entire trip), insect repellent (often useful) and toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, body lotion etc. and a “US standard power plug adapter” for charging your electronics (if you are not from North America).

Additionally, I also recommend that you bring extra memory cards and to always carry charged spare batteries for your camera on tours. It is worthwhile bringing a small torch (and spare batteries) if you plan to see any of the underground lava tunnels. Polarized sunglasses are extremely useful because you can more easily see the marine life swimming under the water from boats. Bringing your own thermos bottle to the islands is a good idea to save some money and to reduce unnecessary plastic waste… and finally bring an underwater camera if you have one (this was the one thing I deeply regretted not having when I was there).

Clothing - Since you’re not going to be on a long cruise, you don’t need to bring much clothing to the Galapagos because laundry services are plentiful, cheap and fast. The best place to do laundry is in Puerto Ayora: you'll pay only about $1 per kilo ($5 should easily do a couple's weekly wash). Isabela and San Cristobal also have laundries, but you'll probably pay about 50% more. This will also help you to keep your 22kg luggage limit down (as mentioned in the “Flight” section later in this post). *Hint - I recommend bringing at least one pair of good shoes with decent grip and a very lightweight (thin) waterproof jacket, regardless of whether you plan to do any hiking.

Cheap Accommodation - Accommodation is plentiful on each island, but the term “budget” doesn’t always apply. A budget hostel usually runs around $25-$50 for a single, private room and a basic double room for about $35-$60 (with hot showers and sometimes a simple breakfast). But lower prices can be found and negotiated with a little time and effort. You can also meet local residents in the main tourist streets who offer a cheap place to sleep on the properties where they live, often a unit separate from the main house (I did this a couple of times and they were quite good and SUPER cheap). Looking online for Airbnb places while you are there’s also a cheap alternative.

If you ever feel like “splurging” there are 4-star hotels rooms for around $120 a night, but in my opinion the 5-star hotels there (while they can be impressive) are not really “value for money”).

*Hint - Always ask if you can take a look at the room they are offering before you hand over any money. Not only will you see if the accommodation is suitable for your needs (always smart), but it strengthens your position if you then ask to negotiate the price (they will assume you noticed something you didn’t like with the room without you actually having to say anything).

*Additional Hint - I never booked any accommodation in advance and had no problems. But when you do happen to find a place you really like and want to stay more than 1 night (or if in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz you know which days you plan to return after visiting one of the other Islands), I suggest negotiating for a lower daily rate by offering to pay them for all the nights you plan to stay in advance (but get a receipt).

Cheap Meals - Food on the islands can be surprisingly affordable if you’re willing to wander around and check out the different restaurants. It is quite easy to find lunch and dinner deals for only about $5-$7 if you check out the back streets directly BEHIND the main town streets (outside of the “tourist zone”). These meals usually include soup, bread, a main and fresh juice (sometimes even dessert). At this price don’t expect anything too fancy, the main mostly consists of grilled meat/fish, rice, beans and a bit of salad. *Hint - If you add some of the free fresh-made chilli salsa they offer, it really ramps up the flavour for even the cheapest meal.

On the days you feel like spoiling yourself, for about $10 you can get a “bruja” fish (one of the tastiest fish on the planet). At a “kiosko” (a higher class of street stand) you can get things like filet mignon or tuna steak in coconut sauce for about $20. In some restaurants you can get grilled lobster tail for under $30.

Water - The tap water should not be drunk by foreigners in the Galapagos. To be safe, it is probably best not to not even brush your teeth with it. Most accommodation places offer water tanks that is fine to fill up water bottles from and deli’s etc sell bottled water. When you shower you will notice that the water is reasonably salty (especially in Isabela). *Note - I also recommend bringing your own thermos bottle to the islands to save money (and to reduce unnecessary plastic waste).

Alcohol - In restaurants alcohol can be a little pricey (especially wine), but smaller places that serve food offer local beers at a reasonable price. However, if you find a supermarket, you can get a bottle of wine for about $15 and small bottles of Ecuadorian rum for only about $5.

Wi-Fi on the Islands - Wifi services on the islands vary somewhere between at best “painfully slow and occasionally dropping out” and at worst “basically non-existent”. So prepare yourself for this when you travel there. You can find a few internet cafes in Puerto Ayora, and some accommodation places, restaurants (and occasionally boats) offer free Wifi as part of their service. Santa Cruz has the best Wifi, San Cristobal comes second and Isabela has the worst. *Note - If your phone is unlocked you can get sim cards with data packages for use on the islands (Movistar or Claro are the major phone companies there). These can be bought on the Ecuadorian mainland before you travel, at the Galapagos airports when you first arrive, or in places like supermarkets in any of the islands towns.

Snorkelling - If you’re planning to snorkel during your trip (which you definitely should) then I also advise to bring your own mask and snorkel (and perhaps fins) with you. They won’t take up much room in your luggage and although they are easy to hire for a day on all of the islands (about $5/ or $10 with fins), the equipment there’s not what you would call “state of the art”. Wetsuits and fins on the other hand are heavy and/or take up a lot of luggage space. So personally I wouldn’t bother and just hire those when you are there and feel you need them. *Hint - Don’t forget to put sunscreen on your ears, the back of your neck and especially the back of your legs when snorkelling (everyone always forgets). The Galapagos sun is quite fierce.

Airport Visitors Centre - When you first arrive at the islands, go to the “Visitors Centre” in the airport to grab any free maps, information or “visitors guides” they have on offer before you start your adventure (they don’t give them out unless you ask for them). Not only are these useful because they give you the latest “up to date” island information, they can give something to read while you wait for transport to take you to the nearest town.

Tourist Information Centre/Visitors Centre - Once you have found a place to stay and somewhere to stash your luggage, one of the first places you should always go to is the “Visitors Centre/ Tourist Information Centre” in town. These are usually easily found on the main street of whatever island town hub you’re in. There’s always someone there who speaks decent English and will have all the latest information of what is happening on the islands, maps, special events, timetables, weather details and recommendations. Grab the “visitor’s guide” in particular. It is invaluable. *Note - This is especially useful if you’re travelling solo because they can warn you about any recent potential issues you might need to be careful of. *Hint - If you ever run into any kind of trouble during your visit (ie. Lost money, problems with a local businesses, refund issues, misplaced passports etc) these centres are very useful to try and get help. They are eager to assist tourists, speak English and will know who in the islands to get you in contact with to try and sort it out.

Day Tours - The price you will pay for “Day Tours” on the islands should range from around $50-$220 per tour (the same tours can be up to $350 or even more if booked online). As a general rule “Land Tours” are usually the cheapest, “Scuba Diving Tours” are usually the most expensive and “Boat Tours” are somewhere in the middle. They usually they have a meal and some drinks included (but ask beforehand to be sure). Tour agencies usually stay open until about 7 or 8pm.

*Hint - People always forget to ask for details about the day trip and ask questions about the boat itself. Ask the tour operator to show you photos of the boat and the maximum amount of people that will be on it during your tour. How long is the tour? Will you need to bring/hire a wet suit or snorkel, need to bring refreshments or food, a towel or warm clothing, or are they are provided as part of the tour? You don’t want to be trapped on an overcrowded small speed boat, miss out on opportunities to snorkel at amazing spots, go hungry or freeze because they don’t provide towels just because you forgot to ask if you should bring your own.

*Additional Hint - The more questions you ask about tours before handing over money the better. Because then if anything they guaranteed you doesn’t happen, isn’t offered or if you are switched to a “lesser quality” boat etc you should be entitled to a refund of some of the money you paid. If this happens and the tour operator is being stubborn, you can bring the issue to one of the “Visitors Centre/ Tourist Information Centre” on the main street of the island for help.

**Secret - At the island ports or after finishing a tour, if you can manage to talk to one of the actual boat owners directly (ie. cut out the tour operator completely) you can save even MORE money on tours. Start the conversation by complimenting them on their boat, some basic Spanish is useful for this but not always essential (shhhhh… keep it to yourself).

Inter-Island Boats (Ferries) - The “inter-island” boat trips when travelling between the 3 main islands (Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela) are long, loud, boring and unpleasant. They are referred to as “ferries”, but in reality are just speed boats with rooves fitting about 16-20 people.

Remember to charge your music devices, bring headphones, something to read, snacks (but not fresh fruit, veg or nuts/seeds due to quarantine) and anything else to entertain yourselves for a few hours. **IMPORTANT - MAKE SURE that you arrive extra early to get seats INSIDE of the boat. DO NOT get one of the seats at the back of the boat or you will end up miserable, getting saturated by sea spray and sunburnt for 2-3 hours straight.** *Hint - If you suffer from seasickness, don’t eat too heavily before getting on the boat and take a seasickness tablet about 30 minutes before departure. Also sit somewhere in the mid-point of the boat and bring devices that can hold your focus and distract your attention (earphones with loud music or something to read/watch etc.).

Inter-Island Flights - It is possible to catch a small 9 seater “puddle jumper” plane between any of the 3 main islands (San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz) rather than an inter-island boat. The company that offers this is called “Emetebe Airlines” and it is the only way you can go directly from Isabela to San Cristobal and vice versa (which the inter-island boats cannot do). Once on-board (which can take quite a long time supposedly) the flight itself will take only around 45 minutes or less and is apparently a unique and beautiful way to see the islands. However it is not a cheap option and the company has unfortunately built itself a reputation of being very unreliable. *Note - I couldn’t find any evidence online of anyone successfully negotiating a “cheaper ticket”. Cost - about $195 per adult and about $165 per child 11 years or under (online).

Rent Taxis for a Half/Full Day - The Taxis in the Galapagos are white pick-up trucks that cost about $1.50 to go anywhere within any town hub. But if you want to travel somewhere outside of town, it’s a great option to negotiate with the driver for a half day or full day car hire. They will drive you from location to location all over the island, waiting patiently for you to come back each stop and can provide “local knowledge” of things such as obscure fresh food markets, secret beaches and places not on the “tourist brochures”. If you happen to come across a great driver this may possibly lead to some of your most memorable moments of your entire trip. *Note - Remember that you can do a “1 Full Day Taxi Adventure” 3 times (Once on each of the main islands) during your Galapagos trip and if they are done with other people, the cost can be split which makes for a very inexpensive day.

*Hint - Ask the driver to take you to THEIR personal favourite spots on the island and you might discover something that few tourists ever get to see.

*Additional Hint - At the first destination, ask the driver to pose for a photo in front of the taxi (with someone else in your group if possible) and sneakily get the taxi licence plate number in the shot. There’s unlikely to be any problems (I never had any), but if you have already paid them in full then it is always a good idea to cover your bases.

COST: Around $40-$70 (Negotiable) for half/full day taxi hire.

Bike Hire - On any of the islands it is easy to hire a bike in town which not only saves you money on taxi rides, but means you can ride hiking paths that are inaccessible to cars much quicker than you could walk them (I particularly recommend this for Isabela). This not only enables you to explore certain areas quicker, but to also relax and enjoy any beautiful spots you find for longer. With a little planning and a map you can also visit nearby different areas, stop at various points of interest on your route and then just ride back into town when you’re finished (a reasonable level of fitness is recommended if you want to make a day of this and don’t forget to bring snacks and drinks). *Hint - Because the taxis are pick-up trucks, you can chuck the bikes in the back and get them to drop you off at locations. Later in the day you can also hail them down on main roads to take you back to town (if you’re feeling tired after a long day of riding and the ride back to town feels too daunting).

*Additional Hint - If you hire a taxi for a half/full day (above). Then at each stop you can get around quicker and easier in places where cars cannot go, ride back to the taxi, and get them to drive you to the next spot. Then just rinse and repeat all day. If you start early, this is probably the best way to explore multiple locations all over any island in a single day (recommended).


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Footnotes

References

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  1. Ugutz

    You I can check :)

  2. Jawad

    Why is there?



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