Frequently Asked Questions About African Safaris
Whilst there is an inherent risk whilst travelling on safari and in Africa, it is no more dangerous than travelling anywhere else in the world. You will be in wildlife-rich areas most of the time you are on safari and will come into relatively close contact with wild animals. The camps are, however, safe and the guides that will be accompanying you are well trained. Very good medical air rescue services are available and the camps and lodges are in good radio contact with them at all times. Planning a safari with Moriti makes it even safer as we are local and know what areas are safe to guide in and what areas to stay away from.
When planning your African safari, it’s wise to do a bit of research on the best time to go for the experience you want. You don’t want to start your beach holiday in cyclone season or find that the animals you’ve arrived to see have moved on due to seasonal changes. As a general rule, Africa is warm and sunny throughout the year. But certain countries, and even regions within those countries, experience a variety of climates. Please visit our African Safari Guide page for more info.
Please feel free to visit Travel News’s website to find out what you need to organise a visa to visit Mama Africa. This link is also beneficial to find other info like health restrictions and requirements as well as other important info.
Please ensure you have fully comprehensive travel insurance covering you in the event of trip cancellation, trip delay or any serious illness or injury. Due to the remoteness of some of the locations, your travel insurance should cover you in the event of an emergency airlift/evacuation being required. Please also note that travel insurance should be purchased within 21 days of the initial trip deposit to cover any pre-existing conditions.
Most camps have age restrictions and these usually range from 8 to 12 years old (although some camps don’t accept children at all). This is for safety reasons, although game drives can be long and boring for young kids and they may disturb other travellers as they struggle to sit quietly. At an older age, children are usually able to sit quietly and will likely have a more memorable experience.
We absolutely love children on safari and a private safari works very well for kids under 12 because you have the lodge and game vehicle all to yourselves. This ensures that the activities are planned around your family and that your guide has time to spend with your kids, making it an unforgettable experience for everyone.
Remember, packing for a safari is about blending practicality and style. You’re not just packing bags, you’re preparing for a journey filled with incredible wildlife encounters, stunning landscapes, and unforgettable moments. Here are a few tips:
- A soft-sided duffel bag is your go-to for bush flights and game drives. It’s flexible, fits in tight spots, and can carry all your essentials.
- A camera bag or backpack as your gear deserves its own special home. A padded camera bag or backpack ensures your lenses, equipment and valuables stay safe during your photographic safari. It’s like a VIP suite for your camera gear.
- A reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated like a true safari pro. It’s your eco-friendly companion for staying refreshed on hot African days.
Most safari flights restrict your check-in luggage to 20 kg (44 lbs) per person and 8 kg (18 lbs) for hand luggage per person.
Here is a list of what to bring on your safari…
- Hats, sunblock, insect repellent and sunglasses.
- Swimming costumes as the lodges have pools.
- Cool, long clothes for the evenings around the fire.
- Something warm (layers) for the game drive from May to October.
- Clothes should be neutral colours, nothing too bright.
- Camera and binoculars.
- Mammal and bird books.
- Reusable water bottle.
- Backpack for carrying your belongings like camera, binoculars, wallet etc.
- Portable charges.
- Any electrical charges you may need (make sure they are compatible with African plug points). We run on 220 volts.
- Any medication you need.
Tipping is a general practice in Africa and is expected by most service staff who perform well and make your stay more comfortable as they often live off their tips. Here is some information on tipping:
- In restaurants, 10% to 15% is the accepted tipping standard added onto the bill amount.
- Petrol attendants at gas stations – from ZAR 5,00 up.
- Porters at airports – between ZAR 5,00 and ZAR 10,00 per luggage.
- Hotel porters – between ZAR 10,00 to ZAR 20,00 per porter service.
- Rangers, trackers and chefs – between ZAR 200,00 to ZAR 300,00 or more per day each.
- Cleaning staff at the lodge – between ZAR 100,00 to ZAR 200,00 or more per day.
- Site guides (e.g. a guide at an activity) – ZAR 100,00 per person.
- Private guides/hosts – anything between 5-10% of the safari cost or more if you feel that s/he was exceptional.
Please be aware that this is a guideline and you should never feel obliged to tip anyone. It is your discretion and thoughts on the service you have received that should govern your tips.
Binoculars are very important. You will not always have the animals under your nose. A good pair of 8 x 30 or 8 x 42 would be ideal. The small pocket pairs can become frustrating to use unless they are a very good make.
If you are going to buy a new camera for your African safari, then we suggest you buy a digital SLR camera. Nikon, Canon and Sony produce very good, affordable digital SLRs. You will need a good size telephoto zoom lens, at the very least a 200mm lens, and ideally a 300mm lens. Nikon and Canon also have lenses with a new technology called Vibration Reduction on Nikon and Image Stabilization with Canon. These lenses have a feature that you can turn on to reduce the old problem of camera shake.
We accept all major credit cards and can facilitate secure wire transfer payments. These go through a third-party company and your personal bank for peace of mind. All payments will be in your own currency.
A typical day on safari is like waking up to a symphony of the wild, with adventure around every corner.
- Game drives are a sunrise and sunset serenade and this is because it is the best time of the day to spot the majority of the animals as it is cool and that’s when most are feeding or hunting. Sunrise, noooooooooo! It is worth it, trust us.
- Enjoy a bush breakfast bonanza after an exhilarating morning game drive. Picture a delicious breakfast served in the bush, surrounded by nature’s beauty.
- It’s siesta time as the sun climbs higher. Head back to your room for a rest, just like the big cats do. It’s like a midday safari catnap.
- It’s then lunchtime laughter as you enjoy a hearty lunch while sharing stories of your morning adventures with fellow travellers or your family.
- Evening entertainment begins back at camp after your game drive, it’s time for dinner under the stars. You’ll share your safari tales around the campfire. It’s like a nightly storytelling ritual, with the Milky Way as your backdrop.
And so, each day on safari is a captivating journey filled with wildlife wonders, culinary delights, and the magic of the African wilderness. It’s a symphony of experiences that leaves you longing for the next day’s encore.
In Africa, the Big 5 are the lion, leopard, Black rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. The term was created by big-game hunters, and refers to the five most dangerous animals in Africa to hunt on foot, but is also used by guides throughout Africa to describe everyone’s big game wish-list.
Africa, specifically southern Africa provides the best opportunity to see the Big 5 live and in full HD. It largely depends where you go, but most reserves in the region will offer up some amazing sightings. If there is a specific animal you want to see, mention it to Shaun when you enquire. He will make sure to introduce you to a reserve he feels will offer the best opportunity to find that animal. Nothing is guaranteed, our company is built around responsible and organic game viewing and as such, we will never force a sighting onto an animal that does not want to be found.
All our safaris are guided and often, privately guided and hosted by specialist safari tour guides. Unless you decide to enjoy one of our tailored self-drives within Kruger National Park, all transportation is managed by registered pilots, guides and drivers who offer comfortable, safe transport to and from each destination. You will always receive a full, interactive itinerary before each safari. If you need more info, Shaun is always on hand to assist.
Food and drink play a huge role on a safari. Chefs often find the lasting blend between old-world tradition and modern culinary influence. The sense of wilderness isn’t interrupted as you dine beneath the stars, a fire crackling and nocturnal animals calling and moving around. Menus are unique, blending local ingredients. Sometimes those you won’t find served anywhere else in the world. Each lodge will also have a well-stocked bar, or your guide will assist you to buy your own drinks. Africans are well known for their hospitality, you are in good hands.
Well, this is entirely up to you. As standard, Moriti only deals with one safari at a time which means, we will endeavour to keep your transfers, lodges and game drives as private as possible. If you choose one of our non-exclusive options, there will be other people at attractions and at the guest houses and hotels, there may also be other guests that will be at the lodge and on game drives with you. You will NEVER share a room/tent with other people though, that is always private and en-suite.
However, if you prefer to be separated from society for a while, we are the safari operator to do this. Exclusive guides, lodges, and activities are available on all our safaris if you would like. Long story short, are we a group safari operator, absolutely not. We keep you as private as your budget will allow and every safari has a private aspect to it.
This is exactly what we want to hear! Due to the privacy of our private African safari tours, we can really spoil you. Anything from photographic tutorage to special birthdays or events and even yoga and wellness retreats, we can organise this. If you have something special in mind, let us know and we will try and make it work, private safari or not.
Most of the lodges that we stay at have got Wi-Fi access, some may be slower than others (hey, it is the bush).
If you would like to use a mobile phone while on safari then we would suggest using a local sim card. They are very cheap, and airtime and data are inexpensive. Your guide can take you to a local shop to buy one, but bear in mind:
- Make sure you know the size of the sim card your phone uses.
- Make sure you have unlocked your phone as some phones do not allow other sim cards to be loaded.
In southern Africa, camps and lodges are generally located in private concessions and therefore safari vehicles tend to be more open. Most often open-sided 4×4 Land Cruisers and Land Rovers with layered seating are used during game drives. The open safari vehicles allow you to feel closer to the wildlife and nature as well as offer great visibility and awesome photography opportunities. In addition, game drive vehicles in South Africa tend to have a bucket seat mounted on the front of the car for the tracker. This allows the tracker to read the roads for wildlife tracks or droppings in order to find animals quicker.
Vehicles in East Africa are generally less open. This is mainly due to open vehicles not being permitted in certain areas such as driving between national parks as well as in some parks.
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