Adventure and Safari
Q. What is the best way to get to Kenya?
A. If you are coming from North America or Europe, we recommend flying Kenya Airway/KLM or any other to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport. If you are coming from Australasia, Emirates has the best deals and fly into Nairobi and Dar es Salaam daily.
Q. Can NICE adventures book my flights?
A. NICE books East Africa internal travel, including flights, bus rides and shuttles. Your tickets will be kept in the office for you or mailed to you, depending on your first destination.
Q. Are there any airport taxes to pay in Kenya?
A. Airport taxes are not included in the price of internal Kenya flights. Be sure to bring extra US dollars with you to pay airport taxes which range from US $5 to US $15 per flight. There are daily regular to several national parks from Wilson Airport Nairobi.
Q. What is the best way to get from Kenya to Zanzibar?
A. Precision Air or Air Tanzania are the best way to get to Zanzibar. There are several daily flights departing
Q. Do you also plan safari in other East African countries?
A. Yes, we have ground partners in Kenya, Uganda, and Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda
Travel Information and Seasons
Q. I am traveling alone. Is it possible to join a group?
A. Yes, MW can work with you to find a group to join. Group rates are applied to individuals who join open safaris.
Q. What are the best months to go on safari/adventure?
A. For the best wildlife viewing, visit Kenya during the dry seasons of November/December to February, and July to September. To avoid the crowds, visit in May, June or November..
Q. What are the seasons like in Kenya?
A. Late March through late May represents the period of long rains in Kenya. This is usually not an ideal time to plan a safari because of the potential for sudden downpours. Directly after the long rains, however, is a wonderful time to visit Kenya’s national parks , Reserves and community conservation areas due to the abundance of wildflowers and vegetation. It is also a wonderful time to go on safari because the level of dust and the number of tourists is minimal. July through October is Kenya’s dry season and also the high season for tourism. This is the best time to view wildlife as grasses are virtually nonexistent. It is usually very dusty and can be cold at higher elevations. Kenya’s short rains occur from late October through mid December. This is a low season for tourism in Kenya. December through March is Tanzania’s “summer” and many tourists visit during late December and January for optimal game viewing.
Health and Immunizations
Q. Does NICE provide health insurance?
A. Health insurance is not included in tour quotes. However, for an additional US $15 to $50 per person, we provide emergency medical evacuation through The Flying Doctors (AAR).
Q. What immunizations do I need before visiting Tanzania?
A. For current immunization recommendations and requirements for travel to Kenyas, please check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) site.
Reservations and Cancellations
Q. Can I pay with a credit card?
A. At present we cannot accept credit cards for payments. This is a work in process and we hope to have this system up an running soon. We recommend bank transfers directly to our account for payments so that all treks and safaris are paid for in advance. This reduces any risk you may have by travelling with traveller’s cheques and large amounts of cash.
Q. Can NICE adventures help me with my Mombasa, Malindi, Lamu, Zanzibar hotel reservations?
A. Yes, we can arrange flights and hotels to your next destinations. We can also arrange airport transfers directly with most hotels. We have a great selection for you and liaise directly with the owners who will look after you like we do!
Q. What is NICE Adventure cancellation policy?
A. Kindly see our Booking Conditions in our website- select from Terms and Conditions
Q. Will I be able to use ATM/credit cards in Kenya?
A. You can withdraw Kenya shillings using a Visa/MasterCard in most Towns. Our guides/tour leader will assist. Most restaurants/hotels do not accept credit cards, and the ones that do usually charge a commission of at least 10%. Please call your credit card company before you leave for Kenya to notify them of your travel plans. Some companies will put a block on your card if you try to use it at a Kenya ATM. There is a withdrawal limit of 20,000 to 40,000/- (approx US$600) Kenyan shillings per day at ATMs – depending on which bank- so plan ahead if you have something in particular that you need to pay for.
Q. Should I change money to Kenya Shillings or can I pay in foreign currency?
A. We recommend changing some money to shillings to pay for small items during your trip. Local stores and restaurants charge in shillings, and if you pay in dollars you will pay a higher rate. At souvenir stores in Nairobi or enroute to safari. US$100 and US$50 dollar notes attract a better exchange rate than US$20, US$10, US$5 and US$1 – however these smaller notes are handy sometimes for buying souvenirs enroute during safari.
Q. Should I bring travelers cheques?
A. We do not recommend bringing travelers to Kenya as banks require you to have the receipt of purchase as well as the cheque. We recommend bringing USD cash and using an ATM machine to withdraw shillings.
Q. Are old USD notes accepted?
A. NO, your USD notes will need to be the recent notes that have the large faces on the bills.
While on Safari: Lodging and Food
Q. How does NICE adventure choose lodges and tented camps in Nairobi and on safari?
A. NICE matches the type of experience you desire with the most appropriate lodge arrangements. Available lodging ranges from private luxury tented lodges to adventure camping. There are both mid and high-end private lodges so we can accommodate any budget.
Q. How rugged is a camping safari?
A. On a camping safari, guests and staff sleep in tents in designated campsites near the national parks. NICE staff setup the camp and prepare all meals while you relax, read and eat snacks. NICE camps consist of tents set up and simple chairs or at times you seat on a rock- why not if the Maasai do? Mostly, NICE uses remote bush campsites to make your camping a wild experience. There are eco toilet for remote bush camps and shower facilities at almost all the campsites although the level of cleanliness varies. NICE staff heats water for your shower at more remote sites.
Q. On camping safaris, what equipment does NICE provide?
A. NICE provides camping equipment including tents, sleeping mattresses, tables and chairs. We also provide all cooking equipment for the safari. Please see our Personal Equipment Guide for items you should bring with you to Kenya. All NICE equipment is less than two years old and has been highly rated by many of our past clients.
Q. Are all types of diets catered for?
A. Of course; just let us know in advance so we can make necessary arrangements.
Q. Do I need to bring a water filter?
A. On safari we provide bottled water. On Mountain climbing trips, we boil all drinking water. To double treat your drinking water, feel free to bring water purification tablets (iodine based) or your own water filter.
Q. What is a typical menu on a camping safari or Mt Kenya climb?
A. Unless otherwise stated or agreed upon before the safari, During a camping safari, NICE provides three meals a day as well as afternoon snacks. We also provide all of your bottled drinking water. After your game drive, a snack with tea or coffee will be waiting for you at the campsite. You will have a choice of fresh popcorn, peanuts, cake or sliced fruits.
Q. What is Kenyan food like and will I get to try some?
A. Staple foods found throughout Kenya include ugali (maizemeal), chapati (thick naan-like bread), kachumbari (tomato, cucumber, bell pepper salad), nyama choma (barbecued meat- goat, chicken, beef) and mchicha (green vegetable stew)..
Q. What precautions should I take to avoid stomach problems?
A. Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and avoid eating raw vegetables and fruits. Before meals, wash and dry your hands before touching your food. Do not eat food sold by street vendors. Wipe the mouth of soda and alcohol bottles before drinking and ensure that water bottles are sealed properly before purchasing. Also, eat fruit that can be peeled, such as bananas, unless it is fruit prepared by NICE. If you not sure of any food, ask our cooks and guides.
Driving on Safari
Q. What are NICE vehicles like?
A. Maasai Wanderings uses 4WD Land Cruisers, Land Rovers and 4WD Hiaces on all safaris and all vehicles are owned and maintained by us. We have made our vehicles safari ready by including comfortable seats and an open roof that allows for better animal viewing. Each passenger is guaranteed a window seat.
Q. What are the road conditions in Kenya?
A. Although the roads between cities and the national parks are generally well-maintained, the roads inside the national parks are rough and dusty, and hence, often muddy. During game drives, we drive slowly for a more comfortable drive.During the dry season you will get very dusty, so bring some moist cleansing cloths to clean up before meal times..
Photography on Safari
Q. Is it possible to recharge a digital camera on safari?
A. This can be organized from your hotel or let us know in advance if it is filing crew- we have an onsite inverters.
Q. Should I bring extra batteries for my camera or will they be available in Tanzania?
A. You can find AAA-D batteries in major towns including Energizer and Duracell brands in an emergency but batteries are probably cheaper in your home country, so you may want to bring them with you. It is difficult to find high quality batteries outside major cities.
Q. What extra camera equipment should I bring to Kenya?
A. 1. Small sand bag on which to rest your camera. The safari vehicles shake quite a bit and sometimes you may miss a great shot if you wait for the car to be turned off. 2. Lightweight tripod or monopod. 3. Small can of compressed air to clean the camera. Be sure to clean your camera every night as it is usually very dusty while on safari.
Q. Will I be able to charge rechargeable batteries while in the bush?
A. Most lodges have outlets so you will be able to recharge batteries. However, because the lodges are run on generators, the electrical current is not as strong as traditional electrical currents. Some lodges turn off their generators at midnight. Keep in mind Kenya uses 240v electricity and you will need to bring necessary converters and plug adapters. Try to take as few electrical powered tools as possible.
Q. I’m planning to use a film camera. How much film should I bring?
A. It really depends on the passion you have for photography. As a general guideline, plan on shooting three to four rolls with 24 exposures per day; this is adequate for most people. Remember also that animals often move just when you want to shoot and don’t pose for you so you may waste some pictures.
Q. What sort of film should I use?
A. Much of the time you will be in bright sunlight so ISO100 speed will give you the best quality. However, some of the best times to see animals is in the late afternoon or early morning and the light may be low. In this case, ISO 200 or ISO 400 would be better.
Q. What lenses should I bring?
A. This will depend on the type of photography you do. If you are interested in vegetation, you may want a macro lens. For animals, because you will be photographing from a distance, you will definitely want a long lens, at minimum 300 mm and up to 500 mm if possible. A zoom lens will provide you with the best flexibility.
Q. What about purchasing souvenirs?
A. You can your souvenirs from galleries that enroute to safari . we have popular places and the tour leader or guide can advise on the qulity, place
Wildlife and Other Information
Q. Who travels with us during safari?
A. During your safari, you’ll be accompanied by a trained nature and wildlife guide. All of our guides have at least five years of experience on safari and have taken several language and wildlife courses. If you choose an adventure camping safari, yo’ull also travel with a NICE chef, who will prepare all of your delicious meals while in the bush. As with any NICE-arranged trip, we will only combine tourist groups at the clients’ request. You can expect a private vehicle with your very own NICE wildlife guide.
Q. What are the Big Five?
A. The Big Five were originally the animals most sought after by hunters. They were the fiercest animals, the animals that hunted the hunters. They include rhino, elephant, lion, leopard and cape buffalo and today are the animals that tourists most want to see when visiting Kenyas national parks. You can see all five of these animals during a safari to Samburu, Maasai mara, Lake Nakuru, Tsavo etc
Q. What is the wildebeest migration?
A. The wildebeest migration is the annual movement of 1.2 million wildebeest and zebra from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Park. The migration offers excellent opportunities to view animal behaviour and lucky Although the migration is usually in the Serengeti from December through September, the rains in recent years have kept the wildebeest in the Serengeti longer than normal.
Q. When is the famous wildebeest migration?
A. The wildebeest migration is usually in the Serengeti from December through September. During the dry months of December, January and February, it is common to see the migration as a mass of several hundred thousand animals. During the long rains in March, April and May, the migration often splits up into several sub-groups and roams in different areas of the Serengeti following the fresh grasses. The migration remains in these smaller groups throughout much of the remaining season until it returns to the Kenya in October. Having said that – the global seasons are consistently changing, so contact us in advance to find out the latest updates.
Q. What is a walking safari or bush walk?
A. A bush walk is a nature walk or walking safari inside or near a national park. We can tailor a bush walk to your interests. If you are a bird lover, we’ll take you on a bird walk. If you want to be near big game on foot, we’ll arrange a bush walk outside a national park or it is not allowed inside(but we have more wildlife in community land, anyway). (These walks require an armed guard.) If you’re interested in Kenyan culture, we’ll arrange a cultural tour. A bush walk can be a leisurely stroll or strenuous hike and ranges in length from thirty minutes to six hours.