What is the best time of year to go on a safari?
It is possible to go on safari at any time of the year. However for most visitors an African safari is a once in a lifetime experience and they want to maximise their game viewing experience. African safari areas each have their own unique seasons and the benefits of travelling at different times of the year need to be weighed up according to your unique individual needs and desires. It is best to speak to a professional and experienced tour operator like Africa Exclusive – who can tailor make your itinerary.
Is Africa a good destination for families / how old must children be?
Africa offers great value for families and is one of the most exciting and rewarding holidays you will ever take. Although some of the camps and lodges do not take children under twelve years and children under five years are generally not allowed on game drives (or you may be required to reserve a private vehicle), it also depends on the maturity of the child. They need to be able to sit quietly in an open vehicle and behave when sharing a small camp with adults and not wander off on their own. They will also need to obey the instructions of your safari guide if you go into the bush on foot or by boat. Africa Exclusive will advise you on the best options for your family safari.
Is Africa safe?
Yes, Africa is as safe as any other travel destination. Safari destinations are usually a long way from human habitation. Your safety is of paramount importance. When you are with a trained guide you have absolutely nothing to worry about. Your guide is trained to understand the animal’s behaviour, and will never put his guests in any threatening situation.
How much luggage can I take?
Strict weight restrictions apply on light aircraft flights because most airfields are 3000 ft above sea level and located in the tropics – therefore the permissible aircraft carrying capacity is reduced. The aircraft also have physical space restrictions so only soft holdalls are accepted (no hard rigid suitcases) with maximum dimensions of 25cm wide x 30cm high x 62cm in length. As with any worldwide travel there is a risk of theft from checked in baggage. We recommend that you do not travel with items of high value and to purchase suitable locks for your luggage to deter opportunistic theft.
Generally the following weight restrictions apply (these weights may vary – your safari co-ordinator will be able to confirm :
12kg on Zimbabwe safari
12kg on Malawi safari
20kg on Botswana safari, Namibia safari and South Africa safari
15kg on Zambia safari
15kg on Kenya safari
15kg on Tanzania safari
Do I need travel insurance?
There are no health schemes in Africa and visitors are responsible for their own medical expenses. Comprehensive travel insurance is compulsory and must adequately cover you for medical costs, in the unlikely event that you incur them, emergency evacuation and repatriation. It is also strongly recommended that your insurance covers you for cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and baggage. Remember to take the details with you.
Are the animals dangerous?
Wild animals are naturally unpredictable and their behaviour is never guaranteed. However most of them are scared at the sight and smell of humans and will flee rather than attack. Unprovoked attacks on humans are therefore very rare. You should never venture out alone, especially at night – always consult with your guide. Your armed guides have an amazing amount of knowledge about the local wildlife and will accompany you on activities – you should always pay attention to your guide and adhere to any instructions he may give you whilst on your activities.
How much money should I take with me on safari? Can I use my credit card and what currency should I use?
You will need very little spending money on most safaris as the majority of meals, drinks and activities are included in your itinerary. You will usually have to pay for lunch, dinner and drinks when you are staying at hotels in cities. Bills can be settled in US dollars, by traveller’s cheque or credit card – however use may be restricted in small towns and rural areas. In South Africa the local currency (the Rand, ZAR) is the preferred currency and in Zambia all domestic transactions must be made in the local currency (the Zambian Kwacha, ZMK). Automatic teller machines are situated outside most banks in towns and cities but because Africa can be unpredictable we do not recommend that you rely on ATM for your currency needs. All major currencies and travellers cheques can be changed into local currency at airports and banks (small bills are best). Always keep your receipt so that when you depart you can change your money back to your preferred currency.