Frequently asked questions
How can we help you?
Note that your final itinerary includes comprehensive documents with very relevant information in which every effort is made to cover all of the essentials. During the planning stages no question is too odd to ask….
Africa is a massive continent. There’s a lot to it too. With some very dodgy spots and conversely totally safe areas . It holds huge and fascinating cultural diversity within both modern cities and barely inhabited wild places.
It’s these wilderness areas in which we prefer to spend most of our time on safari. Where you find very few people across a wide range of habitats from arid and seemingly barren deserts, through savannas and forests, tall mountains and deep valleys. Most of these spaces are private reserves, conservation areas, National Parks and in some cases World Heritage Sites. These are protected wild spaces. Where the wildlife and local habitats are afforded the most protection – usually from humans.
- So whilst any safari activity should be regarded as potentially hazardous the key to it all is the quality of the Professional Guides, scouts and rangers who’re responsible for keeping you safe and unlocking the secrets of the African bush on safari.
- We constantly monitor local conditions wherever we operate in East, southern and Central Africa. We also abide by recommendations and guidance offered by government bodies both in our client home territories (eg FCO and State Departments) and within Africa itself.
- Our clients are expected to take their own sensible precautions whilst travelling and to follow all legal instructions given by hosts and guides whilst on safari.
Get more information…
- safari destinations through East, southern and Central Africa
- the types of safaris that we operate, also examples of our most popular safaris
- search our blogs
If you’re a first-timer to Africa then choose between either East or southern Africa.
- East Africa is renowned for the migration in Tanzania‘s Serengeti and Kenya‘s Masai Mara. This is all about volume. Loads and loads of wildebeest, gazelle and zebra moving in a year round migratory sweep across the plains. There’re other exceptionally good areas in East Africa where there might not be so much volume but there’s lots of variety.
- Southern Africa in our opinion is a better bet for greater wildlife diversity. With an emphasis on big game. We rank Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa as the best spots in southern Africa.
If you’re seasoned in Africa then you’ll know that there’s no shortage of exceptional opportunities elsewhere in East Africa, in Central Africa’s rainforests and in some hidden enclaves down south – see our safari tips for seasoned travellers
It depends on what you want to experience and where you decide to go on safari. That’s because the seasons and regional weather conditions have a big effect on habitats and all manner of wildlife.
- We often talk about the “dry season” when games tends to concentrate near water sources. Game viewing is generally easiest. Dry weather means that remote areas are usually more accessible by road. In southern and East Africa this is usually from June to October.
- We also talk about the “wet” or “green season” when we tend to have more rain about. In southern-central Africa this is in the warm and wet summer months from November to April. In East Africa this coincides with the “short rains” in November and the “long rains” in March to May. Game is generally dispersed, game viewing often more difficult and some of our better and remoter areas are inaccessible. (More on our green season safaris.)
- East, southern and Central Africa generally share a common “high season” in July, August and September. This coincides with traditional summer holidays for northern hemisphere guests. There’re more travellers (and tourists) about. Safari prices are generally highest.
- We have a “low season”, also a “shoulder season” when fewer guests are about. Prices are reduced too.
- Then we have “secret seasons“. When wildlife and other conditions are particularly good. When there’re fewer visitors about too.
If you’re clear about what you want to experience and/or you’ve decided on where you want to go then selecting the best times to go on that particular safari is easy!
There’s no set price for a safari.
Every safari that we run is custom and tailored to your needs, timeframe and budget. The price will depend on where you travel to, when you travel, the lodging standards that are chosen, the duration of your stay at different spots, the connections between each and the needs for permits and entry fees.
Yes – speak to your doctor before you travel. Get accurate and current advice on inoculation requirements and any recently recognised medical precautions that may be necessary. We offer a few notes on medical matters here, plus some online sources for additional medical guidance.
It’s easy to get muddled for choice…even if you’re seasoned in Africa
It’s a simple as this though…
- Refine your own interests. It could be ticking off a short list of large mammals on the one hand to a finely selected list of bird species on the other. It might be landscapes or cultural experiences, even a mix of the lot. Get a clear picture of your interests.
- Choose your destination/s. Then narrow down even further. East, southern and Central Africa are separated by vast distances. Then our better safari spots are often remote from the well known safari hubs of Victoria Falls and Nairobi. You could save a lot of time and money taking sensible advice on logistics and connections. Narrow down your destinations.
- Get your timing right. Seasonal changes have a significant effect on game movements and the location of big herds. Big crowds too! Prices on safari change depending on season. “High season” when lots of travellers are about and prices are highest isn’t always the best time to be on safari! It depends on where you go and what your interests are.
You’ll find more on how to plan a safari here…
- How to plan an African safari: just a few simple links
- Going beyond the obvious: more details on safari geography, safari seasons, tips for first-timers and seasoned travellers in Africa
- African safari geography: map of Africa show the best safari destinations in East, southern and Central Africa
- Different types of African safaris: simple explanations of the different types of safaris found in Africa
- The basic checklist for you: we’ll offer extensive advise but a few planning elements are your responsibility: medical matters, travel insurance, visas and documents, plus travel gear needs.
Booking couldn’t be more simple… it’s just 3 easy steps :
- Planning – one of our safari specialists will be in touch to discuss your plans – interests, destinations, timing. (This could take a few moments over the phone, it might take several meetings and lots of correspondence over a few months to complete.)
- Confirmations – we set plans and bookings, you pay your deposit and complete the guest information form. (Confirmations are often done up to a year in advance especially during high season in some places.)
- Final preparation for travel – final payments are made, documents are issued (this usually happens up to 3 months prior to travel date).
You’re set to go!
Travel Insurance is a condition of carriage with us. We recommend that you take out the policy at the time of booking in order to cover you against any eventualities. Full details of international medical insurance and travel protection plans together with some basic travel insurance tips can be found here.
You’ll certainly have good coverage in all major cities and airports en route into our safari areas. All network providers have international roaming arrangements but you ought to check rates with your own provider in case you need to investigate better roaming charges.
Most city hotels offer complimentary WiFi.
Things change in the remoter safari areas.
- Expect very patchy cellular coverage if you’re mobile and more than 20 km from a major town.
- All permanent camps have emergency comms systems whether that’s satellite phone or better. They might even mean an internet connection – but it could be very slow, very intermittent and largely inaccessible to guests.
- Some camps in the remotest places have no network coverage but do have excellent satellite broadband.
- In some cases coupled with a strict “digital-detox” policy so that WiFi access is available only in private places away from other guests and communal areas.
If you absolutely must have internet access then please advise us up front as this could influence safari plans.
Where only one parent is travelling with a minor you’ll be expected to provide legal consent for the child/children to travel almost anywhere in the world.
Formalities for travelling with children in Africa can be onerous. You must check into this detail and ensure that you have all appropriate documents.
- Parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa will be asked to show the child’s unabridged (full) birth certificate.
- Where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (eg an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate) is required.
- There are other requirements for children travelling unaccompanied or with adults who are not their parents.
- “At what age does a hippo become a rhino?”
- “What time do they turn Victoria Falls off ?”
- “What time can we expect the lions to roar?”
- “Are the elephants allowed to push the trees over like that?”
- “Is that an African or an Indian elephant?”
- “Why don’t the cleaners pick up the elephant dung?”
- “Are warthogs born live? Or do they hatch from eggs?”
- “Are there any countries in Africa where there’re no people?”
- “That big pile of sticks in the tree (a hamerkop nest)…is that giraffe fodder?”
- “How many impala does a buffalo eat in a day?”
- “What species of dog is a lion?”
- “What do I do if I get bitten by a lion?”
- “Will I be able to speak English wherever I am on safari?”
- “Is that the same moon that we get back in the States?”
- “Are any of the local foods poisonous?”
- “Is zebra meat stripey?”