Family Safaris - What Now?
It may be you have a precise idea of where you want to go and what you want to do on safari. That's fine, just let us know. If you need help choosing from the range of destinations and safari options, we will ask you the following questions to help us plan the perfect safari to match your requirements.
How old will your children be at the time of travel?
Is this your first visit to Africa, as a family or individually?
What did you do on your last visit?
What did you like/dislike about your previous visit?
What other countries have you visited?
What type of vacation do you generally enjoy?
What time of year are you planning to visit Africa?
Do you have any specific animals/species/places in Africa you particularly want to see?
What type of accommodations would you prefer? Do you prefer hotels, lodges, or tented camps?
Are inter-connecting rooms important to you as a family?
Do you have any activities, such as canoeing, walking or horseback riding, you'd like to be included in your travel plans?
Will you be spending some time on the beach at the end of your safari? If so, would you prefer a sophisticated resort or a simple island hideaway?
How much are you expecting to spend?
Your answers to these questions give us the information we need to come back with initial suggestions: these can then be whittled down to a specific itinerary.
Typical Safari Day
Wake up to tea or coffee in the dark before dawn, with a light breakfast before an early morning game activity. Depending on where you are staying this can be a game drive, walking safari, birding walk, horseback ride, boat trip on a river or canoeing expedition.
Mid-morning - return to your camp or lodge. Once all the guests have returned, lunch will generally be served.
Early afternoon - time to relax. Take a siesta through the midday heat, swim in the pool if there is one, or take part in one of the activities that may or may not be offered at that particular camp.
Mid-afternoon - afternoon tea is the prelude to an afternoon game activity, with sundowners served as dusk approaches. In some national parks you will return straight back to camp after dark, while other times game drives last well into the night, using a spotlight to catch the distinctive reflective eyes of nocturnal prowlers.
Early evening - arrive back in camp for drinks followed by dinner: depending on the camp this can be communal and hosted, privately at your own table or together with the other travelers sharing your safari vehicle.
In general flights from the USA to Africa route most easily through London.
From London, day and night flights connect to the East African countries of Kenya and Tanzania, connecting on to Uganda, Rwanda, Zanzibar and beyond. Typically, night flights are more convenient after a "red eye" across the Atlantic, although you may choose to spend a night or two in London to enjoy the city and get over some jet lag.
Flights to southern Africa tend to leave Europe in the evenings and fly overnight, often using Johannesburg as a regional hub.
Returning to the USA you would fly overnight from Africa and connect in London with a day flight to the USA.
Many of our family safaris will combine international flights with internal flight transfers. Depending on your travel plans, these may be private charters or scheduled flights in light aircraft. We will always make sure you're spending as little time as possible on the ground between your international arrivals and heading onwards to your lodge or camp. Children often regard these light-aircraft flights as one of the best parts of their vacation: flying low over the African bush is a very exciting introduction to Africa.
We always arrange for our clients to be met on arrival, with private vehicles to transfer you to the domestic airport for an onward flight, or to your lodge or camp if you've arrived at your final destination. All the arrangements for transfers are made in advance so you won't need to worry about getting yourself and your family from one place to another: there'll always be a smiling face and an appropriate vehicle standing by.
Most of the camps we use for family safaris are more than happy to provide early mealtimes for children, and - with a little advance warning - can cater for special dietary requests. Throughout Africa the food is likely to be superb. Even in the most remote bush camp chefs have an inspired ability to produce the most delicious meals from the simplest kitchen, and children and adults always eat well.
Health and visa requirements
When your trip is planned and confirmed we will send you a "pre-departure information" pack, which goes through any health and visa issues that might be necessary for the country, or countries, you intend to visit. We will also include some background information on the countries you will visit, a reading list, and a packing list that factors in the time of year you are travelling and the weather you're likely to encounter during your visit.
Booking a family safari
Once we have agreed upon an itinerary we will ask for a 25% confirmation payment in order to reserve your trip. Final payment is due 10 weeks before departure.