Safari Joe

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Frequently Asked Questions - east africa

FAQs - east africa

A vaccination certificate is required for travel throughout East Africa with proof of your Yellow Fever Vaccination.  We recommend you seek professional advice from your doctor, travel nurse or medical centre a minimum of 5 to 6 weeks before your departure date. This is because for example some malaria prophylaxes need to be taken for several weeks prior to arriving in a malarial area

Luggage should be kept to a minimum, especially if you will be travelling via light aircraft. In East Africa the limit is typically 15 kg per person. This should be in soft bags as opposed to hard suit cases. On road safaris the weight and size allowance is not as important but you should still try to bring as little as possible. For game viewing it is best to wear beige, brown, khaki or green coloured clothing so the wildlife is not alerted to your presence. Camouflage clothing is not permitted in some countries. See more details on our recommended Packing List.

East Africa straddles the equator and is known as a "year round destination" which can be visited anytime. The hottest months are late January to end of March while the coolest are July and August. There are two rainy seasons, known as "the long rains", between late March and early June and the "short rains" during November and December. Global weather patterns are changing and sometimes the rains fail completely in some parts and there is a period of drought or there may be heavy rains outside the normal rainy season. However when it rains it tends to be mainly at night or in the early morning which means there can still be sunny days in between. Many safari camps close during May when the long rains are at their height, as the tracks and roads get muddy and it may not be possible for the vehicles to take visitors on game drives. During the hot months of January to March conditions can often be dry and dusty and the animals may congregate near water-holes so that there is excellent wildlife viewing. Just after the rainy seasons, in June or again in December, many of the animals have their young to coincide with the better grazing from new grass following the rains. The wildebeest migration moves into the Mara between July and September and this is when many visitors come to Kenya and the parks can get more crowded with safari tourist vehicles.

Many visitors are surprised to find that on safari there are often not as many bugs as there are in their home countries and frequently they tell us that they did not even see a mosquito on safari! However this is Africa and there are certainly many tropical insects but most are quite harmless to humans and some of them are actually very interesting! The tented camps/lodges normally provide mosquito nets in the guest rooms and your tent is insect-proof with built in mosquito netting, zipping doors and sewn in groundsheets. As for snakes, there are many species of snakes in East Africa, most of which are harmless to humans. Snakes are not often seen as they avoid being in the open where people are walking about and will almost always try to get away and to hide if they sense human footsteps approaching. Your guide may spot a snake and point it out from the safety of your vehicle when on a game drive but they are rarely seen in the grounds of the camps. If you do see a snake, do not approach it - simply give it a wide berth and tell your guide or a member of staff at the camp. If left alone at a safe distance, snakes do not pose a danger.

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