Questions About Safaris


Popular Questions

Safaris are wonderful in any season, but the game viewing in East Africa is certainly the best in the dry months. The animals tend to congregate around waterholes and the grass on the plains isn’t as thick and tall. The wildlife is therefore easier to locate and observe. The dry season in east Africa extends from July through October. The short rains usually begin in November.
The disadvantage of traveling in the dry season is that this is when the reserves are most crowded with tourists. The wildlife sightings are still wonderful from November on, however, and the price of traveling in the off-months usually goes down a bit.

Good question, but there are way too many variables to come up with anything like an accurate estimate. The season of travel, length of stay, level of accommodation, destination, number of travelers in the group and other factors must all be considered. But let’s just say that with plenty of advance notice and careful planning, there are times when a basic ten day East African safari for a group of four can be as low as $5K to $6K per person. During the peak season the costs will certainly be higher, particularly if the travelers wish to stay at the premier camps and lodges.

This is a personal choice. We recommend that our guests have a policy that covers their trip, as life is unpredictable.

The timing of the Great Migration can vary because it is heavily dependent upon the weather—specifically rain that brings the new grasses upon which wildebeest graze. The great herds can be found in Serengeti National Park from November to May. From January onward, wildebeest, zebra and Thompson’s gazelle alternate between the woodlands and plains depending on the weather.
In May the animals slowly begin to move north, and by July they are in the more lush plains of Kenya’s Masai Mara, where they usually remain until October.
Anticipating the short rains—and the promise of mineral-rich grasslands that this entails—the herds begin their trek down to the Serengeti along an eastern route. In November and December, they arrive to intensely green savannahs and woodlands where they stay until the cycle begins again.

Your payment includes all lodging, meals unless otherwise indicated, the cost of your vehicle and guide, national park fees and bottled water in the vehicle.
In general, the expenses you will need to anticipate are international airfare, passport and visa costs, immunizations, and personal expenses such as tips, drinks and laundry at some lodges, phone calls and souvenirs.

Absolutely. Just contact us to begin the planning. We’ll listen to your needs and give expert recommendations based on your interests, timeline and budget.

We recommend booking as far in advance as possible to ensure availability.

Your deposit of 35% of the cost of the trip is due upon confirmation. The balance is owed not later than 60 days prior to departure. We accept checks or wire transfers. We can also issue a PayPal invoice which can be paid by credit card (Note: there is a 3% additional charge to cover PayPal fees).

In the more remote locations, you are assured of the services of the Flying Doctors—a group of well-qualified physicians who travel by aircraft throughout the bush to provide treatment and transportation in East Africa. The cost of the Flying Doctors insurance is included in the price of your safari.

It’s best to have a detailed discussion on this with our representatives. In principle, children of any age are welcome and safaris can be specifically tailored to family needs. It’s important to remember, however, that patience is required in order to get the most out of the safari experience. There are times when small children may not have the staying power to remain in the field for hours on end. Ultimately the decision will be contingent on the good judgment of the parents.

The restrictions are changing on a daily basis, please reach out for information.

Before You Depart

Visas are required for entry into all of our destination countries – Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania. We will work with all our travelers to obtain visa information specific to your citizenship and safari destination.

We will review immunizations and general health considerations with you prior to your safari, because the rules do change from time to time. A visit to your local Travel Health specialist is always recommended to ensure you have the absolute most up to date information.
No safari goer should leave home without an effective antibiotic in his or her medical kit. You don’t want Travelers’ Diarrhea to spoil what should be one of the great adventures of your life. An adequate supply of Imodium should be on hand as well, for the same reason. Your Travel Health Specialist will also probably prescribe a malarial preventive as well. Malarone seems to work best for us … gets the job done without the side effects.

After you confirm your safari, you’ll receive documents that include a complete packing list. Your clothing should be comfortable and casual. Khaki, olive, brown and tan clothing increases your chances of seeing wildlife and offers the added benefit of concealing dirt. Since laundry service will be available in many of the places visited, you should avoid the temptation to over-pack.

It is strongly recommended that you bring your preference of insect or mosquito repellent. Mosquitos become a bit more active in the evening. Flies can also be a nuisance depending on your location and proximity to the wildebeest and zebra herds.

Yes. If flying on internal flights you will have weight restrictions.  All bags must be soft sided and preferably without wheels. The baggage weight constraint is 15Kg, which equates to 33 lbs. You can also take a small carry on (not too heavy) to be placed at your feet or in the rear of the passenger compartment. However, if your bags are adjudicated to be too heavy you can expect to be assessed a charge for excess weight.

While On Safari

We use customized 4×4 safari vehicles (i.e. Toyota Land cruisers), that have been designed to conquer the demanding road conditions in East Africa. All vehicles have pop-up roofs that can be locked open during game drives, providing each passenger a window seat.

The food at the camps we use is superb across the board. East Africans justly take great pride in the cuisine, and many of the camp and lodge chefs study European cooking magazines to stay apprised of the best culinary techniques and newest innovations. A nice variety of food is also offered, accommodating omnivores, vegetarians and those with dietary restrictions.

Our destination countries are equatorial, so there isn’t a significant variation in temperatures from one month to the next. Because most of the reserves and national parks we visit are at elevation, the nights can be very cool. We recommend all travelers bring along a light fleece jacket and a sweatshirt or two. A rain jacket is a good idea even in the dry season. As elsewhere throughout the world, the weather is never entirely predictable.
Daytime temperatures can be quite warm, although they are significantly more bearable than, say, Washington DC, in July. Layering is certainly the best approach. The jackets worn on the early morning game drives will start to come off at about 9 am or a little after.

Absolutely. After passing through customs and immigration at your arrival airport, you will be greeted by our representative and transferred to your hotel.

Wi-Fi is available in most camps, and there is usually no charge for the use of it.

Most smart phones can be used internationally, but guests should be aware of the expensive data roaming fees that can accumulate while travelling. You should check with your provider before departure to ensure your phone is configured for service.
For voice calls back to the U. S. we recommend the use of the WhatsApp application. It generally works well if you have wifi service, and it is free.

Our vehicles seat up to six passengers. Since all our safaris are customized, the number of people in the vehicle will be dictated solely by the size of your group.

We offer an array of accommodation options that will suit any budget. This includes everything from lodges to remote, intimate camps.

Many of our trips provide opportunities to visit local villages and interact with the people. However, if your itinerary does not include these visits, you’ll still gain valuable local insight from your expert guide, who will be a native of the host country.

You should practice normal precautions and do not flash and leave valuables out in the open. We strongly recommend that any valuables which are not necessary for your trip should be left at home. You may also choose to store smaller valuables in the accommodations’ office safe or the in-room safe.

You cannot leave Africa. It is always with you, there inside your head.
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