© 2018 by Liz P & Justus M.

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FAQS

What Safari parks should I visit if I only have a limited number of days?
For Kenya, the Maasai Mara Reserve is the largest reserve with the richest array of wildlife and landscapes.  It is the northern ecosystem of the Serengeti and has much scenic beauty in combination with a rich wildlife.  The southern ecosystem of the Serengeti starts in Tanzania.  Opt for taking a charter flight into the Maasai Mara from Nairobi if your time is limited but give yourself at least 3 full safari days to get a great feel for the Maasai Mara.  Most visitors build their safaris around this amazing reserve.  
Amboseli is also highly visited and is roughly a 4hr drive from Nairobi.  It is one-tenth the size of the Maasai Mara, so shorter safaris can be built around a visit to Amboseli.  If you really want to see views of Kilimanjaro on clear days, a shorter safari to Amboseli would also allow you to see wildlife, but a less abundant mix predators like lions or leopards.  Amboseli has a marsh-like swamps and lakes, caused by the snow from Kilimanjaro's peak and the mountain's natural spring water that drains down its slopes to form lakes and marshes.  This also makes it highly attractive to elephants and birds, which you can experience at a much closer range. 
What time of the year should I go on Safari?
It really depends on what you want to see and whether you like crowds.  Most people prefer somewhere in the middle.  But if you want to be in the midst of the wildebeest migration when they reach the Maasai Mara, try July and August.  If you go January and February, it isn't as crowded as during the summer months of the migration and you'll still get sunny days.  If you go closer to mid-February, March, April or May, you'll see more births and young wildlife. 
What Safari parks should I visit if I only have a limited number of days?
For Kenya, the Maasai Mara Reserve is the largest reserve with the richest array of wildlife and landscapes.  It is the northern ecosystem of the Serengeti and has much scenic beauty in combination with a rich wildlife.  The southern ecosystem of the Serengeti starts in Tanzania.  Opt for taking a charter flight into the Maasai Mara from Nairobi if your time is limited but give yourself at least 3 full safari days to get a great feel for the Maasai Mara.  Most visitors build their safaris around this amazing reserve.  
Amboseli is also highly visited and is roughly a 4hr drive from Nairobi.  It is one-tenth the size of the Maasai Mara, so shorter safaris can be built around a visit to Amboseli.  If you really want to see views of Kilimanjaro on clear days, a shorter safari to Amboseli would also allow you to see wildlife, but a less abundant mix predators like lions or leopards.  Amboseli has a marsh-like swamps and lakes, caused by the snow from Kilimanjaro's peak and the mountain's natural spring water that drains down its slopes to form lakes and marshes.  This also makes it highly attractive to elephants and birds, which you can experience at a much closer range. 
What time of the year should I go on Safari?
It really depends on what you want to see and whether you like crowds.  Most people prefer somewhere in the middle.  But if you want to be in the midst of the wildebeest migration when they reach the Maasai Mara, try July and August.  If you go January and February, it isn't as crowded as during the summer months of the migration and you'll still get sunny days.  If you go closer to mid-February, March, April or May, you'll see more births and young wildlife. 
Where should I stay?
Well, it really depends on your budget.  But one area you should not skimp on is staying in an accomodation that is located inside a particular park or reserve.  It allows you to start your safaris immediately each morning, rather than having to queue in a line to reenter a park each time.  And some of the best wildlife experiences happen in the early morning, when lions or leopards are on the hunt.  They also hunt in the evening, but most safaris are required to end before it gets dark, due to safety.  Big cats tend to sleep in the afternoon.  Read tripadvisor reviews on the hotels we recommend to make sure it has the level of standard that you require.        
Can children go on safaris?
It really depends on the child e.g. temperament, focus, maturity, etc..  Safaris generally happen 2x per day, early in the morning around 7.30am after a hearty breakfast then after lunch between 2-6pm.  Each safari excursion can last between 2-4hrs and you are more likely to experience more wildlife viewings if each outing is longer.  Keep in mind if you are sharing your safari vehicle with friends or family, the dynamics there is also important.  Generally, I would say children who are at least 6yrs of age, who are fully potty trained and can sit patiently for several hours in a vehicle will ensure the safari excursion is great for everyone.  Experiencing animals in their natural, wild habitat is an amazing experience for anyone, especially a child.  Safety wise, children are just as safe as an adult would be on safari if they follow their safari guides' rules e.g. stay inside the vehicle, have respect for the animals and do not feed any animals.  It's amazing how many visitors insist on feeding monkeys in or around their lodgings and are shocked when hoards of monkeys arrive to aggressively grab food and bags.  Lodgings that are located inside park and wildlife reserves will have clear instructions on whether you need to be escorted by hotel staff after sunset around the hotel grounds, just in case there are wild animals nearby, such as hippos in a nearby watering hole, baboons or big cats.
What should I pack?
Even though temperatures are generally very hot, mornings and evenings can get chilly, so pack layers of fleece and jackets, in addition to breathable light linens and light cotton.  Hiking pants that are breathable and comfortable are also recommended, as they keep mosquitos out as well as allow you to be cool in the hot afternoons and warm in the early mornings and evenings.  
Choose clothing that blends in well with your environment - like earth tones and whites e.g. khakis, browns, safari green, tans, etc.
+ Non-Toxic mosquito repellent e.g. REPEL w/ Lemon Eucalyptus on Amazon
+ Sunscreen, hat, bandannas/scarves for dust & sunglass
+ Earth tone clothing to blend into the environment - bring a change for everyday - it's hot out there! e.g. Columbia convertible hiking pants w/ sun protection on Amazon
+ Extra battery packs for cameras, phones, etc.
+ Check with your guide for Safari Vehicle charging chords for your phones, etc.
+ Binoculars
+ Swim wear if your lodging has a pool
+ For avid photographers, having a super zoom lens for your camera is a must!
+ Pack some energy bars - game drives can last 2-4hrs and if you get low-blood sugar, make sure these are handy e.g. CLIF bars on Amazon
What are the travel vaccine shots and medication I should take, if any?
Always check updated travel notices from the CDC or equivalent:  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/kenya
Most travelers get vaccine shots for Hepatitis A and Typhoid - which travelers can get from food contamination.  
 
For Malaria - the best route is prevention, so load up on non-toxic mosquito repellant, ensure your lodgings have mosquito nets to protect you at night, and wear breathable long pants and tops.  Some travelers opt for prescribed malaria medication - but you have to weigh how specific medication side-effects impact you.  Don't try these medications for the first time while you are on travel - as you can have nausea and stomach upset while you are on game drives and are not always conveniently near modern bathroom facilities when you are deep in a reserve.  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/preparing-international-travelers/yellow-fever-vaccine-and-malaria-prophylaxis-information-by-country/kenya#seldyfm948