SOCIALLY-CONSCIOUS LUXURY SAFARIS
Frequently Asked Questions
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, can be another 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.
WHAT’S THE WEATHER LIKE?
You can travel to Africa year around, but most likely will want to avoid the rainy season. In Southern Africa, the seasons are opposite ours 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. In East Africa, the climate is equatorial, and temperatures are pleasant year-round. The rainy season is April and May and many camps close at this time.
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.
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 will meet at the main tent at 6:00 a.m. and head out for our morning drive.
• Breakfast will be in the bush during the morning drive. We usually return to camp between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
• Lunch will be around 1:00 p.m.
• Afternoon game drive starts around 4:00 p.m. or 4:30 p.m., with us returning to camp around 6:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
• We’ll have cocktails and nibbles by the fire, followed by dinner.
WHAT WILL I EAT AND DRINK?
The food at most camps is very good 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?
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 virtually non-existent.
HOW CLOSE DO THE ANIMALS GET?
The animals you see will be wild. When on a game drive, the animals 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. 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 you with wherever you want to go or whatever you might need). Listen to what they say. You are 100 percent safe as long as you follow their directions 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?
Four our small group safaris we limit the number of guests to six to eight in two vehicles. For our private or family safaris there is no limit to the number of guests. The safari vehicles we use can accommodate up to nine guests. However, we limit the number of guests to three or four per vehicle so that each person can have a row to themselves and not be crowded. For our photos safaris, the number of guests is limited to three per vehicle.
What about cell phone and internet?
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. It is also in your tents for brushing your teeth.