Safari is a Swahili name that means adventure journey or travel. Initially, it was taken to be the hunting expeditions to Africa but has now become a more eco-friendly form of adventure for people of all ages and walks of life. For you travelling to Africa, Safari has become the dream vacation of a lifetime, combining adventure with total comfort to ever-increasing travellers. Visit Africa’s most beautiful game reserves, seeing hundreds of rare birds and mammals from your chauffeured safari vehicle. Relax in comfortable lodges surrounded by scenic valleys and plains. Time takes on a new meaning as you learn to sit quietly listening to the sounds of Africa. The balance of nature will no longer be empty words you will see it daily in the drama of animals fighting for their survival and coexistence.
All Year Round! But it also really depends on the type of animal you wish to see. Certain reserves have good game viewing all year round but others will have particularly good elephant sightings or other migratory animals at different times of the year. It is generally felt that the African winter (June – August) is the best time to go on safari, as the grass is dry and vegetation sparse making game viewing easier. It is also the time when animals are on the move looking for food and water. In Kenya and Tanzania, you have the memorable opportunity of witnessing the migration of over two million animals.
Yes, we have an international clientele. We receive visitors from all-over the world! We can make all arrangements in East Africa including transportation, accommodation and activities for anybody from any part of the world without any discrimination. However, we can only arrange international flights originating from selected countries where we have a representative office. Visitors from other areas not represented are requested to make own flight arrangements to Africa. Please Contact us for more!
East Africa can be reached by regular international flights to its major cites. There are many airlines operating direct flights to East Africa from Europe, United States and Asia. You can also get easy connections where there are no direct flights. You might choose to approach your local travel agent for assistance regarding the flight connections. Please Contact us for more!
All visitors are required to carry a passport that is valid for six months beyond the intended length of stay. Nationals of certain countries do not require visas – this depends on the country you are visiting. It is advisable to check with the Consulate of the country that you intend visiting for the latest visa and entry requirements.
Temperatures in winter are generally mild but can become considerably cooler in the evening, so pack multiple layers of clothing to ensure you stay comfortable on afternoon game drives and walks. It goes without saying that the standard safari gear must include a broad brim hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent. In areas where malaria is prevalent, summer is generally a more risky time to travel. So, before you go on safari, consult your doctor for the necessary anti-malaria medication.
No. English is spoken throughout East Africa, especially by those involved in the tourist trade. At a reasonable fee, we can provide a driver / guide who speaks your local language. Our drivers speak various languages and we have specialists for French, Spanish, Italian, Swahili, Japanese, Indian, Chinese and Russian.
Great! International cuisine is available at all the hotels you will be staying. Special dietary requirements are catered for throughout East Africa if you need. Please give us advanced notice so that we can make arrangements with the lodges and camps you are scheduled to stay at. Most restaurants offer selections for vegetarians, depending on their forte. Local specialties can be surprisingly good! With the exception of a few lodges, halaal and kosher food is not available at most camps/lodges.
Vaccination requirements change from time to time. Some countries require advance inoculations for yellow fever (and certificates thereof) that are good for 10 years – Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd! will advise you of these. Malaria is present in many parts of Africa – we will advise you if you will be visiting a malaria area. We suggest you consult your local doctor or health department for information on malaria prophylactics and the latest health precautions. If you are on prescription medication, please ensure you have an adequate supply to last the duration of your stay and a copy of your prescription(s).
East Africa offers outstanding value for families. However, some destinations and establishments cater more fully for the enjoyment of children than others. Most lodges have swimming pools and baby-sitting services. Please contact us for more specific information.
Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd offer the following types of safaris: road photographic safaris, lodge safaris, fly-in safaris, luxury tented camps safaris, budget camping safaris, sit-in-car safaris and self drive. Please note that not all of these safari types are available in each country that we operate in. Go to a specific country page on our web site to see the type of safaris available.
It is better to book as far in advance as possible to ensure availability at the time you wish to travel (4-6 months), especially during the peak seasons (July & August and Christmas/New Years). This is especially important for those wishing to travel on private custom safaris and those adding extensions to scheduled trips.
On a lodge safari you travel from lodge to lodge and do game drives with one of our driver/guides. The lodges we use are essentially hotels in the bush. They accommodate between 100 and 200 people. They provide most of the amenities found in a hotel (e.g., restaurant, lounge, swimming pool, etc.). This is a good choice when traveling with children or if you want certain creature comforts when you return from game viewing.
Luxury tented camp safaris are done either by vehicle or light aircraft. In the case of a fly-in safari you will fly from one reserve to the next. This reduces the amount of travel time considerably and maximizes game viewing opportunities. Permanent tented camps provide accommodation ranging from comfortable to luxurious. Most consist of large walk-in tents on elevated wooden platforms, with beds, chairs, furniture and an en-suite bathroom with hot and cold water and flushing toilets. Permanent camps accommodate a smaller size group (20-30 people) than lodges allowing a more personal interaction with the natural habitat.
This is a limited participation camping safari that requires that you put up and take down your tent. The accommodation is in 2-person igloo style tents with a foam mattress. All camping equipment is provided with the exception of sleeping bags, which you can bring (recommended) or hire (approximately $20). All meals are included while camping. The safari leaders are full-time employees and trained professional guides. Detailed information on the history of the area, fauna and flora is given to the participants during the safari. A camp assistant helps with general camp chores and duties.
On a self-drive safari you will be met at the airport upon your arrival and assisted with the formalities of picking up a rental car. You will be given a detailed itinerary, vouchers and maps for your trip. You would then proceed, unguided, on the tour according to the set itinerary. Accommodations are at hotels, lodges, chalets and rest camps.
A single supplement is a fee imposed by hotels, lodges and camps on single travelers. Tour prices are quoted based on two people sharing accommodation. If someone takes a room by themselves they have to pay the per-person price plus the single supplement fee. It is the excess cost you pay in occupying a room designated to take two people by yourself alone.
We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express for your safari deposit. The balance is due 60 days prior to departure and is payable by money order or wire transfer to our bank account.
Click here to view our safari booking Terms and Conditions.
Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd uses mini buses and 4×4 Landcruiser open-roof vehicles on safari. The specific vehicle used on a particular safari depends on the country and the reserves to be visited. All vehicles are equipped with two-way radios and are maintained to provide the maximum level of comfort and safety.
The letters indicate the meals that are included on a safari or tour. B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner. B&B; refers to Bed and Breakfast.
An Africa Safari is perfect vacation for people of all ages, from eight to eighty-eight. A safari is not particularly strenuous or tiring, so anyone in reasonably good health should be able to enjoy his or her stay. Because a safari has something to offer everyone, it has become an increasingly popular motivation incentive as well as a family vacation.
The beauty of Africa encompasses not only birds and animals of all shapes and sizes, but also the many different tribal peoples, and the exotic physical features from mountains to broad savannas, forests to rivers and deserts. Your safari has been carefully planned to include a wide variety of sights and activities.
In a typical day you can expect to see 15 to 20 animal species- lions, elephants, giraffes and rhinos, to name a few. Buffalo and wildebeest may be in herds of hundreds or more. Others, like the swift cheetah, are more likely to be found alone. And then there are the birds, over 300 species! Birds in Africa are particularly colorful and easy to spot. Even if you’ve never looked at a bird before, with the help of your driver you’ll easily learn to identify twenty to thirty of the most striking and beautiful birds of Africa. Experienced birders can expect to see 60 to 100 different species in a single day. A special thrill is in store if your safari coincides with the annual wildebeest migration. You’ll see thunderous herds of wildebeest and zebra, totaling more than 1 million, stretching across the horizon. On their trail follow the predators the big cats, and the scavengers hyenas, jackals and vultures. Whenever you go, you’ll see animals as you’ve never seen them before roaming free, just as they have for millions of years.
Because you are traveling in protected game reserves, many of the animals have no fear as long as you are in a vehicle. You can get surprisingly close, especially when lions are busy feeding on prey, or at rest. Elephants often walk up to and even surround a minibus. Monkeys and baboons may study you as closely as you study them. But natural behavior will only continue if you give the animals some space and are quiet. If you go too close, or talk too loudly, the animals may just leave. Most animals will be more interesting if allowed the space to continue their natural behaviors- stalking, mating, playing with their young. Your driver will know the best viewing distance. Please do not encourage him to “stalk” or otherwise interfere with hunting or other activities crucial to the animal’s survival.
No, not if you stay within the marked boundaries of your lodge or in your safari vehicle. Your guide and driver know what is, and is not, safe. Incidents involving animals are rare in East Africa and are, almost without fail, the result of someone doing what they have been advised not to do. Nairobi is a big, bustling city. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry, hold onto your purse and camera bag, beware of clever conmen and don’t walk in the city at night. Do not wear money belts, since they can easily be cut off from the rear. It is always a good idea when you travel to keep a photocopy of your passport in your suitcase and another at home. It’s a fact that traveling on safari is safer than traveling in most U.S. cities. The people are friendly, and the government patrols the game parks – their most treasured resource- for the safety and benefit of all.
Great! almost all year round! Because of the high elevation (3000 to 8000 feet above sea level), and proximity to the equator, there is a pleasant weather throughout the year. The “dry” season is July through October, and December through March. During this time you may expect to find the greatest concentrations of animals because they will congregate around the remaining water holes. The dirt roads may be dusty, but should not prove to be a major discomfort. The relatively “rainy” season includes the month of April, May, and November. During this time the landscape is beautifully green, and there are fewer tourists. The animals are more dispersed, so will be harder to spot. Expect showers interspersed with beautiful sunny skies. Many travelers prefer to go on safari during these months. If your itinerary includes a coastal resort, the best times for you to visit are August through October, and December through March. Stay abreast on African Weather at; WEATHER.COM :: CNN WEATHER :: BBC WEATHER
The ” Great Migration ” is the heralded movement of millions of wildebeest and zebras across Tanzania’s Serengeti plains into the Masai Mara game reserve of Kenya, from late June through early October. Tanzania’s annual migration occurs March through May and October through November. Whether you catch the migration or not, there will always be plenty of animals, more than you could ever imagine. And you could take the same safari at the same time every year and always see something different. Nothing remains the same, because the animals are constantly on the move in search of fertile grasslands.
Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd uses only the finest accommodation available. Hotels in Nairobi are deluxe, with quality shops, restaurants, and amenities. The game lodges are imaginatively built with marvelous gardens and terraces. A typical lodge has bungalows spread across the grounds, a large central reception area, dining room, shops and an attractive outdoor swimming pool. Many have exercise room as well. Each room has twin beads and private bathroom with flush toilet and shower or bath. Tree hotels, such as the Ark or Mountain Lodge, are more rustic, yet feature great views from their lofty perspective, and each bedroom has its own private facilities. Some of our safaris feature permanent tented camps, with large canvas tents erected on concrete or wood platforms. They all have sewn-in floors and net screens. Comfortable beds and a private connecting bathroom with flush toilet and shower make for a most comfortable stay. Many even have swimming pools! Most permanent tented camps in Tanzania retain all the style and glamour of the famous mobile-tented camps. Sensitive to this fragile environment, these camps retain an elegant simplicity, yet offer every feature to ensure a comfortable stay: excellent meals: fine wines and liquors: insect proofed tents with twin beds: private hot water bucket shower: discreet safari toilet: free laundry service. Private camps are set up in private game viewing areas far from other tourists. Here you’ll have a chance to view game on foot, or by four-wheel drive vehicle with your highly trained naturalists guides. For most, these exclusive camps are the ultimate African experience.
Good! All meals- buffet-style American or Continental breakfast, and sumptuous lunches and dinners- are included while on safari. In major cities, some of our safaris include only breakfast. This allows you to dine on your own at some of the outstanding local restaurants. Check the inclusions described for your specific tour. You’ll savor everything from African delicacies to international specialties on a Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd! safari. The meals are well prepared, the menus varied, with fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and meat amply provided. And food never tasted better than upon returning from an exciting day on safari.
We recommend only bottled water. It can be purchased inexpensively throughout your trip and is good insurance for healthy, enjoyable safari. Beer, wine and soft drinks are also fine to drink. Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd! adds a sparkling touch to the fresh and delicious African fare by providing you with cool, clear bottled water with each meal on all itineraries. We will also offer you the same refreshing bottles of water on game viewing expeditions.
Most of your safari will be in deluxe late-model minibuses or 4×4 Totota Landcruiser’s . At most tented camps, and in the Ngorongoro, Grater, you’ll travel in four-wheel drive vehicles. Everyone will have a window seat for best game viewing and photography. Every vehicle has its own professional driver/guide. One pair of binoculars and guidebooks is furnished to enhance your viewing pleasure. Roads outside major cities are often dirt or gravel and may be bumpy or dusty. You may happen to get temporarily stuck in a muddy patch if there is a heavy rain. It’s all part of the adventure and your driver is an expert in dealing with tough driving conditions. Some of our safaris feature short flights, thereby saving hours of surface travel. From this lofty perspective, you will appreciate the size and scope of the African plains, and enjoy the additional time allowed for game viewing drives.
At tented camps in Tanzania and certain tented camps in Kenya, you have the opportunity to view wildlife on foot. During a two to three hour walk your guide will help you position yourself downwind, and surprisingly close, to such awesome animals as buffaloes and elephants. A truly thrilling experience. Your guide will help you read spoor and appreciate the fabulous wealth of small animals, from spiders to birds.
Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd staff have has escorted over 10,000 visitors on safari to Africa. Years of first-hand experience mean that your every need has been anticipated and all our tours have been thoroughly proven. Each vehicle has its own local driver/guide. These well-trained professionals make their living by knowing every inch of ground, making sure you have a good time. Their keen eyes and experience give them the uncanny ability to spot birds and wildlife all along the way. In addition to their wealth of knowledge about wildlife, they are happy to tell you all about life in their native land. One of the hardest parts of leaving Africa is saying good-bye to your driver, who will have become a wonderful friend and companion. For most programs there is a naturalist guide in addition to your driver. These dedicated professionals are with you at all times to make sure that your every need is attended to, answer all your questions, and give informative briefings on the reserves you visit, the birds and wildlife you see, and the people you meet. They can explain animal behavior, pointing out the matriarch in a herd of elephants or the zebra’s unique way of listening for predators. We are particularly proud of the outstanding quality of our guides.
English is an official language in East Africa. All drivers, guides, lodge and camp staff and most people that you will meet in East Africa speak English. Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd! also boasts to be one of the local companies that have multi-lingual driver guides who speak more than two foreign languages fluently! It’s fun to learn a few words and phrases of Swahili or other local languages, and your guide will help you along. You’ll enjoy sharing your smile and few simple courtesies with your African hosts.
Many young people will be anxious to practice their English with you, or help you with your Swahili. At some roadside stops, locals can be competitive in attempts to sell you jewelry or baskets. Bargain if you like what you see. Otherwise, firmly say, “No, thank you,” or “Sitaki, Asante Sana,” and move on. Never photograph locals without asking their permission first. This may require a fee, which your guide can help you negotiate. Giving away Polaroid photos will help you get pictures that would not otherwise be possible. Please DO NOT hand out candy, ballpoint pens, or trinkets to children. It encourages them to wait for handouts from well meaning visitors rather than going to school. It’s okay to barter with tee shirts and caps in the rural shops or to thank someone who’s been especially helpful with a tee shirt, news magazine or paperback book, but please don’t encourage these beautiful children to beg! Most Africans are extremely polite by the world standards. By keeping an open mind and going out of your way to be courteous and respectful, you’ll win friends and much more likely to get your way.
If you are in good health, you should have no problems at all. If in doubt, ask your doctor. This is not a strenuous trip involving hiking, extensive stair climbing, or long periods on your feet. Most of your exercise will be walking from your room to the safari vehicle or the dining room. Those taking the optional Gorilla Trek extension in Uganda MUST be in good physical condition and those hiking to the top of 19,400′ Mt. Kilimanjaro need to be in Very good physical condition.
Your typical day on safari begins with a game drive after an early breakfast. You return to your lodge or tented camp around 11 AM. After lunch you’ll have time to nap, swim or read about what you’re seeing. Around 3:00 or 4:00 p.m., you’ll be invited on another game drive, until dusk. On some days, there is the possibility of an early sunrise drive, with tea or coffee beforehand and breakfast afterwards, or even a night game drive or a walking safari, where park rules permit. On the days that you travel to new game parks, you will generally leave right after breakfast, arriving at the next lodge in time for lunch, a swim and afternoon game drive. Often there are stops to visit interesting features along the way.
A group safari is perfect for children 8 years or older. If you have younger children you may wish to arrange a private safari through Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd!. A safari is even more fun when two or three families go together. Clients often tell us that a Roaming Africa safari was the best family vacation ever!
Every place you travel in East Africa offers interesting gifts, usually at very attractive prices. Most lodges have gift shops stocked with high quality local crafts. Items such as baskets, beadwork, soapstone and woodcarvings, colorful fabrics-even spears and shields – are found in every little roadside shop. The fine stores in downtown Nairobi will tempt you with jewelry, semiprecious stones, leather goods, and traditional handicrafts. Expect to bargain everywhere in Africa- it is part of the fun. You’ll know you’ve hit the bottom price when your vendor lets you walk out the door empty handed!
CLOTHES: Cotton slacks and shirts are ideal, with a sweater or other layers to shed as the day heats up. A hat with a brim is essential, and a cotton bandanna useful, especially in Amboseli, Kenya, which can be dusty. Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd! will however provide the participants with complimentary safari hats. Khaki and cotton travel well, and pale earth colors such as tan or olive are best for viewing wildlife and birds. Camouflage clothes are illegal in many African countries. Solid-colored safari clothes, however, are practical and widely available; Comfortable walking shoes, such as topsides or *running/tennis shoes with socks, are recommended over sandals; thorns are everywhere, and socks with your shoes deter mosquito bites. Include a lightweight raincoat or jacket, and a swimsuit (many lodges have pools.) You may want to take flannel pajamas/a robe or a sweat suit for Kenya’s Ark, where you can chose to have a wake up call if a rhino comes to the water hole in the wee hours. A nice dress is useful for clubs, casinos and restaurants in Nairobi, where men need to wear a jacket and tie. The Mt. Kenya Safari Club will not seat dinner guests wearing T-shirts, jeans, or running shoes, (or what they call “sports shoes”*). While the Safari Club no longer insists upon a jacket and tie for men, they do enforce a dress code of “Smart Casual.” Chinos and khakis work better than jeans, which take forever to try. Safari/Bermuda shorts are unwelcome at mosques; visitors should dress conservatively in Islamic communities (Lamu, Mombasa, Zanzibar;) long sleeves and long pants also deter mosquitoes and sunburn. Laundry service is available at most lodges and even tented camps, but be very clear about when you need your clothes returned. Take at least three changes of clothes for a week on safari, plus your own detergent to wash a few things. Dry cleaners are rarer than rhinos. The best advice is to travel light, and wear cotton.
Travel lightly. On international flights, each person is allowed a maximum of two pieces of luggage with a combined weight not exceeding 44 pounds in most cases. We recommend two smaller bags rather than one large suitcase. “Squashable” suitcases, Overnight bags, duffel bags, etc. are ideal. While you’re on safari, additional baggage can be safely stored at your hotel. The baggage allowance on local planes within East Africa is 33 pounds. Even more important than weight is the size of the bags. Large suitcases cannot be stowed on light aircraft. Again, soft luggage is recommended. A few changes of clothes, your camera equipment, and toiletries are really all you should need. If you plan to do any trekking include a small backpack.
You are allowed two normal size pieces of luggage not exceeding 44 lbs. per person on the international flight. However, on chartered aircraft within Africa, the baggage allowance may be 33 lbs, and in small planes, the limit is 26 lbs., including your camera gear. Please read your itinerary carefully and pack accordingly. In many cases you can plan to leave a larger bag behind in the capital or port of entry city, and take only a small duffle bag on safari. In most cases, arrangements have been made for storage of your luggage while on safari, but all baggage is the tour member’s responsibility while on tour. If possible, we do recommend baggage insurance.
If you bring along video camera, electric iron, razor or hair dryer, make sure they are adaptable to 220 AC and 50-cycle current and that you have adapter plugs for English outlets. Game lodges use generators, which shut down at bedtime. Camps in Tanzania and Kenya only run generators for a few hours per day, however this usually is enough to recharge video batteries. Remember this is the Bush so don’t count on electricity.
Africa is the photographer’s dream! A camera will record all those, unbelievable and spectacular sights you’ll want to share with friends. We suggest a good 35 mm camera with a 35-70 mm zoom lens, and a longer lens, such as an 80-200mm to capture the multitude of rare birds you see. More and more travelers are capturing all the thrills of safari on video cameras. Most lodges and camps have facilities for recharging your smart phones and batteries. You may have to pay a nominal fee in some game parks for non-commercial use of video cameras. Unobstructed pictures can be taken through the roof hatch of your minibus. Remember that any vibration in the camera is magnified, so be sure to rest your arms on the body of the vehicle and request that the engine be turned off, if that’s possible. Note: Taking photographs at AIRPORTS, HARBORS, and MILITARY INSTALLATIONS is prohibited. As a protective measure to protect the color of ancient art, some tombs and temples do not allow the use of a flash, or strobe
Aside from shopping, you need money for drinks, tips and incidentals. Experience has shown that most clients spend between $400 and $800. The shops are full of tempting items. Major credit cards are accepted in major hotels and stores, but some game lodges and rural shops accept only cash. Do not keep all valuables in one place, such as a purse, that could be lost. It’s a good idea, if you have more than one credit card to keep the second in a separate pocket or locked in the hotel safe.
Tips for baggage handling and for hotel and lodge personnel are included in your tour price. Tips to driver/guides, tour managers and guides are discretionary, but customary. As a rule of thumb, $20 per day per minibus (shared by the passengers, i.e.$4.00 per day if there are five passengers) for your driver and $4.00 per person per day for the guides is the recommended amount for most tours. At lodges and camps, the recommended tips to driver/guides are $5.00 per person per day and an additional $5.00 per person, per day to be shared among camp personnel.
How do I get cash for my personal use?
Since you will be met upon arrival at the airport and escorted to your hotel, you will not need any local currency before you reach the hotel, where you can obtain it. However, if time permits, airport exchanges often give better rates than hotels. There is now a large number of banks, ATM’s and registered For-Ex Bureaus where you can change your money safely and at excellent rates. Major Credit Cards are often accepted in larger towns and at lodges, but in markets and with vendors along the road, cash works best, and bargaining is expected. We recommend that you take traveler’s checks rather than carrying large amounts of cash. Many travelers find it useful to carry a hand calculator to estimate dollar values while shopping.
In the event of an emergency or sudden sickness while you’re on safari in East Africa, we guarantee medical evacuation to a hospital. The medical facilities in Nairobi offer a full staff of professionals along with state-of-the-art testing equipment. Most hotels and safari lodges you will visit has in-house doctor who will attend to you in case of a need.
Remember you are on an African holiday expedition. We understand how valuable your vacation time is. When you entrust that precious time to Roaming Africa Tours & Safaris Ltd, we will help you make the most of every minute. It is our privilege to take you away from the everyday world to contemplate the timeless wonders of Africa. So you’ll return from your Roaming Africa Vacation safari with much more than memories. You’ll return feeling renewed, refreshed, and replenished.