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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
1. What makes Travel Connections so different from other Safari Agencies?
Travel Connections offers a private, exclusive safari experience catered to your personal preferences. We can individualize your safari itinerary according to your time schedule, budget, and level of adventure. Each safari is created to be your trip of a lifetime. Our drivers are also your naturalist expert, and will be able to show you, and teach you, about each habitat. You will be safe and secure and totally pampered.
2. Will I see the great wildebeest migration?
The migration is a spectacular event which should not be missed. The migration arrives in Masai Mara, Kenya in July and stay here till end of October. The rest of the time, they are in Serengeti Nat. Reserve in Tanzania. If you are visiting both Kenya and Tanzania, then you can come on safari any time of year because you will see the migration wherever it will be.
3. Will I see the Big Five?
Many customers have heard of the term “Big Five.” This refers to having seen five of the largest animals in Africa. This has become a way to measure your safari experience as excellent. Will you see the Big Five?
Most of the habitats in Kenya and Tanzania have these animals. They are: Elephants, Lions, Rhinos, Buffalo, and Hippos. You will have an opportunity to view and learn about these animals, and many more, on safari in these countries.
4. Can the safari itinerary be customized to my budget and liking?
Yes, the safari can be customized to meet your budget requirements, your vacation duration and the destinations you would like to go to.
5. Is this a group safari or private?
Although we have fixed departure safaris, unless indicated; your safari is private and exclusive. This means you will have the safari vehicle exclusively to yourselves; with of course your driver guide.
6. Does the safari begin on a fixed date or we can choose our dates?
Since almost all our safaris are private and exclusive, they begin on any date of your choice.
7. Do we have the same vehicle and driver guide throughout the safari?
If you are doing an entirely road safari, then you will have the same driver guide and vehicle from beginning to end. However if you have a flying safari, then you will have a different driver guide and vehicle at the next destination. If you are doing a safari covering more than 1 country, then you will have a different driver guide and vehicle in each country.
8. Do we use the same safari vehicle to do game drives?
Yes, the safari vehicles are customized to have a pop-up-roof-top which is opened when you depart on game drive. This will allow you to stand while doing game drives. The same driver guide you have will be providing the game drives.
9. How many persons can fit in the safari vehicle?
The safari vehicles have 7 seats at the back and 1 in front next to the driver. We however sell a maximum of 6 seats/persons per vehicle in order to guarantee a window seat to all persons.
10. Do we have a guide in addition to the driver?
No, the driver provides guiding services as well. This is why we call them driver guides. Our driver guides are very well trained and have many years of experience.
11. When do we tip the driver guide and what is the appropriate currency?
Most people tip the driver guide at the end of the safari. You can do it in US dollars or the local currency of that particular country.
12. Are there any hidden charges in the detailed safari itinerary?
No, on the detailed itinerary, a list of what is included and what is not included is clearly provided. There are no other charges outside of these.
13. What can I expect from the lodges I visit?
Each lodge or hotel booked for you will be your choice and will fit your budget. Some lodges are tented and some built to fit into the natural habitat. All have electricity by generators and modern plumbing. Even though located in remote areas, you can book a massage, shop at a gift store, visit a library. In the lodges and camps, all meals are provided for you, partly buffet and partly served. Customer service in all the lodges and hotels is excellent.
14. Are there swimming pools in the lodges?
Yes, most lodges have swimming pools, so bring along your swimming suits.
15. How comfortable are the tented camps? Do they have bathroom facilities and electricity?
Yes, the luxury tented camps we use are very comfortable. They have electricity, flash toilet, hot shower/bath tub, hair dryer, soap, shampoo etc. They also have comfortable beds. The safari lodges also have all these facilities.
16. Can I do laundry while on safari?
Yes, you can do laundry at all the hotels, lodges and tented camps.
17. What does Full board and Half Board mean?
Full board means breakast, lunch and dinner are included in your meal plan. Half board means breakfast and dinner only are included in your meal plan.
18. Can I access the internet while on safari?
Yes, most lodges and camps have a business center where you can access internet and your emails.
19. How do I get a Tourist Visa?
In East Africa you can obtain a tourist Visa in all the International Airports. This can be handled easily as you arrive with cash payments. You must have a passport that is valid for at least 6 more months. Visa fees for Kenya and Tanzania is USD 50.- per person per country. Visa fees for Tanzania for American citizens is USD 100.- per person while Europeans pay USD 50.- per person.
20. How do I pay for the safari? Can I use credit card?
Yes, you can pay for your safari using your credit card on a secure online platform. You can also pay via electronic wire transfer.
21. Can I bring travelers cheques? Can I also use credit card and cash while on safari?
Travelers cheques are not honoured by most banks due to fraud. It is recommended you do not bring travelers cheques. Similarly due to fraud, US dollar bills printed from year 2000 and earlier are declined by most banks and outlets. To be on the safe side, bring dollar bills that were printed from year 2003. Most hotels and lodges accept credit cards.
22. My safari has a few domestic flights, what is the luggage limit on these flights?
Luggage limit for in-country/domestic flights is 15kgs/33 lbs per person inclusive of carry on bags.
23. Whose contact do I leave with family back at home in case they need to contact me in the event of an emergency?
Since Felix Koskei knows where you are at every moment, give your family members his cellphone number. The number is +254-722-521-969. Felix can reached any time of day and night. You can also use his email address firstname.lastname@example.org
24. What do I do about Malaria?
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease that is totally preventable. Most lodges will have mosquito netting around your bed while you sleep which will prevent being bitten. Another prevention you can use is to get a prescription for a Malaria Prolaxis (prevention) from your family doctor. There are many types of medications available, including oral meds taken once a week beginning 2-3 weeks prior to travel, then during travel, and 2-3 week post travel. Some prefer the once a week dosage, others prefer daily doses while traveling. Discuss these options with your family doctor.
25. Do I need a lot of inoculations to visit Africa? Where do I get them?
Some customers believe there are many shots that you need to visit East Africa. Fortunately, there is only one inoculation that is required to enter these countries. You only need a Yellow Fever inoculation. This type of shot is given through local health departments run by your county or state. Once you receive this shot, it is good for 10 years, so you can come back many times before you need another. You will need to get the shot a few weeks or more before you travel so it has time to work within your system. You will get a inoculation card from the department, and you will need to carry it with you on safari.
26. I'm a diabetic. Am I able to come on safari?
Absolutely. Being a diabetic doesn't deter you from coming and enjoying your safari adventure. The drives from one destination to another are not too long and you will also have a couple of stops in between to stretch your legs and have a refreshment drink. The hotels and lodges will be happy to give you a small daily pack of bread, banana, croissant etc so that you eat during the drives. Our safari vehicles are equiped with a cooler box, so you can safely keep your insulin in the cooler box during the drives.
27. What should I bring when going on safari?
On safari, the dress is casual with outdoor comfort the standard. Loose fitting, tan, neutral or Khaki cotton clothes are the best for game viewing. You will need a warm sweater for the early mornings and evenings when it can get surprisingly cold. The concept of "layering" is a good system to employ. A waterproof rain jacket can double as a windbreaker. Please don't bring too much clothing.
- 5 Lightweight cotton shirts/ blouses
- 4-5 Pairs of socks
- 4-5 pairs of underwear
- 4-5 Shorts
- 3-4 Slacks/jeans (long pants that can convert to shorts is a great idea)
- 1 Fleece jacket or lined windbreaker
- 1 Sweatshirt, warm sweater
- 1 Hat with brim for sun protection
- 2 Pairs Comfortable shoes (sneakers/topsiders) (Heavy Hiking boots are not necessary.)
- 1 Pair Flip Flops for showering & pool
- 1 Bathing suit for lodges
- Sunscreen/ Suntan Lotion
- Cold Tablets/ Tylenol
- Insect Repellent
- Band Aids
- Hand Sanitizer
- Cortisone cream
- Contact lens solution if needed
- Spare prescription spectacles
- Anti-malarial tablets
- Anti-diarrheal medication
- Camera/extra cards
- Wet ones
- Eye Glasses (if worn) - Note: some people have trouble with contact lenses & dust Flashlight Penknife/ Pocketknife Zip lock/ Plastic bags Film
- Flash light
- Batteries – camera
- Razor/ Shaving Cream
- Sewing Kit
- Diary/ Books/ Pens
- Personal toiletries
- Optional…bag(s) of candy for children along the way
NOTE: White and bright colors (Red, Yellow) are discouraged as they tend to alert the animals, but they are fine within camp. Please leave all your good jewelry and watches at home. Duffel bags are ideal as they store easily, especially in the charter aircraft, and can take a few knocks.
28. How important is Travel Insurance?
Most travelers plan their trips many months ahead of time. It is difficult to foresee unexpected changes to your life so far in the future. Since booking your safari ahead is essential, being covered by Travel Insurance is the best way to enjoy a worry free experience. Travel Insurance covers problems like an unexpected illness, injury or death that makes it impossible to travel. It can also cover trip cancellations due to financial insolvency, involuntary employment termination/transfer, weather issues, strikes, jury duty, or court subpoena. Other problems with common carrier trip delays, baggage delays or lost baggage, emergency medical expenses, and evacuation, if necessary, can also be covered. There are many insurance companies that offer this coverage, but our Travel Connections Team can make a good recommendation if you are interested.
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