Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If this is your first time on safari or in Africa, you probably have lots of questions. To get you started we have collected a list of frequently asked ones.

What is the most appropriate type of luggage to bring?

We strongly recommend bringing a backpack or duffel bag, as suitcases can be cumbersome and difficult to store in buses or Jeep under seats, etc. Keep in mind that you will normally have to carry your own luggage on and off shuttle buses, jeep and trains and up and down hotel staircases. Suitcases with wheels may not work well on dirt or cobblestone roads.

Will it be hot or cold?

Please bring some warm clothes! It gets really cold in some places because of the high altitude, especially in June, July and August. Of course, it can also get very hot! It is probably best if you dress in layers, that way you won’t be chilly in the morning, and as the day gets hotter, you can just take off your layers and stay cool in the lighter clothes you’re wearing beneath.

What clothes should I bring with me?

We always recommend packing as light as possible as you don’t need to be smartly dressed on safari. However, the specific requirements for your tour will vary widely depending on where and when you are traveling the most important thing is to be comfortably and practically dressed. Safari colors – green, khaki, brown or grey are really useful, because white, red and other bright colors might scare away the wildlife! Some ladies may want to consider packing a sports bra as the roads are bumpy. Open sandals or other comfortable shoes may be useful to wear in the car when it is hot. Our ‘Trip Details’ document includes a suggested packing list and the checklist is tour specific and based upon the experience of our ground staff.

Do your tours include international airfare?

Travelers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours and it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. We would be happy to help you arrange flights. Just ask for an air quote when making your booking.

Can you help arrange my travel visas?

Requirements for travel visas vary widely depending on your nationality and your destination. Although we are unable to arrange visas on your behalf we can always advise on the requirement & steps to be followed, recommend page to websites that will help you determine if visas are required and If you do require a visa you can arrange them yourself or use the services of a travel agent or visa processing company.

How many people can join a tour?

We keep our group sizes low so you have the freedom to move around and get involved with your surroundings, as well as more personal attention from our local guides. This intimate size ensures that your group will not crowd your experience.

Will we have to share a car with other people?

No, if you go on a private safari with Inquisitive Africa, you won’t have to share the car with anyone. You and your partner / friends / family / co-workers will have your own vehicle and driver guide. This allows you to explore at your own pace rather than being tied in with a group schedule. It is not advisable to travel after dark, and the national park regulations need to be adhered to. But if you want to stop and look at the Lion king for half an hour, or you decide you’ve had enough for the day and want to go back to the lodge and rest, you can do so.

What are the vaccination requirements?

Certain vaccinations may be required for travel to Africa, for example, often you will need a yellow fever vaccination. To be sure, it’s important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information for the region you will be visiting. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist from your local Travel Health clinic.

How can my safari become a really great experience?

For a good safari, you need several ingredients. A really good guide, a reliable vehicle, good accommodation and a well-planned itinerary are the probably the most important elements.
A good guide is the most crucial person on your safari. experience is one thing and Our guides have no less than ten years of experience, they speak fluent English and some of them speak your language be it French, Germany, Spanish, Chinese to mention but a few and they know the national parks and roads like their fingers. Your guide will make sure you travel safely and in good time without getting lost. He will also make your experience more profound by sharing his knowledge about the wildlife and culture.
Our vehicles are comfortable and well maintained. Good suspension, all the necessary equipment these cars will get you through muddy patches and over rough roads. Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere because your car has broken down is very annoying, and therefore a good car is key. Our vehicles have a safari roof, which is a hatch in the roof, which can be opened for better viewing and better photographic-opportunities.
Why is a well-planned itinerary so important? If you want to travel to several different national parks and see different places and areas, you need to have a good itinerary which helps you to get the timing right. It is not fun to be on the road without break, rushing from one park to the next, never really stopping anywhere long enough. Instead, you need an itinerary that allows for enough time to be able to appreciate every park you visit, and which helps to plan your travel logistics in such a way that you are not constantly, non-stop on the road, but have enough time to appreciate and relax.

How can Inquisitive Africa help me to put a safari together?

We will take the time to get to know you and design a tailor-made itinerary for you. We try to make sure that you get exactly the safari you want, and we take the time to answer your questions. Rather than imposing our ideas, we work together with you. The most important thing is for you to be able to make an informed decision. So how does this work?
You may already have a rough idea of the places in Africa that you really want to visit. Or perhaps you are not entirely sure yet. Just send us an email and let us know your initial starting ideas. Depending on your needs, we will then start by suggesting destinations that you could visit, or if you have already chosen destinations, we may advise you on how to best combine them.
We try to pay attention to the price range you send us and we try to build an itinerary around your preferences and interests. An individual itinerary is certainly preferable to being tied in with a group schedule, and it also allows for a certain amount of spontaneity and flexibility. For example: if you say that you would like a wildlife and cultural experience or trekking and beach holiday combined, we can make suggestions for places to visit, and how that might best tie in with your overall itinerary. Or if you don’t like flying in small planes because you get airsick, then we could try to design an itinerary where you travel mainly by Jeep. If you tell us that you want a few days just to relax, then we can organize a few days on the beach for you.
Together with you, we will develop your itinerary by asking questions and communicating with you throughout the entire process of designing your-vacation. This way, you end up with a customized itinerary that is designed to suit your personal preference, and you can be sure that your safari moves at your own pace, and you are not forced to do things you are not interested in.

Some may ask why pay more for this safari than I would for other holidays?

When you book a safari, you get what you pay for. Even if you choose to do your safari relatively low budget, it will probably cost a lot more than your average holiday. First of all, Africa is an expensive destination. If you pay that much for a flight just to go to Africa, then the safari should also be worth it. Africa can be unpredictable at times, and that is why it is extremely important to go with a reputable tour operator.
The logistics involved in traveling to remote wilderness areas are costly. Picture the experience of eating a fully catered, 4 course meal beneath a starry African sky in the Maasai-Mara in Kenya or the endless plain of Serengeti in Tanzania or impenetrable Bwindi forest in Uganda. Then imagine what it takes to organize something like this in the middle of nowhere! Africa is a huge continent, and traveling around from one remote park to the next is also a big cost factor.
The continent would probably not be able to protect and maintain its national parks without the revenue from entry fees paid by visitors. Tanzania for example is one of the few countries that actually makes an-effort to extend and increase its protected areas, even though it already has some of the largest national parks in the world. This is challenging and important work.
Inquisitive Africa is more expensive than some other tour operators. Why pay more and forego the cheaper option? Simple. Because it’s worth it! And 100% you get a value for what you’ve paid for! Having your own vehicle and guide makes all the difference because it gives you the chance to explore at your own pace. Staying in smaller, more unique lodges and camps gives you a much better bush experience. It’s much more intimate and authentic than being at buffet lines or soulless hotel rooms. You’ve paid the big bucks to visit Africa, now you should enjoy it! Traveling from A to B in a comfortable and efficient way leaves you with enough energy to appreciate your surroundings, as opposed to being exhausted by a safari that was poorly planned with rickety, unsafe vehicles. With Inquisitive Africa, you know that your African adventure will be planned according to what you want out of your experience. You will also have the security of our attentive team should you need any assistance along the way.

What is the accommodation on safari like?

When it comes to accommodation, we are picky or rather, selective. Accommodation is an important element of your safari. Being comfortable and relaxed enables you to have enjoy your experience because you are rested and well taken care of by Inquisitive Africa. We carefully select the lodges and camps for our safaris according to high quality standards, and you can mix and match as you like, guided by our recommendations.
Although many of these lodges and camps are located in the middle of nowhere, they offer all the bush comforts you need, like comfortable beds with clean linens and warm blankets if the nights get chilly. You will certainly be able to have a hot shower and you will have a private bathroom. Toilets differ from place to place, some are flush toilets like you would have at home, and other camps use eco-toilets.
At every Hotel, camp or lodge, you will be given a tasty meal, clean and safe drinking water, and there is usually a choice of several other beverages. The Hotels, camp or lodge area is safe and staff will be there to ensure your comfort and security. Tea and coffee are readily available, and you can ask for a wake-up call in the morning if you want to be served tea or coffee in your tent or room. Though it may be limited in some places, there is electricity to recharge camera-batteries. Generally, you need to make a distinction between hotels, camps and lodges. Camps are very comfortable, but things like electricity or flush toilets may not be available everywhere.
High-end tented camps are exclusive: located in pristine areas, with excellent food and service and great attention to detail. Tented-camps are not always permanent structures, they can move from one to the next location, depending on seasons in Mara and Serengeti for example, always following the migration, so you are likely to be in the midst of where the wildlife action is!! Spacious, beautifully furnished tents with bathrooms and very comfortable beds with amazing thread counts this is not camping, it is luxury. Privacy and atmosphere in tented camps is excellent, they are usually very small no more than a dozen guests on average. And last but not least, it is not only the service and style that make for a very special experience, the environmental impact of a tented mobile camp is very-limited, and not nearly as lasting or damaging as the impact of a permanent structure. Tented camps are an excellent option for this type of tourism as it is far more sustainable in terms of environmental impact.
As for lodges: the best possible safari experience is guaranteed if you are staying in small, exclusive places with a personal touch and an intimate atmosphere. We try to avoid the more anonymous, big chains of lodges. A lodge is like a small, boutique hotel with a touch of safari or a touch of Africa.

Do we need Flying Doctors insurance?

Have you ever considered what would happen if you were to break your leg in the middle of nowhere? We have. It would be a difficult situation. That is why we choose to ensure all of our guests with a Flying Doctors service called AMREF, the most effective medical emergency response available in Africa. This service is NOT to replace any medical scheme you already have but to act as an immediate response to medical emergencies in Africa. There is a gap that insurances and even international evacuation companies don’t always cover, transport from the scene of an accident to a hospital of international standards. With AMREF insurance, a patient is stabilized and transported by the most swift and efficient means to the regional center of medical excellence, using a medically equipped plane or vehicle. The cost for this insurance is a price worth paying and we include this insurance for every person going on safari with us.

Can I still go on safari if I have special medical needs?

A safari can be suitable for a wide range of ages and physical conditions. With advanced notice, Inquisitive Africa are capable of catering to certain special requirements, so it’s best to advise your travel specialist early on in your booking process.

What about safety, is it safe to go on safari?

Many people worry about wild animals on safari. This is what your guide is here for. He will make sure that you always keep a safe distance. If the animal feels safe, it is extremely unlikely that it will attack you. If an animal feels threatened, however, the situation can become dangerous. You should never shout or disturb the animals with loud noises. Do not try to approach or touch them, and do not throw any objects at them. This may sound like the most obvious advice, but many accidents happen because people behave in the wrong way. Many people also worry that an animal may come and attack them at night, especially if they are sleeping in a tent. This fear is understandable, but it is also unfounded. Again, an animal is most likely to attack when annoyed. You are over a hundred times more likely to be injured in a car accident on your way to work or home. Even though you may hear a lion or a hyena somewhere in the distance, they most certainly will not try to chew their way into your tent, unless you are keeping a big piece of ham next to your bed. Keeping open and loose food stuff in the tent is not recommended and most likely it will attract wild animals.

Are safaris suitable for people in wheelchairs?

Some of the Hotels, Lodges and camps are accessible by wheelchair. It’s best to chat to your consultant as they will be able to advise which Hotels, camps and Lodges will be most suitable.

Can I fit trekking, culture or beach into my safari experience?

Viewing wildlife from the vehicle is one way of experiencing Africa. If you are a more active person, Inquisitive Africa safari may be just the right choice for you. Trekking, climbing, walking, Horse-riding, city breaks, biking, night life and a variety of cultural excursions give you the opportunity to see Africa from a different perspective and get out of your car and stretch those legs for a few hours! Of course, you are in no way obliged to take part in these activities just choose and pick whatever takes your aroma. Our activities are described in detail on this website.
A safari can be tiring. A few days on the beach is a great way to relax at the end of your trip. Africa has a beautiful coast to wash off the dust of your safari with a dip in the Indian Ocean and have a chill out time on the beach. We have been to Zanzibar, Dian and the beach of Cape town ourselves various times and have selected some really nice places – laid back atmosphere, Zanzibar, Dian and Cape town style, right on the beach, great food, the Indian Ocean is really every-one could wish for.

Can Inquisitive Africa plan a Wedding, family, honeymoon safari?

Inquisitive Africa can indeed help you to plan a wedding, family or honeymoon safari. We have a lot of experience when it comes to wedding, family and honeymoon safaris, because our activities make a safari much more family friendly. Energetic teenagers or active children will probably enjoy their safari a lot more if they can get out of the car once in a while to go walking, trekking or biking We will design a private itinerary for you, and depending on the size of your family, we will ensure you have enough vehicles so that space is not cramped, and enough guides to ensure individual care and attention.

What is the best time to see the Great Wildebeest Migration?

The Great Migration can be enjoyed year-round. Different times of year and location will offer different encounters, so it’s a good idea to work closely with your Inquisitive Africa Safari specialist to ensure you plan the ideal migration safari to suit your needs.
The first few months of the year offer exceptional predator encounters in the Ndutu area of the Serengeti and Ngorongoro ecosystem as this is the calving season for the wildebeest and newborns make for an easy kill. By July, the herds are heading into the central Serengeti where the wildebeest make their first river crossing, and take their chances against the waiting and hungry crocodiles. In August, the herds cross over into Kenya’s Masai-Mara and by September, the big herds have fragmented into smaller groups. The last few months of the year bring the short rains, causing the Wildebeest to move back into the Serengeti where the animals brace themselves for the next calving season and predator attacks.
You can read more here about what to expect from the migration each month as well as which of our packages are best to enjoy this spectacle at those times of year.

How much cash should I take with me on safari?

Well, make sure you bring some cash with you, but not too much. Do not carry amounts in your pocket that you would feel uncomfortable with at your local supermarket, and try to keep your money out of sight and safely tucked away. There are some Barclays Bank branches in most countries in Africa where you can withdraw cash from the ATM, the official currency here varies with countries, however US dollars are widely accepted, though preferably not the old 2003 or 2006 notes. You can use your credit card in the large hotels and lodges to pay for your bill’s drinks for example. You won’t be able to use your card in remote places in the bush. There are many banks where you can exchange money in Africa.

Can I charge my phone? What type of plugs do I need?

Electricity is available at 220/240 volts AC, 50 Hz. Primary Socket Type: British BS- 1363 (British Standard). Adaptor plugs will be available in some lodges but we advise that you bring at least one with you. Please be aware that the power supply is subject to cuts and voltage fluctuations even in major cities!
On safari, most of the lodges are powered by generators or solar panels and these are often turned off during parts of the day and night to reduce noise and fuel consumption. Please also note that in most camps and lodges, power sockets for charging are only available in the main area.

Is it guaranteed that I will see the Big cats in Africa?

Africa is home to three of the seven species of “Big Cats”, namely the lion, leopard and cheetah. These big cats are the ultimate solo hunters, relying on their specially adapted bodies and instincts to hunt down their prey. We can’t guarantee that you will see the Big cats. We do have very profound knowledge of which area you should visit at which time of year in order to maximize your chances. However, weather patterns, which influence wildlife movements are unpredictable, especially with the ongoing climate change. Africa has had some completely atypical rain patterns for example, and that can have an impact on wildlife movements. We do our utmost to ensure you have the best game viewing, but in the end, you need a bit of luck. The animals in national parks are wild, and there are no boundaries to restrict their movement. You may or may not see a leopard, or a cheetah, or the Lion. Your guide will certainly make a huge effort to provide you with excellent animal sightings, but there is never a guarantee.

Can I bring my children along on safari, what age is suitable?

Going on safari is not suitable for children under six years of age, in our opinion. There will be some long hours in the car, and constant animal sightings are not guaranteed. It can be hot and dusty and the roads may be bumpy, which is tiring even for adults. If you are staying at an exclusive, small scale tented camp, you may find that the evening candle lit dinner is not exactly child friendly. Sometimes, the best idea is to remain in one and the same spot for an hour or more, waiting quietly in the car until the cheetah goes hunting, or until the wildebeest cross the river. Wildlife watching takes patience. If you want to bring your small children on safari, please get in touch with us so that we can help to design a child friendly itinerary.

What are the age restrictions on your tours?

To travel independently you must be at least 18 years of age. There are no upper age limits for most of our tours Also, travelers with pre-existing medical conditions are required to complete a medical questionnaire. Our Family Adventures are open to families with children aged between 6 and 17 years of age. Our standard (non-family) adventures are open to children aged 9 years or older when accompanied by a parent maximum of three children per adult. The three-children-per-adult restriction does not apply to our Family adventures.

Can my children take part in activities? What age is suitable?

You know your child best. Can your son or daughter walk for several hours? Does he or she have enough stamina for a hike? Can your child swim or has he / she ever gone ziplining or boat-ride before? Is your child good at cycling and has he or she ever done any mountain biking? We do have some children’s’ bikes, but it depends on how tall your daughter or son is. As a general rule, we do not recommend our activities for children under six years of age, but feel free to get in touch if you need more information.

What happens on a Safari game-drive?

Game drives are an integral part of any safari. You’ll head out into the wilderness with your trained and knowledgeable guide in one of our specialized vehicles. We have both closed and open-sided vehicles and try to have no more than seven guests in one vehicle, so everyone is guaranteed a window seat for the best view of the action. Our vehicles also have the added benefit of charging stations to ensure your gadgetry is never at a loss, and a cooler to ensure you’ll have a cold beverage or two along the way. photographic safari vehicle is available for guests on request and can be arranged in advance at an additional cost.

Are there mosquito nets in every lodge or camp?

Just about every lodge or camp provides mosquito nets in their rooms. Usually, a room attendant will prepare the bed (while you are having dinner) by folding down the mosquito net and spraying insect repellent. If you are worried about the mosquitoes in your room, you can always try and ask for insect spray. Many places located at high altitude have little mosquito activity during the night because temperatures can be very cool. Mosquitoes tend to be most active in the early evening, so wear repellent on your exposed skin, and protect yourself by wearing long sleeves, long pants and socks.

Is there Wi-Fi available?

All of our hotels and camps in Africa do have basic Wi-Fi available in certain areas. It is therefore important to note that while Wi-Fi is available, it is more than likely not at the same fast speeds that you may be used to, but sufficient for checking emails and keeping in touch with home.

Can I join a tour late or leave it early?

It’s extremely difficult if not impossible to join a tour after it has begun. It is possible to leave a tour early however you will be responsible for your own arrangements from the moment you decide to leave the tour. You would also be responsible for all costs associated with joining a tour late or leaving one early. If you feel this may be necessary please consult Inquisitive Africa Safari Specialist before you book your adventure.

I want to go on safari. What about my dietary restrictions?

Generally speaking, a dietary restriction does not prevent you from going on safari in Africa. Please make sure that you inform us as early as possible! If your children prefer to eat pasta and tomato sauce for lunch, or if they want their dinner at 6 so they can go to bed early, let us know about it and we can try to accommodate these needs. Your guide will be with you throughout the entire safari and he can also assist you by speaking to the kitchen management, should this be necessary. If you are allergic to wheat, or dairy products, we will do our best to make-arrangements with all the lodges or camps that you will be staying at. However, you need to understand that the logistics of running a lodge or camp in the middle of nowhere are complicated. If your dietary restriction is very complicated, it may not be possible to accommodate. Seaweed soup is generally not available in the middle of the Maasai-Mara in Kenya, Serengeti in Tanzania, Queen Elizabeth and Bwindi in Uganda for example, and if you need to have a yeast supplement with every meal, then it would be a good idea to bring your own with you.

How does the weather influence a safari?

While a safari holiday can be had at any time of year, it is worth noting that seasonality will impact the type of experience you’re likely to have as well as the cost of your safari. During the dry season, the wildlife tends to gather around the few remaining watering holes. Vegetation at this time is sparse making the animals easier to spot.
The wet season is abundant both in vegetation and wildlife, as this is the birthing season which means predators come out in force to prey on vulnerable newborns. All-in-all whichever season you choose to travel in, rest assured that our packages are well arranged in consideration of the African climate and to ensure your comfort at all times. We’ve put down a month-by-month guide to safaris in Africa.

How do I choose between Kenya or Tanzania? Botswana or Victoria falls? Uganda or Rwanda?

If you have more time available for your holiday, the bordering countries of Kenya and Tanzania, or Botswana and Victoria can easily be combined with each other as well as with other nearby places like Uganda, Rwanda, Mombasa and Zanzibar. If you are going on a shorter trip say less than 10nights is a fair guideline, choosing which country to enjoy will depend on what you want to see and do. For example, if you’re planning a migration safari, your destination of choice will be largely dependent on where the wildebeest are at your chosen time of travel. To provide you with the best advice tailored to your particular travel needs, we recommend you simply enquire with us and we’ll get right back to you.

Is tipping included and if not, how do I give tips on safari?

First of all, tipping is completely at your discretion and are much appreciated by our staff for service that went above and beyond your expectations. some camps or lodges have a staff tip box. At other camps and lodges, it may be appropriate to give the head waiter or the manager a lump sum. Generally speaking, you can tip the camp or lodge staff, usually giving a lump sum, and separately from that, you can tip your guide. It all depends on where you stay as tipping varies a bit at different Hotel, camps or lodges, and it also depends on the details of your itinerary. When you book your safari, you will receive a comprehensive information package, including guidelines on giving tips. When we meet you for the safari briefing, we can also tell you more about this.

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