Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO GO ON SAFARI?
Africa is a year-round destination, but you’ll most likely want to avoid the rainy season. Generally speaking, the dry season is the best time for game viewing and that takes place at different times throughout the year depending on which country you’re visiting. Based on what you would like to see, we can help tailor an itinerary that fits your schedule.
WHEN SHOULD I START PLANNING FOR MY SAFARI?
We tend to utilize smaller camps which provide a more authentic and personal African bush experience. However, that means during peak times it may difficult to get your preferred dates which is why we recommend planning your private safari 12 to 24 months in advance. For our scheduled departure safaris, 6 to 12 months in advance is fine.
WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE?
The weather in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda) is beautiful all year round. The equatorial climate and higher altitudes keep the average temperature around 70 degrees F. The mornings and evenings can be cool, and you might need a fleece or sweater. In Southern Africa, the seasons are opposite ours in the U.S. and the dry season is April to October, a time when the animals will congregate around the watering holes. Weather is typically sunny and cool.
WHEN ARE THE BEST TIMES TO SEE WILDLIFE?
We’ll take our game drives when the animals are most active. Nocturnal predators like lions are generally getting ready for their naps around 8 a.m. and then start waking up again in the late afternoon. It’s very hot for the animals in the afternoons, so we usually take our breaks when they do.
WILL I REALLY SLEEP IN A TENT?
When many people hear the word “tent” they immediately flashback to their days camping with the Boy Scouts or their time during a family vacation at a campground. This image couldn’t be further from the truth for your African safari. All of our tents are more like a proper hotel with running water, flush toilets, and showers. The only difference is you can see out your room and take in the amazing views. Please see our Accommodations page for photos of a typical tent.
DO I NEED A LOT OF SHOTS TO GO TO SAFARI?
I recommend you speak to your doctor about inoculations for yellow fever, tetanus, hepatitis A and B, cholera, and rabies. With that said, though, no vaccinations beyond what you’d get normally in the U.S. are required for entry into most African countries. Depending on where your travel originates, yellow fever may be required. The Center for Disease Control’s website, www.cdc.gov, is a good source of information.
ARE THERE A LOT OF BUGS?
You might get bitten by insects on safari. These are very rarely any more serious than an itchy, inconvenient bump or two. If you’re walking through the bush (which you won’t be), ticks might be an issue—although the ticks in Africa do not carry Lyme disease and are generally more annoying than anything else.
ARE YOUR SAFARIS ESCORTED?
Yes. Peter is the one who will personally design your safari experience and will be with you as your local resource and to enhance your safari experience. In addition, there will be a local guide and driver (sometimes the same person).
WHAT’S A TYPICAL DAY ON SAFARI?
Here’s a general schedule that we might follow: • Wake up calls are around 5:30 a.m. or earlier with coffee, tea, juice, or hot chocolate and some biscuits. We head out our for our game drive a little before sunrise. • Breakfast will be in the bush during the morning drive and we usually return to camp between 10am and noon • Lunch is around 1:00 p.m. followed by leisure time until our afternoon game drive around 4pm. • Upon returning from our afternoon drive there will be time for cocktails and nibbles by the fire, followed by dinner.
WHAT WILL I EAT AND DRINK?
You will not go hungry on safari. The food is excellent with an international style. Breakfasts include cereals, fruit, fresh bread, eggs, juice, etc. Lunches and dinners may include soups, salads, vegetables, meats, and fish. Most camps can accommodate any dietary needs, including gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
IS IT SAFE TO TRAVEL TO AFRICA?
Africa can get a bad rap for being dangerous for tourists. Of course, there are risks, but while petty crime happens in large urban areas, physical attacks on tourists are very rare. Also, you won’t be walking around these areas —all transportation will be by a vehicle driven by vetted drivers who know the city inside and out, and therefore know how to keep you safe. And once we get to the bush, the only criminals are the black-backed jackals attempting to steal kills from the vultures. Be smart, of course, but your exposure to potential threats from other humans is very limited.
HOW CLOSE DO THE ANIMALS GET?
The animals you see will be wild. When on a game drive, they may approach our vehicle. Listen to your guide and follow their instructions and you will have an amazing wildlife experience. Many of our camps are not fenced in and wild animals will wander through at night. Don’t go outside of the tent without a guide (they stand guard over the camp 24/7, so they are always ready to help). Follow their instructions and you will be safe and don’t wander off through camp or the bush alone. (Seriously, don’t wander off through the bush. In Africa, you taste especially good.)
WHAT IS YOUR TYPICAL GROUP SIZE?
For our private safaris, you determine the size of your group. Generally, those range between four and twelve guests. For our small group safaris we limit the number of guests to six to eight in two vehicles. For our group photo safaris, the number of guests is limited to three per vehicle so that each guest has a row to themselves for their equipment and to spread out.
WILL I HAVE WI-FI?
Cell phone coverage in Africa is very good, including most game parks. You would need to check with your carrier to see their roaming policies. Many of the camps have Wi-Fi, usually in the main tent area and sometimes in the tent. They are cellular-based systems, so they’re not designed for streaming, but do a good job with email, social media, and sending small photos.
CAN WE DRINK THE WATER?
The water in many cities and small towns in purified and safe to drink, but we recommend drinking bottled water. At camps and in the safari vehicles we provide bottled water as well as in your tents for brushing your teeth.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE COST?
Practically everything. We include all transfers, all meals, all beverages (including standard alcohol), internal flights, tips for drivers/guides, as well as camp staff. Costs not included are passport and visa costs, international airfare, immunizations, travel insurance, and personal expenses like souvenirs and phone calls.
HOW MUCH LUGGAGE CAN I TAKE ON SAFARI?
Luggage restrictions vary between 30-35lbs per person depending on the type and size of aircraft used. However, if you need more space, we can purchase cargo seats on many flights. Laundry services is offered at most camps so there is not a need to pack as many clothes which will keep your weight down.
ARE CHILDREN ALLOWED ON SAFARI?
An African safari is a great family experience; however, many camps have a minimum age limit of 6 (for some the limit is 12). This is due to the nature of an African safari and the children need to be able to be attentive during the long game drives. If you’re booking a private safari with us and exclusive use of the camp, then the camps are less restrictive about the age limits.