What do we eat on safari? I don’t want to spend a week living on wildebeest jerky!
The short answer is, “Too much!” See the Meals & Accommodations section for further details.
Can I pet the animals?
We strive to follow best practices for wildlife conservation and avoid all personal contact with wildlife. It’s never healthy for them, nor is it safe for us. If you find yourself being approached by a wild animal, always follow your guide’s lead. For instance, when tracking gorillas, there are strict rules as to the distance you must keep from them. However, there’s always a slight possibility that a gorilla will approach you. If that were to happen, there are very specific things you must do (such as taking a submissive position, avoiding sudden movements, avoiding eye contact, and listening to your rangers as they “speak gorilla” to convince the animal to back away). The best part of going on safari is that it is an unscripted experience—along with the excitement, you must be prepared for anything and respectful of your guide’s directions.
Will I be able to keep in touch while on safari?
You’ll be amazed by the number of cell phones you see in even the smallest of villages. However, this doesn’t mean you can make a call or text whenever you want. Cell service is often unreliable and the networks aren’t necessarily compatible with American phones. A satellite phone is always an option but, again, they won’t work everywhere. Many lodges and camps offer Wi-Fi; if it’s working, you can use it to send messages over programs like Skype, WhatsApp, or Facetime. That’s probably the simplest way to stay in touch. However, our advice is this: a safari is a great time to “unplug” from the outside world. Rather, connect with the glorious wilderness around you. Rest assured, we’ll be able to reach you through our in-country partners (and vice versa) if anything important comes up.
How exactly should I dress on safari?
No, you don’t need a pith helmet, and no, you don’t need to dress like Indiana Jones. Surprisingly, however, it can get quite cold. When packing, it’s best to be ready for a variety of conditions including extreme ranges of temperature, humid climates, and bright sunlight. Pack layers, including a fleece or light jacket. Remember that natural colors (beige, green, brown) are always in fashion on safari—they help you blend into the natural surroundings so you avoid standing out to animals. We’d also recommend steering clear of black and dark blue, which attract pesky bugs like tsetse flies.
Topping our list of essential recommendations is a lightweight cotton or linen wrap or scarf. A scarf does it all: it keeps you warm if the temperature is cool, protects you from the sun when it’s bright, serves as a pillow when you need a rest, and, if it’s hot, can be dampened and wrapped around the back of your neck. It’s the perfect way to make the most of your limited luggage weight and space!
What exactly do you mean by “tented camp?” I’d rather not rough it too much.
Take it from us: life under canvas is good. These are premium accommodations with en-suite bathrooms, hot water, comfortable beds with down duvets, raised viewing platforms, flushing toilets, stylish decor with rugs and easy chairs, and a range of fantastic amenities including wake-up tea and coffee served at your tent, hot-water bottle turndown service, massage facilities, private pools, and even butler services. The tented camps we have chosen may be fenced or unfenced – please speak with us if you have any concerns about the proximity of wildlife to your tent.
I love to exercise! Can I go for a run in the morning?
That all depends…can you outrun a cheetah? We kid—but in all seriousness, we’ve selected most of these camps and lodges for their prime locations in the parks, so any jog outside potentially puts you in predator territory. Having said that, our itineraries are designed to be as active as possible, taking into consideration the areas where we’re traveling. There are even camps and lodges with gyms that offer you a place to get a workout.