What are the health risks and do I need vaccinations? Generally in the areas we travel health risks are minimal. As in most foreign countries one should drink bottled water and watch the types of foods you eat. In Africa this is particularly important. A general rule on fruit and vegetables is "if you don't peel it don't eat it". In any strange country there will be bacteria that are normal to the resident people but not to you as a visitor so wash your hands often and avoid touching your face with your hands. Anti-bacterial wipes and washes are great. Never eat from a street vendor. As for vaccinations if you travel much you should be sure your polio, tetanus/diptheria are up to date. In addition we always recommend that you be vaccinated for hepatitis A and B. No sense in taking a chance. Yellow fever is required in some African countries. When traveling in jungles and in the bush you should be on a program of anti-malaria. We can advise you on what you need to travel in various areas.
Is it Safe? The areas we travel to are safe or we wouldn't take you there to start with. We monitor world situations constantly and avoid areas where there is unrest or disease outbreaks. The last thing we would want is an incident that would taint your trip. Never-the-less there are risks traveling anywhere in the world and those have to be acceptable to the adventurous.
Can I Telephone Home? Yes, in most places ET can call home. When in bush camps there may not be regular outside communication but that will usually only be for two or three days. Cell service is improving every year and with a SIM card cell service is available in the urban areas. Email availability is increasing throughout Africa and can often be found in bush camps. In case of emergency radio communication is always available.
What do you do on Safaris? First and foremost have fun. In a bush camp or lodge in Africa a typical day is composed of a morning and late afternoon game drive in vehicles that easily permit us to see and photograph wildlife. Sometimes, depending on the camp or lodge, we go on walks with an armed guide to see wildlife up close and personal or we may canoe or go out on a power boat to see special habitats and wildlife. Sunset in Africa is a time to pause, have a cocktail and enjoy the raw beauty of the African bush. Lodges and camps are luxurious and the food is quite surprising.
What are the Camps and Lodges Like? They are remote but very comfortable. Attention is paid to every detail to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Even the tent camps have complete bathroom facilities even though they may be under the stars. Meals are exquisite and are often served outdoors on white linen beneath the stars. People are always surprised by the luxury and comfort that they experience in the bush.
What kind of Food can I Expect? Meals in the African bush are sumptuous and prepared to an excellence that you would not expect. Cuisine may vary from British to French to East Indian to basic good ol' American influence. The local fare is an added perk to the travel where you can taste some of the local game and other exotic delicacies. The fresh fruits are incredible. Just remember with fruits and vegetables, "if you can't peel it don't eat it". Hearty teas, coffees and great wine and beers await you.
Can we Take Children? Generally we do not recommend children under the age of 12. This is primarily due to the fact it is more difficult to make young children understand the precautions that must be taken to avoid contracting infections such as intestinal upset or worse. They are much more apt to come down with "the revenge" than adults and often do not recover as quickly. It takes all the pleasure out of your trip to have to care for and worry over a sick child. There are exceptions and the tour operataors reserve the right to interview the child.
When is the Best Time to go on Safari? This of course depends on where you are going. If you are going to East Africa then June and July and November through March are good. In southern Africa June through October is good although you may go earlier but the grasses will be high and the game hard to see. During the dry season the game concentrates near the shrinking water holes.
What Type Electricity can I Expect? Current in Africa is 220 volt with varying amperages and plug arrangements. We will inform you as to what is necessary for your destination so you may obtain the proper adapter/transformer. Many modern electrical appliances made for travel have built in adapters and/or transformers.
What Should I Bring? When you are going to be in the bush environment you will want to bring muted clothing (no bright colors) that is cotton or cotton blend. Cotton breaths the best and will tolerate more primitive washing methods that you may find there. In the cities comfortable casual wear is acceptable. Shorts are fine in camps but may not be acceptable in cities. We will certainly apprise you of this for your specific safari. Our very hard rule of thumb for packing is keep it light and to one duffle-type bag and one carry on preferably a good lightweight pack. Duffle bags will store better in the vans, Landrovers and small aircraft whereas hard sided luggage will not. We provide packing lists for your paticular safari. Most bush planes will restrict you to 42 pounds of luggage and 10 pounds in your carry-on pack.
If you have other questions please do not hesitate to contact us.