What is the best time to come on safari?
Located on the Equator – Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda have no definitive seasons like the Northern and Southern hemispheres. East Africa’s stable and pleasant temperatures allow for sensational year-round safaris and game viewing.
In general, April, May and November bring the region’s rainy season – the plains turn to a lush green, birds are in their mating plumage and it is the calving period for many species. Safari costs can be significantly cheaper, however a selection of properties close during this period for annual renovations.
The great migration tends to be in the Southern Serengeti for the calving season from February to March, following the grazing North during the year and is in Northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara between June to October. This is a general pattern based on historical movements, however the movement of the herds cannot be predicted or guaranteed. There is an exceptional amount of resident game year-round in all safari areas including the Serengeti and Masai Mara, regardless of the location of the migratory herds.
August and the Christmas / New Year periods tend to attract the highest safari costs due to the worldwide holiday seasons.
A Cheli & Peacock Safari specialist can advise the best times to enjoy an East African safari based on interests, budget and hobbies.
How do I choose which areas to visit?
A Cheli & Peacock Safari is all about the safari experience, which includes spending time out of your safari vehicle.
We recommend destinations that allow guests to enjoy their safari on guided bush walks, horse rides, camel treks, mountain bikes whilst witnessing the outstanding game viewing that East Africa has to offer.
It is helpful for us and your tour operator to know more about you. The more we know about your group, the easier it is to plan your ‘holiday of a lifetime’.
- Is this your first safari?
- Are you horse riders/ birding enthusiasts / hikers?
- Are you a family / on your second honeymoon?
East Africa has so much diversity, we recommend visiting at least three different ecosystems to experience a true East African safari.
How many days should I stay in one area?
We recommend a minimum of three nights in one location, allowing two full days to enjoy the area, wildlife and activities offered within it.
How many areas should I put into my itinerary?
East Africa has the most varied ecosystems and wildlife species in Africa, with each area offering varied wildlife, experiences, cultures and breathtaking views.
We recommend visiting at least three different ecosystems to experience a true East African safari, for a minimum of 3 nights per destination.
Can I bring my children?
East Africa is ideal for family holidays; welcoming children of all ages. Many camps and lodges have family suites as well as extensive children’s activities to make sure the little ones have the time of their lives.
We consider the following when booking a family safari:
Children younger than 6 years old – we find little ones’ become tired quickly on safari and recommend families choose exclusive use of a safari vehicle for their stay. This provides you with flexibility and privacy on your game drives.
Children 6-12 years old – The perfect age to be on safari – exploring a new exciting world and all of the animals within it. We recommend properties with an assortment of activities, to get the family out of the vehicle and exploring!
Teenagers 13 – 16 years old – These optimistic young adults with developing opinions are interested and passionate about our planet, conservation, cultural diversity and wildlife. We can recommend an array of areas and properties that challenge their incredible minds.
How do I book a Cheli & Peacock safari?
We want your safari to be as memorable and perfect as possible so we partner with outstanding safari planners throughout the world to ensure that your experience is as personal as possible.
Please get in touch with us and we will put you in touch with your nearest safari planner.
What is a typical day on safari?
The best times for animal viewing are in the cool hours of the early morning and late afternoon, so a typical day on safari is:
- Rising early to a cup of tea or coffee before departing for a morning game drive or morning experience – preferably by 6:30am
- Bush breakfast in a beautiful location and return to camp before the midday heat
- Delicious lunch at camp followed by a relaxing early afternoon
- Afternoon tea in camp before departing for an afternoon game drive or activity – preferably by 4:30pm
- Safari ‘Sundowners’ – at sunset your guide will find a perfect spot to watch this dramatic time of day unfold, accompanied by a selection of drinks and bitings
- Return to camp, possibly spotting nocturnal animals with a spotlight from your game vehicle. Hot showers, drinks by the campfire sharing stories of the day followed by a delicious dinner.
Every day takes its own shape depending on guests preferences and interests.
Can I go for walks while on safari?
Leaving the safari vehicle behind is a must to truly enjoy the African bush. Walking in the bush is usually done at a gentle pace with the focus on the area and wildlife rather than a workout.
Guided bush walks
The majority of smaller, authentic bush camps offer guided bush walks. We recommend that everyone experiences this; guided by a local area expert you witness the sounds and smells of the bush; from the cocktail ants guarding their home in the whistling thorn trees to watching the giraffe quietly grazing nearby.
For the more energetic, you could;
- Experience a week to ten days walking in the wilderness with a mobile camp carried by camels
- Trek for two or three days to witness the gorilla or chimpanzee in the forests of Uganda, Rwanda or Tanzania
- Discover the ancient montane forest of the Mathew’s Mountains swimming in fresh mountain streams
What do I pack for a safari?
East African domestic flights have a luggage limit of 15kg per person in soft sided luggage. It doesn’t sound like very much – but please keep in mind that all properties have laundry facilities.
It is a dry climate with most safari areas at altitude, making nights and early mornings quite cool. We recommend a light jacket or fleece, light outdoor comfortable closed shoes and a hat. Cotton clothes in safari colours are the most comfortable.
Don’t forget binoculars, they are an essential part of safari.
A Cheli & Peacock Safari specialist can provide you with a detailed safari packing list.
Is there WiFi and mobile phone signal on safari?
Whilst we recognise that in this day and age WiFi access is essential, we recommend ‘switching off’ as much as possible and enjoying your safari.
Many properties throughout East Africa offer WiFi in either the main areas or guest rooms. Our Nairobi transfer vehicles are also WiFi enabled.
Mobile phone signals vary depending on location and provider. Whilst we can guarantee mobile phone signal in large cities and towns, the majority of safari destinations will have limited mobile phone signal.
If you are looking to go ‘off the grid’ completely, we can recommend numerous properties with no WiFi and no mobile phone signal!
Can I charge my devices on safari?
Yes – each property provides charging facilities. Whether in the main areas or guest rooms – you will be able to charge your devices during your stay.
Many safari vehicles have charging facilities, however we recommend bringing additional batteries for cameras.
- Kenyan, Tanzania and Uganda electrical sockets are UK type, 3 pin square – 220 volts.
- Rwandan electrical sockets are European type, 2 pin round – 220 volts.
Is it safe to go on safari?
A safari is not a dangerous activity and our first priority is the safety of our guests. We support locations and properties that ensure our guests not only have an exceptional safari experience but a professionally operated safari experience.
In the unlikely event of an emergency, all Cheli & Peacock Safaris guests are registered with AMREF Flying Doctors, who operate the most comprehensive and professional air ambulance services in East Africa. They also have international evacuation capabilities. The purpose of the membership is to ensure immediate evacuation response in case of emergency. All guests are required to hold comprehensive medical and travel insurance for the duration of their safari that covers medical expenses, personal baggage and money loss, and travel curtailment.
Do I need to worry about malaria?
Most safari areas are considered to be “malaria free” due to being in areas at altitude and therefore too cold and often too dry. Areas in which malaria is prevalent are low lying areas, below 1,800 metre elevation and coastal areas.
Avoiding the mosquito bite is the cornerstone of protection. The malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito usually feeds after dark, from approximately 21:00 until 06:00. We recommend avoiding the mosquito bite by:
- Sleeping under mosquito nets when not in safari tents
- Wearing long clothing after dark
- Applying mosquito repellent (creams and sprays)
- Using insecticides (sprays and mosquito coils) after dark
- Taking oral prophylaxis
Are visas and vaccinations required for my safari?
Visa requirements for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda vary depending on nationality.
If you require an entry visa, you are required to obtain this online prior to departure via www.evisa.go.ke
For further information including nationalities that require visas, please visit https://evisa.go.ke/eligibility
If you require an entry visa, we recommend that this be obtained online prior to departure via https://visa.immigration.go.tz/
For further information including nationalities that require visas, please visit https://visa.immigration.go.tz/guidelines
All visitors to Rwanda will be issued a visa on arrival. The duration of the visa and the costs vary depending on nationality.
For further information, please visit https://www.migration.gov.rw/visa-on-arrival
If you require an entry visa, you are required to obtain this online prior to departure via https://visas.immigration.go.ug/
For further information including nationalities that require visas, please visit https://visas.immigration.go.ug/#/help
YELLOW FEVER VACCINATIONS
Kenya & Tanzania
• Passengers arriving from Yellow Fever endemic countries (listed below) are required to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.
• While official advice states that yellow fever vaccinations are not required when travelling from Tanzania to Kenya, we can confirm that on occasion, travellers arriving to Kenya from Tanzania are checked for Yellow Fever vaccinations.
• We are in regular communication with Kenyan Port Health authorities and are working with them to receive clarification on this matter, however, for the time being our advice remains unchanged and we request that guests be vaccinated for Yellow Fever when travelling from Tanzania to Kenya.
• Passengers arriving from Yellow Fever endemic countries (listed below) and any country with active Yellow Fever transmission outbreaks are required to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.
• These passengers will be required to:
– undergo temperature screening on arrival;
– consent to self-report any symptoms that they may experience in the 6 days following arrival in Rwanda;
– Passengers with a temperature above 38.5C will be granted entry into Rwanda but are required to isolate and undergo further investigation for Yellow Fever.
• All passengers over the age of 1 year are required to present a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate in order to enter Uganda.
Yellow Fever Endemic Countries
• Angola, Argentina, Benin, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama,
Paraguay, Peru, Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela
NB: Yellow Fever vaccinations are not required for travellers under the age of 1 year. Existing and new yellow fever vaccination certificates are now valid for life.
NOTE: transit passengers (more than 12 hours) in Tanzania require a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.
Transit passengers (less than 12 hours) in Kenya or Tanzania shall not be checked for compliance with the certification.
Depending on your country of origin, additional vaccination certificates may be required.
Please make sure you discuss this with your safari planner prior to travel.