Travel tips for Kenya and Tanzania
Who Can Enjoy a Safari?
Almost anyone can embark on a safari adventure in Kenya or Tanzania. Most safari tours offered by travel companies are not strenuous expeditions but rather outdoor holidays focused on observing African wildlife. No prior knowledge of Africa or its animals is necessary, nor is experience in outdoor activities required. While special safari equipment is not mandatory, having a pair of binoculars can enhance your experience significantly.
Traveling by Road
The majority of safaris in Kenya and Tanzania are conducted via 4WD safari jeeps or minibuses, primarily used for game drives within national parks and for traveling between parks. Itineraries often include visits to multiple parks within a week, sometimes requiring long drives of up to five to six hours to remote destinations. During a typical week-long safari, travelers might spend around 25 hours on Kenyan roads or 15 hours on Tanzanian roads.
Road conditions vary widely, ranging from well-maintained tarmac roads to rough bush tracks. Dusty, corrugated, and bumpy roads, combined with high daytime temperatures exceeding 30ºC/85ºF, can be exhausting over long periods of travel.
If you have back problems or difficulty sitting for extended periods, you may want to reconsider booking a safari due to the rough road conditions. Alternatively, consult with a safari-specialized travel company to customize your itinerary, possibly reducing travel time or opting for flights between destinations. Focusing on fewer but high-quality parks and ensuring comfortable transportation can enhance your overall safari experience.
Flying to Avoid Poor Roads
Accessing major parks by air offers a faster and more comfortable alternative to road travel. Scheduled flights operate daily to most parks, with charter options available for parks with airstrips. Smaller aircraft like Cessnas and Beechcrafts service these routes, landing on grass or dirt airstrips.
Solo travelers can join group safaris without issue, even with limited travel experience. We meet solo travelers at the airport and facilitate group participation throughout the safari, providing assistance as needed.
While English is widely spoken among safari guides and hotel staff, having some proficiency in the language may be beneficial for communication. Your guide will for sure teach you some local words and sayings!
Traveling with Children
Children of various ages can participate in safaris, although certain considerations apply. Optimal safari experiences for children typically start around nine or ten years old due to factors like hot weather and long travel distances. Tailored itineraries can accommodate families by adjusting activities and selecting child-friendly accommodations. Just keep in mind that most destinations are high malaria risk areas.
Accessibility for Disabled Travelers
Disabled travelers may encounter obstacles due to limited wheelchair accessibility in lodges, camps, and safari vehicles. However, some establishments cater to disabled guests, offering adapted accommodations and specialized vehicles.
Traveling in developing countries like Tanzania and Kenya may present challenges for individuals with special needs. While tourist services are available, accommodations for specific needs may not be as readily accessible as in developed countries. Discussing requirements with us before booking can ensure a smoother safari experience.
Medical services may not be readily available in remote safari areas, so travelers should carry necessary medications and supplies. Additionally, electricity may be limited in lodges and camps, requiring prior arrangements for continuous power supply.
Mobile phone coverage is widespread in safari areas, but network reliability may vary. Lodges and camps typically offer phone and internet connections, though speeds may be slow. Wifi will be available at most camps but it’s not always working…
Most lodges and camps accommodate dietary preferences such as vegetarian or gluten-free options. Special meal requests can usually be accommodated with prior notice, and international airlines offer special meal options upon request. However, the standards will be more simple than you are used to.