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Frequently asked questions

Preparing for safari

Located on the Equator – Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have no definitive seasons like the Northern and Southern hemispheres. East Africa’s stable and pleasant temperatures allow for year-round safaris and game viewing.

In April, May and November the region has it’s rainy seasons – a selection of properties close during this period however 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.

The great migration tends to be in the Southern Serengeti for the calving season in February – 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 although there are wildebeest and excellent game viewing year round throughout Serengeti and Masai Mara.

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 for you to enjoy an East African safari based on your interests, budget and hobbies.

A Cheli & Peacock Safari is all about the safari experience, which includes spending time out of your safari vehicle.

We recommend private conservancies which 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.

We recommend that you stay for a minimum of 3 nights in one location, allowing you 2 full days to enjoy the area and activities offered within it.

East Africa has the most varied ecosystems and wildlife species in Africa – so each area that you visit will offer you a completely different wildlife experience, vegetation, landscape and views. You need to plan for a minimum of 6 nights on safari so that you can visit at least 2 different ecosystems, or combine safari and beach.

East Africa is ideal for family holidays. We welcome children and 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’ tire quickly on safari and recommend families choose exclusive use of 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.

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 a personal as possible.

Please get in touch with us and we will put you in touch with your nearest safari planner.

The best times for viewing animals are in the cool hours of the early morning and late afternoon so a typical day on safari is:

• Rising to a cup of tea or coffee before departing for a morning game drive or morning activity – 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.

Leaving the safari vehicle behind is a must to truly enjoy the African bush. You can walk in most safari areas. 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.

Walking safaris

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 mountain forest of the Mathew’s Mountains swimming in fresh mountain streams.

East African domestic flights have a luggage limit of 15kg per person. It doesn’t sound like very much – but please keep in mind that all properties have laundry facilities. Cotton clothes in safari colours are the most comfortable and easiest to launder.

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.

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.

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 signal varies 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!

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 – we recommend bringing additional batteries for cameras.

  • Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ugandan electrical sockets are UK type, 3 pin square – 220 volts.
  • Rwandan electrical sockets are European type, 2 pin round – 220 volts.

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.

The cities of East Africa are bustling and cosmopolitan. Like any large city, there are areas with lovely shops and restaurants and others that we would not recommend visiting.  Your safari itinerary may include a city stay, with your hotel and activities all pre-booked and guided.

Most safari areas are considered to be “malaria free” due to being in areas of very limited human population, often at altitude and therefore too cold and often too dry.

Avoiding the mosquito bite is the cornerstone of protection and we recommend:

  • 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

Visa requirements for Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda vary depending on nationality.

The majority of nationalities can obtain visas on arrival at the main international airports of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda require specific nationalities to hold a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Depending on your country of origin, additional vaccination certificates may be required.

Please make sure you discuss this with your tour operator prior to travel.

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