Natural Tours and Safaris
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Frequently Asked Safari Questions / Safari Facts

Frequently Asked Safari Questions / Safari Facts

Natural World Kenya Safaris -an award winnig Kenya based African safari operator offfering bespoke luxury safari tours in Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda & Rwanda

1. Are persons with special needs able to participate on any of your Safari tours?

We cannot guarantee that safari accommodation and other facilities will be available for such as wheelchair passengers, however, we shall do our best to reserve equal value/standard properties and facilities that conform to the special needs.

We request that you specify your special needs and requirements including diet preference in this case.

Our safari tour driver / guides have sufficient experience and will to attend to special needs persons during the safari tour

2. Do you make group safari tours at Natural World Kenya safaris?

Almost all safari tours operated by Natural World Kenya safaris are private per booking and in own safari vehicle and dedicated tour driver / guide.

We do not make tour groups from individual bookings.

This is to allow for your  flexibility, customization and freedom in selection of accommodation.

The only exception is the Masai Mara group tour which we operate on Tuesday & Friday of every week. Go to 3 Days Masai Mara Group Safari

3. What complimentary services does Natural world Kenya safaris provide for its safari participants?

Kenya is world famous for its friendly and hospitable people.

We extend this hospitality to our safari participants by providing complimentary meet and greet services including Nairobi airport to hotel shuttle transfers during your arrival and departure.

Other services include general Kenya destination assistance services as may be requested.


4. Is there WiFi at the safari lodges & tented camps?

Almost all accommodations during your safari in economy , comfort & Luxury categories provide Wifi

This is in the public areas of the facilities including the reception, dining areas and lounge

Wifi is not provided in the individual rooms or tents

5. What do we mean by unlimited game viewing drives?

At Natural World Kenya Safaris , we believe that your primary reason for safari is to view wildlife and encounter nature to the maximum

This means that prime game viewing times shall be utilized for the purpose to the maximum

Your safari tour driver / guide is at your disposal for maximum and most rewarding possible game viewing activities

We however respect the park authorities opening and closing hours which range from 6.30AM to 6PM

Game viewing time and pace are also flexible and you may decide to skip some , shorten others and maybe relax to enjoy your accommodation facilities.

6. Do you provide / limit bottled drinking water per day?

Kenya is within the tropics and the Equator divides the country into two

Temperatures are relatively high on the safari circuit .Safari is in its nature dusty

We realize the need for frequent hydration during safari and thus provide an unlimited supply of bottled drinking water

All Natural World Safari vehicles are fitted with a cooler box and a constant unlimited supply of bottled drinking water in your safari vehicle

Bottled water is replenished at stops along the safari route.

Learn about all the essentials you need to pack when going on safari.

7. Can we request for an extra night at Masai Mara while on the group Masai Mara tour?

On our only Masai Mara group sharing safari ,it is not possible for an extra night extension

This is because you co share tour vehicle transport with the other travelers

It would require a unanimous extension interest from all tour participants for this to happen

It would also depend on the accommodation availability and of course at an extra cost.

Prepare for adventure when you choose one of our Masai Mara safaris.

9. Can we choose preferred tour driver guide from the online reviews or driver / guide profiles ?

Natural World invests in the selection of among the best driver / guides in the tourism industry

This does not mean that you cannot have that special preference of an individual driver / guide

If you do decide to choose your driver / guide at safari booking, we shall allocate him to your safari if available for the dates

If not, you can always make another choice or simply let us do it for you

10. Are there mosquito nets in safari rooms / tents ?

Our portfolio of safari lodges and tented camps is well selected to give the best in terms of comfort , rest and atmosphere during safari.

We understand the need for your protection against Malaria and insect bites.

In this regard , all rooms / tents are fitted with mosquito nets to protect you against bites.

11. Do you have a maximum number of persons allowed to sleep in one room / tent?

The maximum number of persons allowed in one room / tent are 3 , these can be accommodated in a double bed and a single bed.

Alternatively , they can be accommodated in 3 single beds.

Where 4 persons or more are travelling together with a one room / tent preference , we may book them in 2 rooms with interconnecting doors

For those that want to stay close, as a family or friends maybe, we may book them in adjacent tents / rooms

Some safari lodges / camps have family units for maximum of 4 persons, not more

12. Where may we store excess holiday luggage in case its extra or cumbersome during safari?

Your safari tour vehicle has sufficient luggage space in its rear luggage compartment ,however you may be carrying extra luggage due to the length and activities involved on your overall holiday.

You can safely store your extra luggage at our Nairobi or Mombasa offices for safe keeping until when you may pick it up next for your onward travel.

Natural Tours offer a choice of two types of safari vehicles:

13. What is the size / weight limit allowance in safari vehicle?

Your safari tour vehicle has sufficient luggage compartment at the rear and can comfortably carry 6 suitcases with an average 25 -30kgs each

We suggest that you pack / carry your luggage in soft sided suitcases for ease of storage in safari vehicle and also to minimize on friction and damage during the sometimes bumpy road safari trips

14. Can we expect a special discount if on our honeymoon safari or are travelling with kids?

Natural World Safaris is sensitive and appreciates moments, events and circumstances

As honeymooners or a family travelling with kids,we shall be happy to extend a discount or offer some top up extras to spruce your holiday safari experience.

15. What is the baggage allowance for domestic /internal flights?

The baggage allowance for local domestic flights commuting between national parks is 15kgs excluding hand luggage

You may store extra luggage not required on safari at our Nairobi or Mombasa offices

You may also choose to pay an extra $ 5 per kilogram for any extra baggage if you decide carry all around  (this is subject to flight / carrier capacity)

16. Can we request for special diet during safari ?

Kenya welcomes visitors from all over the World with diverse diet preferences .Some preferences  may be due to religious or health reasons.

The menu in all safari lodges & tented camps is continental , however vegetarian ,  Halal , gluten free etc.. meals are also catered for

17. Do you provide airport hotel airport transfers when we arrive and depart from Kenya?

As part of our safari tour services , we provide free of charge return airport transfers for visitors booking a 3 days plus safari tour with Natural World safaris.

The transfers are provided even when you arrive or depart 4 days before or after your safari start / end

In all cases , you shall share with us your arrival & departure flight details including airline and timings ,we shall in  return provide transfer driver name and telephone contact in advance

18. Would you book for us or recommend a Nairobi hotel for our pre or post safari stay?

Nairobi has a wide range of hotels in budget , economy ,comfort and luxury categories

We pick up and drop off for safari tours from all Nairobi hotels and its environs

If you do require advise, suggestions or a booking for your Nairobi hotel ,we shall be happy to assist you.

We have put together a handy guide comparing all of Nairobi’s best hotels.

19. What is the difference between Safari lodge and tented camp?

While a normal  hotel may consist of a large building with rooms , a safari lodge in Africa is located in a remote Wildlife area and is  made  up of a number of cottages / chalets spread over a landscaped land .Here shall be a main building which houses a restaurant, bar, gift shop together with the reception and also administration facilities. There may also be a swimming room,

The lodge’s guestrooms which are en-suite are spread in smaller separate scattered cottages around the main building.

The atmosphere is rustic, natural and the buildings merge with nature.

Safari lodges vary in size, design, location and standards with a nice range in comfort and luxury category.

The safari tented camps share some similarities with safari lodges in layout , purpose and location.

A tented camp is composed of the Main building (housing the public areas) usually thatched African style for effect .It may be also made of a large tent .The en-suite guest tents are spread around the main building.

The tented camp is a composition of large en-suite walk in tents which are built on a solid floor base and are complete with private bathrooms and a small terrace or veranda.

Essentially they are rooms with the exterior being canvas rather than wood or brick.

The tented camp complex may also have a swimming pool.

Tented camps range from the comfort, superior comfort, luxury to the super luxury.

20. What are the differences between Masai Mara game reserve and adjacent  conservancies

Masai Mara Conservancies

-Fewer visitors visit the conservancies adjacent to the Masai Mara year round  as only people staying in a particular  conservancy’s camps/lodges can participate in game viewing  drives here. In some     conservancies  there is a limit in the capacity of people to an average of 30 within an acreage of approximately 700 acres and one camp or lodge

-Visitors staying in  conservancies may still make game viewing drives  into the Mara Game reserve  on payment of an extra $ 80  park fee per day. Some tented camps may offer a 1 day paid for Masai Mara game reserve visit.

-Off road driving is allowed during game viewing drives at the conservancies . This allows visitors to get close to the game in cases where they may be far from the game viewing tracks .

-The 5 vehicles per wildlife sighting rule is more effective at the conservancies . This is  unfortunately the abused rule in most parts of the  Masai Mara game reserve , except  at the Mara Triangle where Driver /  Guides are fined for disobeying the rule. It is usual to find more than the allowed vehicles congregating at a  sighting in the national reserve.

-It can be argued that Lion lovers may have better lion spotting possibilities at some conservancies. It should be however noted  that the Masai Mara ecosystem has in general  a very high level of lion concentration and thus  sightings. The Masai Mara in general is definitely lion and big Cat country

-Night game viewing drives are allowed up to 10pm within the conservancies . Night game viewing drives are not allowed  in the National Reserve, as the reserve opening and closing times are   6.30am to 6.30pm respectively

-Longer Guided Walking safaris can be experienced  in the conservancies but not in the Masai Mara National Reserve. These are a relatively different style than the vehicle game viewing drives

Masai Mara National Game Reserve

-The Great Wildebeest migration & Mara river crossings only happen at the Masai Mara game reserve . From  July to September ,these are the best months to view the  river crossings, though in some years and depending on the varying climatic conditions, this can start  from late-June and last to mid-October.

-Visitors staying at the conservancies require to  make day trips into the Masai Mara reserve in during the great migration  months so that they can witness  the Wildebeest crossings.

-The Masai Mara  reserve is busy with visitors year round .This is because  it  has visitors staying in its many safari lodges and tented camps and also accommodates  day visitors from the conservancies .The Masai Mara game reserve  is roughly five times bigger than even the largest conservancy of the Mara North. It’s sheer size diminishes  the fact that it hosts many visitors at any given times and the number of vehicles may seem less so .

-Masai Mara  is still the best  place to spot  the big cats and  the reserve remains a lion, leopard and cheetah hot spot.

-The great and  lifeline  rivers through the Mara reserve are the Mara, the Talek and Sand rivers  and they are the main  features of this incredible ecosystem. They  are a distinctive essence of the Masai Mara national reserve. They are beautiful to the eyes and are also home  to hippos  and crocodiles .

-The endangered Rhino can only be spotted within the Mara reserve, and specifically at  the Mara Triangle . For those keen on  the ‘Big 5’ in this Kenya, it is important to consider a visit  to the reserve.

-The Mara Triangle is the epitome of good wildlife park managements . They enforce the  no off road  rules, and the road infrastructure here is well maintained.

Learn all about the Masai Mara Game Reserve.

21. Can we purchase local Sim card for use while in Kenya

A Kenyan Sim card shall greatly reduce your telephone roaming bills during your visit and on safari in Kenya

1 GB of data costs an average of $ 5

Safaricom , a telco provider in Kenya is the market leader and with the best national coverage and better offers

Sim cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers .You can make a purchase at the Nairobi airport outlets on arrival

Cost is approximately $ 1 or Ksh.100

To purchase local sim cards , you are required to have a Sim -unlocked ,GSM -compatible phone

22. When proceeding to the Kenya coast beach at end of safari ,where / When? do we get our first class travel train tickets?

If your Kenya safari starts from Nairobi and terminates at Mombasa beach ,you shall catch the Nairobi to Mombasa SGR train at either Emali ,Mtito Andei or Voi train stations this depending on your last national park visit.

Your first class train tickets shall have been booked and paid for in advance and you shall only need to print your travel ticket once at the respective train station

This takes only a few moments and your safari driver / guide shall be at hand to assist.

We have got you covered with the Nairobi – Mombasa Train Schedule.

23. Is the SGR train travel between Nairobi and Mombasa safe for both passengers and luggage?

The SGR train travel between Mombasa and Nairobi and now being extended to Near Lake Naivasha is the most recent and safest way to travel in Kenya.

It is also the most exotic means of travel between the interior and Kenya coast.

The train coaches are air conditioned and with wide windows for best scenic views.

From Nairobi to Mombasa and vise versa , the train meanders through the Tsavo West & Tsavo East.

It is absolutely safe for both passengers and luggage. . .

Best landscape views can be experienced from the restaurant car of the train.

24. Do you have any tipping guidelines for safari tour participants?

All hotel, lodges and porterage gratuities are included on your safari price – these are referred to as service charge. Individual waiters, porters and other service providers may provide exemplary service and it is your discretion to decide to tip .Usually $ 1 -$ 5 per move or sitting is appropriate.

It is however customary to tip the driver / guide at the end of the safari tour. The amount is dependent on your evaluation of the quality of the service rendered. An average of $ 10 per guest per day or 5-10% of your (safari only cost ) is suggested . The amount is however  at your discretion, you are welcome to provide additional compensation to any staff who have provided special services. A bar gratuity of $1 is acceptable.

You may tip in Kenya shillings, USD or in Euro.

25. What are the visa requirements for tourist travelers to Kenya ?

Tourists must have a valid visa to visit Kenya. Your passport must also be valid for at least six months after the date of your arrival in the country. In 2017 Kenya introduced ‘eVisa’, the electronic tourist visa CLICK HERE , although you can still apply for a visa manually on arrival at the Nairobi or Mombasa airport in Kenya. The transition to the new scheme has taken longer than expected. This means that you can still apply for a visa on arrival at the Nairobi or Mombasa airport, or online before flying into Kenya.

Manual application for a visa on arrival in Kenya:

On arrival at the Nairobi or Mombasa airport in Kenya, you will need to complete an application form and pay a fee of USD 50. The process is relatively smooth and fast-(takes only some few moments). It’s handy to carry your own pen!

In the field where you are requested to state your Kenyan address, please enter the name of the hotel/lodge where you are proceeding to spend your first night. (we shall provide the safari lodge / camp name if starting safari from the airport on arrival)

Electronic visa application for Kenya:

Please use the website www.evisa.go.ke to apply for an electronic eVisa. You may pay by credit card. The visa processing fee is USD 50, and there is a service charge of USD 1. The minimum period you can apply for a Kenyan visa is three months before your travel date.

The visa application process involves uploading your passport picture along with your passport photograph. Your visa shall be issued approximately five days after you register. You shall be required to print a copy of your electronic visa, bring it with you for presentation along with your passport on arrival in Kenya. If you have any problems or enquiries related to applying for an electronic visa, please contact the Kenyan Embassy in your country / region.

Other things you need to bear in mind with regard to your visa:

  • You shall be required to complete a landing card that will be issued to you on the plane, or at the visa desk when you enter Kenya.
  • You shall be required to complete an exit card, which will be provided to you in the departure terminal when leaving Kenya.

Please note that your Kenya Tourist Visa is valid for 3 months with an allowance for multiple entries . You shall use the same Visa permit if combining a Kenya / Tanzania Safari ,Gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda or for a beach holiday in Zanzibar.

26. Can you provide information on money & usage during Kenya visit?

Kenya’s currency is the Kenyan shilling (KSH). Check online for the current rate. You can exchange your convertible foreign currency in to shillings in a forex bureau (at the Main Airports when you arrive or in main towns ) you shall find the best rates at the airport. Small cash denominations are handy for tipping and minor expenses. You can also withdraw Kenya shillings at the ATM (VISA & MasterCard). Cash USD, Euro, British pounds are readily accepted in many outlets. We recommend that you exchange money only as needed. You will find it easiest to make small purchases in local currencies, and will usually receive a better price and also change when required You may conveniently exchange money at all lodges and hotels at close to the bank rate, but the best exchange rates you get from the Forex Bureaus at the airport or Nairobi city.

27. Is it guaranteed to spot the ‘Big 5’ or other specific wildlife during your safari?

Specific animal species’ spotting cannot be guaranteed on safari, as animals are in their natural habitat. Our safari itineraries are however designed and operated to bring out the best opportunities for game viewing.

There are some national parks / game locations with almost guarantees for specific animal sightings.

These include Amboseli for Elephant herds, Hippos at Mzima springs in Tsavo West & Lake Naivasha, Rhino at Lake Nakuru and others.

In national parks and game reserves, game viewing drives become exciting because of the “search” and “find” aspect.

28. What are the distances and driving times on safari?

Distances and driving times in Africa vary from the European and American concepts. In Kenya, roads are narrow and may not be well maintained. The roads immediately leading to the National Parks and Game Reserves are rough.

Please note that advertised  driving time on safari itineraries/programs on website are estimate and may vary depending on road conditions and road traffic.

Natural Tours operate a wide range of East African road safari holidays.

29. What is the difference between luxury, comfort and economy accommodation options listed on your tour packages?

Our selection of Economy, comfort and luxury accommodation options for lodges and tented camps are sufficiently comfortable and adequate for rest , sleep and meals. However standard of facilities ,style  and location of properties do vary.

Luxury Lodges and Tented Camps

In almost all instances, luxury lodges & Tented camps  are located at vantage locations  within the national parks and game reserves. They are unique in architecture and design. They also provide easy access to the game viewing areas. The facilities and comfort levels are of higher standard. Rooms, tents are private and en suite. There shall most likely be a swimming pool in most of the luxury facilities

An example of a luxury lodge/camp; Oltukai Lodge & Sarova Mara Game Camp

Comfort category Lodges and Tented Camps

Comfort lodges and camps may be  located inside or just at the boundaries of the national parks and game reserves. Others may be slightly further .In all instances ,they are less than 30 minutes from the park entry gate . The facilities’ comfort levels are sufficiently adequate although slightly lower than for luxury accommodation level. The rooms and tents in this comfort level category  are also private and en suite. Most comfort  lodges / tented camps  shall have a swimming.

An example of a comfort lodge/camp: Kibo Safari Camp & Mara Sopa Lodge

Economy category Lodges and Tented Camps

Almost all economy lodges and tented camps (except a few) are located outside the park or on the boundaries. They are comfortable and sufficiently adequate for rest , sleep and dining although relatively basic compared to the luxury and comfort options. Rooms and tents are private and have en suite bathroom facilities. Most of the economy options  may also have a swimming pool.

An example of economy lodge/camp: AA Lodge / Ol Moran Tented Camp

30. What is a single room supplement / extra?

A single room supplement is an extra fee imposed on single occupancy of a double room by hotels, safari lodges and camps. Our safari tour prices are based on two persons sharing in a double room /tent.

If someone chooses to take single occupancy of room, the single room supplement applies.

31. What safari vehicle types do you use on your tours?

Our standard safari travel & game viewing drive vehicle is a custom designed 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep with  pop up top for ease of photography during game viewing drives and sightseeing. The vehicle sits a maximum of 6 persons for guarantee window seats and access to the pop up top.

We also use the pop up top  Safari Minivan for both travel and game viewing drives on tour. This is a standard safari vehicle  on request and comes at  lesser  cost.

Both safari vehicle types are fitted with long range radios for easy communication, cooler boxes, and first aid kits.

Both Minivan and 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep are sufficiently adequate for safari tour.

The 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep has several advantages over the Safari Minivan ; this includes a higher elevation, better navigation on rough terrain, deeper reach, more comfort and brings out better the adventure essence.

32. What are the safari booking terms at Natural World Kenya Safaris?

Please view our Kenya / Tanzania Safari Booking Terms and Conditions

You may request for  flexible or customized booking payment / terms depending on the uniqueness of your booking requirements

33. Are international flight costs included in your advertised safari tour prices?

No , International flight costs are not included in safari tour price.

This is due to the fact that the safari tour starts from and return to your Nairobi and Mombasa Hotels or airports.

Our Accreditations and Booking Security

Natural World Kenya safaris is Member No.A/440 - Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO) bonding scheme. The scheme is insured to guarantee your holiday safari in the unlikely event that a bonded KATO member ceases operating.

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Frequently Asked Safari Questions / Safari Facts