Travelers coming to Africa are often beset by worries for their safety, health and the reputation of the tour operator they're traveling with. Our most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) usually include:
Q: Is it safe to travel in Africa?
A: The most visited countries in Southern and East Africa like - South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia - are really quite safe to visit. If you adhere to the basic principles, like you would in any large city anywhere in the world, like: not carrying valuables in plain view, keeping cameras hidden and not go about walking alone at night - you should be safe and sound. Be aware of onlookers and make use of hotel safety deposit boxes. Travelers with tour operators/groups are the least at risk and self-drive clients are advised to plan in advance which routes they wish to travel and to get all of their destination information ahead of time. If traveling by car, make sure the doors are locked at all times and that no bags or purses are left on passenger seats. While on safari in the bush, the only dangerous creatures are wild animals. The people are gracious and hospitable in those areas.
Q: When is the best time to travel to Southern Africa?
A: Southern Africa is a year-round destination, as different regions are at their most spectacular at different times. Generally it is winter in most of Southern African areas between May and September. These months are often popular for game viewing, as it is dry and the wildlife is much easier to see and it is also cooler. In summer the temperature often reaches between 30 and 40°C. However, in many countries, summer is the best time to visit beautiful the beaches and the coastal resorts. Summer often coincides with the rainy season, resulting in lush, green countryside and lovely scenery. Click on any of the links to find out more information on the specific countries: South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique.
Q: When is the best time to travel to East Africa?
A: East Africa is a safari destination so you would want to travel during the dry months. The long rains are from early April through to early June, and there are short rains from late November through December. It is often less expensive to travel during the long rainy season. Dry seasons offer excellent game viewing and more reliable road conditions, and game tends to congregate around the limited water sources, making the animals easier to find. July and August are generally extremely busy in East Africa, offering comfortable temperatures in addition to being a popular time for travel world-wide … so be sure to book well in advance. Click on any of the links to find out more information on the specific countries: Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Q: How did the "big five" get their name?
A: The "big five" are leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo. These animals constitute a wish list for many people on safari. The term is a reference from colonial trophy hunting. Hunters ranked African animals as to how dangerous they were to hunt. This is why hippo and giraffe - despite their stature - are not among this elite, sought-after group.
Q: What medical supplies are available on Safari?
A: It is best to bring prescription medication with you. But cities and towns all have drugstores/pharmacies equipped with everything one requires, from aspirin and aftershave to Xanax and Zambuk. Bear in mind that South Africa has a first world infrastructure, but the further north one travels, the more difficult it may be to acquire a specific medication.
Q: Are doctors available on Safari and are there hospitals?
A: Yes, many. But once again, the further north, the fewer there are. South Africa has many private hospitals, excellent specialists and state of the art equipment and facilities, including emergency rescue and air ambulance. Government facilities are overcrowded.
Q: What about Malaria?
A: Malaria is a dangerous disease, but if you take your anti-malarials, your chances of getting it are extremely slim. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes carrying the disease and as the insects are more active at night, it is recommended that all travelers wear long-sleeved trousers and sleeves at night time; sleep under mosquito netting where possible and take along mosquito repellent.
Q: What types of food would we expect on Safari?
A: It is possible to get vegetarian, halaal and most food preferences in Southern and East Africa. If you have any special dietary requirements let us know in advance we will be able to cater for you. Our guides are trained to cater for all different types of culinary tastes. As a rule, do not eat anything purchased at the side of the road and wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating.
Q: Is it safe to drink the water?
A: It is safe to drink the tap water in most African countries. Tap water in hotels and at other lodges in Southern and East Africa is also safe to drink, but bottled water is available in shops if you prefer. If you are ever in doubt, stick to bottled water. Our safari vehicles carry drinking water at all times. Bottled water is supplied at all the main camps and lodges.
Q: Do you require Insurance whilst traveling in Africa?
A: All travelers should be adequately insured against all eventualities and circumstances. This applies anywhere in the world. There are many companies offering travel insurance, so ask your travel agent to recommend the best one for you. Jenman African Safaris carries full public and passenger liability insurance on all of our safaris at all times.
Q: What visas do I need?
A: For detailed visa information for each of the individual countries, please see our Visa section.
Q: Will my Mobile Phone work in Africa?
A: Yes, there is extensive coverage throughout Southern and East Africa. In some countries, this may be primarily in and around major urban areas. However, in South Africa, networks cover all national roads, towns and cities. Before traveling, ask your mobile phone service provider to open your phone to allow international roaming.
Q: Is there internet available in Africa?
A: Certainly. Most city hotels will have either internet connection in the bedroom, or a business centre where you can spend time online. There are also some safari lodges and camps in South Africa which offer this facility. In remote areas, however, there is no internet connection.
Q: What is the typical number of people on one of Jenman's safaris?
A: We run with small groups of a maximum of 10 clients on all of our scheduled safaris which makes for a more personal and flexible safari experience for all. We do cater for larger groups for Private Tailor–made safaris. The camps we make use of are mostly small and intimate, geared around personal service and comfort and are very luxurious. These camps cater to between 16 and 24 guests. Larger, less expensive game lodges have between 50 and 100 rooms.
Q: What are the accommodation facilities like on one of Jenman's Safaris?
A: The tents in permanent tented camps are large and spacious, beautifully decorated, with two three-quarter beds, floor rugs and adequate space to hang and pack clothing, with en-suite bathroom facilities with flush toilet and viewing decks. On luxury mobile camping tours, tents are either larger Hemingway or Meru style tents. On semi participation camping safaris, tents are igloo style and sleep 2, with comfortable foam mattresses.
Q: What activities are available during the safari?
A: There are many different types of activities available while on safari from game drives, guided walks, bird watching, boating, canoeing, adventure-based activities like white water rafting, helicopter rides over Victoria Falls , balloon trips over the Serengeti etc.
Q: What currency should I take with me on safari?
A: Most major developed-world currencies are available throughout Southern and East Africa. Any of the following currencies are accepted: US$, Euro and UK pounds. There are ATM machines as well as money changes in most of the major centres throughout the region we operate in.
Q: Do you have an age limit on your safaris?
A: We do not have an age limit on any of our safaris and just require a doctor's certificate for anyone over 65 years of age. The oldest person we had on one of our Mobile Camping safaris was an American gentleman who was 78 years of age. As long as you know what to expect you are most welcome to join us on a safari.
Q: Do you run family safaris?
A: Africa offers outstanding value for families. However, some destinations and establishments cater more fully for the enjoyment of children than others. In Kenya, children five years old and younger are generally not allowed on game drives in the parks and reserves. Traveling to Tanzania is not recommended for children younger than eight years old. In Botswana and Zambia many lodges do not take children under 12 years. Most lodges have swimming pools and baby-sitting services. We do offer child discounts on most of our safaris.
Q: What is the typical day like while on safari?
A: On one of our semi–participation camping safaris we usually depart from camp at about 8 am on transfer days. The day is broken up by stopping at different points of interest, like seeing bushman painting etc en-route. We will arrive at our new camp in the afternoon and will do some sort of game activity like going on a sunset game-viewing cruise. We usually spend two nights at each point of interest so that you don't feel like you're in the safari vehicle all the time. For more details please ask for one of our detailed itineraries. On our flying safaris you will have an early start to the day / light breakfast / early morning game drive (+- 2-3 hours) / beverages and biscuits on game activity / late morning hot & cold full brunch / rest period / tea & savories / afternoon game activity with sundowners & snacks / generous dinner in evening, usually in boma (open air, enclosed dining area with large fire and fine dining under the stars. Background music courtesy of the African wildlife.
Q: What different types of Safaris does Jenman Safaris run?
A: We run the following different types of small group safaris:
Scheduled semi participation mobile camping safaris:
These safaris run on fixed departures dates with a maximum of 10 clients on safari. These camping safaris require 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.
Scheduled mobile lodge safaris:
These safaris run on fixed departure dates with a maximum of 10 clients on safari.
Tailor-made semi participation or non participation mobile camping safaris: We can tailor–make a camping safari to meet your departure dates, group size, itinerary and budget.
Tailor-made lodge style mobile safaris:
We can tailor–make a lodge safari to meet your departure dates, group size, itinerary and budget.
Flying Safaris either making use of tented camps or lodges:
Come on one of our flying safaris where you will have your own chartered plane to take you from one lodge to the next.
Self drive safaris:
Have the flexibility to travel and go where you want to. We'll supply the vehicle, detailed plan and map and make your accommodation bookings and you'll drive yourself.
Q: What type of vehicles does Jenman African Safaris use?
A: On our scheduled and well as private safaris, you will be traveling in on Toyota land cruiser 4x4 vehicle, which offers excellent visibility and outstanding photo opportunities. On larger group private safaris we make use of Toyota Overland Safari trucks or Midi buses.
Q: Do you tailor–make safaris for groups and or individuals?
A: Yes we can tailor–make a safari for an individual or for larger groups.
Q: What clothes should I take on Safari?
A: On flying Safaris the light aircrafts used to charter guests into lodges only permit 8 kg of luggage per person. That means, one should carry only a few items of light clothing, preferably cottons, for your stay in the bush. Clothing should be in neutral colours, e.g., khaki, beige, bush green. A good guideline is two of everything - socks, underwear, slacks/shorts, shirts, but ONE pullover or cardigan. A hat is essential! Bring warm clothing for the winter months as the evenings can be cool.
Q: Are there laundry facilities available during the safari?
A: The lodges will usually see to your laundry requirements. On our mobile camping safaris there are laundry facilities on most camps we make use of. Details will be found in the detailed itineraries of the specific safari that you're interested in.
Q: Can I book pre and post safari accommodation, transfers, activities, local and international flights through Jenman Safaris?
A: Yes Jenman is a comprehensive tour operator so in addition to our scheduled safaris we can organize all pre and post accommodation, transfers etc.
Q: Is Jenman Safaris committed to responsible and sustainable tourism?
A: We recognize that the cultures, environments and economies we visit can be fragile and require an ongoing commitment from us to ensure that we have a lasting positive effect. Tourism, when carried out in a responsible manner, can be a real help to local communities providing income, positive cultural exchanges and the financial incentive to protect their natural environment.
We run our safaris in keeping with eco-tourism guidelines.
Q: What are the photographic facilities and opportunities like in Africa?
A: There aren't any photographic facilities available while in the bush so take enough film with you. However, film is available in all types in the cities and towns. Cameras, lenses, camcorders (standard and digital) can be bought in all the cities in South Africa. Prices are comparable to Europe, but more expensive that the USA or the East. All the top names are represented. Equipment can also be repaired.
Q: What camera equipment is essential while on safari?
A: Binoculars are recommended, preferably wide angle. A good 35mm camera with a powerful zoom or telephoto lens will reward you with superb shots.
Q: What are the special attractions of the countries you operate in?
A: Click on the following links and you'll find the attractions of the countries we operate in: South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Madagascar, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
Q: How far in advance should I book my safari?
A: 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 safaris.
Q: Can I use a credit card to pay for my safari?
A: We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express for your safari deposit.