Q: What should I wear?
A: You will require comfortable, casual and semi-casual clothes for your safari to Africa. Please note that bright colours are not suitable for game-viewing and that game-drives are conducted in the early morning and late afternoon which can be cold, especially in winter.
Q: What should I pack?
A: Here are some packing suggestions:
- Light cotton trousers *
• Cotton shorts *
• Light cotton shirts (long and short sleeved) *
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Sandals *
• Shower-proof rain jacket/windbreaker
• Sunhat *
• Insect repellent *
• Small torch *
• Bathing suit *
• Suntan lotion *
• Camera (telephoto lens recommended)
• For winter, pack an extra:
o Warm jacket
o Woolen hat
o Scarf and gloves
Q: Is Africa a good family destination?
A: We prove that it is both safe and fun to travel with children in Africa. At many of our lodges we have a host of fascinating and entertaining activities for children between the ages of three and 12 years old. Please note that travel to Tanzania is not recommended for children younger than eight years old. For safety reasons, children five years and younger are generally not allowed on game-drives.
Q: Do you cater for specific diets?
A: Yes, all dietary requirements will be catered for in East Africa. When making your reservation, please advise us of any specific dietary requirements that you may have, and these will be communicated immediately to the Lodge. Should specific items such as kosher meals need to be flown in, there will be an additional charge, which will be quoted separately. Two weeks’ notice is required for kosher meals.
Q: Will I be safe?
A: Guest safety is of paramount importance and even though Africa is a safe destination, it is wise to take certain standard security precautions. Please carry a record of your passport number, airline tickets and travelers cheques, and ensure that these items are kept in a safe place. Make use of your hotel safety deposit box for expensive items and never leave baggage or personal items unattended, especially at airports. Fully trained uniformed security guards monitor animal activity within lodge areas and escort guests to/from their suites.
Q: What kind of medical precautions do I need to take?
A: Please consult your physician or health department for the latest health and anti-malaria precautions. Some countries require advance inoculations (and certificates thereof) – we will advise you of these.
Q: How is emergency medical cover and travel insurance arranged?
A: Please ensure that you arrange your own insurance for personal effects, personal accident, medical travel expenses, baggage, cancellation and curtailment prior to your arrival. Trained first-aiders are on standby at most lodges at all times, and emergency evacuation by air is available.
Q: Where can I change currency?
A: As certain African currencies are difficult to change outside the country of origin it is advisable to only change money as required. Most international airports have banks where money can be changed, and facilities are usually available at hotels and lodges. Most major credit cards are accepted at lodges/hotels, shops and restaurants. As exchange rates fluctuate, please check with your local bank or business media prior to departure.
PASSPORTS AND VISAS
Please ensure that you are holding a valid passport with sufficient blank pages for entry stamps in each country visited, and that you apply for visas prior to your departure. Nationals of certain countries do not require visas depending on the country you are visiting. It is advisable to check with the Consulate of the country you intend visiting for the latest visa and entry requirements beforehand or contact us and we’ll gladly advise you with regard to documentation
Q: What wildlife photography advice can you give?
African safaris offer many excellent photographic opportunities. We recommend that you use a telephoto lens (at least 80-300mm in size) for the photography of birds and game, as well as a wide-angle lens. As most game-drives are in the early morning or late afternoon, high-speed film (200/400ASA) should be used.
Film and batteries are usually available along major tourist routes and from lodges, but we advise that you purchase film, bulbs and batteries prior to your departure. A lens hood and ultra-violet filter are advisable and a good bag for your equipment including a dust cover (plastic bag) is essential.
Seasons and Temperatures
Q: What is the weather like?
A: Each region usually experiences lovely hot summers and mild winters and offers exceptional game viewing opportunities throughout the year. The annual Great Migration in the Serengeti and Masai Mara is a 12-month cycle. Our consultants will advise when and where are the best times.
- Kenya: Gentle, warm climate. Daytime temperatures are mild and nights can be fairly cool. Summer extends from October to April, with December to March being the warmest months. All year, minimum temperatures are 11ºC/52ºF and maximum temperatures are 30ºC/86ºF. The cool season is from May to September. Depending on when the rains come, the Great Migration normally reaches Kenya in July. Hundreds of thousands of herbivores then disperse onto the plains of the Masai Mara for the next couple of months.
- Tanzania: Warm climate with maximum temperatures of 32°C/90°F. Early mornings and evenings can be cold with minimum temperatures of 12°C/90°F. Winter is from May to September, and summer from October to April. Rainfall is seasonal with the so-called ‘short rains’ in November and December and the ‘long rains’ from March to May.
MATANGOS EXPEDITIONS TIP
Matangos Expeditions (T) Ltd prides itself on the standard of our professional safari rangers, trackers and guides who are rigorously trained, exceptionally experienced, with unmatched wildlife tracking skills. Each guide has an in-depth knowledge of the areas you will visit, offering you an incomparable, personal, informative and interpretive experience.
Q: What should I tip?
A: Tips are not included in the cost of your safari. We recommend you tender small amounts to your lodge/hotel staff. Your lodge manager will provide you with guidelines for tipping if required. Where restaurant meals are involved, the tipping standard is usually 10% of the bill.
Q: How do I get to the lodges from the airport?
A: Most of the safari lodges are easily accessible by either road or air and our expert travel consultants will assist you every step of the way to ensure seamless and safe travel arrangements.
Q: Can I drink the water?
A: Bottled water is available if you prefer. It is best to drink bottled water in Kenya and Tanzania. Most Lodges supply complimentary bottles of mineral water in lodge rooms and with meals.