Is Kenya safe?
Generally East Africa is considered safe for travel. This is the reason why they are usually brochured. However, the best way to make a judgment is to look at your government’s advisories if any on Kenya. We constantly monitor the areas we operate in and we will change your program in the event of any safety or security concerns.
When is the right time to visit Kenya?
East Africa is an all year round destination. We generally have 2 rainy seasons from mid March to end of May sometimes to mid-June and from mid-October to end of November sometimes to mid December. Therefore traditionally, the recommended period for a wildlife safari to Kenya is between July and October which coincides with the Great Wildebeest Migration in Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya However, through experience, we have operated safaris successfully during the wet part of the year throughput Kenya.
This will be my first travel to Africa, how will I get around at the airport of arrival?
Upon arrival at the airport, our staff with a signage-board bearing your full names or the safari group name you are booked for will meet you at the airport complete with a vehicle on standby for your transfer to the hotel to rest or you may well be on your way to your first safari destination
Do I need to have valid Travel Documents when visiting Kenya?
YES. Passports– your passport must be valid for a minimum of 6 months from the start of your visit to East Africa. Separate passports for children are recommended but they may travel on their parent’s passport. Please carry a photocopy of each passport separately.
Visas visa regulations may be reviewed from time to time. We kindly advise that our visitors obtain the current visa information directly from appropriate consulates. Generally a visa may be issued on arrival but is more costly and time consuming. Apply for appropriate visas well in advance to enter Kenya. Soon Kenya will be using a single entry visa. We will keep you up to date on this as you make your travel arrangements with us.
Air tickets– Always re-confirm your return flights. While on safari re-confirm them at least 72 hours prior to departure at the end of your safari. Our concierge personnel or your safari guide will help you in case it slips out of your mind.
Airport departure tax– is payable in all immigration controlled airports of entry and exit in East Africa payable either in US dollars or applicable local currency.
Are there any health precautions I should know of when visiting Kenya?
You will have to consult your doctor for the latest medical advice for your planned visit to Kenya. Yellow fever vaccination and malarial prophylaxis are advised, however we recommend precautional vaccination for: – tetanus, diphtheria, polio, typhoid, hepatitis A & B, rabies, meningitis Visitors on special medication should carry ample supplies it at all times. It is also advisable to carry a wrist-tag, your physician’s instructions, the physician’s address and prescription details in case of an emergency. For eyewear, because of the dust, contact lenses are uncomfortable. For visitors wearing prescription glasses, we recommend clip-on Polaroid lenses or prescription sunglasses. Carry plenty of sun block, lip balm, moisturizers, insect repellents, sting spray, contact lens solutions, small tissue packs, handy-wipes and sanitary products.
Do I require an insurance cover to visit Kenya?
As a company policy, we insist that all visitors travelling with us must have adequate personal accident, baggage, trip cancellation, medical & medical evacuation insurance before the tour can begin. Carry all insurance documentation and home emergency telephone numbers including that of your physician that should be with you at all times. Note: – At a small fee, you can purchase a local air rescue insurance cover through Uzuri Africa-The African Splendour limited agents.
How much money should I bring with me?
Carry minimum amounts of cash. US dollars, UK pounds and Euros are generally accepted in East Africa for small purchases of souvenirs, medication, toiletries, photography consumables and to tip(a tipping guideline is always provided with a confirmed booking). Major credit cards, American express, Visa and master cards are generally acceptable.
What about my personal safety?
You are probably safe when visiting the countryside and game parks than in big cities like Nairobi and Mombasa. When isolated incidences of insecurity are reported, the government and the wildlife departments usually tighten security in the concerned areas. The vehicle assigned to your safari is equipped with a high frequency radio and generally our staff will have a cellphone. In case of an emergency situation, our head office or rangers and government security personnel will be reached immediately.
Will I and my belongings be safe at the game lodge or camp?
Most resorts in game parks are fenced-off to ensure that the wild animal’s don’t wander in and compromise your personal safety. If your camp does not have an electric fence, please ensure you obtain an escort for all your movements within the camp at all times. While at a lodge or camp, please ensure that you do not leave your cash and valuables unattended. In any circumstance use the safe deposit or lock them up in your bag. Cameras, pair of binoculars or other safari accessories are generally safe inside the room. Tented camps do not have locks on the door and the staff have to be trusted. On leaving the lodge or camp for a game drive, ensure that all your belongings are with you or kept in a safe deposit. Report any missing items to the camp manager or your safari guide immediately for further action.
How safe and secure am I and my personal belongings while in the cities in East Africa?
Our advice is to take all the common sense and precautions. However do not be afraid to explore the cities, the locals are gentle by nature and love interacting with visitors. Observe the following as a precaution.
- Avoid known trouble spots within any city.
- Take guided tours and excursions.
- Use chauffeur driven cars where possible.
- Do not travel long distances at night on your own.
- Keep the windows of your vehicle locked.
- Avoid walking in the streets with lots of cash and valuables.
- Leave your jewelry at home.
- Use the hotel safe and obtain a receipt.
- Lock your bags inside your room with a sturdy lock.
- Inform your guide or lodge staff before you embark on any little expedition.
- If threatened do not resist. Handover whatever the attacker is demanding.
Do I travel by road or by air on safari?
Traditionally, an African safari involves travel by a motor vehicle over dusty, bumpy and un-paved roads. The fan of it all is that road travel affords you a chance to see the countryside and to meet and appreciate the way of life of the local communities. Comparatively safari by air is more comfortable, quick and offer unrivalled panoramic views of the African landscape. And you arrive at the selected destination more fresh though more expensive. Some of our safaris include sectors done by air while our bespoke safaris have all sectors done by air.
What will be the normal distances and time spent travelling on a normal safari?
A safari will always begin from a major city that has an international airport. The typical distance by a vehicle to the game reserve is approximately 200kms. Some road sectors of your safari will be dusty, bumpy and tiring and our professional driver guide takes 3 to 5 hours, sometimes longer to get you there. The driver guide is instructed to ensure a safe and comfortable journey and is under strict instructions not to rush to get to the destination. All vehicles are fitted with a speed control limiter that restrict the speed to 80 k.p.h (about 53 m.p.h.). Air transport is relatively expensive, but air travel to such destinations may be advised for greater comfort and time saving. A game drive will last anywhere between 2 and 3 hours and it is common practice to have 2 game drives per day.
What is the normal routine while on safari?
Once in the game park you will be able to enjoy early morning and afternoon game drives. At selected reserves, night game drives or a guided nature walk may be organized by the lodge. At day break you will be woken gently by the camp staff delivering a freshly brewed cup of coffee or tea to your door step. By 6.30 am you are well off on your morning game drive. Taking photos with the morning sunlight provides the perfect opportunity for stunning pictures. After approximately 2 hours drive, you will return to your lodge/camp for breakfast. Depart for the afternoon game drives between 3 and 4 o’clock to return to your lodge in time for drinks before dinner. The predators are active early in the morning and late afternoon which may provide you with a great opportunity to see them make a kill.
How many days do I spend at every point visited?
We advise a minimum of 2 days at each game park as per our packages. On request an extended stay by one or 2 days may be favourable. Such requests may be as result of an attractions like the migration of the Mara/Serengeti or special occasions like honeymoon periods. Our esteemed clients may request to add a beach extension after the wildlife safari. Please do not hesitate to talk to us about it or conduct our professional tours officer at the time of booking your safari.
Are meals on safari safe? And are there any special diet meals served while on safari?
All the hotels, lodges and camps booked for your safari serve English-style and buffet meals to ensure that you do not travel on an empty stomach. Your dietary needs of a vegetarian meal, salt-free meal, kosher meal or a meal that is free from some meats etc can be requested for at the time of booking or at least before getting to your next destination. We recommend that you drink the provided mineral water only and avoid street food. Vegetable and fruit Salads are safe as they are prepared and washed using purified water. Please note that vegetable salads served are all organically grown and it may take a while for your stomach to get used to it.
What kind of clothes should I wear on safari?
Pack lightly and leave ample space in your suitcase for souvenirs. Pack plenty of cotton T-shirts and long sleeved shirts, socks and underwear. Also pack linen or drill shorts, trousers and jacket. A jumper, a formal jacket and tie, formal dress, bathing suit and a light shower-proof anorak are recommended. Light hats, scarfs, handkerchiefs that protect your head, neck and nose are essential. A formal tie and jacket for gentlemen and formal dress for ladies will be advisable for your farewell dinner and is a requirement for dinner if visiting Mount Kenya safari club. A pair of lightweight sandals, walking boots and formal shoes are recommended. There is no colour code but keep the earthy dull colours especially for walking nature safaris. In the evenings generally temperatures drop considerably and a warm sweater, a jumper or jacket is handy. In most camps and lodges log-fire is not uncommon.
Can I bring with me portable personal equipment, books and magazines?
Camera– a snap-short camera is recommended together with a zoom lens and a filter kit. Bring a minimum of 8-gigabytes memory space and spare batteries/battery pack. Video camera– video camera can be recommended too for capturing those rare moment on nature safari expeditions like nature walks birding and culture visits. Camera and video battery charging can be done inside your room or a designated areas at all hotels, lodges and camps. Battery chargers and adaptors may be provided by your lodge/hotel but for convenience, please bring your own with square prongs and remember our electricity is rated at 220-240 volts. Pair of binoculars– bring with you a light-weight and powerful pair of binoculars. Other equipment– bring with you a small and powerful flash light with extra batteries; most lodges and camps use generators for electricity supply and will be switched off at mid-night. Hair dryer-This is handy as some lodges and camps do not provide them. Reading material– bring adequate reading material like wildlife literature, guide books and maps; the trip will be more fulfilling if at your spare time you read relevant information provided by your guide.
Will there be any additional costs to my tour?
We have included the cost for accommodation, meals, transport & transfers, game park entry fees, soft drinks including bottled water and bottled soda for every safari. This costing includes booked extras like bush meals and cocktails, beer and house wines by the glass for our premium safari packages. The additional costs you have to worry about are optional excursions such as hot air balloon (if not in your package), visit to a local traditional village (if not in your package), visa fees, travel insurance, tips and items of personal nature.
Is tipping a MUST for the services I will use?
Tips to your safari director, driver guide, the hotel staff and any other service providers will be at your discretion. However we recommend between 10-12 dollars for your guides per person per day and between 2-5 dollars for hotel staff (room steward and waiting staff) per person per service/day. For the bar attendant, any loose change will suffice.
What if I have special needs?
WILDERNESS BREAKS will gladly assist in selecting a tour that will be conducive to a physically challenged traveler or if you travel with a dependant with a disability, or if traveling with your children or you may be having dietary requirements or any other special needs, please let us know in advance and we will try our best to accommodate your needs. Most of the lodges have special arrangements for the physically challenged in form of easy access ramps to bathrooms, common areas like the dining rooms. We will provide a ramp to climb on-board the safari vehicle at all stages.
Should I join a group or plan a private safari?
The advantage of a group safari is the opportunity to socialize and meet other travelers with similar interests, it also works out cheaper. A private safari on the other hand has its own great advantages for those who are serious photographers, those who prefer privacy and highly personalized services, those who want to do something different from the conventional, those who want to spend more days in a particular point of visit or even spent more days at a particular lodge/camp, spend more time on a sighting and or even to have privacy while celebrating special occasions like weddings and other anniversaries. Please talk to us for that specially customized safari.
Can I travel with my children?
All our safari programs accept families traveling with children. Most lodges and camps are children friendly and have special programs that are meant for children. Nanny services are rare in East Africa therefore we recommend that you book for one well in advance at a cost.
After placing an enquiry or paying a deposit, will there be kind of commitment?
We will promptly respond to all your enquiries and correspondences. Our tour consultants will update you with any valuable information concerning your selected tour. On receipt of a deposit we will begin the tour booking process and will immediately send to you the status of accommodation bookings and the availability of the tour. The final payment of the cost of your safari is expected at least 60 days before the start of the trip. We will discuss terms and conditions in detail once our visitors have confirmed a tour.