Frequently Asked Questions
When is it the best time of year to visit Africa?
Africa is a superb all-year-round destination. The best time to visit will depend on which countries you are traveling to, and what are your specific interests. Generally speaking, game viewing in South Africa is good during the dry season (May – September); the peak season in Botswana’s Okavango Delta is between July and November when the floodwaters have subsided. The Great Wildebeest Migration is best seen in the Serengeti between May and July, and in the Masai Mara from July to October.
Walking safaris in Zambia are fantastic between June and October, whereas birding enthusiasts will appreciate Zambia’s Emerald Season immediately after the rains (January – May). Visitors to Namibia will prefer the cooler spring and autumn months (September – November and April – June).
Please refer to the Visitor Information section of the country you will be visiting, or email us for more information. Tell us what you want to do on your safari, and we will recommend the best time for you to travel. Alternatively, if you know when you’re coming, let us suggest the best destinations to visit.
What Animals will we see on Safari?
Many of you will be coming to Africa anticipating seeing “the Big 5” – Lion, Elephant, Rhino, Cape Buffalo and Leopard. You’ll probably also be hoping to see other predators such as Cheetah, Hyena and Jackal, as well as hippo, crocodiles, antelope, giraffe, zebra etc. Our safari locations offer very diverse safari experiences – from the relatively established Sabi Sands, Masai Mara and Serengeti to the wildernesses of the Lower Zambezi and Selous. Africa has the greatest diversity of wildlife on earth – not all reserves offer Big 5 safaris, but your chances of encountering and experiencing many of Africa’s wild animals is superb. Your knowledgeable and experienced safari guides will ensure that every encounter – with animals big and small – will be exciting and memorable.
Are we Safe on Safari?
All of our visitors staying in private reserves will be well looked after by the very experienced and trained rangers and trackers at the lodges. When on safari, whether in a 4x4 or on a walking safari, your safety is their priority. For those of you on self-drive safaris, please follow the basic rules of the park or reserve – never get out of your vehicle, or do anything to alarm the animals.
Can our children come on Safari?
The majority of camps and lodges have a lower age limit of 12 years for safety reasons. However, there are lodges which accommodate younger children, and a growing number where families with young children are actively encouraged. Please refer to our Family Safari information or email us for advice as to where to go.
How much does it cost to go on Safari?
At Fish Eagle Safaris we create customized tours and safaris to meet your individual interests and timeframe. Rates for different destinations vary significantly between “high season” and “low season”, and we recommend different accommodations to suit different budgets. This allows us to create a unique tour and safari itinerary for you, which doesn’t “break the bank”. Please email us for a recommended itinerary and quotation – we will ask a lot of questions about what you’d like to do and experience, and of course, how much you’re happy to spend – and then we’ll create your own unique itinerary.
How do I pay for my Holiday / Safari?
Fish Eagle Safaris accepts VISA, Mastercard and American Express credit card payments, as well as direct bank transfers. We will email or fax you a reservation authorization form for you to complete, sign and return to us. We will then process your payment and send you a receipt. It’s that simple! Please ask us for our terms & conditions.
Do we need Visas?
Many African countries will issue visas at the port of entry, however visa requirements do change from time to time, and also depend upon your nationality. Please check visa requirements when planning your trip – we are happy to help.
What Health Precautions should we take?
Precautions vary depending on which countries you are visiting – please always consult your doctor several weeks prior to traveling. If you are visiting a malarial area, anti-malaria prophylaxis must be taken 1 week prior to departure. Visitors traveling between African countries may require a yellow fever inoculation. Please refer to the Health sections of the countries you plan to visit.
Can we drink the water?
When staying at camps and lodges you will either be given purified or bottled water. South Africa and Namibia have very good quality tap water. Visitors to other safari destinations should drink bottled water unless advised by the lodges and camps in which they are staying that the drinking water has been purified.
How much money should I bring?
Most African safari camps and lodges accept Mastercard and VISA (Not all accept American Express), so you can use your credit cards to purchase any souvenirs, and even to pay gratuities to the lodge staff. Gratuities are not mandatory, but rewarding the excellent service you will almost certainly receive. A reasonable tip would be US$5 per guest per day for your ranger/tracker and perhaps US$3 per day for the camp staff.
Most restaurants and shops accept major credit cards. However, if you are purchasing souvenirs from craft markets you will need to pay in cash. Craft markets are found on roadsides, and in most large towns and cities and tourist destinations – Victoria Falls, Cape Town and Johannesburg are all excellent locations for purchasing nice quality and inexpensive mementoes of your trip.
If you are traveling to Africa for 2 weeks, we recommend that you bring in the region of US$200. Visitors to South Africa or Namibia can bring Euros if preferred. Whatever currency, remember to bring small denomination notes.
Do we need Travel Insurance?
We recommend that all our clients purchase travel insurance before you travel. Travel insurance is compulsory at many of the safari lodges and camps. Please consult your local insurance broker, or alternatively we can supply travel insurance at a competitive rate. Fish Eagle Safaris will not be held liable for loss, damage or theft of any personal luggage and belongings, nor can we be held liable for any personal injury, accident or illness.
What are the requirements for self-driving?
We strongly recommend all clients self-driving in South Africa or Namibia have a valid International Drivers Permit/License, and carry their Foreign Drivers License and their International License when driving.
What type of accommodation can we expect?
Accommodation in Africa varies enormously – in terms of design, ambience and quality. At Fish Eagle Safaris we try to recommend only hand-picked and known accommodations where we can be sure you will have a wonderful experience. We prefer the smaller, individual private lodges, boutique hotels and guesthouses where the level of service is more personal, and the ambience is of quiet, understated luxury. Our clients love our choice of beach hideaways, guest farms, chic city guesthouses and hotels, and authentic bush lodges and retreats; and for those of you traveling with children, we know lots of lovely family-friendly places too!
Do you have a recommended Holiday / Safari Packing List?
Safaris, even at the most luxurious lodges, tend to be surprisingly casual and relaxed. The following is a general list to help you with your packing.
• Passports (with visa entries)
• Health cards (vaccination certificate)
• Airline tickets
• Cheque book
• Cash & travelers cheques
• Separate record of travelers cheque numbers
• Credit cards (VISA, Mastercard and American Express are all widely accepted)
• Photocopy of passport and visas
• Photocopy of travel insurance
• Strong walking shoes/running shoes
• Sun hat
• Warm hat & gloves for game drives
• Windbreaker or light jacket
• Sweater or fleece
• Shorts or skirts
• Long cool trousers
• Long sleeve cotton shirts
• T shirts
• Socks and underwear
• Swimming costume
• 1 or 2 casual evening outfits
• Malaria prophylactics
• Prescription drugs if you need them
• Basic medical kit: Plasters, travel sickness tablets, Imodium, antiseptic cream, aspirins)
• Insect repellant (spray or stick)
• Anti-histamine cream
• Sun screen (SPF15 or higher)
• Lip balm
• Wet wipes
• Toothbrush & toothpaste
• Hair brush/comb
• Moisturizing lotion
• Feminine hygiene supplies
• Good quality sunglasses – preferably polarized
• Glasses or contact lenses (if you wear them)
• Camera equipment (including spare batteries, spare memory card, lens cleaning cloth)
• Binoculars (one pair per person)
• Newman’s Bird Book (if you’re interested)
• Small torch and batteries
• Converter plug if necessary
• Alarm clock
• Pocket knife (not in hand luggage!)
• Day pack
• Books, magazines, diary
• Small sewing kit
• Small scissors (not in hand luggage!)
• Pen & paper