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ESSENTIAL INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR TRIP

 

ARRIVAL & ACCOMMODATION

The trip starts from Wildebeest Eco Camp

Conveniently located in beautiful Langata it is possible to enjoy the best of both worlds - being close to major tourist attractions, Nairobi National Park and Galleria Shopping centre with good transport links to the city. The camp has large grounds, swimming pool, restaurant, bar, t.v. room, communal fire pit, WiFi and curio shop.

Trip Joining Point: Wildebeest Eco Camp - Nairobi

Address: 151 Mokoyeti Road West, Langata, Nairobi

Telephone: +254 (0)202 103505

Website: www.wildebeestecocamp.com

 

PRE-TRIP ACCOMMODATION:

We strongly recommend that you arrive at the camp at least one night before the trip starts.

 

AIRPORT TRANSFERS:

Airport Transfers are included in the cost of your adventure.

Once you have processed your visa and collected your luggage, you should follow the crowds to the terminal exit to meet up with your Transfer Representative.

Flying into Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO) is quite straight forward - English is widely spoken and used for signs / directions. It is approx. 15km from the airport to the centre of Nairobi. You should change some money on arrival - we recommend at least $20 USD pp per day (excl. accomm.) before the trip begins. The rates are similar to those in town but better than at hotels, ATM machines are available in the airport. Please note if you are arriving on a Sunday then make sure you change enough money at the airport to last you for the first week of your trip as the local bureau de changes in Nairobi will be closed on a Sunday.

PRE-DEPARTURE MEETING

Your tour leader will meet you and your fellow travellers for a meet and greet at the joining hotel/camp the evening before departure; usually around 6pm, where your Tour Leader will collect your Local Payment money as well as 2 photocopies of your passport information page, insurance policy details with policy number and confirmation that the duration will cover you for the entire trip and a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number. On the morning of departure, usually around 8:00am, you will be briefed on the day to day running of the trip.

FLIGHT INFORMATION

You need to arrive at your departure city at least the day before your trip begins. Return flights must be booked for at least the day AFTER the trip is due to end. You may wish to allow some extra time to explore your arrival and departure cities

There are many online flight search engines such

as www.skyscanner.net or www.ebookers.co.uk, flights can also be booked direct with airline websites or through travel agencies.

Departure Taxes: Please check with your Travel Agent or Airline if your flight ticket already includes a departure tax payment out of the country. If it does not - please budget for approx US$30 to $70 USD - to be paid in US$ only.

PASSPORTS

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months AFTER the trip finishes. This is a general requirement for the countries we will travel to.

If you have dual nationality you can only use one passport for the entire trip. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

Please bring 2 photocopies of your passport details to give to your tour leader.

VISAS

The information below is to be used only as a guide and may change without prior notice. It is advisable to contact the relevant embassy in plenty of time before the trip departs to check the current visa requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure you have all the relevant visas you require.

Visas must be paid for in USD cash ONLY.

For more information on other nationalities & visas checkout www.projectvisa.com

Kenya

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, USA, Canada and most EU countries will require an e-visa to enter Kenya which must be obtained in advance of travel.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

Kenyan Visa -  Kenya has introduced electronic visa applications. Travellers need to apply via https://evisa.go.ke/ evisa.html. This can take up to 7 days so ensure you plan in advance. You will need to print a copy of your visa to present to immigration at your point of entry into Kenya. You may be denied boarding of your flight to Kenya, or denied entry to Kenya if you do not have your printed copy of your e-visa with you.

Tanzania

Passport Holders from UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and most EU countries will require a visa to enter Tanzania. The current cost is $50 USD with the visa available on arrival at the border. Passport holders from the USA also need a visa and can obtain it on arrival, but the cost is $100 USD. Alternatively visas are available in advance via the Tanzanian government's e-visa website. South African passport holders are Free of charge.

Passport Holders from other countries, will need to check the current visa requirements with the relevant consulate, and whether you need to obtain the visa in advance.

VACCINATIONS AND HEALTH

It is possible that you may require some vaccinations for your trip.  As we are not medically trained, we are unable to give detailed advice on vaccination requirements. Alternatively you can check out the fit for travel website for more travel health information or consult a reputable travel clinic or your GP for information and advice. We suggest that you allow at least 8 weeks to get all your vaccinations.

Yellow Fever - Being vaccinated against Yellow Fever and having a valid certificate and a photocopy is deemed compulsory in nearly all the countries we visit in Africa, especially at certain borders and are needed if you are entering from an infected country. You can view a list of countries requiring a certificate through the World Health organisation.

Rabies - Vaccinations are regularly advised for all countries that we travel through in Africa - especially if time and money are not a deterrent.

Malaria - In some of the areas we visit there is a risk of contracting Malaria. You must be aware that whatever malaria prophylactics you are taking, they only offer partial protection. They must be coupled with your own physical efforts against being bitten - which is the best prevention. Malaria-carrying mosquitoes come out at sunset so from this time you should wear long sleeves and trousers. Exposed skin, especially ankles, should have insect repellent containing 'Deet' applied to them. Your crew will advise on where the worst affected areas are on the trip. There are a number of prophylactic malaria treatments on the market & requirements change. It is also wise to take a sample of whichever prophylactic you choose, a few weeks before you leave. This way you may determine early on if you have any adverse reactions so you can change the regimen if necessary. Please consult a reputable travel clinic or GP for advice. For more information visit www.nomadtravel.co.uk or www.fitfortravel.scot.nhs.uk

Dengue - Unlike the malaria mosquito, which bites at night, the dengue carrying mosquito bites during the day. Some areas we travel to do have occasional outbreaks & it is therefore advised that you take care not to be bitten during the day as well as at night. There is no vaccine available.

Health - To join our trips you should be in good general health. Your medical insurance company must be told if you have any pre-existing medical condition / allergy or if you are on any regular medication, otherwise you may not be covered under your policies for these. Our crew will need to know of any medication or conditions you may have. For general health advice log onto www.nathnac.org/travel/.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is a compulsory requirement that you have adequate travel insurance before you join the trip and at the very least are insured for all necessary medical & repatriation costs incurred.

You will be asked to provide the following details if you have not already done so: travel insurance name, insurance policy number & insurance emergency telephone number. You will also be required to give a copy of your policy with this information to the Tour Leader on arrival with confirmation that the policy duration is sufficient to cover you for the entire duration of your trip. It is also wise to leave a copy of your insurance policy with a friend or relative for safe keeping.

We believe that your safety and holiday enjoyment are very important. It is a mistake to think that "it will never happen to me". It is also very important that you are covered for all the activities that you may wish to undertake while on our trip. It is extremely important that you check the full extent of your cover related to 24 hour Medical Emergency Assistance. In the event of you needing medical treatment you want to know that you have the best cover available to you. Your policy should include adequate Medical Emergency and Repatriation cover as well as Cancellation, Baggage and Personal Liability cover. You need to be aware of EXACTLY what activities your policy covers you for. Please note that skiing is not usually covered in most insurance policies.

MONEY, BUDGETS AND LOCAL PAYMENTS (LP)

LP is part of your overall trip payment and is the most cost effective and practical way to get hard currency to Africa to pay for a variety of your day to day local costs (i.e. all meals prepared by the group, campsite/hostel fees, gas, and certain activities listed on the trip page) which cannot be pre-paid from the UK. It is a guaranteed amount, set before your trip departs, and unlike 'group kitty' systems we will not ask you to contribute more once the trip is underway.

Please note: Your LP is payable to your Tour Leader on the morning of departure in US$ Dollars CASH ONLY. Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and we will therefore be unable to accept them either. Please do not bring all of your Local Payment in US$100 notes and also make sure that they are post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB.

How to bring your currency?

As a general rule it is best to bring your money in US$ dollars cash, although you could also bring a combination of US$ & £GB if British pounds are your home currency. It will depend on the exchange rate at the time of your trip as to which currency is better, but we suggest that US$ are the preferred option for East Africa, whilst £GB can also be easily exchanged in Kenya, Tanzania and Southern Africa. PLEASE NOTE YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY BRING AT LEAST 50% of your money in cash. You will need to pay for your visas and many of the optional excursions using cash and there will be times when you need cash to change into local currency. Some travellers worry about carrying cash with them, however the Expedition Truck is equipped with an onboard safe for the security of your money and passport.

Make sure that all your notes are in good condition. Old, torn or marked notes are often refused by the banks and shops. Please ensure your notes are dated post 2013 and do not have a serial number starting with CB.

Please remember that Visas need to be paid for in US$ CASH ONLY!

Spending Money

Personal spending habits & budgets differ greatly from person to person. Budget on visa costs (see visa section above) and optional activities separately and allow extra for your Local Payment contribution.

Changing money

Change your money only at banks, hotels, airports or forex bureaus. It is illegal to change money on the street, as these people will normally be opportunistic thieves or undercover police.

Credit & Debit Cards

If you are intending using your credit or debit card, we suggest taking more than one card with you as you may find that your card is not accepted in the first ATM you try. Visa and Maestro cards are best. We do not recommend using MasterCard based cards in Africa as they have very limited access through large parts of Africa. Please note that usually you will be given local currency and NOT US$ or £GB. We recommend that you inform your bank that you will be using your card abroad to avoid it being blocked.

ATMs

These are available in most major cities along our route and allow you to withdraw local currency only. We discourage you from relying on your ATM card as a primary source of funds in case it is lost/stolen/ swallowed, or the machine isn't working. In some destinations we probably won't even see a bank or ATM for days on end so having hard currency to exchange is essential. Besides memorising your PIN, it is also important to be aware of your daily withdrawal limit and bank withdrawal costs.

Tipping

Is often expected and relied upon. It is often more than a reward for services well done, but, as wages are extremely low, it is an accepted means of supplementing an income. If you would like to leave a tip for any activity/individual, you could organize this as a group and give a tip at the end. A recommended amount for restaurants is usually 10% of your total bill and similar for activities. Some countries also add an extra Government tax on restaurant bills.

Because it can be difficult to know what to tip, and because it has such importance in some areas both economically and culturally, there may be times and activities for which your crew will make it clear what level of tipping is 'customary/expected'. They may also be quite enthusiastic or assertive in encouraging you to take account of these suggestions. This is motivated by the knowledge of how important tipping can be, and the offence or confusion that can be caused when local people are tipped poorly. In the end, tipping remains at the discretion of the individual, but our crew will continue to advise on normal or average rates, and we would ask you to carefully consider the economic or personal impact of being seen as 'under tipping'.

As a very rough guide, we would suggest that you budget for an amount equal to 10% of the local payment for your trip, plus 10% of the cost of any of the listed optional excursions that you wish to do. The amounts you end up tipping may vary from a rigid 10%, but hopefully this will help you budget in general.

WHAT TO TAKE

The less you take the less you have to pack, wash & lug home & you can always pick up extras along the way. Most people make the mistake of bringing too much. Clothes washing or laundry facilities will be available at least once a week. You will be travelling in the heat & camping in the cold, so bring clothes for all climates; rough stuff is best. Pack according to season: summer is very hot in places & winter can be very cold with occasional frost overnight in the south.

 

Make sure that you bring your gear in a 70-90L rucksack or holdall - suitcases are not suitable.

Equipment & Toiletries

  • Sleeping Bag - 3 to 4 season bag, depending on season, & sleep sheet

  • Foam sleeping mat or thermarest & repair kit

  • Soap, shampoo, toothbrush/paste, antibacterial hand wash, lip balm & moisturiser

  • Sun block 35 + after sun, hat & sun glasses

 

Small day-pack or small bag to carry daily items

Soft rucksack or holdall (NOT rigid suitcase)

Water bottle - for personal use - we recommend Water-to-Go (see below

Responsible Travel)

 

Clothes                                                                                                   

  • One pair of trainers or boots

  • Sandals/flip flops/jandals/thongs

  • Underwear/socks

  • T shirts/shirts

  • Shorts/swimwear

  • Jeans/trousers/jog pants/leggings

  • Skirt or dress

  • Sweat shirt/jumper

  • Jacket/fleece & waterproof jacket

Personal Effects

  • Camera with protective case, spare batteries, film/ memory card

  • Torch & spare batteries (head torch is best)

  • Travel adaptor plug/charger (for cameras & mobile phone batteries)

  • Personal stereo - there is a stereo on the truck with iPod/MP3 adaptors

  • Towel &/or sarong

Recommended Medical Kit List

  • Antiseptic ointment/Antihistamine cream & tablets

  • Nurofen or equivalent pain-killer

  • Eye-drops/bath

  • Anti-diarrhoea treatment

  • A couple of bandages (elasticated & triangular)

  • Medication for personal allergies/asthma etc

  • Insect repellent containing Deet

  • Some suitable antibiotics as recommended by your doctor for infected cuts or to treat severe dysentery

  • Rehydration sachets/vitamin tablets

  • Assorted plasters

  • 1 Course of malaria treatment

  • Malaria Tablets - see Vaccinations & Health section

The truck is equipped with a comprehensive medical kit, we advise you to bring a small personal medical kit as our truck kit is not for general everyday use. It will also be your responsibility to carry your kit on included excursions and optional activities as some local operators may not have medical kits to hand.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT

Cameras (incl. Digital & Video Cameras) - An easy to use 'point and shoot' will get you some good photos. For memorable shots, it may be worthwhile investing in an SLR camera, but be sure to get some practice in before the trip! Most towns and cities have internet cafes where you can download onto CD/ internet sites - but don't rely on it. Internet speeds can be slow for uploading photos to social media or the Cloud.

Photography - Be aware of your surroundings when taking photographs and filming. Some locations will be sensitive or have local laws banning photography. For example it is usually forbidden to use cameras at borders or around government buildings, military installations, bridges and airports or to take photos of local officials. If you do take photos or film where it is not permitted you may find yourself being questioned by irate officials who may decide to confiscate your camera or instruct you to delete all the images/footage on your device. If in doubt ask for permission, or if there is no-one to ask use some common sense.

 

Drones - As the use of drones becomes more common, countries throughout the world are gradually updating their laws and restrictions on usage. The specific regulations will vary from one country to another, so do check the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for the latest information. As with cameras, use your common sense if you do use a drone and avoid operation in sensitive areas. If you plan to bring a drone on your trip with us please contact us first to ensure there will be a suitable place to store it while on your trip.

 

Electrical charging & power supply - It may be difficult to find a power source for charging at times, so a spare battery is a must.

Consider a 12V in-car charger (our vehicles are equipped with a couple of 12 volt cigarette lighter charger sockets - truck trips only) or bring along your 230V mains charger and travel adaptor plug for use at some of the hotels, hostels and campsites we stay at.

NOTE: 12V - 230V inverters cannot be used on the vehicle because of the power drain they cause.

Log onto www.whatplug.net for information regarding the different electrical plugs and voltage used in each country.

 

CONTACTING HOME

The internet and WiFi are available in many towns / cities you will visit. Do bear in mind that the connections can be unreliable and will not always be as fast as you are used to at home. If a lot of people try to use the internet at the same time the speed will be slower still, especially if trying to make Skype calls or upload photos / videos.

Some travellers choose to take an unlocked mobile phone with them and buy local SIM cards in each country, allowing them to use mobile data. If you particularly want or need regular internet access this may be a good option. Telephone calls can be expensive usually £1 to £5 for a three minute call.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

Before you go

  • Remove unnecessary packaging before you go - waste disposal facilities are often stretched or non existent in the places we visit. To avoid unnecessary pollution of local water supplies take environmentally friendly toiletries with you.

  • Why not invest in a wind-up or solar-powered torch or media player before you travel or at least rechargeable batteries.

  • Learn some of the local language and read up on the local history/culture before you go. You'll get so much more out of your trip.

  • Why not pack some pens/pencils exercise books in your rucksack and they can be donated to a local school or project while you're away. You can also purchase these items cheaply, locally which will help local businesses.

  • Take a sturdy water bottle with you from home that you can re-use throughout your trip. We carry large quantities of purified water with us on our Expedition vehicles and it is much better for the environment if you drink this, rather than purchase bottled water along the way. (It also saves you money).

  • Water-to-Go: Oasis Overland have partnered with Water-to-Go to help reduce the number of plastic water bottles consumed during a trip. Water-to-Go is a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of all microbiological contaminants including viruses, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals from any non-salt water source. Click here and enter the code OASIS15 to purchase your Water-to-Go products at 15% discount. Water-to-Go will then donate a further 15% to Oasis Overland Charity projects.

 

While you're travelling

 As a guide here's a few tips to bear in mind.

  • Don't waste water. It is a scarce resource in many of the places our trips visit. On all our Ultimate and Overland Expeditions we carry large quantities of purified water with us. We encourage you to refill your own water bottles from this supply, rather than purchase bottled water along the way-much more environmentally friendly and saves you money.

  • Never buy endangered species or endangered habitat products. Apart from the fact of it being illegal it also encourages the trade to continue.

  • Look after and preserve the areas we visit. Be careful about stepping on coral reefs or trekking on undesignated tracks.

  • Buy locally made crafts and products helping to support the local economy.

  • Don't feel when bargaining that you have to get the cheapest price possible just for the sake of it. Pay what the item is worth to you & don't worry about what someone else has paid.

  • Try the local food and drinks - this will help to support local farmers and food sellers. Sitting in a local cafe is also a great way to meet local people.

  • Dispose of litter appropriately on your trip. This includes cigarette butts. Not only does litter look unsightly it can be lethal to wildlife.

  • Where any toilet facilities exist, however unsavoury they might seem to you, they should be used. Where they do not, always bury your waste and make sure it is never near (at least 30m) a water source.

  • When game viewing do not encourage your guides to get too close to the wildlife so that their natural behaviour is impeded.

  • Respect local customs, traditions and beliefs of the people in the different regions that you travel through.

  • Do not take photos of people, ritual events or special places unless you have asked first. Dress appropriately according to local codes and show respect around religious festivals.

  • Recycling is almost non-existent in many of the areas and countries we visit - we do the best we can with limited resources & space on our vehicles.

  • For books dedicated to travelling more responsibly & ethically see: www.tourismconcern.org.uk

SECURITY

The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) offer country-specific advice, regarding not only security but also entry regulations, local laws and customs and health. We strongly recommend all travellers visit the FCO website, or the equivalent in their home country, to familiarise themselves with local conditions and issues in the countries they plan to visit before committing to a trip with us. You can view their website here.

In cities - All major cities have their share of petty crime (just like our cities) and sensible precautions need to be taken. Wearing expensive looking jewellery or watches and carrying cameras will draw unnecessary attention to you. Leave valuables such as passports and excess money in your hotel safe or truck safe (we recommend carrying a copy of your passport details page at all times). You may find a simple money belt is more discreet than a bag. Always be aware of your surroundings and when approached by people you do not know, use your common sense. At night in cities it's best to use a taxi, rather than walking around the streets, single women in particular need to be careful and we would suggest that it is safer to be in a group.

On board the truck - The vehicle is fitted with a hidden, lockable safe to be used for money, passports and important documents. Group members will be responsible for the safe. We advise you to not bring items of value that are not essential for the journey.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Serengeti & Ngorongoro Crater 2 1/2 day / 2 night Safari

On this trip through Tanzania, you have the opportunity to go on a guided safari in the world renowned Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area.

For this safari you shall be collected in 7 seat safari vehicles, in the afternoon from Meserani Snake Park, where you will be staying on the trip. You will then be driven to Karatu, where you shall have an overnight stay and dinner at either Kudu Campsite or Flamingo Campsite.

The following morning you will have an early wake up & breakfast, before heading out to do a morning game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater. The group will then enjoy a picnic style lunch in the Ngorongoro Crater, before heading on to an afternoon’s game drive in the Serengeti. You will then be taken to the Seronera Campsite, for your evening meal and where you will be camping overnight.

On the final day of this excursion you will have another early breakfast to give you the maximum morning game drive through the Serengeti. There will then be a packed lunch before heading back to Meserani Snake Park.

Please note: The above safari is fully inclusive of all meals while on safari, transport in purpose built safari vehicles with maximum 7 people plus a driver/guide, park entrance and conservation fees to Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, as well as camp fees at Karatu and inside the Serengeti.

 

African Wildlife

Wildlife - You may see the following animals, lions, leopards, cheetahs, elephants, buffalos, wildebeests, black rhinos, zebras, giraffes, hippos and hyenas in the various gameparks and reserves we visit between Nairobi and Tanzania.

WHAT TO EXPECT

 

LIFE ON THE ROAD

The Expedition Truck will be your new home giving you a comfortable, secure base with which to experience your trip. As part of the adventure you will be expected to have an active involvement in the day to day running of the trip, be part of the group and get stuck in and help with various tasks, whether it's cooking meals over open fires, pitching your tent or keeping the truck clean and tidy.

 

Seatbelts

The Expedition Truck is fitted with seatbelts. For your own safety and security we recommend that travellers wear these at all times whilst the vehicle is moving.  ‘beach area’ which is a chill out zone to be used when the truck is not moving.

 

Accommodation

Camping - We will be using roomy three-person tents but only for two people. They are specially made to meet the tougher conditions of an overland trip and have mosquito netting sewn into the door and windows. Tents are shared (between two people of the same sex from the group unless you are a couple). We spend our nights in campsites. Facilities and standards at campsites vary, some are well equipped and managed and some are very basic. At bush camps you will be living off the truck, so there will be no showers or en-suite facilities! At most campsites there is the opportunity to upgrade to a private room at your own expense if you are missing your bed.

 

Lodges / Hostels - At some locations we will stay in lodges and hostels that are small, locally run establishments. The accommodation will vary depending on the rooming available, from dormitory style rooms, to twins/doubles or triple rooms. Upgrades may be available on arrival, but cannot be reliably prebooked.

 

During the day

As a guide, driving days normally start at about 8am and finish at about 5pm, with stops for lunch and buying food, seeing local sights etc. We won't be driving every day, but we will then stop for a few days and you will have free time to explore, meet local people, do some optional activities or just relax and do your own thing. Expect to sometimes get dusty & dishevelled during the day and although you will be able to shower most nights, not all camps will have hot showers.

 

Meals & cook groups

When 'on the road' or camping, we usually cook using gas or over open fires in a rota system and you can expect to cook in a group of two or three people at least once on this trip. Your cook group will have to decide on what to cook, utilise stocks from the truck stores and locally obtain ingredients from markets, shops etc. and rustle up a meal. But don't worry if you're not an Ainsley Harriott as the rest of the group and the Tour leader will lend a helping hand. Here is an idea of what to expect at meal times:

 

Breakfasts: Usually simple - we help ourselves to cereal, toast, hot drinks and on occasion we will splurge with a cooked breakfast.

 

Lunch: Cold and usually quick. The cook group will put out bread, tinned supplies and maybe make a salad.

 

Dinner: Cooks come into their own in the evening, and will always attempt to cook up some delights. When the truck is parked up for a few days in a town or city most people usually like the option to eat out at local restaurants - so we often don't cook all meals when at these locations.

 

Vegetarians / Vegans / Coeliacs / Gluten & Lactose intolerance -  we will do our best to cater for any dietary requirement or intolerance whenever possible. It must be remembered that the variety of dishes available may not be the same as available to meat eaters. If there is anything in particular you require in your diet or because of an allergy or would miss from home, it would be best to bring these with you.

Remember that when eating out in local restaurants & hotels that vegetarianism or food allergies / intolerances, are still not widely known about or understood by many local people. i.e Vegetarians or Vegans will often be offered fish or chicken in error. Most large towns and cities, or areas used to tourists, will often have more choice but please be aware that it will probably not be as varied as you are used to when eating out at home.

In the evenings

When at a campsite, you and your tent buddy will put up the tent, and then lend a hand with getting out the tables, stools, firewood and water containers. The fire grates need to be taken out, the fire lit and someone can fill the kettle and make hot drinks while the cook group prepares the evening meal. Then just sit back & chill and enjoy the rest of your evening!

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