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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 East African Safari tours?

We cannot guarantee that all listed 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 of our guests.

We request that each guest  specifies  their special needs and requirements including special diet preference in this case.

Our safari tour driver / guides have sufficient experience and are happy to attend to guests with special needs  during the safari tour

2. Do you arrange group / Jeep sharing safari tours at Natural World Kenya safaris?

Almost all safari tours operated by Natural World Kenya safaris are private per booking and are operated in own pop up top 4×4 jeep  with a dedicated tour driver / guide.

Guests booking with Natural world Kenya safaris can however form private groups to travel together as families or friends

We do not make tour groups from individual bookings for medium / long range safari tours .This is to allow foe flexibility,customization ,pace and choice of safari lodge / camp preference

The only exception is the short / small Nairobi Kenya group tours which  we operate on Tuesday ,Friday ,Saturday and Sunday of every week. Go to  https://www.naturaltoursandsafaris.com/group-safaris/

3.Does Natural world Kenya safaris provide complimentary extras to its safari guest’s?

Kenya is world famous for its friendly and hospitable people .First and foremost , we are Kenyans

We extend complimentary hospitality to our safari guests by providing  meet and greet airport services that  include Nairobi airport to hotel shuttle transfers during your arrival and departure in Nairobi

Other free / complimentary tourist services include general Kenya destination assistance  as may be requested / required by you

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

Almost all safari lodges / tented camp accommodations during your safari do provide free Wifi . These is in the three accommodation levels of economy , comfort and luxury

Wifi is provided  in the public areas of the safari lodges / tented camps  including the reception, dining areas and lounge . It is not provided in the individual rooms/ tents.

We provide free  Wifi in our 4×4 Safari jeeps with connectivity being at approximately 70% due to local Kenyan network coverage

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

At Natural World Kenya Safaris , we understand that your primary reason for an African safari is to view wildlife and encounter nature to the maximum . This means that prime game viewing times shall be utilized for this purpose to the maximum.

Your safari tour driver / guide and 4×4 Jeep are at your disposal for maximum and most rewarding possible game viewing drive activities

We however must respect the National park authorities park ruleshttps://www.naturaltoursandsafaris.com/national-park-game-reserves-rules/ including  opening and closing hours which range from around 6.30AM to 6PM

Game drives viewing time and pace are also flexible and you may decide to skip some , shorten others and maybe relax to enjoy the relaxing facilities of your safari lodge / tented camp accommodation.

6. Do you provide drinking water on safari?

East Africa is within the tropics and the famous Equator line separates the region’s  two halves . The tropical temperatures are relatively high on the safari route and even within the national parks / game reserves.

Safari tours are generally hot and sometimes dusty

The need for frequent hydration during the safari is factored with a  provision of  an unlimited supply of  drinking water

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

Drinking  water is replenished at hick town stops along the safari circuit.

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

7. Can we request for an extra night / day on safari while on the group sharing tour?

On our overnight  group sharing safari ,it is not possible to request for an extra day safari extension

This is because you  share your safari Jeep  with the other travelers on a seat in car basis .It also means that you leave and return to Nairobi as a group

It would thus require a unanimous decision to extend safari  from all tour participants for this to happen . It would also be subject to  the availability of extended accommodation in the respective tented camp / lodge.

An extra day on safari shall also require extra payment.

Prepare for adventure when you choose one of our   https://www.naturaltoursandsafaris.com/group-safaris/

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

Natural World has invested  in the employment  of among the best tour driver / guides

However we allow our guests to have that special preference for an individual driver / guide either from recommendation or online reviews.

If you prefer a specific safari tour driver / guide from our team ,we are happy to allocate him as your guide for the duration of your safari tour. This is however subject to his availability.

In case he is already requested for during the period of your planned safari tour ,you can always choose another driver / guide from our diverse team.

10. Are mosquito nets provided in safari lodge rooms / tents ?

Our selection of  safari lodges and tented camps is well researched and offers the best in terms of comfort ,relaxation and atmosphere during safari. Each accommodation category is well catered for in the selection.

We fully understand the need for your protection against Mosquito  and other insect bites.

All rooms / tents during your  safari are fitted with mosquito nets or  are insect proofed to protect you against bites.

You are also advised to carry / use insect repellent to further protect yourself especially in the outdoors during evenings.

11. Do you have a maximum number of persons allowed to sleep in one safari 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 or in 3 single beds.

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

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

Some safari lodges / camps have family units for maximum of 4 persons only. This however includes an extra cost.

All safari rooms / tents are private with own bathroom / toilet

12. Is it possible to store excess holiday/ safari luggage in case its extra or cumbersome during safari?

Natural world understands that your holiday travel may be long and could involve different activities at the places you visit .It may not be convenient to tag along all your holiday travel baggage.

Your 4×4 safari jeep  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 are done with safari and may pick it up  for your onward travel.

This is a free service extended to all our safari guests.

Take a view of our 4×4 safari jeeps and note luggage compartment

4×4 Land Cruiser Safari Jeep

13. What is the size / weight limit allowance of an individual in safari Jeep?

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

You may carry hand luggage with your vital stuff inside the safari jeep.

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. What special discount or incentive do we expect if on our honeymoon safari or are travelling with kids?

Natural World  is a friendly and sensitive tour operator .We appreciate our guest’s  life  moments including anniversaries , birthdays and special events.

Whether you are holidaying 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.

We request you to inform us of any events , commemorations etc happening during your safari tour during booking.

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

In case you are booked on a Kenya fly -in safari and or you would consider taking local / domestic safari flights to the national parks / game reserves , there is a baggage allowance.

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 for free.

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

16. Can we request for special diet needs during safari tour?

Kenya welcomes visitors from all over the World with and they come with diverse diet preferences .Some diet preferences  may be due to religious ,believes ,lifestyles  or health reasons.

To comfortably cater for a larger diet preference ,the menu in all safari lodges & tented camps is continental , however vegetarian ,  Halal , gluten free etc.. meals are also catered for

We request you to indicate your special diet needs during safari booking / confirmation

17. Do you provide airport hotel airport transfers when we arrive and depart Nairobi or Mombasa in Kenya?

As an extension  of our safari tour services , Natural world  provides free  return airport / hotel transfers for our guests  booked  a 3 days plus safari tour with us.

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

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

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

Our listed safari tours and advertised prices do not include Nairobi hotel stay

In case you are arriving in Nairobi earlier than your safari starting date or are intending to stay a few days more after safari finish ,you require a Nairobi hotel.

Nairobi has a wide range of hotels in economy ,comfort and luxury categories suitable for your 1 night or extended stay.

As part of your safari tour ,Natural world safari shall pick you up and drop you off at your respective Nairobi hotel or residence. This includes areas around Nairobi

We suggest that you look up and book online your favorite Nairobi hotel .In case you do require advise, suggestions or  booking assistance for your Nairobi hotel ,we shall be happy to assist.

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?

SAFARI LODGES

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. In most cases, there may  be a swimming room,

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

The atmosphere is usually rustic and compliments the natural surroundings while bringing in the essence of the wild

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

SAFARI CAMPS

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 also be made of a large tent .The en-suite guest tents are scattered  around the main building providing a private feel.

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 is the difference between the 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 tented camps 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

-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 for1` Masai Mara game reserve visit especially if guests are staying more than 2 nights.

-Off road driving is allowed during game viewing drives at the conservancies . This allows visitors to get close to the animals in case 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  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 even 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’ ,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 while 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 at end of safari ,where / When do we get our Nairobi to Mombasa first class travel train tickets?

If you are booked on any of our Nairobi to Mombasa safaris ,you  shall catch the Nairobi to Mombasa SGR train at  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.

Remember that we shall pick you up from the Mombasa train station and transfer you to your beach hotel in Mombasa . Diani ,Kilifi, Watamu or Malindi as part of the safari service.

23. Is the Nairobi to Mombasa SGR train 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 Kenya 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 360 degrees landscape views can be experienced from the restaurant car of the train.

24. What are your safari tipping guidelines for safari tour guests?

Tipping in Kenya although not mandatory is expected after a good service.

All hotels, lodges and porterage gratuities are included on your safari price – this are collectively referred to as service charge.

Individual waiters, porters and other hotel service employees  may provide exemplary service and it is your discretion to decide to tip .Usually $ 1 -$ 5 per move or sitting is appropriate and appreciated.

It is however customary to tip your safari  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 at the end of your safari / tour and preferably in an envelope.

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

Tourists visiting  Kenya must have a valid visa. 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. Both electronic and manual visa application ran concurrently  . This means that you can still apply for a visa on arrival at the Nairobi or Mombasa airports, 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 to Kenya  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 the main towns at the forex bureau or banks) 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 at  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 reserves  with almost guaranteed spotting for specific animal species

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

In national parks and game reserves, game viewing drives become exciting because of the possibilities 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 tour packages?

Our selection of Economy, comfort and luxury accommodation options for lodges and tented camps are sufficiently comfortable and adequate for relaxation  , overnights and meals. However standard of facilities ,style  and location are varied.

Luxury safari 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

View luxury safari  lodge / camps category/options  https://www.naturaltoursandsafaris.com/kenya-safari-lodges/

Comfort safari  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 pool.

View comfort level safari lodges / tented camps https://www.naturaltoursandsafaris.com/kenya-safari-lodges/

Economy safari Lodges and Tented Camps

Almost all economy lodges and tented camps (except a few) are located outside of the National park boundaries and just next to the park. They are easy ,comfortable and sufficiently adequate for relaxation , overnight  and meals 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.

View economy level safari lodges / tented campshttps://www.naturaltoursandsafaris.com/kenya-safari-lodges/

30. What is a single room supplement / extra?

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

If someone chooses to have  single occupancy of room, the single room supplement applies .Single room / tent extras are indicated on the price section of each tour package page.

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.

View 4×4 Jeep photos https://www.naturaltoursandsafaris.com/4×4-land-cruiser-safari-jeeps/.

Our 4×4 safari Jeeps  are fitted with long range radios for easy communication, cooler boxes, and first aid kits .This is on top of the other extras in Jeep

The 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep has several advantages on safari. These  includes a higher elevation, better navigation on rough terrain, deeper reach, more comfort and brings out better the African adventure experience.

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 or your budget.

Natural world is always about flexibility and value for money!

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

Natural World does not include  International flight costs  in our East African safari tour prices.

This is because Natural World is an inbound local Kenya tour operator and ground handling agency.

Local safari tour packages operated by Natural World start from Nairobi airport, Nairobi hotels, Mombasa airport and hotels, Diani beach resorts, Malindi / Watamu beach resorts,Naivasha area resorts, Kisumu, Nakuru, Arusha, Namanga, Taveta and Isebania border towns and from any other location in Kenya and East Africa

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
2017-12-29T09:31:40+03:00
Humphrey