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Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to go on an Africa safari?
How many people travel in a safari group?

Can you describe what a safari is like?
How close can you get to the animals?
How big are the game parks?
Do I need a visa to enter Kenya?
What vaccinations do I need?
What should I pack?
What language do they speak in Kenya?
If I forget something, can I stop at the local 7-11?
Do you have any photography tips for travelers on an Africa safari?
What is the time difference in Kenya?
What is the currency in Kenya?
Will I have Internet access?
What types of electrical outlets are used in Kenya?
Can I drink the water?

When is the best time to go on an Africa safari?

You can go year-round but the best time is May through August. During that time, vegetation is thinner, making it easier to see the animals. Also, the weather is a bit milder.

How many people travel in a safari group?

Photo safaris are usually limited to four people per van. That way everybody has a window seat and plenty of room to move around the van. If you wish to have a larger group for a photo safari or a regular safari, that can be done also.

Can you describe what a safari is like?

You will stay inside of a park (such as Masai Mara or Amboseli). During the day, you will go on what is called a "game drive". An experienced guide will drive you around to see animals living in their natural habitat. When animals are spotted, the guide will stop the vehicle so that you can get a good look and take some pictures. A game drive can last a few hours or an entire day. top

How close can you get to the animals?

Close enough! Animals that are dinner for other animals are going to be more cautious. They will often let you get within 50 feet or so before moving away. Lions are not afraid of people and will let you get even closer. But please keep in mind that we are visitors in their ecosystem and it is important that we not do anything to upset their environment, their habits or their sense of security. top

How big are the game parks?

Masai Mara is about 583 square miles.
Lake Nakuru National Park is about 78 square miles.
Tsavo is about 8,108 square miles.
Amboseli is about 151 square miles.
For reference, Manhattan is about 23 square miles. top

Do I need a visa to enter Kenya?

Yes. You can apply for one here: https://www.kenyaconsulatela.com/services/appforvisaonline.aspx or you can obtain one at the airport when you land. top

What vaccinations do I need?

You can find details here: http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/destinations/africa/kenya.php
Be aware that vaccinations and anti-malaria pills will cost up to several hundred dollars and are generally not covered by insurance. top

What should I pack?

Here is a helpful list: http://www.african-safari-journals.com/safari-packing-list.html.

Some notes: Pack as lightly as possible. You will be moving around a lot and don't want to be weighed down by your luggage. Also, space will be at a premium, particularly if you are taking local flights within Kenya. Finally, you will be taking multiple flights and likely multiple airlines to get from here to there. So be prepared in case your luggage doesn't get there with you. It can be very difficult to obtain necessities, so carry anything that you can't live without, such as medications. Also, bring "emergency" toiletries and clothing in your carry-on.  top

What language do they speak in Kenya?

English and Swahili. top

If I forget something, can I stop at the local 7-11?

While you can get all necessities (and many luxuries) in Kenya, you will find that it is much more difficult to find things than at home. Most of your time will not be spent in Nairobi, but in very remote places where you should not count on being able to find things. We will work with you to find what you are looking for, but do be careful and make a checklist before you leave home.  

Also, we recommend that you carry essentials in your carry-on in case you get separated from your luggage. If your trip takes you directly to one of the game parks after landing, that can make it even more difficult to acquire what you need. top

Do you have any photography tips for travelers on an Africa safari?

Here is an excellent article on the subject: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/Safari-Tips.shtml.

All of the animal images in our gallery were taken with a Nikon 80-400 lens on a full-frame digital camera (Nikon D700). All of the other pictures were taken with a 24-70 lens. You can rent lenses in the United States for the duration of your trip. In Los Angeles we recommend Paul's Photo.

What is the time difference in Kenya?

Kenya is UTC/GMT +3 hours and does not observe daylight savings time. That means that it is 10 hours ahead during our daylight savings time and 11 hours ahead during our standard time. top

What is the currency in Kenya?

It is the Kenyan Shilling. At the time of writing, there are 78 KS per 1 USD. You can exchange currency at local banks and hotels. top

Will I have Internet access?

Inside of the game parks, Internet access is limited and will largely depend on where you are staying. Towns generally have access available, either via a public Internet café, or via wireless access in the hotels – which they sometimes charge for. top

What types of electrical outlets are used in Kenya?

The system is 240v, 50hz. Check your equipment to make sure that it can handle the voltage. Items such as laptop chargers will have a sticker on them that lists the voltage range.

The electrical outlets are called "Type G". Info here: http://electricaloutlet.org/type-g. You will need an adaptor.

Be aware that camps produce their own electricity via generator and the generator is generally turned off during the night. top

Can I drink the water?

The water is safe at lodges and large hotels. It is generally chlorinated in larger towns, and therefore safe. But when outside of your hotel, it is advisable to drink bottled water to be safe. top