Safari documents + Travel Insurance

Here is an incident I am embarrassed to admit. I have advised clients on this matter after all.

I was checking into  Zanzibar Airport coming back to Arusha after a great time in Stone Town and the beach of Nungwi with my husband and the kids. At the check-in counter, I could not find my paper ticket for my flight back. This was not the little Safari airstrip where guides take care of you. This was the International Airport. I frantically searched all the pockets of my backpack. No luck. Lucky for me, I was going back to Arusha [and not getting on board an international flight], the Regional Airline office was near by and they printed a ticket for me.

traveldocs Lesson learnt. Always keep your documents in one bag.

This means always carry with you at all times your :
– Passport. A client had given me a copy of her passport and when they were in South Africa, their bag was stolen. I was glad I could help by emailing them their passport copy.
– Paper e-tickets. Print your International Airline tickets before you leave. Don’t depend on your phone.
– Money. Keep $100 per person for the visa should you be getting that at the airport. Then have some for tips, drinks and shopping. We have guidelines on our Traveling Tips.
– Vaccination paperwork should you be coming from another African Country

Note here:
When you are on Safari, your local flights ticket on the Safari route from say Manyara to Serengeti and Serengeti back to Kilimanjaro will be with your Safari guide in Tanzania. The airstrips have you on the flight manifest and you don’t need a ticket printout. If you are flying to a location where our guides are not with you, we will have a tickets for you so you don’t fall into the predicament I was in.

We also highly recommend getting Travel Insurance. I know you have heard of this and it is another cost to add to your Safari but it is so necessary. I always get it. My thinking is what if I get hurt and I need to be evacuated back to the US. I will need all the help possible. From getting a seat on a flight to financial assistance.

We offer via AIG / Travel Guard. You have lots of choices at different price level. If anything, get the basic plan so you can have some protection on your Safari. Life happens! Be prepared.

Twende Safari – let’s go Safari.

logoLife worth Exploring! ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Toll Free within US – 1.877.558.6288
Outside of US – 1.713.592.6228
Form – Request Information

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What is a Luxury Safari?

Luxury is relative to each one of us. Is it having 300+ thread counts in our beds or would using a wilderness tent [small dome tent with a sleeping cot] be okay with you if it means enjoying walking in our private area in Serengeti? The best bottle of wine with gourmet meals? Are you going to be happy with perfectly good 5 gallon bucket shower or do you need endless water and a bubble tub? We want to know more about your expectations on Safari.

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How do we define luxury Safaris? 

Here are our 4 thoughts. The minimum expectation you are guaranteed when enjoying our Safaris in Tanzania, Kenya and beyond.

1] Peace of Mind.
Our Safaris take care of you from arrival into Kilimanjaro Airport or Jomo Kenyatta Airport  to when we drop you off at the airport for your flight home. “Safaris are like grandmothers” – Susan Portnoy, a photographer mentioned. All the care with the warm and fuzzy.

We will book your Safari lodges and take care of all the in-between. Your park fees and conservation fees.  All meals and snacks on Safari are arranged. Our well maintained closed or open vehicle will have bottled water and soft drink as well as plugs to charge camera batteries, phones and other electronics so you don’t have to wait until the evening when you go to the lodge. Local flights will be booked. Transfers will be arranged – someone will pick you up and drop you off. And much more.

What we insist you must do is sit back and relax! You are on Safari.

2] Experiences and Great Memories.
Many studies
show that happy people are those who have accumulated experiences and memories in their lives. We aim to enhance your happiness.

“Travel is my therapy”

How do we plan on doing that?

– Via our guides and their knowledge, warmth, patience and more. To our first time on Journey To Africa Safari goers to our fifth time client, our guides are our backbone. They help make great memories and experiences on your Safari. They are also our ambassadors.

– Adding details to your Safari.  We don’t want to give away too much of what we do here but it’s the little things that make the big things happen.

food for Safari - sundowners - Oliver's Camp

3] Ambiance.
Trust us! You will not go hungry on your Safari. Three meals cooked with the basic of tools and snacks – we are talking cakes and cookies and nuts –  at any time. And the abundance of good coffee and tea.

But the best luxurious part is that the settings will be amazing. You may have breakfast in the middle of park, lunch overlooking the Serengeti, Tarangire River or Hippo pool in Ngorongoro, have picnic under the accacia tree and spot elephants roaming in a distance. And dinner under the stars with candlelight sharing stories with your camp manager and other Safari goers while hearing the hyenas, wildebeest or lions in the distance.  Different from how you enjoy your food at home. Luxury.

Food evokes memories and after a Safari, you will bring home lots of those.

dinner ambiance

4] Lodges with a Soul.
Our criteria when choosing the lodges we recommend is that they have to have the 3 Cs. Conservation + Community + Carbon off-setting ethos.

Your dollars help out in a lot of behind the scenes effort.  Now that is luxury to us. The ability to assist the visiting country, it’s people and the precious wildlife.

Whether it is wildlife conservation via Honeyguide Foundation with our Asilia Africa lodges like Olakira Camp or supporting a sustainable orphanage by building a fully equipped bakery like Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge or off setting carbon footprints like our walking Safari partners.

Our lodges also support a lot of families. 1 staff member in our lodge will take care of 4-6 + family members at home. Ask us for more details on each organization should you be interested.

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We hope you will join us on a Luxury Safari.

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Life worth Exploring. ™
Make memories on your Journey To Africa Safari.

Get in touch //
Email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call – 1.877.558.6288 / 713.592.6228 [outside US]
Form – Request Information

 

Hippo Pool in Ngorongoro Crater

News from the bush //

When having lunch around the hippo pool in Ngorongoro Crater, keep your eyes peeled.

After viewing the packed hippo pool – lots of baby hippos here including twins – we were enjoying our Rhotia Valley Tented Lodge packed lunch when our entertaining guide Elisa told us to look at the two male hippos having a heated argument. They were really having a go at it and managed to have a few rounds of tussling around. Elisa told us male hippos tend to be aggressive. We would too if we had to stand packed in our own poo in a crowded pool.

Our front row seat in this tumultuous experience!

Hippo fighting in Ngorongoro Crater - June 2014.

Hippo fighting in Ngorongoro Crater – June 2014.

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Hippo fighting – getting rowled up

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My, what teeth you have!

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You are going down mate!

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It’s not over yet. We are going to have a go at it again.

The Great Migration

News from the bush //

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The Wildebeests moving into an area very close to Olakira Camp in Northern Serengeti. Taken around 6:45 am on our morning game drive.

As much as you see pictures, read articles or watch videos, nothing really prepares you and your senses when you are in the middle of the Great Wildebeest and Zebra Migration, one of the Natural Wonders of the World.  The sheer numbers of Wildebeests and Zebras. The grunting and galloping sounds. The smell from these animals. The single file walking. The springy trotting.  The predators [amazing 20+ lions enjoying a wildebeest] that are enjoying a field day as ‘food’ is finally abundant.

This is how I feel when sitting in the middle of the herd in one of my favorite areas, Northern Serengeti [which is a great place to visit year round] in early June when the migration had arrived into this region earlier than the normal cycle from Western Serengeti. They usually arrive into Northern Serengeti in late June to early July. That is nature for you.  Unpredictable and awesome in its splendor.

Travel Insurance

A friend in the industry recently was recalling an incident when her phone was stolen from her hand in Dar-Es-Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania. Things happen even at home but become cumbersome when it is not on your own turf.

When clients head to Safari, we always recommend getting travel insurance.  We took our own advise and purchased our travel insurance from our provider Travel Guard.

Some of the reasons why our clients have been glad they had travel insurance.

  • Jann F was scheduled to leave in two days when she had an emergency appendix operation. The recovery was going to take a week and if they did end up going to Tanzania [accounting the international flight penalty and fare change], they would have missed most of the Safari with their friends.  Luckily, they had travel insurance with Travel Guard and her and Bernie, her last husband, managed to enjoy the same Safari the following year with some other friends.
  • US ambassador Thomas Pickering was all set to head on Safari when his daughter broke her arm right before her Safari. She could not join them  and had to cancel her Safari. Refund was provided by Travel Guard.
  • You can not climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with a broken leg. Our client Debbie G was in Amsterdam ready to board her flight to Kilimanjaro Airport when she fell in at Schipol airport and broke her leg.  She was devastated she could not join her friends for the climb. She had to fly back to the US.  Travel Guard reimbursed the extra cost of the flight from Amsterdam to US and refunded her Safari.

These occurrence are not common – thankfully – but they did and do happen. Losing the Safari + international flight money would have added more injury to the already hurt wound.

And then there are those clients that don’t let a cast stop them from enjoying a ‘limping’ Safari. Darrell and Drew Howton enjoyed their 2nd Safari with Journey To Africa in Katavi and Mahale + Lake Natron and Southern Serengeti with professional guide Paul Oliver.

Darrell enjoying Katavi with a cast on his leg

A broken leg did not stop Darrell from enjoying Katavi

Safari vehicles

When on your Journey To Africa Safari, you are going to enjoy game driving for at least 6-8 hours a day, sometimes more, sometimes less and you get to choose. You may start early around 6:00 a.m. and end as late at 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. when the parks close. You may even go out at night on your night game drives from certain lodges.

During this time, you learn to appreciate your work-horse of a vehicle. Your 4×4 vehicle expertly maneuvered by our experienced knowledgable guide/ friend is your safe house from the elements.

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Katsaros Family on a Journey To Africa Safari in Ngorongoro Crater

Your vehicle will pass through dusty and bumpy roads, narrow bridges and overflowing bridges, slippery muddy and sticky mud [black cotton soil], and more all the while you are enjoying your wildlife and magnificent scenery. Your vehicle will keep you dry from the rains, warm from the winds or shade you from the hot sun. Your vehicle will have its roof open so you can have a panoramic view of the amazing landscape.

Our Vehicle

Taken by Journey To Africa client Zack M

Sometimes your vehicle depending on the area of your Safari will be an open vehicle. This usually happens when you fly into a location and do not have to transfer on the main roads.

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Open vehicle used by Olakira and Sayari Camp in Northern Serengeti

Regardless of what type of vehicle, your vehicle when on a Journey To Africa Safari will have a cooler with water, soft drinks, plug to charge your spare camera batteries, bean bag, binoculars, lots of guide books, snacks – you do get hungry on Safari,  blankets to keep you warm from the wind, and raincoat. If you have any special requests, we can cater to that as well.

All in all, your vehicle with our professional guides will be ready to show you a great time on Safari with Journey To Africa.

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Get in touch via email – Safari@JourneyToAfrica.com
Call us at 1.877.558.6288 or 713.592.6228.

Together, we can plan your Safari for the memory books.
Life worth Exploring. ™