Is it safe to travel in Africa?
Yes! The places we visit are very tourist-friendly. I have never had a bad experience in 25 years of travel in Africa. Your safety is our top priority.
Should I be concerned about insects, spiders or snakes?
With nature comes these inhabitants, but I have not found them to be an issue. I have encountered tsetse flies in Tanzania, and they can be very pesky but are not a health risk. In general, you will not have any problems with insects. As far as snakes are concerned, I have seen perhaps six and never in a threatening situation. Our alert guides have spotted the tracks of snakes that have slithered across the dirt path, but it is doubtful that you will ever see one.
What is the food like?
The food is tasty and much like you would have at home. Breakfast is typical of any American or European city. Lunch and dinner feature beef, chicken, pork, vegetables, salads, and fruit. Rarely is there anything exotic on the menu. Vegetarian meals can be arranged and other dietary restrictions can be accommodated. Bottled water is always available.
What inoculations are required or recommended?
Malaria is prevalent in some areas that we visit, and you are advised to take a preventive drug like Lariam or Malarone. Please see your physician and follow his/her guidance on medical recommendations.
Some areas may have yellow fever so you may need an inoculation. We drink only bottled water so dysentery and cholera are not an issue.
It is always wise to have a regular tetanus inoculation. HIV is endemic in Africa, but if you avoid it in the U.S., you will avoid it in Africa. The same rules apply.
What happens if I become ill?
If you have an existing, significant health issue, then an Africa safari is not for you. If you are in good health and reasonably fit, you should do well. First aid is available, and evacuation can be arranged for serious problems. You must purchase travel insurance that includes medical coverage should you need hospitalization or emergency treatment. Many camps are now requiring travel insurance. This is money well spent!
Can children go on safari?
Yes, children are welcome in most, but not all camps. I would not recommend safari for children under 10 years of age. While viewing animals, it is imperative that everyone be calm, orderly and respectful of the habitat. Children and adults who cannot meet this requirement are not well-suited for safari.
What kind of clothing and gear is needed for safari?
Depending on the timing of your safari, temperatures swing from chilly at night and early morning to comfortable heat in the sunny afternoons. For this reason, guests are advised to pack clothing that can be layered with ease. You should avoid brightly colored clothing. Neutral colors are more appropriate.
A proper hat (with a tie to secure) is strongly recommended. Sunglasses too. Because of the small bush planes, we use to travel between camps, each passenger is limited to a total of 33 lbs. of luggage. Laundry service is available in each camp so you can have your clothing washed throughout your safari days. Bottom line: It’s important to pack light. You may want camera equipment, battery chargers, binoculars and other creature comforts like books or an e-reader, flashlight or battery-operated lantern, which can add up fast in terms of weight. I share a comprehensive packing list with guests well in advance of the safari.
How much should I budget for a safari?
Your budget will depend on where you want to go in Africa (Eastern or Southern), how many days, the time of year, and the type of accommodations.
Typically, my guests spend $6000 – 10,000 per person plus international airfare. Other tour operators can be more expensive. Be wary of any operator who offers tours significantly less than this price range.
How can I pay for my safari?
Wire transfers are acceptable by all tour operators. Some will accept credit cards but will add an additional 3% for card processing. Safari Bill will accept all payment types and offers 6-month, no-interest deferred payment using PayPal Credit.