WHAT IS THE BEST SEASON FOR A SAFARI?
Just about any time of year (see the information on climate in the About Kenya section). However, the most popular seasons are mid December to mid March and August to mid the end of October. This is because of the demand for Christmas and winter holidays and the summer school breaks. An increasing number of visitors are realising that June and November are ideal, benefiting from lower visitor numbers. Wildside Kenya Safaris offers some tours with greatly reduced or no single supplements in the months of April and May. Also, we may well be able to offer some good discounts for larger groups during this period – please contact us for details.
TELL ME ABOUT THE WILDEBEEST MIGRATION..
The millions of wildebeest and zebras are always somewhere, but they are not always in large herds and on the move. Their location is largely dependent on the weather, which can vary considerably from year to year. In general the herds begin to cross into Masai Mara in July and continue through August. They remain in the region until the beginning of December when they follow the rains southward back into Serengeti National Park. They can move in enormously long single file lines or in huge herds.
CAN I HAVE A PRIVATE VEHICLE?
Yes. All safaris can be booked with the exclusive use of a vehicle for your party. A custom safari for two clients is significantly more expensive per person than seats on a similar small group safari. However, on a custom safari with an exclusive vehicle, the cost of the vehicle and driver/ guide are divided by the number of clients sharing the vehicle. Therefore, the per person cost of a custom safari reduces the more clients that are sharing the vehicle (maximum in one vehicle is usually 7 but on request, such as for families with children, we can carry up to 8).
CAN I ARRANGE A CUSTOM SAFARI?
If you are arranging an exclusive vehicle (custom) safari, then you are free to arrange whatever itinerary you choose, within logistical constraints. Pita Safaris presents a small selection of proven itinerary favourites in this website. We can arrange any required itinerary subject to practical and logistical considerations and will be pleased to discuss and quote for your special requirements.
CAN I RUN FROM PREDATORS?
If you meet a large predator while on foot, don’t run. Running may trigger the predator to give chase, and is also quite pointless, as the animal runs twice as fast as you. If there are two of you (which there should be, especially at night) or more, move together closely; the predator may then see you as one big opponent, instead of a couple of small ones. In lodge and camp areas, a predator appearing is usually just passing through. Let is pass. Slowly back off. Then inform a watchman or other staff that there are predators around. Tell others to stay away. A predator closing in on you should be told that you don’t like it. Shout at it. Be dangerous. Pelt it with stones if it comes too close.
CAN I GET OUT OF MY SAFARI VEHICLE?
Don’t get out of the vehicle unless the driver says it is ok. In many parks, moving on foot is not only risky but also means breaking the park rules. There are special places, such as observation points and picnic sites, where it is allowed to get out.
ARE WALKING SAFARIS DANGEROUS?
Meeting animals on foot is part of the walking safari concept. Most animals move away when they become aware of you, which usually happens at some distance (you generally get closer to animals if you approach them by car). Walking safaris in wildlife areas should always be escorted by an armed ranger. If on foot close to lakes or rivers where crocodiles may be found, you should stay at least 5 m/yd away from the water’s edge. Crocs have good camouflage, and may be hiding in the water to ambush prey approaching on land. Don’t leave children unattended.
Your safari driver will probably do his best to make you see animals hunt, kill or eat each other. If he doesn’t succeed, he will probably at least find you some carcass to look at. This means, there may be unpleasant scenes awaiting you. If you don’t want to see such, you can look the other direction.
HOW ABOUT SNAKES?
It is rare seeing snakes on safaris. Most snakes try to get out of your way when they notice you, so they are gone before you have a chance seeing them. But all don’t, and as some East African species have strong or even deadly venoms, you should always look where you are walking and use a flashlight when walking outdoors at night. Snakes don’t bite because they are evil, but because they are frightened or feel threatened. For safety reasons, you should stay at least two snake lengths away from any snake you can’t identify as harmless. For the reason of not disturbing the animal, you should back away even further. Never try to handle a snake unless you know what you are doing. Seemingly dead snakes may not be dead at all, and should not be approached. And so on. In short, stay away from snakes. The only snakes that may regard humans as prey are very large pythons, but they are not seen very often. Don’t leave children unattended where there are pythons around.
SHOULD I BE WORRIED OF INSECTS AND CREEPING THINGS?
You don’t see that many insects or creeping things during dry seasons. More appear during rainy seasons (including beautiful ones, such as butterflies). The same goes for mosquitoes, which by biting may infect you with malaria, a life-threatening disease unless properly treated. Mosquitoes thrive in moist and warm areas, and are most common during rainy seasons, near rivers and lakes, and by the coast. The mosquitoes that may carry malaria are active at night. Tsetse flies, which are active during daytime, may infect you with sleeping sickness. This is very rare to safari-goers, though. The bites hurt a lot, and are reason enough to kill or chase flies out of the vehicle. Avoid storing food in your room or tent, as it may attract ants.