FREQUENTLY ASKED SAFARI QUESTIONS / SAFARI FACTS
Your safari tour driver/guide and 4×4 Jeep are at your disposal at all possible times for the most exciting game viewing.
We however must respect the national park authorities’ park rules. This means we can only participate in game drives from the hours of 6:30 am to 6 pm.
The viewing time and pace of your game drives are also flexible. You can choose to add game drives or skip some, shorten or lengthen others, and also enjoy the relaxing facilities of your safari lodge/ tented camp accommodation.
Almost all safari tours operated by Africa Kenya Safaris are private per booking and are operated in our own pop-up top 4×4 Jeeps with a dedicated tour driver/guide.
Our guests can form their own private groups to travel together as families or friends.
We do not offer tour groups from individual bookings for medium/long-range safari tours. This is to allow for flexibility, customization, pace, and choice of safari lodge/camp preference.
However, Africa Kenya Safaris does offer short/small group tours which we operate on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of every week. Please go to https://www.africakenyasafaris.com/group-safaris/
We are Kenyans and known throughout the world for our hospitality!
Wherever and whenever possible we always bring this spirit of hospitality and complimentary services to our safari guests. For instance, we provide Meet and Greet services at the Nairobi airport and hotel shuttle transfers during your arrival and departure in Nairobi.
Other complimentary tourist services include general Kenya destination and safari assistance as may be requested/required by you.
Almost all safari lodges/tented camp accommodations during your safari provide free Wi-Fi. You’ll find this available in all three accommodation levels – economy, comfort, and luxury.
Wi-Fi 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 also provide free Wi-Fi in our 4×4 Safari jeeps that receive a Wi-Fi signal about 70% of the time, depending on network coverage
East Africa is within the tropics and near the Equator, separating the northern and southern hemispheres. The tropical temperatures are relatively high on the safari route and even within the national parks/game reserves.
Because you’ll need to frequently hydrate during your safari, we ensure unlimited supplies of drinking water.
All Africa Kenya Safari vehicles are fitted with a cooler box or mini fridge with a constant supply of cool, bottled water.
We replenish our supplies of drinking water during stops along the safari route.
Here’s everything you need to know about packing for your safari trip.
It is usually not possible to extend your group sharing safari.
This is because you share your safari Jeep with the other travelers in your group. And you need to leave and return to Nairobi as a group.
Additionally, an extension would be subject to the availability of extended time at your accommodation.
If all group tour participants agreed to such an extension and if there is availability at the accommodation, then it would be possible.
An extra day on safari would also require an additional charge.
Learn more about our fun and value-based group tours at https://www.africakenyasafaris.co/group-safaris
Africa Kenya Safaris is proud to have the best tour guides in the business.
We are happy to let our guests choose their special preference for any individual driver/guide a guest may have learned about from either recommendations or online reviews.
This is however subject to the guide’s availability.
Should he not be available, rest assured you will still have your choice of many excellent guides from our outstanding team.
We carefully research and choose our selection of safari lodges and tented camps to offer the best in terms of comfort, relaxation, amenities, and atmosphere during your safari.
We fully understand the need for your protection against mosquitos and other insects.
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 use insect repellent to further protect yourself especially outdoors in the evenings.
The maximum number of persons allowed in one room/tent is 3 and can be accommodated in a double bed and a single bed or with 3 single beds.
Where 4 persons or more are traveling together and prefer to stay in one room/tent, we may book them in 2 rooms with interconnecting doors.
For those that prefer to stay close to family or friends, we will try to book them in adjacent tents/rooms.
Some safari lodges/camps have family units that will accommodate a maximum of 4 persons. This however includes an extra charge.
All safari rooms/tents are private with their own bathroom/toilet.
Africa Kenya Safaris understands that your holiday travel may be lengthy and could involve different activities during your trip. You may find the need to store some of your luggage at various times.
You can safely store your extra luggage at our Nairobi or Mombasa offices for safekeeping until you have completed your safari.
This is a free service extended to all our safari guests.
Additionally, your 4×4 safari Jeep accommodates generous luggage space in its rear luggage compartment.
Take a view of our 4×4 safari jeeps and note the luggage compartment.
Your safari tour Jeep has a generous luggage compartment at the rear and can comfortably carry 6 suitcases with an average of 25 – 30 kgs (50-60 lbs.) each
You may also carry hand luggage with valuable items inside the safari jeep.
We suggest that you utilize soft-sided suitcases for ease of storage in the safari vehicle and also to minimize damage during the sometimes bumpy safari road trips.
Africa Kenya Safaris is a friendly and sensitive tour operator. We appreciate our guests’ special life moments such as anniversaries, birthdays, and special events.
Whether you are holidaying as honeymooners or a family traveling with kids, we are happy to extend a discount or offer other extras to enhance your holiday safari experience.
Please let us know about any events, special occasions, etc. happening during your safari tour when you make your booking.
Should you be booked on a Kenya fly-in safari or you are taking a domestic safari flight to the national parks/game reserves, there is a baggage allowance.
The allowance for local domestic flights commuting between national parks is 15kgs (33 lbs.) excluding hand luggage.
You may store extra luggage not required on safari at our Nairobi or Mombasa offices at no charge.
You may also choose to pay an extra $5 per kilogram for any extra baggage if you decide to take all your baggage with you (this is subject to flight/carrier capacity).
Kenya welcomes visitors from all over the world and their diverse diet preferences. These preferences may be due to religious beliefs, lifestyles, or health concerns.
The menus in all safari lodges & tented camps are continental cuisine however, vegetarian, kosher, halal, gluten-free, etc. meals are also provided.
We request you indicate your special diet needs during safari booking/confirmation.
We cannot guarantee that all listed safari accommodations and other facilities will be available for those with special needs such as those in wheelchairs. However, we will do our best to reserve equal value/standard properties and facilities that conform to the special needs of our guests.
We request that guests specify any special needs or requirements including special diet preferences at the time of booking.
Our safari guides are experienced in the requirements of those guests with special needs and are more than happy to accommodate all guests during their safari tour
As part of our safari tour services, Africa Kenya Safaris provides free pickup and return to the airport/hotel for any guests who are booked for a 3-day or more safari tour with us.
The transfers are provided even if you arrive or depart several days before or after your safari start/end.
Please let us know your arrival & departure flight details including airline codes and arrival/departure times. We will provide you with the name of your driver and telephone contact in advance of your arrival/departure.
If you are arriving in Nairobi earlier than your safari starting date or are intending to stay a few days more after your safari finish, you will require a Nairobi hotel.
Our listed safari tours and advertised prices do not include your Nairobi hotel.
Nairobi has a wide range of hotels in the economy, comfort, and luxury categories suitable for your 1 night or extended stay.
As part of your safari tour, Africa Kenya Safaris will pick you up at the airport and bring you to your respective Nairobi hotel or residence. This includes most areas around Nairobi.
We suggest that you look up and book online your preferred Nairobi hotel. If you should require advice, suggestions, or booking assistance for your Nairobi hotel, we will be happy to assist.
We can make suggestions depending on your budget and what area of the city you are interested in staying.
An African safari lodge is located in a remote wildlife area and is made up of several cottages spread out over the property. There is a main building which houses a restaurant, bar, and other amenities, together with the reception area and also administration facilities. On most properties, there may also be a swimming pool on the grounds.
The lodge’s en-suite guestrooms are in separate cottages, clustered around the main building.
The atmosphere is usually rustic, complementing the natural surroundings and nearby wildlife.
Safari lodges vary in size, design, location, and standards. Lodges are found in economy, comfort, and luxury categories.
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 in a thatched African style design. It may also be a large tent. The en-suite guest tents are grouped around the main building maintaining a private atmosphere.
The tented camp structure is a large en-suite tent, set upon a solid floor base and is complete with private bathrooms and a small terrace or veranda.
Essentially, the tents are rooms with exterior walls of canvas rather than wood or brick.
The tented camp complex may also have a swimming pool.
Tented camps range in amenity levels from comfort, superior comfort, luxury to the super luxurious.
Masai Mara Conservancies
The conservancies are protected reserves adjacent to Masai Mara Park. Fewer guests visit the conservancies as the number of beds is limited. In some conservancies, there is a limit of an average of 30 guests within an area of approximately 700 acres. Only those staying in a particular conservancy’s tented camps can participate in game viewing drives there.
Visitors staying in conservancies may still participate in game viewing drives in the Mara Game Reserve with an additional payment of $80 per day park fee. Some tented camps may include a 1-day Masai Mara Reserve visit if guests are staying more than 2 nights.
Unlike the national parks, off-road driving is permitted during game drives at the conservancies. This allows visitors to get closer to the animals and sometimes brings a more exciting experience.
In the Masai Mara area, there is a 5 vehicle per wildlife sighting rule. This rule is well-enforced at the conservancies. Unfortunately, this rule is not always followed in many parts of the Masai Mara Reserve, except at the Mara Triangle where Driver/Guides are fined for violations. Quite often, it is the norm to find more than the allowed vehicles congregating at a sighting in the National Reserve.
It can be said that those seeking out lion sightings may have better luck at the conservancies. It should be noted, however, that the Masai Mara ecosystem has in general a high level of lion concentration and thus, many sightings. Generally speaking, the Masai Mara is definitely lion and big cat country.
Night game viewing drives are allowed up to 10 pm within the conservancies. At the National Reserve, night game viewing drives are not allowed as the reserve’s opening and closing times are 6:30 am to 6:30 pm respectively.
Longer Guided Walking Safaris can be experienced in the conservancies but not in the Masai Mara National Reserve. This is a different safari experience than the vehicle game drives and sometimes affords closer views of the wildlife.
Masai Mara National Game Reserve
The Great Wildebeest Migration and Mara river crossings only happen at the Masai Mara game reserve. July to September are the best months to view the river crossings, though in some years and depending on the varying climatic conditions, the migration can start from late-June and last until mid-October.
Visitors staying at the conservancies will need 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, staying at its many safari lodges and tented camps. Plus, the reserve also accommodates day visitors from the surrounding conservancies. The Masai Mara Reserve is roughly five times bigger than even the largest conservancy, the Mara North.
The Masai Mara Reserve is still the best place to spot all the big cats – a literal collection of lion, leopard, and cheetah.
The great rivers through the Mara Reserve are the Mara, the Talek, and the Sand rivers – they are the lifeline of this incredible ecosystem. Attractive to the eye, they are 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 spotting the ‘Big 5’, consider a visit to the reserve.
The Mara Triangle is the epitome of good wildlife park management. Rangers here enforce the no off-road rules and the road infrastructure here is well maintained.
Learn all about the Masai Mara National Reserve.
A Kenyan Sim card will 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 with the best national coverage and better deals.
Sim cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers. You can purchase them at the Nairobi airport upon arrival. Cost is approximately $1 or Ksh.100
To purchase local sim cards, you are required to have a Sim-unlocked GSM-compatible phone.
If you are booked on any of our Nairobi to Mombasa safaris, you can catch the Nairobi to Mombasa SGR train at the Emali, Mtito Andei, or Voi train stations, depending on your final national park visit.
You need to book and pay for your first-class train tickets in advance. You will just need to print out your travel ticket once you arrive at your train station.
This takes only a few moments and your safari driver/guide will be at hand to assist.
Upon arriving in Mombasa, we will pick you up from the train station and transfer you to your beach hotel in Mombasa, Diani, Kilifi, Watamu, or Malindi as part of our safari service.
The SGR train between Mombasa and Nairobi and now being extended to near Lake Naivasha is the newest and safest way to travel in Kenya.
It is also the most exciting means of travel between the Kenya interior and the Kenya Coast.
This new, modern train is air-conditioned, with wide windows for the best scenic views.
From Nairobi to Mombasa and back, the train meanders through the national parks of Tsavo West & Tsavo East.
Tip: The best 360-degree landscape views can be experienced from the train’s restaurant car.
Tipping in Kenya although not mandatory, is expected in return for good service.
All hotels, lodges, and porterage gratuities are included in the cost of your safari – these are collectively referred to as the service charge.
You may also decide to tip individual waiters, porters, and other hotel service employees who provide exemplary service. Usually, $1 – $5 per meal or move 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. However, the amount is at your discretion – you are welcome to provide additional compensation to any staffer who has 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 and preferably in an envelope.
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.
In the field where you are requested to state your Kenyan address, please enter the name of the hotel/lodge where you are spending 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 earliest you can apply for a Kenyan visa is three months before your travel date.
The visa application process involves uploading your passport picture along with your passport photograph. Your visa will be issued approximately five days after you register. You will be required to print a copy of your electronic visa and bring it with you for presentation along with your passport on arrival in Kenya. If you have any problems or inquiries related to applying for an electronic visa, please contact the Kenyan Embassy in your country/region.
Other things you need to bear in mind concerning your visa:
- You will 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 will 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 can use the same Visa permit if combining a Kenya / Tanzania Safari, or gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda.
Kenya’s currency is the Kenyan shilling (KSH). Check online for the current rate. You can exchange your convertible foreign currency into shillings at a Forex Bureau (at the Main Airports when you arrive or in the main towns at the Forex Bureau or banks). You will usually 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 at 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 close to the bank rate, but the best exchange rates will be at the Forex Bureaus at the airport or in Nairobi.
Spotting specific animal species usually 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 a few national parks/game reserves with almost guaranteed spotting for certain animal species.
These include Amboseli Park to see elephant herds, hippos in Tsavo West, and Lake Naivasha Parks and rhinos at Lake Nakuru Park and Ol Pejeta Sanctuary.
You’ll come to appreciate that in national parks and reserves, game viewing drives are exciting because of the “search” and “find” aspects of animal tracking.
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 not well developed.
Please note that noted driving times on safari itineraries/programs on the website are estimates and may vary depending on road conditions and road traffic.
Africa Kenya Safaris operates a wide range of East African safari holidays.
Our selection of economy, comfort, and luxury accommodation options for lodges and tented camps are all comfortable choices for your safari tour. Amenities vary according to the tier you select.
Luxury Safari Lodges and Tented Camps
In almost all instances, luxury lodges & tented camps are located at the best locations within the national parks and game reserves. They are unique in architecture and design and provide easy access to the game viewing areas. The facilities and comfort levels are of a higher standard. Rooms/tents are private and en-suite. There is usually a swimming pool in most of the luxury facilities.
Comfort Safari Lodges and Tented Camps
Comfort lodges and camps may be located inside or near the borders of the national parks and game reserves. They are less than 30 minutes from the park entrance. The facilities are comfortable though slightly less than the luxury accommodation level. The rooms and tents in this comfort level category are also private and en-suite. Most comfort-level lodges / tented camps have a swimming pool.
Economy Safari Lodges and Tented Camps
Almost all economy lodges and tented camps are located outside of the National park boundaries and but near the park. They are easy, comfortable, and adequate for relaxation and meals although more basic compared to the luxury and comfort options. Rooms and tents are private and have en-suite bathroom facilities. Most of the economy options also have a swimming pool.
View economy-level safari lodges/tented camps
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 you choose the single occupancy of a room, the single room supplement will apply. Single room/tent extra charges are indicated in the price section of each tour package page.
Our standard safari travel & game viewing drive vehicle is a custom designed 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep with a pop-up top for ease of photography and viewing during game drives. The vehicle seats a maximum of 6 persons to guarantee all passengers a window seat and access to the pop-up top.
Our 4×4 safari Jeeps are fitted with long-range radios for easy communication, cooler boxes, and first aid kits. This is in addition to the other extras included in the Jeep.
The 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep has several advantages on safari. These include a higher elevation, better navigation on rough terrain, deeper reach into the landscapes, more comfort, and a more authentic African safari experience.
Please view our Booking Terms and Conditions.
You can also request customized booking payment/terms depending on special booking requirements or your budget.
At Africa Kenya Safaris we are about flexibility and value for your money!
Africa Kenya Safaris does not include international flight costs in our East Africa safari tour prices.
This is because Africa Kenya Safaris is an inbound local Kenya tour operator and ground handling agency.
Local safari tour packages operated by Africa Kenya Safaris start from the Nairobi airport, Nairobi hotels, or the location of your choice within Nairobi.