Here you’ll find everything you need for your trip!
Traveling to an unknown continent can be intimidating and you probably have many questions…we are here to help!
To give you a better idea, our experts have put together a list of the most commonly discussed topics. If you would like more detailed information please contact us directly.
Suggested precautions should be discussed prior to your trip. Some are country specific and best left to expert advice so always consult your doctor. You can also visit the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov for the most current information.
Malaria is transmitted by mosquitos and doesn’t have a vaccination. Tourists must take preventative measures such as anti-malarial medication and protecting yourself against mosquito bites. We advise to wear long sleeves and to cover your exposed skin with insect repellent, especially before dusk. Most of the lodges have mosquito nets over the beds. Anti-malarial medication is not obligatory but recommended.
Malerone is the latest anti-malaria drug. It seems to have the least side effects and you will only need to take it for the duration of your trip. Please check with your doctor for a careful assessment of your health requirements and before taking any medication.
Those who travel from Yellow Fever endemic countries need to provide proof of vaccination upon arrival in Tanzania.
Travelers need to ensure that they are in possession of a valid passport, tourist visa and that at least one blank visa page exists in their passport book for their entry stamp. Passports must also be valid for a minimum of 6 months after the issuance of their visa. Upon arrival at the airport, please have all your travel documents on hand since travelers might need to present their round trip tickets and sometimes proof of sufficient funds for their stay.
All passengers under 18 years traveling alone or with only one parent/legal guardian need to be accompanied by a notarized letter, jointly signed by parents or legal guardians approving the minor to travel, as well as a copy of their ID.
Tourist visas are required to enter Tanzania. The U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens and Europeans obtain visas before traveling Tanzania, but visas are also available at ports of entry upon arrival. Once you arrive at JRO (Kilimanjaro airport), if you already have a visa on your passport please proceed straight to Customs, situated on your left. Otherwise, you will need to fill out a form (provided either by the airline during your flight or upon arrival at the airport) and do the line for the visas. The tourist visa is for 3 months and it will cost between US$50 – 100 depending on your country of residence and can only be paid in cash.
Visas are also required for entry into Rwanda and Kenya. Visas for entry into Zimbabwe and Zambia can be obtained upon arrival. For U.S. and most countries in the EU passport holders, visas are not required for travel to South Africa, Botswana, and shorter stays in Zanzibar.
Africa’s unbelievable wildlife is the main reason most travelers are attracted to it. On safari with us one is almost certain to encounter the Big 5 (Rhino, Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo and Elephant) as well as many other species. Seeing the animals up close and roaming freely in their natural habitat is an incredible experience. To see thousands of animals is the reality on our safaris!
Most of our safaris are designed for morning and afternoon game drives in our well-provisioned safari vehicles. The animals dictate the rhythm of the safari and generally the best time for game viewing are early mornings and late afternoons when it is cooler. Flying between camps or cities or countries is also an option; this reduces driving distances and saves valuable time.
During the safaris and depending on the locations it is possible to include activities such as walking safaris, hot air balloon safaris, night game drives, spa treatments, 4×4 tours, hiking to waterfalls, tribe visits, boat trips and animal rescue operations. Don’t forget about the beaches, wine lands and Cape Town; these locations offer many things for those that wish to add a touch of modern Africa to their adventure.
Some of the roads to and in the National Parks are not paved so be prepared for bumpy and dusty roads at times. This is part of the African experience and definitely worth it!
If you wish to avoid long road transfers and comfort is a high priority we can arrange a private air plane to be at your disposal as requested.
At night, while you can enjoy a drink by the camp fire, be ready to experience the nocturnal animal sounds wandering near the camp; an exhilarating experience! The accommodation style and types vary greatly but all are approved by us and matched to our clients. From mobile tented camps to the most luxurious lodges we have you covered. At all locations expect bottled water, great food, excellent service and a private hot shower and toilet.
Safari companies may seem to offer similar things but the truth, like any other service, is that they are very different. Please do your research and take the time to talk to us as we are happy to answer any questions. We are more than a pretty picture on the web…anyone can manage that! Our goal is to manage a large investment of your time and money while producing the best experience possible.
Taking a few minutes to prepare may help to prevent problems at security or even the frustration of having some personal property confiscated by security at the airport. Most countries now limit the container size of liquids, gels, aerosols, and pastes that you can take on your carry-on luggage. Limit them to a maximum of 3.4oz or 100ml per container. Place all such items in a quart-size, clear plastic zip-top bag.
In your carry on, we suggest you to pack any medication you might need during the trip, binoculars, cameras, chargers, a folder with documents (e.g. a printed copy of your itinerary, and a copy of your passport) and any other personal items. If you have extra room it won’t hurt to bring a change of clothes in case your luggage is delayed.
As your main luggage, a soft-sided duffel bag is preferred since they are easier to accommodate in the safari cars and they are the only luggage allowed on internal flights. If you are taking any charter flights or small aircraft please remember the weight restriction of 33 pounds (15kg) and always leave some room for any souvenirs you might want to take back home.
For clothing, pretty much bring light weight, comfortable, casual and easy to wash clothing, any fine jewelry should be left at home. Plan to dress in layers so you can adjust to temperature changes.
Khaki, olive, tans, green, and browns increase your chances of good game viewing (particularly on a walking safari) and offer the added benefit of concealing a little dirt! Wearing white increases your visibility to wildlife, while bright colors, particularly red, can frighten animals.
Laundry service will be available in many of the lodges we visit, so try to pack light.
You will need:
• A sweater or fleece.
• A warm jacket for evening game drives and dinner (nighttime temperatures can be in the 50s).
• Thin long sleeve shirts to protect you from the sun as well as T-shirts (and or tank tops for the girls).
• Long pants (you won’t need shorts during the game drives).
• Bring a pair of shorts if you wish or will be there in the hottest month but generally we see our client wear long pants.
• Swim suit as needed.
• All basic toiletries.
• A good Camera is recommended. Bring spare batteries, SD and memory cards.
• Hat and sunglasses.
• Light weight rain gear if you come during the rainy season.
• A pair of long socks for walking safaris.
• Comfortable walking shoes or light hiking boots.
• Binoculars (at least 1 per 2 people).
• Sunscreen and swimming gear.
• Insect repellent (Avon skin so soft, green bottle with sunscreen is our favorite).
• Medication including anti-malaria.
Evenings are not formal, unless you wish them to be. Casual, comfortable clothing is encouraged.
If you are planning on visiting Zanzibar’s Stone Town it is advised for women to dress modestly out of respect for the prevalent Muslim culture. Your best options are t-shirts that cover the shoulders, long skirts and capri pants. The beach resorts are just like any other beach resort and it’s up to you – a full on scuba suit or a bikini are equally welcome!
Kilimanjaro climbs or other specialized activities require some additional items we will advise on as needed.
Plastic bags are banned in some African countries so please avoid bringing them (ziploc bags are ok).
For your personal expenses you will be able to change USD (or other major foreign currencies such as the Euro and GB Sterling pounds) at banks and ‘bureau de changes’ in airports, major towns and hotels to local currencies but please be advised that here they only accept the new USD bills. So please make sure you check the dates on them, any bill issued before 2006 won’t be received.
Cash is recommended in lieu of credit cards when possible. Credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted but incur transaction fees. Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted credit cards. Be aware that when you draw money with your credit card or ATM you’ll get only local currency. US dollars are accepted almost everywhere and are the preferred currency for anything that costs over $100 or for tips.
Depending on your safari we will advise on amount of cash to bring as well as on how and when to tip if desired.
We highly recommend you to purchase travel insurance for your trip. This will give you and your personal belongings coverage in case of accidents, illness while traveling, theft, luggage damage, etc during your trip.
Depending on you preferences you can buy coverage that will cover your entire safari and travel cost as paid to us and the airlines should a trip be canceled.
You also have the option of purchasing emergency evacuation insurance. We recommend Ripcord and you can see the details here: https://www.ripcordrescuetravelinsurance.com/ or send an email to email@example.com so that a representative can assist you.
Trailblazer Safaris’ packages include Flying Doctors where available, the largest and best-known 24-hour Air Ambulance Service in the East African region. The aircrafts are fully equipped with certified stretcher systems and carry modern medical equipment including transport ventilators, electronic monitoring equipment, trauma equipment, medical supplies and drugs, for professional ICU patient transport.
In the unlikely event that an emergency in East Africa should arise and you require an evacuation from a remote area, the Flying Doctor Service will send a medical team and evacuate you to a hospital (Please note that the Flying Doctors do not cover any cost once you arrive at the hospital). Ripcord will cover any and all additional costs if you enroll in their additional coverage.
Contact us by phone and let’s talk. We are available on our USA office line anytime. Contact us by email via our Contact Page or directly via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Describe your safari goals and dream vacation to us and we will work with you to create your unique safari. We will personally help you transform your safari ideas into a wonderful and very feasible reality!
It is helpful to have a budget and potential calendar dates in mind when you contact us.
We typically see our clients start planning 10 to 16 months in advance. We are capable to mobilize in a much shorter time frame but there is limited capacity in many of our best and preferred locations. Proper planning ensures the best results and secures our confidence that you will get the most out of this trip.
There is more to do and see than you can imagine, let’s get started!
Once the final itinerary and quote has been set please send us a 25% deposit along with a completed client information form to confirm your safari.
Safari costs are confirmed by the latest quote presented via email. All payments go to our office and business bank account in the USA. Funds are exclusively reserved for the operation of your safari.
All prices quoted are subject to availability and booking conditions. Safari costs are confirmed by the latest quote presented via email. The following is our Schedule of Payment (unless otherwise agreed upon in writing):
- 25% of the Safari Cost is due at time of booking.
- Additional 50% of the Safari Cost is due 120 days before safari commences.
- The remaining 25% balance is due 60 days before safari commences.
Please make all payments on time. Payment dates will be on your invoice. Late payments may incur a 5% additional charge on the amount due. Failure to make full payment will result in the cancellation or delay of your safari and forfeiture of all payments. Payments can be made by check or wire transfer to our USA bank account.
We are flexible and happy to work with you in the best way we can, just ask! We can do one time payments or even monthly payments if needed.
A cancellation due to any reason (unless specified before in writing on a case by case basis) is a forfeiture of your deposit made to Trailblazer Safaris on the safari cost as quoted and described on the itinerary. Trailblazer Safaris will not be held responsible for any loss or cancellation. Following is the breakdown of our cancellation policy:
- 25% deposit to confirm your spot is non-refundable.
- 60–90 days before the trip start date – 50% of the tour cost will be forfeited
- 15–59 days before the trip start date – 75% of the tour cost will be forfeited
- 14 days or less before the trip start date – 100% of the tour cost will be forfeited
Verbal cancellations are not acceptable. All cancellations must be received by letter or email and acknowledged by Trailblazer Safaris.
We do not mix groups, but if you choose a substitute traveler your guest may be inserted to fill a canceled spot in your safari group.
If possible we always try to postpone, move or rearrange dates and travel as needed to help you with any emergency.
We work with our customers in every way possible; please check our references for more details on how we conduct our business. We are fair, upfront and realistic, while keeping our clients’ interests and safety above all else.
Since our safaris are tailored made this list may change, but in general, our safaris details are as below.
- All accommodation
- 3 meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner).
- All game drives in a private 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser.
- An experienced English speaking guide and driver.
- Airport personal meet and greet and transfers as per the itinerary.
- Complimentary bottled water during game drives and meals.
- All National Park entry fees.
- All Village Cultural visits.
- Support from our staff in our multiple worldwide and connected offices.
- Flying Doctors evacuation fee.
- Internal bush flights or transfers as needed.
- Entry VISA
- Personal and trip insurance
- International flights
- Meals other than specified
- Alcohol and soft drinks
- Laundry services
- Side excursions not listed on the itinerary
This can be discussed and rearranged based on your preferences. We want you to have a comfortable and effortless trip so just about anything can be included if desired. All the information will be provided on your itinerary.
As a valued guest, one of our staff members will always be waiting for you at the airport to welcome you and take you to the comfort of your hotel.
On our luxury safaris there is very little need for you to even carry a wallet! In general we have it covered and you will be expertly and safely escorted by our team through Africa.
Perhaps the best of what is included doesn’t have a direct monetary value. Such as the knowledge and experience of our professional guides, seeing true African culture, the welcoming smiles of the local people, and the share laughter around the campfire at night. Africa has its own rhythm, charm and beauty like no other place on earth. You will literally dream of your return to this magical land.
The quote by Richard Mullin sums it up quite well…
“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.”
Our safaris can be tailored to accommodate any age. If you have a family with young kids we might suggest malaria-free areas, shorter driving distances and/or activities to keep the kids involved. For example, the Eastern Cape in South Africa is a malaria-free zone with numerous spectacular wildlife destinations. Madikwe Game Reserve is another malaria-free area. It is a short distance flight from Johannesburg, and offers Big Five and African Wild Dog sightings. There are multiple lodges on the reserve to suit everyone in terms of budget.
Give us a call to discuss the perfect safari for you and your family. We are happy to accommodate your interests and needs.
As of June 1st, 2019 the Tanzanian government has banned the use, manufacture or importation of plastic bags, including garbage bags and shopping bags.
Visitors are advised to avoid packing any plastic bag (ziploc bags are ok) in their suitcases or carry-ons before flying to Tanzania. The initiative is geared towards the protection of the environment since plastic is the number one pollutant on earth. We appreciate your understanding.
This will be determined by your interests, budget and the time of the year you arrive in Africa. There is a wide range, from mobile camps to tented lodges, permanent cottages and luxury hotels; each with a distinct personality and unique location. All of them offer a dining area, a common relaxing area, spacious cozy rooms with amenities, and a lush landscape view. Some provide swimming pools and spa treatment.
All the lodges will have running water, fully operating hot showers and modern toilets. Some lodges and camps in the national parks use generators and solar power so electricity may be limited.
The food is abundant and exquisite. From the moment you arrive all your main meals are included and you will find them mouth-watering. Soup, main course and dessert are the general rule. Local specialties and continental cuisine join in to give you a variety of options to choose from. Vegetarian options or any dietary requirements are always available upon request.
We do not recommend drinking the local water. Bottled water is always readily available.
The best option is to buy a Universal AC Travel Adapter to cover most of the plug options you will need. It will also be useful at the airports whenever you have long layovers in other countries and need to charge something.
We also have charging capacity in our safari vehicles for daily use for your phones and cameras.
In most of Africa the standard voltage is 220 – 240 V, 50/60 Hz. So if the voltage in your country is in the range of 100V-127V (like in the US, Canada and some countries in South America) you might need a voltage converter for many items. Please check each appliance’s rating plate before plugging it in.
Millions of wildebeest, zebras and in smaller amounts gazelles travel through the Serengeti in search of water and new grasses to graze. This makes the weather and rain patters the driving force of The Great Migration. The variation in the seasonal weather pattern effects not only the location of the migration, but also the size of the migrating herds.
Generally speaking, the herds travel in a clockwise direction and you will have a chance of seeing migration in the Serengeti between mid-November to end of July (the location will vary depending on what month of the year you are visiting this National Park). From January onwards, they alternate between the woodlands and plains subject to the weather. If you would like to experience the calving season of the wildebeest then you should plan to be in the southern Serengeti corridor towards the end of February or beginning of March.
In May the grasses start to become dry so the herd begins the migration towards the north and by mid-July they reach Kenya’s Maasai Mara lush plains where they stay until the end of October. Aware of the short rainy season, the herd begins to journey down to the Serengeti along the eastern corridor in November and December. They arrive to intensely green savannahs and woodlands where they stay until the cycle begins again. Besides the migrating herds, you will have a chance to see their major predators like lions, hyenas, crocodiles, leopards, vultures and cheetahs.
The Great Migration is a unique phenomenon to see and our specialists will make sure to do everything in their power to maximize your opportunity to experience it. However, since we are dealing with Mother Nature, there are no guarantees that you will witness this natural spectacle. Our team monitors the herd movements to get you into the best position possible. Please talk to our specialist regarding the best time to plan your trip.
Wifi will not be available in all of the lodges so please let your family know that sometimes you might be out of reach. If there is an emergency back home they can always contact our offices and our guides have a local phone or even a Satelite Phone if required that can get service almost anywhere. We will make sure that any urgent message reaches you as fast as possible.
Our guides will provide you with complementary wifi in case of emergencies or as needed. In many places wifi is available through our lodges, hotels and restaurants.
You can also get reliable international service plans from your cell provider that will work well in Africa.
This is a very common question, but not an easy one to answer. Our company operates throughout the year since each month is unique and provides its own style of adventure. Seasonality will influence the type of experience and cost of your safari. The best way to answer this is by knowing your schedule’s availability and activity preferences. We can then discuss the ideas, weather and options for those dates in the different African countries we offer.
We recommend a minimum of 7 days on safari but of course the more time you can spend the better. Our safaris average 13 days but your schedule will dictate our planning. In summary, ANYTIME is an awesome time to be on a safari, it is a matter of being at the right place at the right time with the right company! Africa is truly a year-round destination.
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