Things to know before booking your Safari in East Africa

Note on Accommodations:

  1. We offer 6 categories of accommodations in and around national parks and we refer to these categories as (a) Economy (b) Standard (c) Comfort (d) Premium (e) Luxury (f) High-end Luxury. Price increases in the above order with the economy being the cheapest and high-end luxury being the most expensive. We offer multiple options within each category that you can select from.
  2. Our accommodation classification (into categories mentioned above) depends on a range of parameters including (a) Location (b) Views (c) Food & service quality (d) Quality of rooms & interior (e) Feedback from previous clients (f) price.
  3. As we move across categories from Economy to high-end luxury, all or most parameters mentioned in point 2, tend to improve.
  4. Within a category, at a particular location, all accommodation options cost the same (during peak season). However, there could be a considerable difference between the parameters mentioned in point 2 within a category. For example, within the premium category in Masai Mara, we may offer 2 camps – Camp A & Camp B. Camp A would be located in the middle of Masai Mara (which is great location) but room quality and service level would be average. Whereas camp B would be located 30 min outside Masai Mara (which is not so great location) but room quality and service level would be excellent.
    So if clients are particularly interested in a better location or better service level or food quality etc at the accommodation, we suggest them to check TripAdvisor reviews and select the alternative they like best or discuss this with your sales consultant in advance.
  5. Accommodations suggested are all run by independent 3rd party companies and we have no role in the management of these accommodations.
  6. There can be significant differences in the experience offered in safari lodges and camps compared to hotels in cities. For example, some of the high-end luxury camps may not have hair dryers in the room and may not have electricity and hot water available for all 24 hours but they still provide the attentive luxury and exclusivity expected from a luxury boutique resort. Most tented camps/camps including the luxury ones have canvas walls/doors including for bathroom. Please always check pictures and reviews of accommodations that you selected before booking.
  7. Some of the accommodations – especially in Serengeti offer bucket showers, wherein a bucket (of 20L) is filled with warm water and lifted behind the tent and flow can be controlled with a tap. Buckets will be refilled by a helper if required.
  8. We usually suggest Economy category accommodations only for backpackers as several of economy category accommodations (especially in Kenya) are quite basic and may not be a good fit for families and couples
  9. Double sharing room would have 1 large bed (king size or queen size bed) and a twin sharing room would have 2 single beds in a room. For 2 pax sharing a room, we usually book double sharing room. If clients need a twin sharing room, it should be communicated in advance. Price would be the same for double sharing or twin sharing
  10. Because of their remote location, Wifi/Phone network may not be available at some of the accommodations. Even where it’s available, it might not work consistently throughout the lodge and could be limited to common areas.
  11. Some of the lodges/camps are located inside national park/reserve while some might be located just outside the national park/reserve or in a nearby town/village. Some accommodations could be as far as 1-hour drive away from the nearest park gate. If you are specifically looking for accommodations located inside or very close to the gate or outside National park/reserve etc, please let us know.
  12. Most of the lodges/camps located inside the National park are not fenced and wildlife might come close to the rooms. These are however absolutely safe and thousands of tourists stay in such camps across Africa every night. By following the basic safety instructions given by the hotel staff, you can avoid conflict from wildlife
  13. All accommodations while on safari, are booked on Full Board basis. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner are prepared and served by accommodation. Beverages are not included at most accommodations and are charged additionally to clients directly. Some of the high-end luxury accommodations can be booked on All Inclusive basis in which case beverages will be included with your stay. This will be mentioned (as AI) in your voucher for the respective accommodation.
  14. Lunch while on safari will be usually packed lunch arranged by your accommodation. Your guide will suggest a picnic lunch spot where you can enjoy the packed lunch. This allows for more flexibility in game drives and safari schedule. Hot lunch can be arranged on some of the days upon prior request (needs to be informed before booking and might cost extra for some itineraries).
  15. Accommodations in Cities/towns before or after your safari tour (in Nairobi/Arusha etc) are usually booked on Bed & Breakfast basis. So Lunch/Dinner while in town before/after will be charged additionally. It’s possible to pre-book lunch/dinner in these hotels by reserving them on Full Board or Half board basis by paying additional.
  16. Any dietary restrictions, preferences should be communicated in writing, well before your arrival and our team will communicate the same to your accommodations. However, our role is limited to notifying the accommodation about your dietary restrictions/ preferences and tour operators are not in a position to verify if accommodation follows these requirements.
  17. Most accommodations offer laundry service for their guests, but you would need to stay at the same accommodation for 2 consecutive nights at-least so that you can handover your laundry in the morning and collect in the evening. Charges might apply and needs to be paid directly by clients.
  18. If you face any issues w.r.t your room or food or water or service or any other issues during your stay at the accommodation, along with reporting to your camp manager, please also contact your briefing manager from Tour operator. While we cannot guarantee an immediate resolution, our team would try its best to contact senior management of the camp and try to fix the issue.
  19. We strongly recommend you to check the accommodation website and TripAdvisor reviews and evaluate if these accommodations suit your taste.
  20. After the end of your safari, our partners will request your feedback on the accommodations. Please share your valuable feedback on all the accommodations so that we can pass on suggestions for improvement to respective hotels.

Note on safari vehicle:

  1. Our purpose-built Safari vehicles allow for excellent game viewing, equipped with pop up roof hatch and large sliding windows. Same vehicles will be used for both game drives and for transfers between parks
  2. Most safari vehicles have no air-conditioning. During game drives, pop roof hatch & windows will be opened. For other drives, windows can be opened to allow for fresh air. However, there are some sections on the way to national parks where windows need to be closed and the vehicle can get dusty and hot sometimes.
  3. The going can be slow over the long distances and often bumpy roads. A little bit of patience will go a long way towards your enjoyment of this beautiful land! Transfer times in some itineraries can be up to 9 hours. Please make sure you are aware of transfer times in your itinerary in advance. You can book flights to avoid some long transfers but this should be done during the planning stage as safari vehicles need to be arranged accordingly.
  4. In Tanzania, we offer only 4×4 Land-cruisers for game drives while in Kenya we offer 4×4 minivans and 4×4 Land-cruisers for game drives. Landcruisers have 4 window seats(short base) or 6 window seats(long base) in the back and one window seat in the front for clients. Vans have 6 window seats in the back and one window seat in the front.
  5. Seats in the vehicle are designed to take the stress of clients standing on them and moving around. So they offer stability and sturdiness with a little bit of cushioning.
  6. While safari vehicles are regularly maintained, serviced and replaced, the extreme safari driving conditions mean there are chances that your vehicle can get stuck/breakdown in the middle of safari. Vehicle breakdown chances are small and your driver guides are trained and equipped to deal with most breakdown situations. In rare cases the vehicle is not immediately repairable, a replacement vehicle will be sent within a few hours. In a breakdown scenario, if the vehicle is not back on the road in 5 minutes, we suggest you contact or request the driver to contact briefing manager
  7. Clients with back problems and clients who want to minimize travel time from park to park can consider flying directly to national parks/reserves.
  8. For City tours (in Nairobi/Arusha) we use Toyota Alphard or similar vehicle

Note on Game drives:

  1. In private safaris, game drive hours are reasonably flexible. However, statutory restrictions on park entry/exit times(6:00 AM to 6:00 PM), daily accommodation locations, regulations on game drive durations(6 hours for Ngorongoro crater), etc, mean that game drives are possible within certain timings every day.
  2. There will be some early starts required on some of the days, either to make use of the better safari time or to beat the morning traffic on long travel days.
  3. Your driver-guide can drive for about 9-10 hours a day. It includes both game drives and non-game drive times. It can be extended by an hour on some of the days. But driver-guides cannot be expected to drive for over 11-12 hours every day as this puts too much strain on the driver, risking the safety of everyone in the vehicle.
  4. While on game drives, restrictions that apply for game drives in each park/reserve/conservancy will be strictly adhered to. Park property including flora/fauna (including the remains of any dead animals) should not be moved from their original location. Off-Road driving is not allowed in several of the popular parks including Masai Mara, Nakuru, Amboseli, Serengeti, Tarangire, Manyara & Ngorongoro. For clients interested in doing off-road driving, we suggest private conservancies around Masai Mara and other locations in Kenya.
  5. While we try to maintain the same guide throughout the itinerary in a country, it’s possible that in some itineraries(that includes flights in the middle of safari) or under some special circumstances your guide might be changed in the middle of your safari.
  6. Safaris do not need any real fitness levels, but a general level of physical movement is required. You need to judge yourself physically fit enough to handle.
  7. Please pay attention to the driving (transfer) times mentioned in your itinerary. These are rough estimates. Due to weather/road conditions, there may be times when we have to take an alternative route which will mean longer travel times. If transfer times are not mentioned to you, please request your sales consultant for the same.
  8. If you have any problems or confusion with the guide about game drives schedule please let your briefing manager know at the earliest so that they can discuss with the guide and resolve
  9. The use of drones is banned inside the national parks in Kenya & Tanzania. There is a high risk of being stopped at the airport and prevented from bringing drones into the country.

Note on Luggage:

  1. Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (of about 15-20 KG per person) is essential. We do not recommend bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and will restrict your movement in the vehicle.
  2. If your tour includes flights to national parks, please check the baggage policy of these flights on their respective websites as these are strictly implemented and excess baggage can be rejected by some airlines sometimes.
  3. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip.
  4. For international flights arriving into Tanzania/Kenya, it is not uncommon for the luggage to arrive a day or two late. To be prepared for such cases, we recommend you to pack all your essentials like medicines, travel documents, set of clothes e.t.c in your hand luggage so that you can proceed for your safari as per your schedule without waiting for your luggage to arrive.

Note on Valuables/safety:

  1. While it’s extremely rare, thefts occasionally happen in East Africa. So we request our clients to be vigilant about their valuables. Please don’t carry any valuables that you don’t need for the safari. Please use the lockers provided in the room, reception to store your valuables.
  2. You are responsible for your valuables throughout the Journey. We will not be responsible for any lost/stolen items while on Safari
  3. We at Mojhi actively audit and review our recommended accommodation options and disassociate with lodge/camp where incidents of theft are reported
  4. In the unfortunate event of any theft/robbery, we will help you lodge a complaint immediately with park rangers and tourism police department
  5. In the event of lost items, if our team is able to locate the items, we will promptly inform clients. But any charges incurred in sending the lost items to clients should be borne by clients

Note on Plastic ban:

  1.  The use of plastic bags is banned in Tanzania and Kenya effective 1st June 2019. All passengers/tourists arriving at above-mentioned countries are not allowed to carry plastic bags into the country. Offenders could face heavy fines for using plastic bags. Using plastic bags including garbage bags and shopping bags is illegal. The transparent “Ziploc” plastic bags that are specifically used for carrying cosmetics, toiletries, etc will be permitted as they are expected to remain in the permanent possession of visitors and are not expected to be disposed of in the country.

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