Frequently Asked Questions for Afrikan Wildlife Safaris
Qn: What is the weather like?
Ans: In East Africa, its tropical climate, though the heat is tempered by the altitude, as much of the region is more than 1000m above sea level. Rainy seasons are from March to May and September to November. Dry seasons are from December to February and mid June to Mid August. Average temperatures range from 16ᵒC (61ᵒF) to 25ᵒC (77ᵒF), but in the northeast part of East Africa, temperatures exceed 30ᵒC (86ᵒF)
In Southern Africa, the winter 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 30ᵒC and 40°C. Summer often coincides with the rainy season, resulting in lush, green countryside and lovely scenery.
Qn: What do your Quotations include?
Ans: All quotations are ground operations. The international flights and travel insurance are not included. Domestic scheduled flights or private charter flights where mentioned are included, or we can book it, then you pay it directly to the service provider. Each itinerary stipulates what activities, meals, transfers and services are included.
Qn: What should I bring?
Ans: Day Pack, High SPF sunscreen, Flashlight, Insect repellent, Spare or rechargeable batteries (these are difficult to find once your are in the parks), water proof bags to protect equipments, electric plug adaptors for 240 volts AC50 Hz- UK – style square-pin plugs used in former British colonies and round two –pins for former French countries, antiseptic hand wash, an international driving license for self-drive, contact lenses in case one uses them because you cannot find them when on safari.
Qn: Should I bring any special equipment?
Ans: This depends on your interest, for photography, birding and wildlife enthusiasts, 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.
Qn: Do I need a visa to enter the Country of Destination?
Ans: Most nationalities can obtain a visa for 90 days at arrival at the airports in East Africa or from the embassies of these countries in your home country before departure. For most Countries in South of Africa, it’s better to obtain the visa from the embassy from your country or online before departure.
Qn: What currency should I take with me on safari?
Ans: The most widely accepted currency in Africa is the USD. Euro and UK pounds are also accepted in most countries. There are also ATM machines as well as forex bureaus which can change the foreign currencies to local currency in the major centers in most countries in Africa.
Qn: Can I use Credit or Debit cards?
Ans: Visa is more widely accepted in 3-5 star hotels/lodges and store, followed by master card. Other credit cards are unlikely to work depending on the country you’re in.
Qn: Can I bargain when shopping?
Ans: Prices are fixed in shops, hotels and restaurants, but craft markets will be flexible. You stand a better chance of getting a reduced price if you purchase several items from the same seller.
Qn: What vaccinations do I need?
Ans: A yellow fever vaccine is essential – bring your certificate with you. Hepatitis A and B, meningitis, polio, tetanus and typhoid vaccinations are also recommended. A rabies vaccination is recommended for anyone who expects to be in close contacts with wildlife animals or in a very remote area. You have to be aware that some of these require a course of injections, and others take several days to take effect, so you should visit your doctor or travel clinic as soon as possible before you travel.
Qn: Should I bring any other medications?
Ans: The anti-malaria tablets are highly recommended throughout East and Southern Africa. Visit your local travel clinic to determine which type is best for you. Note: Chloroquine does NOT protect against malaria in Uganda. Bring all prescription medications with you because they may not be available in some countries.
Qn: What other health risks are there?
Ans: Even if you are taking anti-malarials, you should still wear insect repellent, long sleeved shirts, long trousers and closed shoes. This will help protect you from other dieses carried by mosquitoes and other insects like tsetse flies. Most of the accommodation in high-risk areas will have mosquito nets, please use them. Avoid swimming in most lakes because they carry high risk of bilharzia. Lastly the tap water is not suitable for drinking, take the provided bottled water.
Qn: Do you require Travel Insurance whilst travelling in Africa?
Ans: We highly recommend all guests to have travel insurance against all eventualities and circumstances. You can contact companies offering travel insurance or contact your flight agent to recommend the best one for you.
Qn: How safe is Africa for tourists?
Ans: All our areas of operation are generally considered to be safe and stable. You just need to be careful in cities, do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables, and keep money and credit card in an inside pocket, do not walk alone at night – you should be safe and sound. Just adhere to basic principles. 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.
Qn: What is the best time to travel to Africa?
Ans: In East Africa, the rains are from early April through to early June, and the short rains from late November through. 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. For South of Africa, this is all year-round destination, 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.
Qn: Do I need a plug adaptor?
Ans: You need to come with the universal adaptor.
Qn: Is there electricity everywhere?
Ans: Some areas outside the towns and cities don’t have electricity. The lodges in the wilderness areas will usually have solar panels or generators. This means that there is only power at certain times of the day, or the plug sockets are limited. In some countries, there are regular power rationing to keep up with the demand for electricity. This may occur several times a day, and vary in duration. These will not affect the lodges with solar panel and generators.
Qn: How can I make phone call when in Africa?
Ans: If your cellphone is compatible, you may be able to purchase an inexpensive local sim card depending the country you visited, each country has different international dialing code, ask your guide or the office for the code in the country of destination.
Qn: What activities are available during the safari?
Ans: This depends on the itinerary and destination, there are many different types of activities in our areas of operations. To mention but a few, gorilla trekking, chimpanzee trekking, Bird watching, game drives, Cultural experience, mountain climbing, Diving, guided nature walks, boating cruise on lakes and rivers, canoeing on rivers, white water rafting, helicopter rides over Victoria Falls, balloon trips over the Serengeti and Queen Elizabeth etc.
Qn: Where can I use the internet?
Ans: Internet cafes are common in all major towns and cities, though the connections likely to be very slow. Some hotel/lodges and restaurants also offer Wi-Fi
Qn: What types of food do we have on safari?
Ans: Different hotels/lodges provide with a wide variety of meals during your stay and they attempt to include an “African” flavor on their menus. If you have any special dietary requirements, please let your guide know in advance and they always endeavor to cater for by informing the hotels/lodges in advance. Just an advise, do not eat anything purchased at the side of the road and wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
Qn: What kind of vehicles do you use?
Ans: This depends on the safari you book and the country of destination. We normally use Toyota Land Cruiser or Land Rovers for small group of people between 1 – 5 pax. We also use 4 x 4 Vans and Omin Buses for people who are 5-10 pax. For big group going Trans-Africa, we use over landers.
Qn: Do you have an age limit on your safaris?
Ans: There is no age limit on our safaris. It’s only the children under the age of 14 years who cannot do the gorilla and chimpanzee trekking. Diving and rafting also limits children. . 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, whereas most luxury tented camps do not have pools.
Qn: Are there laundry facilities available during the safari?
Ans: In most national parks or tourist areas, the hotels/lodges offer laundry facilities at a small cost. However some camps that are environmentally conscious do not offer laundry service.