Common Questions asked when considering an Africa safari
On this page you will be able to read the most commonly asked questions that guests have asked us when they are preparing to travel to Africa. Where to go?, What types of accommodation, hat to bring etc. It is all here. If your question is not answered here, please e-mail your question to us and we will assist you.
You can click the question’s title and the answer will expand below.
What do your price(s) include?
All prices are ‘land only’. They exclude international or domestic scheduled flights, but include seat in plane or private charter flights where mentioned. Each itinerary stipulates what activities, meals, transfers and services are included. Please contact us if you have any specific questions.
Is it safe to travel in Africa?
As in most countries worldwide, crimes against people and property are a fact of life in some parts of the countries in Southern Africa and East Africa. If you adhere to basic principles, like you would in any large city anywhere in the world, like: not carrying valuables in plain view, keeping cameras hidden and not go about walking alone at night – you should be safe and sound. Be aware of onlookers and make use of hotel safety deposit boxes. Travellers with tour operators/groups are the least at risk and self-drive clients are advised to plan in advance which routes they wish to travel and to get all of their destination information ahead of time. If travelling by car, make sure the doors are locked at all times and that no bags or purses are left on passenger seats.
When is the best time to travel to Southern Africa?
Southern Africa is a year-round destination, as different regions are at their most spectacular at different times. Winter in Southern Africa is between May and September. These months are often popular for game viewing, as it is dry and the wildlife is much easier to see. It is also cooler. In summer, the temperature often reaches between 30 and 40°C. Summer often coincides with the rainy season, resulting in lush, green countryside and lovely scenery. Click here for more information on when to visit Africa’s top wildlife reserves.
When is the best time to travel to East Africa?
The long rains are from early April through to early June, and the short rains from late November through December. It is often less expensive to travel during the long rainy season. Dry seasons offer excellent game viewing and more reliable road conditions, and game tends to congregate around the limited water sources, making the animals easier to find. July and August are generally extremely busy in East Africa, offering comfortable temperatures in addition to being a popular time for travel world-wide … so be sure to book well in advance. Click here for more information on when to visit Africa’s top wildlife reserves.
How did the “big five” get their name?
The “big five” are leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo. These animals constitute a wish list for many people on safari. The term is a reference from colonial trophy hunting. Hunters ranked African animals as to how dangerous they were to hunt. This is why hippo and giraffe – despite their stature – are not among this elite, sought-after group.
What medical supplies are available on safari?
It is best to bring any prescription medication with you and enough for the entire safari. Most cities and towns have pharmacies equipped with most things one requires, from aspirin and aftershave to Xanax and Zambuk. But when in the bush you are far away from any city. Also keep in mind that South Africa has a first world infrastructure, but the further north one travels, the more difficult it may be to acquire a specific medication.
What about malaria?
Malaria is a dangerous disease, but if you take your anti-malarials, your chances of getting it are extremely slim. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the disease and as the insects are more active at night, it is recommended that all travellers wear long-sleeved trousers and sleeves at night time; sleep under mosquito netting where possible and take along mosquito repellent.
What types of food would we expect on safari?
You will enjoy a wide variety of meals during your stay and many chefs attempt to include an “African” flavour in their menus. It is possible to get vegetarian, halaal and most food preferences in Southern and East Africa. If you have any special dietary requirements let us know in advance we endeavour to cater for you where ever possible. Our guides are trained to cater for all different types of culinary tastes. As a rule, do not eat anything purchased at the side of the road and wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
Is it safe to drink the water?
It is safe to drink the tap water in most African countries. However we recommend guests keep to the bottled water supplied on safari. Our safari vehicles carry drinking water at all times. Bottled water is also supplied and available at all the main camps and lodges.
Do you require Travel Insurance whilst travelling in Africa?
As part of our Terms and Conditions all guests must have travel insurance against all eventualities and circumstances. There are many companies offering travel insurance, so please contact us or ask your flight agent to recommend the best one for you.
What visas do I need?
Contact us for detailed visa information for each of the individual countries.
Is there internet available in Africa?
Yes. Most city hotels will have either internet connection in your bedroom or a business centre. A few safari lodges and camps also have internet wifi in certain locations at the lodge, however it is best to work on the basis that internet is only available in main city accommodations, and not in remote lodges and camps.
What is the typical number of people on one of your safaris?
This varies depending on the itinerary. Scheduled departures operate with small groups ranging from a minimum of 2 guests and maximum 16 guests (depending on the itinerary), which makes for a more personal and flexible safari experience for all. We cater for larger groups and tailor-made safaris. On tailor-made itineraries the camps and lodges we use of are mostly small and intimate, geared around personal service and comfort and are very luxurious. These properties usually cater to between 10 and 24 guests. Larger, less expensive game lodges (often used in scheduled/set departures) have between 50 and 100 rooms.
What are the accommodation facilities like on one of the safaris?
Click here to view some of the types of accommodation offered on safari
What activities are available during the safari?
Depending on the safari, there are many different types of activities available while on safari from game drives, guided walks, bird watching, boating, canoeing, adventure – based activities like white water rafting, helicopter rides over Victoria Falls, balloon trips over the Serengeti etc.
What currency should I take with me on safari?
The most widely accepted currency in Africa is the USD. Euro and UK pounds are also accepted in most areas. There are ATM machines as well as money changed facilities in most of the major centres throughout the region we operate in.
Do you have an age limit on your safaris?
We do not have an age limit on any of our safaris, however do require a doctor’s certificate for guests over 65 years of age. The oldest person we have had on one of our safaris was 91 years of age. So … as long as you know what to expect you are most welcome to join us on a safari.
Do you run family safaris?
Africa offers outstanding experiences for families. However, some destinations and establishments cater more fully for the enjoyment of children than others. In Kenya, children five years old and younger are generally not allowed on game drives in the parks and reserves. Travel to Tanzania is not recommended for children younger than eight years old, mainly because there is more road-based travel. In Botswana and Zambia many lodges do not take children under 12 years, or if they do guests must book a separate vehicle or book out a camp. Most lodges have swimming pools, where as most luxury tented camps do not have pools. Click here to view examples of our Family Safaris to Southern Africa and East Africa.
What type of vehicles do you use?
Vehicles used depend on the safari you book and the country you visit. Click here to view some of the vehicles used on safari.
Do you tailor-make safaris for groups and or individuals?
Yes we often tailor-make/customise safaris for couples, families and groups. Click here for more information on tailor-made safaris.
What clothes should I take on Safari?
Clothing should be in neutral colours, e.g., khaki, beige, bush green. A good guideline is two of everything – socks, underwear, slacks/shorts, shirts, but ONE pullover or cardigan. A hat is essential! Bring warm clothing for the winter months as the evenings can be cool.
Are there laundry facilities available during the safari?
Most lodges have laundry facilities, however some luxury tented camps that are environmentally conscious do not always offer laundry service.. Similarly, on our mobile camping safaris we ask laundry to be kept to a minimum. Details can be found in the detailed itineraries of the specific safari that you’re interested in.
Can I book pre and post safari accommodation, transfers, activities etc?
Yes, we can organise all pre and post accommodation, transfers etc.
What camera equipment is essential while on safari?
Binoculars are essential, preferably wide angle, such as 10×42’s. A good camera with a powerful zoom or telephoto lens will reward you with superb shots. Make sure you have plenty of memory and extra batteries as you will probably take for more photos than you think.
How far in advance should I book my safari?
It is best to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel (4-6 months), especially during the peak seasons (June to October and Christmas/New Year period). This is especially important for those wishing to travel on private tailor-made safari and those adding extensions to scheduled safaris.