10 Things You Must Consider For Your Safari Plans
If you are planning a Safari holiday to Kenya there are important elements most independent safari seekers miss out on. A Kenya safari is a life time experience, it could turn out to be a very expensive exercise and you end up missing out on the real value. Please find some important guide line if you really wish to capture the moments and live to tell.
1. Firstly, allow two months of planning and avoid super executive travel agents back home, a modest travel agent is the way to go. The internet has come of age in Africa and information is shared openly in safari review sites and safari operators are finally putting it all out there with no hidden aspects.
2. Kenya is a very blessed country with lots of stuff to explore, abundant wildlife, over 40 different cultures, breathtaking landscapes and the finest coastal beach line. A five days holiday in Kenya will leave you craving for more, so make your stay not less than 14 days since you are paying for your air ticket anyway, arrange to see at least three game reserves, a bit of culture and get your share of sun turn at the silver lined beach.
3. Don’t try to do it yourself like most travellers have done, packing up and showing up in Nairobi airport is not a wise idea. Most Safari seekers who pull that version will get into the Kenya’s international airport and tourism being the in thing in town, briefcase operators will zoom in on you and if you manage to dodge the crowds at the airport, your taxi driver will smell you out shopping and will steer you somehow to a more confusing theory and one way or the other you will buy a premium package.
So, arrange to have someone meet you on arrival and point you to the right direction.
4. On arrival take a breath and take it easy, don’t rush to get out of Nairobi to catch the lions before they become extinct, leopards and rhinos are not going anywhere in a long time – you are.
A combination of Jet lag and fatigue after the long connecting hours at Heathrow makes you feel like you had a cocktail of tequila and bad brewed Cuban coffee if they still make it.
A warm overnight in one of the Nairobi hotels does the trick and if the African birds wake you up in the morning and if you peep out and see the bright sun similar to the movie ‘Out of Africa’, thank goodness you are in Kenya, its time to put on your safari boots and hit the road.
5. If you managed to contact a ground safari operator from your home country your humble Kenyan driver guide will speak good English, he will pick you up from your hotel and will be your guy for the next 10 days or so. You will like him, probably want to say hallo to his family back in the village, help him push the safari vehicle out the red soil mud, dine with him, cry when he drops you off at the airport on the last day and eventually post him the countless photos you clicked away whist on your safari in Kenya.
Make sure you have a safari outfitter planning you itinerary in advance. We all know hasty must go plans with no time to fine tune don’t always work. Chances are even the finest consultant will over look to let you know there are safety deposit lockers at the reception of your tented camp in the Masai Mara. .
6. Plan to settle your whole safari in one shop, paying for your airport transfer, Nairobi accommodation, safari package and coastal hotels separately will inflate your overall cost at the end of it, most will charge a certain percentage for running you credit card, in most cases five percent of the value. Settling in advance will give you a peace of mind knowing all is set up. Only bring in a little cash to settle for your beverages, tips and buy souvenirs.
7. The Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru and Amboseli game reserves are a must see unless you have other special interests in any of the others. Kenya has over twenty parks and all have unique characteristics. The above three will fulfil your Africa wildlife quench, see the big five, birdlife, cultures and serene.
Lamu island is a must see. Lamu is a 17th-century town recognized by the United Nations and protected by the state and organized bodies as one of the remaining historical towns in Africa. Its rich culture, tranquil environment, picturesque setting and the away from it all feeling make Lamu island special.
If you have time for a little beach indulgence, Diani beach in Mombasa is the fairest of all. Night life, tens of seafood restaurants, banks and cosmopolitan life.
8. Insurance and medical cover in essential. There are no health schemes in Africa and visitors are responsible for their own medical expenses. Comprehensive travel insurance is compulsory and must adequately cover you for medical costs, in the unlikely event that you incur them, emergency evacuation and repatriation. It is also strongly recommended that your insurance covers you for cancellation, curtailment of arrangements and baggage. Remember to take the details with you.
9. Candy, pens, note books and small inexpensive gift items are most appreciated by kids who will smile and greet you as you tour through Kenya’s modest villages upcountry.
10. Finally, pack flexibility and a sense of humor they won’t let you in at the airport.