More Information

Preparation & Packing?

The maximum weight limit for luggage is 15 kg per person for a safari. Luggage should be packed in soft bags rather than in rigid suitcases. Note that many lodges provide a free laundry service which can help with the limited weight allowance.

International Airlines do lose or mislay luggage from time to time so we suggest putting any essential items such as a change of clothes/malaria tables/chronic medication in your hand luggage too.

Please read below our suggested ‘Packing List’. This is not an exhaustive list but is based on what our past guests have mentioned.

Clothing

  •  Subdued safari colours such as khaki, green, beige and neutral colours (dark blue and black clothing is not practical during game drives but can be worn at the lodges & camps)
  •  Shirts with long sleeves for a chilly evening and even in summer: as protection from the sun & mosquitoes
  •  Golfshirt/T shirts
  •  Shorts or light skirts
  •  (Safari) trousers for evenings and cooler days
  •  A fleece or thick sweater is recommended for early morning and evening game drives
  •  Lightweight waterproof jacket
  •  Swim and beachwear.
  •  Comfortable walking shoes (running/tennis shoes are fine).
  •  Jackets or ties are not required nor any special dress code when dining in lodges & restaurants.
  •  We suggest that ladies do not wear shorts in cities, particularly in Muslim areas. The same applies for public areas on the coast of East Africa.
  •  Swimwear is fine on the beach or around the pool, but not appropriate in town. Topless sunbathing is prohibited.

Medication & Toiletries

  •  Sunblock with high SPF.  Hat, moisturizer and lip-salve are all essentials.
  •  Personal toiletries
  •  Malaria tablets if applicable – please seek advice from your physician or local travel clinic.
  •  Basic medical kit containing plasters, travel sickness tablets, antiseptic cream, antihistamine cream, pain relieving tablets for headaches, indigestion tablets, eye drops, medication for upset stomachs, rehydrate sachets and after-sun moisturizer. If you have any allergies i.e. insect stings, or an asthma condition, please make sure you bring enough of your required medication with you.
  •  Strong insect repellent.

Personal Eyewear

A good quality pair of sunglasses (tinted fashion glasses are not good in strong light). If you wear contact lenses, bring enough solution & a pair of glasses in case your eyes get irritated.

Photographic & Optics Advice

  • A good camera with zoom function. 300 mm lenses are adequate for wildlife photography.*
  • We recommend you bring plenty of memory cards/film and batteries.
  • A dustproof bag ensures your camera is safe from the dust whilst on safari.
  • A pair of binoculars will enhance your game viewing experience and although your guide will have pairs available to use, you may wish to bring your own.  We recommend 8 x 40 as an appropriate specification.
  • A small flashlight – although flashlights are available at each of the Elewana Collection of lodges and camps.

Electrical Adapter

230/240 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs are square 3-pin, fused or un-fused in East Africa, in South Africa they are round 3-pin. We normally travel with a travel adapter, which you can buy at any airport/travel shop before leaving for Africa.

*Please note: Be sure to bring plenty memory cards, film and batteries as these are not readily available. We put our equipment in plastic Ziplock bags as this keeps them safe from the fine dust you’ll encounter whilst on safari. Please don’t forget to ask permission before taking a photograph of any African resident. There could be a charge for this.

Money Matters

In East Africa, even though you could get away with only carrying USD cash, it’s not that handy. Change some money (or draw money out of an ATM) upon arrival for small purchases whilst on safari and to give tips. Don’t bother trying to get local currency before you depart, it’s difficult and the exchange rate is not great. In South Africa we suggest that you definitely draw ZAR (South African Rand) or change some USD cash into ZAR, as the USD is less frequently used than in East Africa.

Most hotels and lodges accept Visa and MasterCard, note that a surcharge is normally charged. Bring USD cash, and some in small denominations. Note that it’s a normal practice in East Africa to give a better exchange rate for larger denominations than for small ones. Only bring bills dated after 2010.

Tipping

It is customary to tip 10% of the bill at all restaurants and 10% of the fare to taxi drivers. It is also the custom to tip local guides/rangers. We recommend that you tip your ranger/guide about USD 6-10 per person per day. So if your travel party is 4 people, tip your ranger/guide between USD 24-40 per day. Butlers about USD 5 per person per day.

Insurance

It is imperative that you have adequate travel insurance organized before leaving for your African Holidays. The free insurance you receive with your credit card is NOT adequate in our opinion. Ensure that your travel insurance covers at least hospitalization, medical emergency evacuation, cancellation, curtailments of arrangements and lost luggage. If you travel with lots of camera equipment, a laptop, Ipad or other, ensure that you take out proper cover before leaving home.

Passports

Passports are required by all foreign visitors and must be valid for 6 months after you return home. Please make sure that you have at least two blank pages available for each country you intend to visit.

Any important travel documentation: leave a copy at home and bring a copy with you. Keep your originals somewhere safe (i.e. on you) and your copies somewhere else ( i.e. in your main luggage). We have found in the past that in the unfortunate circumstance that you lose your passport or so, that a copy helps greatly with receiving an emergency travel document.

Visas

Visas can be a bone of contention. In the past we used to recommend getting your visas before arrival (check with the embassy in your country whether you do or don’t require a visa, and if you do, whether you can obtain it at the border). It is just as easy, and less time consuming, to pay cash for your visa (in USD) upon arrival in Tanzania and Kenya and most nationalities do not have to pay to enter South Africa.

However, it is imperative that you check visa requirements with relevant embassies/consulates before travelling as it may vary according to your nationality. Bold Travel cannot be held responsible in case of any delays due to immigration issues. It is each traveller’s own responsibility to ensure he/she obtains the correct documentation to enter the country.

Please note that South Africa has strict regulations when it comes to one parent/adult travelling with children. You will need the consent from the other parent. Ensure you check this before you sett off.

Note that although Zanzibar is part of the Union of Tanzania, it remains an independent country so passports and a Tanzania visa are required even for a day visit. However, if you obtained a Tanzanian visa upon entering Tanzania Mainland, you don’t have to buy another one when entering Zanzibar. You might be asked to show an onward ticket upon entering any country in Africa.

Most airlines hand out immigration forms before arrival. When asked for a local address where you will be staying, please fill in the address of the first hotel you will be staying at, this is indicated on your personalized itinerary.

Health

We do not recommend drinking water from the tap whilst in Africa. Mineral water is available in all shops, restaurants & lodges.

Use mineral water too for brushing teeth.

Life on safari can be tiring from time to time. A different climate, different food & water could lead to dehydration so we strongly recommend that from the day you set foot in Africa, that you drink more water than you are used to.

Sun

The sun is strong so please wear a hat & apply sunscreen frequently.

First Aid

Most hotels and lodges are equipped with a First Aid kit but we would still recommend that you bring a small airtight container with a few well-chosen articles, such as:
Plasters, travel sickness tablets, anti-septic cream, anti-histamine cream, pain relieving tablets for headaches, indigestion tablets, sunscreen, eye drops, insect repellent, medication for upset stomachs, re-hydrate sachets and after-sun moisturizer.

If you have any allergies i.e. insect stings, or an asthma condition, please make sure you bring enough of your required medication with you.

If you are on chronic or special medication, put some in your hand luggage and some in your main luggage. Bring more than you need for your African Holidays. This way if you lose any luggage i.e. your hand luggage, you still have the medication which you put in your main luggage.

Vaccinations

Tanzania and Kenya fall into the Yellow Fever region in Africa. It is imperative for all travellers to obtain a Yellow Fever vaccination no less than 10 days prior to travel. Your country of origin and other African countries like South Africa will also deny re-entry without the vaccination, after you have been to a country with Yellow Fever. Please ensure you obtain your vaccination prior to travel.

If you for medical reasons you cannot have a yellow fever vaccination, ensure your doctor gives you a signed letter in English which you can show upon entry.

Malaria

Malaria is prevalent in Kenya, Tanzania and South Africa, more in some areas than in others. Please consult your physician or travel clinic before you travel to Africa for advice on precautions against malaria.

The best way to avoid malaria is still to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are most active at dusk & dawn so cover up at that time and put lots of mosquito repellent on. Don’t forget your ankles.

What’s the weather like?

Tanzania’s coast is hot and humid as are Zanzibar, Pemba and Mnemba Islands. The climate becomes more temperate when you go inland.The warmest period is January and the coolest is July.

Don’t underestimate the temperatures on the rim of the Ngorongoro Crater during June, July and August, it can be very cold then.

Most of the rain falls in March, April & May and in November. Generally temperatures are pleasant ranging between 15ºC (59ºF) – 26ºC (78ºF) during the day; sometimes rising above 30ºC (86ºF) in the warmer months.

Kenya has a generally comfortable tropical climate year-round, but there are significant regional variations. The coast is warm & humid and can feel sticky throughout the rains. These rains throughout Kenya are ‘the long rains’ from the end of March to end of May and ‘the short rains’ from October to the beginning of December. Amboseli is located at the base of Mt Kilimanjaro and has a dry but temperate climate, cool in the morning and evening and warm during the day. Meru National Park enjoys a more arid and warm climate. The coolest months in Kenya are from June to August and the warmest are from December to March.
The north of the country including Joburg and the Greater Kruger area enjoys a sub-tropical climate and enjoy rain fall in the warmer summer months, from November to March.

The south of the country, including Cape Town and the Garden Route, has a more temperate climate and gets rain during the winter months, from April to October.

Temperatures range from close to zero in the mornings in Joburg to a good 40 degrees in the Karoo. With all these differences, when is generally the best time to travel? Cape Town and surrounds is best to explore between November and March. The safari destinations around Kruger are not that affected by the different seasons so you can enjoy a safari throughout the year.

…even more answers to FAQs…

A: All prices are ‘land only’.  They exclude international or domestic scheduled flights, but include a seat in a plane or on private charter flights as described per itinerary.  Each itinerary stipulates activities, meals, transfers and services that are included. Please contact us if you have any specific questions.
A: As in all countries worldwide, crimes against people and property are a fact of life in some parts of the countries in Southern and East Africa.  Use common sense like you would in any large city anywhere in the world, like: not carrying valuables in plain view, keeping cameras hidden and not go about walking alone at night – you should be safe and sound. Be aware of onlookers and make use of lodge and camp safes. Travellers with tour operators and groups are the least at risk and self-drive clients are advised to plan in advance which routes they wish to travel and to get all of their destination information ahead of time. As always, when travelling by car, train or plane, make sure that no bags or purses are left on passenger seats or in a place where they can easily be seen or removed.
A: Southern Africa is a year-round destination, as different regions are at their most spectacular at different times. Winter in Southern Africa is generally between May and September. These months are often popular for game viewing, as it is dry and the wildlife is much easier to see. It is also cooler.  In summer, the temperature often reaches between 30 and 40°C. Summer usually coincides with the rainy season, resulting in lush, green countryside and lovely scenery.
A: The long rains are usually from early April through to early June, and the short rains from late November through December. Dry seasons offer excellent game viewing and more reliable road conditions, and game tends to congregate around the limited water sources, making the animals easier to find. June, July and August are extremely busy in East Africa, offering comfortable temperatures in addition to being a popular time for travel worldwide … so be sure to book well in advance.
A: The “big five” are leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo. These animals constitute a wish list for many people on safari. The term is a reference from colonial trophy hunting. Hunters ranked African animals as to how dangerous they were to hunt. This is why hippo and giraffe – despite their stature – are not among this elite, sought-after group.
A: Make sure to bring any prescription medication with you and make sure you have enough for the entire safari. Most cities and towns have pharmacies equipped with most medication, but when in the bush you are far away from any city. Also keep in mind that South Africa has first world medical care, but the further north your travels take you, the more challenging it becomes to find reliable medical care.

Travel tip no 1: Always carry a few days or a weeks supply of prescription medicine in your hand luggage – should your main baggage be lost or delayed, your medicine is with you.

A: Malaria is a dangerous disease, but if you take your malaria prophylactics, your chances of getting it are extremely rare. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the disease and as the insects are more active at night, dusk and dawn, it is recommended that all travellers wear long-sleeved trousers and sleeves at night – time, and early morning; sleep under mosquito netting which is almost always provided at lodges and camps, and be sure to bring along plenty “mozzie” repellent.
A: Meals during your stay will vary from lodge to lodge and country to country, and many chefs include an “African” flavour in their menus. Vegetarian, halaal and most food preferences are catered for in Southern and East Africa. If you have any special dietary requirements let us know in advance and we will ensure to cater for you wherever possible. Our guides/chefs/lodges/camps are very used to western stomachs, and are trained to cater for all different types of culinary tastes. Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
A: We recommend guests keep to the bottled water supplied on safari. Our safari vehicles carry drinking water at all times. Bottled water is also supplied and available at all the main camps and lodges.While “locals” may tell you the tap water is fine to drink or use to brush teeth etc your tummy may not be used to it and why risk a tummy bug when on holiday – be safe and stick to bottled water.
A: As part of our Terms and Conditions all guests must have travel insurance against all eventualities and circumstances. This is in the interests of your own safety and well being. There are many companies offering travel insurance, and this is one area where costs should not be cut!
A: Contact us for detailed visa information for each of the individual countries.
A: Yes. Most city hotels will have either internet connection in your bedroom or a business centre. The internet driven world we now live in means most safari lodges and camps also have wifi in the “main areas” at the lodge. Main areas implies dining areas and lounges, but please do check with us for wi fi details if it is an absolute necessity while you are on safari. We will check with remote lodges and camps on your behalf and provide accurate info for you.
A: This varies depending on the itinerary. On tailor-made itineraries the camps and lodges we use are mostly small and intimate, geared around personal service and comfort and are very luxurious. These properties usually cater to between 10 and 24 guests. There are some lodges we use which are bigger and cater for upwards of 100 guests, however we will notify you and explain this to you in your personalized itinerary.
A: Depending on your safari, different countries, month you are travelling etc there are many different types of activities available while on safari from game drives, guided walks, bird watching, boating, canoeing, adventure – based activities like whitewater rafting, helicopter rides over Victoria Falls, balloon trips over the Serengeti etc. Please do ask if you have a particular interest as there are many different “extras” available and many experienced guides in each country depending on your interests.
A: The most widely accepted currency in Africa is the USD. Euro and UK pounds are also accepted in most areas. Always be sure to have some cash money with you. There are ATM machines as well as money changing facilities in most of the major centres throughout Africa, however situations vary between region and country to country.
A: Africa offers outstanding experiences for families. Most lodges and camps are well aware of the amount of families travelling and have catered especially for this, with family rooms, and in the camps there are family tents. They are essentially 2 tents joined with a passageway, which means there is a level of privacy to each “room” but for parents and kids alike there is no need to leave the sanctuary of your tent to check on each other. We, ourselves, as the owners of BOLD.Travel have 3 children and we travel anywhere and everywhere with our kids, so we have first hand experience and can tell you which lodges and camps are best for families.
A: Vehicles used will depend on the country you are travelling in, the local regulations pertaining to vehicles used for game viewing and the standard of lodges and camps you are staying in. Please do communicate with us if you have any special vehicle requirements. We design bespoke itineraries and holidays, and will arrange vehicles and transport to match your needs.
A: Absolutely –  we often tailor-make/customise safaris for couples, families and groups. There are so many options and choices for each family, honeymoon couple, or “group of mates” travelling together that virtually anything is possible, from luxurious “fly – camping” to 6 star lodges so please communicate with us, and we will tailor make your trip.
A: Clothing should be comfortable and in neutral colours, e.g., khaki, beige, or bush green. A good guideline is two of everything – socks, underwear, slacks/shorts, shirts, but ONE pullover or cardigan. A hat is essential! Bring warm clothing for the winter months as the evenings can be cool. Please purchase “safari” clothing in advance and wash and wear it a couple times before coming on safari. If planning any gorilla trekking, lots of walking and especially tackling Mount Kilimanjaro, please ensure your walking boots are worn in and fit properly.
A: Most lodges and camps offer a laundry service. Please do not rely on there being a laundry service every day, as sometimes due to travelling times, nights spent in one place, it isn’t always practical to return your laundry – washed and dried – due to weather conditions or time restraints.
A: Your every need – before the trip starts, whatever extra activities you would like to do, a day room before your evening flight – can all be booked by us. Please just ask!
A: Binoculars are essential for pretty much all safaris –  preferably wide angle, such as 10×42’s. Even if you are not a fanatic birdwatcher, often the views and game spotting is much enhanced with a good pair of “binos”. A good camera  with a powerful zoom or telephoto lens will reward you with superb shots. Make sure you have plenty of memory and extra batteries as you will probably take more photos than you think. Power points to charge your batteries etc are available everywhere, and even some vehicles are fitted with power inverters to enable charging while driving.
A: As with most things in life – “The early bird catches the worm” It is best to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel (4-6 months). Peak seasons (June to October and Christmas/New Year period) – it is essential to book as early as you can. Phenomenon like the “great wildebeest migration” are on many people’s bucket list, so early planning and booking is essential.