GENERAL DESCRIPTION FOR ALL TOURS/ SAFARIS

 (Golden Elephant Safaris offers a wide variety of safaris. Please see the following pages for times and specific itineraries).

 Africa’s wild creatures do not live in isolation; each species represents a strand in the web forming the community of plants and animals in which it has carved its niche. Even the briefest safari will traverse many such ecological communities and habitats. The eye soon discerns that the African world is not a singular entity in which animals occur at random, but an ordered realm where every creature has its appropriate place. Some species are extremely adaptive and survive in a wide spectrum of environments. Others are confined to specific niches or microhabitats. It would take volumes to describe all of Africa’s animals, not to mention their relationships and the habitats in which they live in.

A small understanding of African ecology will go a long way toward enriching your safari experience, for the wonder of the animals is heightened by an appreciation and awareness of their total environment. Although the famous big game animals naturally command the most attentions, people who look only for lions, elephants and other large mammals tend to get bored after a few days. Those curious about African wildlife in all of its varied forms never have that problem, for it is impossible to run out of new and fascinating discoveries.

The suggested itineraries provided in this safari manual are chosen from among the destination’s finest Independent Travel itineraries. You may book them as shown in the manual or revise them to meet your guests’ requirements.

 GAME DRIVES/GAME VIEWING – The game drive/ game viewing is the standard mode of wildlife viewing in the African national parks, concession, where both regulations and safety considerations restrict exploration on foot. Conditions are ideal for vehicular safaris; rising savanna fame country from the security and comfort of a car, you will encounter a large number and variety of animals simply by chance. Game drives in most of the parks are always invigorating: you may go from one species to the next – observing zebra here, giraffe there, a knot of impala on the right, a trio of elephant bulls ahead. However, there is really no guarantee on what you will see; the animals are free to move around as they please and may even pass beyond park boundaries.

DRIVER GUIDES: Each safari group will be accompanied by the best driver-guides with expert knowledge in wildlife and other areas of tourist interest. The driver-guides are continually under training on subjects as varied as the maintenance of safari vehicles, client’s safety, the mating habits of various species, preservation and conservation, general knowledge and foreign languages: English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese

SAFARI COURIERS: May be provided (at an extra cost) upon prior arrangements. A safari courier is a seasoned professional and is highly experienced as a field naturalist. In addition to giving introductory briefings and lectures on the area visited, Couriers provide information on African history and folklore.

ACCOMMODATION – Lodges come in many shapes and sizes. Many lodges are famous for their beauty as well as comfort. The general quality of comfort, cleanliness and service is high. Each facility has its own ambience. The newer safari lodges are modern hotels designed for harmony with the natural setting. Spacious verandas look out over fame viewing areas with stunning landscapes well visited by game. Some lodges are so well placed, usually by strategic water points, that the game can be seen at any time.

MOBILE CAMPING: The concept of mobile camping is very attractive to the adventurer as it reminds one of the early explorers and hunters in the “Dark Continent” – Africa. The guest is presented with a product that is much closer to nature and therefore more thrilling.

Standard Mobile tented camps: Standard camping always carries a unique characteristic; staying in a private and exclusive campsite. The camping crew and equipment travel separately on a support vehicle ahead of the guests. When guests arrive at the campsite everything is prepared and waiting – tents up, meals cooking, and hot water ready for a wash. The walk-in accommodation tents are provided with two safari beds, blankets, bed sheets and pillows. Wash room facilities are set inside the guests’ tents, and not outside.

Budget mobile camping: Budget camping is the ideal way for those who like to “rough it” as we provide mostly bivouac pop-up tents for accommodation whereby mattresses are laid on the sewn-in ground sheet. The tents are spacious enough for two people and they have a mesh on each window to keep off insects. The guests’ safari vehicle pulls a Trailer carrying the camping equipment and a cook. All preparations at the camp are made on arrival at the campsite. Guests are often expected to help pitch the tents, but the cooking and cleaning is all left to the camping

crew. We recommend visitors to bring their own sleeping bags. Public campsites provide basic washroom facilities of reasonable hygienic standard for budget camping safaris.

Following is some information about the major sights covered in our suggested tours manual. The type and abundance of wildlife encountered on a given day depends on a variety of factors including the seasonal migration pattern and luck.

All quotes featured on our website are expressed in KES / US Dollars. These are freely accepted currencies in most places and are also freely exchangeable (legally) at foreign exchange bureau. Most hotels and lodges also have facilities for foreign currency exchange.

Prices include:

  • Accommodation and meals as stipulated on each itinerary
  • Ground transportation with an English speaking driver/guide or naturalist guide
  • Game drives or sightseeing depending on the itinerary – where indicated
  • Park or reserve entry fees – where applicable
  • Airport or border transfers  as  stated on the itinerary
  • Local flights as stipulated in the itinerary

Prices do not include:

  • Visas
  • Tips
  • Inoculations and personal insurance
  • Taxes for local flights
  • International flights and departure taxes
  • Optional activities and excursions
  • Items of personal nature such as beverages, telephone, postage etc
  • Holiday (Christmas, Easter) and other seasonal surcharges may apply as indiacted

Per-person rate (P/Pax): This is the cost of one client sharing a twin or double room with another.

Single Room Supplement (SRS): Should a client wish to have a room by themselves, this supplement should be added to the “per person sharing” rate.

Tipping: Tips are not included in the costs but below is a schedule which could be used as a guide by the guests should they wish to tip the staff on appreciation of services rendered.

Recommended tip to:

 

  • Waiters US$ 1-2 per table per meal (lunch and dinner)
  • Porters US$ 1-2 for 2 guests per porter
  • Driver/Guide US$ 3 – 5 per person per day

Baggage: Baggage allowance for domestic flights is 10kgs per person including hand luggage. Soft sided luggage or duffels are preferable to hard luggage for storage on safari vehicles and aircrafts used within East Africa. Large suitcases of dimensions greater than 24″x 17″x 7″ are impossible to store in vehicles and on aircraft and should not be used. (Baggage and personal effects are at owner’s risk throughout the tour and baggage insurance for members is strongly advised).

Accommodation Pricing:

The quote is expressed as per person sharing a double room and a supplement for single room occupation has also been shown. The rate includes accommodation based on the hotels and lodges mentioned in the program using standard rooms.

Holiday and seasonal supplements:

Most hotels and lodges in East Africa charge a supplement over Easter, Christmas and New Year, for this they provide special festive meals or entertainments or something similar and sometimes require a minimum of number of nights in order to confirm the booking. However, evening entertainment in the safari lodges and camps is rare, as noise is likely to scare the wildlife.