Frequently asked questions

1. Planning your trip

I've never been to Kenya before, what are the best places to visit?


The opportunities in Kenya are endless. It really depends on the kind of wildlife you are hoping to see, the landscapes that appeal to you and the experience you wish to have. I have created two exciting itineraries but can suggest other trips to fit interests, timescales and budget. Please do get in contact.




How many people form part of each safari group?


I will lead two small group safaris per year, with four to six like-minded travellers on each (please see 'How do I book my safari' below). We will travel in one vehicle, allowing me to share my wildlife and conservation knowledge with each of you.




What is the accommodation like?


In Nairobi we will stay in hotels or boutique B&Bs (at least four star). Outside of the capital we will stay in lodges and/or camps. Lodges vary in size and structure, most are made from local stone and many have thatched roofs. Many lodges have been built near waterholes, providing a unique opportunity to watch wildlife whilst you eat breakfast or have a sun downer drink. Other lodges have impressive views of the open plains and/or Mount Kilimanjaro. Facilities vary according to budget, all the lodges I personally use have swimming pools, a bar and restaurant. Many lodge bedrooms can be found in separate buildings, almost like having your own private house:

For me, no safari is complete without staying at a tented camp. These tents take glamping to another level and the experience can cost more than a traditional lodge room. Staying at a tented camp brings you one step closer to nature - waking up at dawn to the sounds of the bush is such a wonderful way to start the day.

Facilities vary according to budget - for Anna Safari Guide trips I plan to use the same/similar accommodation I have used myself in the past but can tailor itineraries to suit your needs.

Your safari is usually booked on a full board basis, covering soft drinks, gin & tonic, local Tusker beer and house wines but excluding branded spirits such as Jack Daniels, prosecco and non house wines etc.




When is the best time to visit Kenya?


The best time to visit Kenya depends on which area you are interested in visiting, as the climate changes due to terrain and elevation differs. Lodges and camp tariffs vary quite dramatically between high, mid and low season.

For my own personal safaris I have always avoided the busiest most expensive periods and travelled during Jan/Feb – April or September – November. I am planning to lead two small group safaris a year and can advise more on weather conditions once the destinations and timings are finalised.




How do I book my safari?


Please contact me to discuss your initial requirements. I will lead two small group safaris (four to six travellers on each) per year. I will be your main point of contact when planning your trip and will personally guide your safari. Your booking, invoicing and payment will be made directly with my ground agents in Kenya. You may wish to join a safari that is already in planning with other travellers. in this case, the locations and timings will already be in the process of being scheduled. Alternatively following discussions with you, I can suggest an itinerary and dates for your consideration. If you have four travellers in your party and your preferred accommodation is available when I am free to guide, the trip can go ahead without waiting for other participants to join. In this instance we can keep the safari to your group of four, or to help reduce costs we can make the trip open to two other travellers if you wish. If I design an itinerary for you and you have less than four in your party, I will need to offer up remaining places to other potential guests.




Will you arrange my flights & do you fly from regional UK airports?


I will be your main point of contact when planning your trip and will personally guide your safari. Your safari booking, invoicing and payment will be made directly with my ground agents in Kenya. Many people travelling on safaris purchase their own flights directly and I would advise this approach. I can provide guidance regarding the best flight times and airline for your particular trip. The only UK direct flight (8 hours) to Nairobi departs from London Heathrow with British Airways or Kenya Airways. It is possible to depart from other regional airports (including London Gatwick) but this will necessitate a stop-over/s en route making the journey time longer.




Can I add extra days to visit the Kenyan coast?


My guided safaris focus on National Parks and Conservancies. My ground agent in Kenya can arrange a coastal extension to your safari for additional travel and accommodation costs. Kenya has some stunning beaches and amazing resorts on either side of Mombasa - if you wish I can suggest potential hotel options for your consideration. I will personally guide your safari in Kenya but will not accompany coastal extensions as my services are not required in these locations.




What makes 'Anna Safari Guide' trips different?


My first visit to Kenya was unforgettable. I travelled with a wildlife charity to visit their projects, in addition to experiencing the wonders of a traditional safari I also learnt a great deal about conservation. My goal is to now share my passion and knowledge with others – bringing the wonders of this amazing country to life for those who may not have visited before. I am a Bronze KPSGA Safari Guide - you can find out more about my experience/qualifications here.





3. On safari

Will I get to see the 'Big Five'?


It is not possible to guarantee that you will see all of the Big Five (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhinoceros) on one safari but hopefully we will see at least a couple of these iconic species.

Wildlife varies by habitat, in addition to the more well know animals, there are other charismatic species such as cheetah, zebra, giraffe and the more elusive endangered wild dog. Kenya is home to over a thousand bird species and an array of insects and smaller mammals many of which are unique to the country.




What is a typical day on safari like?


Many people find going on a safari to be a life changing experience. To learn more about a typical day on safari, please see my page 'Safaris in Kenya'




What clothes should I wear?


On safari practically is far more important than style. Bright colours should be avoided as they make you more visible to wildlife and can attract insects. It is best to try to blend into the environment by wearing khakis, greens and browns. To help reduce insect bites, wear long sleeved tops and long trousers (especially during sunset and sunrise), ideally in lightweight cotton. Hats are essential, as is closed footwear with strong soles - lightweight walking shoes/boots are ideal. Morning and evenings can be quite chilly, so a warm light fleece is a must have. It is best to leave your valuable jewellery (including expensive watches) at home before you travel.




What are the meals like? Can you cater for special dietary requirements?


Lodge and camp meals are primarily European style, often with African influences. I have always found the food in Kenya plentiful and delicious. Many lodges pride themselves in growing their own produce. Special dietary requirements can certainly be catered for as long as advice notice is given please. Your accommodation is usually booked on a full board basis, covering soft drinks, gin & tonic, local Tusker beer and house wines but excluding branded spirits such as Jack Daniels, prosecco and non-house wines etc.




Can I drink tap water in Kenya?


It is best to avoid drinking tap water and ice in drinks. Complimentary bottled water will be available within your vehicles during game drives and road transfers. Most lodges and camps provide filtered/mineral water in rooms and many provide reusable water pouches for you to use and keep to reduce plastic waste. (You may also wish to bring your own water bottle/pouch).




Do I need to tip?


Tipping is not compulsory but somewhat expected in Kenya. Where possible, I place my tips in the lodge/camp tipping box so it can be shared out amongst the wonderful cooks, gardeners and house staff. Tips are not included within your itinerary cost. The following is a rough guide to average levels but this is completely at your discretion: - driver: US$ 8-10 per day, usually given at the end of a safari. - camp/lodge staff: US$10 per day, ideally placed in the communal tipping box at the end of your stay. - porters: US$ 1 per person per assistance.




Will we travel between locations by road or air?


Depending on itineraries, the distance between lodges/camps can be quite large. Personally, I believe that travelling by road adds to the experience but I appreciate that some people prefer a swifter (and perhaps more comfortable!) option. Many lodges have a nearby airstrip but the flight times may not always compatible, so travelling by road can often be the best option. Kenya roads can be bumpy and the journeys several hours in length but we will stop for breaks when possible. You may wish to join a safari that is already in planning with other travellers. In this instance you would need to follow the preferred group internal travel option, which would usually be by road. Alternatively, following discussions with you, I can suggest an itinerary and dates for your consideration (please see FAQ Planning your trip/How do I book my safari). You may prefer to utilise internal air travel where scheduling permits but this would be subject to additional costs over road travel and all travellers on your safari would need to follow suit.





2. Before you go

What travel inoculations do I need?


Please visit your GP at least six to eight weeks before travelling to Kenya to ensure you have all the necessary vaccinations. You may find the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) page on inoculations helpful but please do check with your GP in the first instance.




Do I need a visa?


Yes, ideally this should be applied for online prior to travel. You can purchase a visa on arrival Jomo Kenyatta airport in Nairobi but this can take some considerable time, so purchasing before you depart is the best option. A single entry tourist visa costs $50 and lasts for three months from purchase. I can provide further details regarding the online visa process.




Do I need a good camera?


We will have plenty of opportunities to take photographs but my safaris are not photographic tours. As such, there is no pressure to bring along the latest SLR. Although mobile phones can take great shots, I would suggest bringing a camera with a zoom lens. A compact camera with a powerful lens should be sufficient but if you wish to bring a more professional camera, that is absolutely fine. Don’t forget to bring spare batteries (ideally rechargeable) and extra memory cards for digital storage. A pair of binoculars is a very welcome optional addition - the optimum powers are 7×35, 8×40 or 10×50.




How much luggage can I take?


Going on safari usually involves travelling between locations by road or air (see FAQ 3 On safari). As such it is best to keep luggage light - soft duffel bags are recommended. Most camps and lodges offer laundry services. Please do bear in mind that internal flights often have a limit of 15 kgs per person.




What is the best currency to use?


In Kenya, American dollars are preferred to the local Kenyan Shilling. Smaller denominations are best and please check the dates are notes pre 2000 are often not accepted. Most camps and lodges accept credit cards such as Visa and Mastercard but this could incur a surcharge. Carry your money (plus passport & tickets) with you in a hidden money belt or locked in a room safe. Your personal itinerary will indicate inclusions and exclusions. Your safari is usually booked on a full board basis, covering soft drinks, gin & tonic, local Tusker beer and house wines but excluding branded spirits such as Jack Daniels, prosecco and non house wines etc. You will need some cash for souvenir shopping, laundry, additional excursions/activities and tips (see FAQ 3 On safari/Do I need to tip).




Do I need travel insurance?


Like any holiday, travel insurance is essential for Kenyan safaris. Many people travelling on safaris purchase their own flights directly and I would advise this approach. I can provide guidance regarding the best flight times and airline for your particular trip. Your safari will be arranged by my ground agents in Kenya. Insurance provision varies by provider - please check that your policy includes 'non-UK organised safaris', if not you should be able to purchase additional cover for this. Flying Doctors temporary membership for evacuation only is included within your safari package.




What about malaria?


Malaria is prevelant across most of Kenya, so it is essential to take anti-malarial tablets. You may find the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) page on malaria helpful but please do check with your GP in the first instance ideally 6-8 weeks before travelling to Kenya. An insect repellent containing (DEET) should be used. Some specialist travelling clothing feature insect repellent materials.




My passport is near expiration, can I travel?


Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into Kenya. In addition, please ensure you have two blank pages in your passport on arrival. Please check your passport expiration date and if necessary renew your passport before you travel.





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