Safari Joe

Safari Joe for the journey of a lifetime

Frequently Asked Questions - safari

FAQs - safari

Mobile/cell phone coverage across Africa is generally quite good and even some of the main safari areas have a service. Your phone company will be able to tell you what service is provided in the countries you are visiting. If you use your phone during your safari please respect other guests and do not use the phone during game drives or speak loudly on your phone while in camp.

Very few safari camps have Wi-Fi/internet available for guests. Some may have a mobile/cell phone signal through which you could access the internet (depending on your phone plan/provider) though this may be expensive. Most major hotels in cities and on the coast have internet (fees may apply).

We recommend that you leave the contact details of your accommodation as well as our mobile numbers with your friends and family so that we can assist should they need to contact you.

TAGS: emergency, family

Yes, the camps and lodges have power perhaps as solar lighting or a generator. The power may be switched off for part of the day or night. Your charger must be 220v. The required adaptor plugs are included in most international travel adaptor kits. For East Africa it is the British-style 3 rectangular pin plug.

While there are certain inherent risks involved in any travel the chances of being involved in an incident are very small. Your safety is our foremost concern and we constantly check updates by the official government security departments and agencies and monitor any situations that may arise.

In the unlikely event of illness or injury your driver/leader and most camp/lodge staff are trained in first aid procedures. Medical travel insurance is a necessity and we recommend that you purchase a policy with a supplemental benefit for emergency medical evacuation. There are good quality medical facilities in the larger towns and cities should you require medical attention while on your safari.

Each National Park varies with its exact schedule, but we generally follow a typical pattern with two game drives each day. The morning may begin with a hot drink and light snack before the first drive which starts at or just after sunrise. There are great opportunities to see wildlife at this time since it is still fairly cool and animals are most active. The morning drive usually ends by late morning with guests returning to the camp for breakfast/brunch.  Guests generally relax at the camp for the middle of the day. This is because the animals are quite inactive during the heat of the day - seeking shelter in the shade. Guests have lunch and enjoy the camp facilities or some properties offer short walks.The second game drive will follow afternoon tea in the late afternoon and perhaps end at a scenic point to view the sunset. Some camps offer night drives after this. Guests later return to the camp for drinks and dinner.

The Adventure Camps are a budget option with guests bringing their own sleeping bags and towels and accommodation is in dome tents with a mattress on the floor. Each camp site has its own ablution block with a toilet, safari shower and wash basin. The Adventure Camps are suitable for those who don't mind "real camping" and can put up with some degree of "roughing it". Apart from the accommodation in simple dome tents, the meals and the guiding are at the same standard as the luxury tented camps and game drives are in 4x4 safari vehicles.
Eco-camps and smaller tented camps have large insect-proof tents some with en suite facilities including safari shower and flush toilets. They give a more authentic safari experience but the tents are comfortably furnished with proper beds and you don't need to bring your own sleeping bag!
Safari lodges have guest rooms similar to a hotel with en suite bathrooms. The safari lodges and bigger tented lodges can be more "touristy" and being larger establishments they can be a bit impersonal. They suit those who prefer to have the infrastructure and facilities of a hotel and most have swimming pools and extensive grounds and gardens.
The boutique lodges and camps can be very stylish and smart in terms of design and decor, often with very spacious rooms and even going so far in some cases as having plunge pools for each room.

The preferred currency for all African countries is the USD $ and as always the golden rule cash is king applies. Travellers cheques are of course the safest way to carry your funds although they can sometimes be more difficult to change and attract larger commissions when changing. ATMs are the easiest way to withdraw local currency and can now be found in every major city and town, however we would strongly advise that you do not rely on them and that you always have a back-up of cash. We recommend that you bring as much US dollars cash as you feel comfortable carrying, with a minimum to cover your entire visa and optional excursion costs. Please be aware that notes older than the year 2004 are no longer accepted along with notes that are torn, have been written on or are in bad condition. You will need to have some local currency for use on safari.

For our private and tailor made (bespoke) safaris we can cater for between 1 and 40+ people.  For our scheduled safaris we operate with a minimum number of 10 people on the Group Camping Safaris in our Expedition Trucks, and a minimum of 2 people on the Land Rover Luxury Camping Safaris, these safaris are ideal for people traveling on their own, or with a partner or friend. By being a small group you will get to know your fellow traveling companions quickly forming friendships that can last for life.

The food available on safari is of great quality and with an international style. Breakfast items may include cereals, fruit, yoghurt, toast, eggs, bacon and sausages. Lunches may include sandwiches with cheese, cold meats and salads and fresh fruit; on drive days this will be a packed or picnic lunch. Dinners may include soups, pasta, rice, meat & fish dishes with lots of fresh vegetables.  Dinner on our Adventure Camping safaris is prepared under the night sky with a varied menu that can cater for any dietary requirement. Please remember to fill in your special dietary requirements on our booking form so we can arrange things in advance.  We also will be able to experience traditional African food along the way; this is a very important part of your Safari to Africa! Three meals a day are provided whilst on safari and included in your safari price on all Safari Joe trips. Please refer to your specific tour dossier for a breakdown as each trip does vary.

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.

On our scheduled departures your driver/guide will be at the departure accommodation to meet and greet you the day prior to the safaris departure and later in the day he/she will conduct a short briefing. The time for the briefing will be posted in the accommodation lobby along with a local contact number of your driver guide for any emergency questions. On our tailor made and private departures an airport pick up is available and arrival details will be taken at the time of booking. If you are on either a tailor made or private safari and do not want to take advantage of an airport pick up your driver/guide will meet you at you departure accommodation the evening before departure. On all our safaris your departure accommodation details can be found on your Safari Joe travel voucher.

TAGS: driver, guide