Below are the frequently asked questions by most of our clients:
1. What to bring on safari?
It really depends on what type of safari you have chosen. In any case, the following is recommended: Flashlight; Lip salve; Sunglasses, Sun hat; Insect repellent; Binoculars; Camera with zoom lenses; Spare film and batteries; Towel, Toiletries; Long sleeved shirt; Long trousers; Warm sweater; Sleeping bag for campers; Small daypack.
2. What if it rains?
In the Northern Circuit, the longer rain season starts in April and ends in May. There is also a short rain season for approximately two weeks in November. Contrary to beliefs, it does not rain all day long; rain showers are usually in the evenings, during the night and in the early mornings. Normally, it does not influence the game viewing. If you are planning to go on a basic camping safari, be prepared for the rains, and bring water-proof gear. Tents are waterproof and can stand heavy showers.
3. When is the best time to visit the parks?
Serengeti National Park: all year round (the biggest animal migrations occur from mid June in Serengeti plains to early September when they cross Mara River to Maasai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya, where the stay until early November when triggered by the short rains, thus re-crossing back to Serengeti onwards to Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Lake Manyara National Park: all year round; Tarangire National Park: dry season; Arusha National Park: all year round.
4. How close do I get to the animals?
It is important to follow the park regulations. The guide is not allowed to drive off the tracks to approach animals. Normally, the guide should keep a distance of at least 25 meters from the animals; however, some animals actually come near vehicles or stay close to the tracks. So, you will most likely get up close with the wildlife, sometimes close enough to reach out the animals. Remember that the parks are not Zoos, animals are not tamed and close encounters can be dangerous! It is much better to stick to your camera’s!
5. Do your vehicles have open roofs?
All vehicles are custom made for safaris with pop-up, flip roofs for outstanding viewing. But be careful, sun can get very hot during the day and to avoid sunburn do not forget to use sunscreen and wear sunglasses or maybe long sleeves!
6. Is there a lot of driving between the parks?
This is in fact dependant on your itinerary! If you would like to see as many parks as possible and are limited in time, you will be spending more time on transfers between the parks compared to longer itineraries. Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Arusha National Parks are situated not too far from Arusha town (from 30 minutes up to two hours).
Serengeti and Ngorongoro are more distant, and to fully enjoy these parks you should consider at least a 4-5 day tour. And one more thing, the game viewing in the national parks can be done only within the park opening hours, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.!
7. What is included in your prices and what are additional costs?
All our prices are quoted in US dollars (USD) per person and in general consist of park entrance fees, rescue fees, camping/hut/lodge costs, full board/a cook, bottled water, English speaking guide, 4WD vehicle, camping equipment, unlimited game viewing within park opening hours, if not stated otherwise under a specific tour.
Items of personal nature (e.g.) toiletries, phone calls, souvenirs, beer, cigarettes etc.), medical and personal insurance, and tipping to the crew are not included in our prices.
8. Do I have to pay extra for taking pictures inside the parks?
No. You can film and photograph as much as you want, so remember to bring spare batteries and film. But note that most likely you will be asked to pay if you take pictures of the locals. However, professional TV crews need to apply for special filming permits. Contact us for additional information.
9. We are a group of 6 people. Do we get a discount?
Certainly. We have discounted special rates for larger groups. Since the discount depends on the tour you have chosen, please contact us for additional information.
10. I am alone. How can I join others for a safari?
If you are flexible about departure dates and itineraries, we could sign you up to one of our groups with other people who have already booked.
11. We are a couple. Can we go on safari by ourselves?
Certainly, you can go on your own private Loge safari. If you decide for a basic camping option you will definitely be accompanied with your driver guide and a cook. But please note that the price is dependant on the number of people on safari.
12. Suitcase or backpack for safari?
Actually it depends on the tour that you have chosen; if you have decided for a lodge safari and flying between the mainland and the coast, a suitcase would be acceptable, otherwise bring a backpack.
13. We are interested to see Haadzabe Bushmen at Lake Eyasi. How can we get there and what type of activities are offered?
Some of our pre-arranged Safari Tours already include a visit to Haadzabe; however when you book any safari with us, you can add two days to visit the Haadzabe tribe in Lake Eyasi. It can be added to your itinerary after visiting Lake Manyara or on the way from Ngorongoro and Serengeti back to Arusha. We can also arrange to see «the Bushmen» if you decide for the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands trek (more). In Lake Eyasi the most exiting activity is to go hunting with the real Bushmen and thus experience how to survive in the wilderness! You can learn something about their unique way of living and unusual customs and traditions. Sightseeing around Lake Eyasi can be arranged as well, where large flocks of flamingoes can be observed.
14. Can I leave excess luggage behind whilst on safari?
Yes, in most town Hotels you can leave behind what you don’t need on safari; but on condition, that you return to the same hotel afterwards. If you wish, you can also leave the excess luggage in our office.
15. What kind of accommodation is available on safari?
Inside or outside the parks, you can choose from different types of accommodation – from campsites and budget lodges, semi-luxury tented camps to top-end lodges and exclusive luxury tented camps. It actually depends on your budget, and the selected type of your tour.
16. Visa Fee
The cost for the Visa are per person in US dollars. Please note that Tanzania Tourist visa is US$ 50 – person and you can obtain it at all entry border posts or at the International airports in Tanzania upon arrival or from the Tanzania Embassy in your home country.
17. What does “Private & Escorted” really mean?
It means the best possible value for your tour dollar.
means that, for a minimum of (those guests in your own private party with whom you have booked), you comprise the entire tour group. Even if Biko Adventures Tours has more than one group beginning the same tour on the same day, you are not combined. Not only does this eliminate the hassles and the scheduling is geared totally to your convenience. The tour begins and ends on the days of your choice and can be modified throughout to suit your particular preferences.
means hassle-free, We’ve done the logistical planning, we get you safely, comfortably and most conveniently from one point of interest to the next, and we provide a professional guide who’s there to make sure that your experience in his/her country is the experience you’ve traveled there to enjoy. Our guides are highly trained professionals with excellent English and warm, out-going personalities? Who will delight in answering your every question.
18. What are the advantages of booking directly with Biko Adventures Tours
When you book directly, you are assured of the highest quality vacation or holiday. We take time to get to know our guests a bit so personalized service comes naturally. We work very closely with our in-country associates, hotels and camps and we stay informed of the latest changes and situations which can occur in this part of the world. Our business arrangements are impeccable so they heartily welcome our clients because they know that all financial arrangements are secure, Biko Adventures Tours guests are usually at the top of the list for upgrades and special services. Our clients are similarly secure.
19. How soon should I book my trip?
As soon as you are definite on your desire for your adventure in Africa you should make your booking. There are several reasons for doing so, the most important of which is getting the flights you want at the lowest price. Seasonality, and the resultant filling of aircraft seats, varies depending not only on when you are going but also where you are going and your routing. At the time of booking/reservations, you will need to send us a deposit 45% of total costs, to secure your bookings via a bank transfer.
20. Once booked, can we make changes to our itinerary?
Certainly, subject to cancellation and change provisions of our suppliers. We are able to make one set of changes without fees (on our part) and do our best to avoid cancellation penalties from suppliers. Small charges are sometimes imposed for additional changes depending on the complexity of the change.
21. Where can I get the latest info before I depart?
We maintain this Web site specifically for our guests with up to the minute information on all our destinations. The site has such essentials as currency, essential travel information like tipping guidelines and practicalities specific to that destination. And our Sales Counselor is always very happy to answer any questions not covered in this website.
22. Is Africa a good family destination?
We prove that it is both safe and fun to travel with children in Africa. At many of our lodges we have a host of fascinating and entertaining activities for children between the ages of three and 12 years old. Please note that travel to Tanzania is not recommended for children younger than eight years old. For safety reasons, children five years and younger are generally not allowed on game-drives.
23. Do you cater for specific diets?
Yes, all dietary requirements will be catered for in East Africa. When making your reservation, please advise us of any specific dietary requirements that you may have, and these will be communicated immediately to the Lodge. Should specific items such as kosher meals need to be flown in, there will be an additional charge, which will be quoted separately. Two weeks’ notice is required for kosher meals.
24. What should I tip?
Tips are not included in the cost of your safari. We recommend you tender small amounts to your lodge/hotel staff. Your lodge manager will provide you with guidelines for tipping if required. Where restaurant meals are involved, the tipping standard is usually 10% of the bill.
25. Where can I change currency?
As certain African currencies are difficult to change outside the country of origin it is advisable to only change money as required. Most international airports have banks where money can be changed, and facilities are usually available at hotels and lodges. Most major credit cards are accepted at lodges/hotels, shops and restaurants. As exchange rates fluctuate, please check with your local bank or business media prior to departure.
26. Will I be safe?
Client’s safety is of paramount importance and even though Tanzania is a safe destination, it is wise to take certain standard security precautions. Please carry a record of your passport number, airline tickets and travelers cheque, and ensure that these items are kept in a safe place. Make use of your hotel safety deposit box for expensive items and never leave baggage or personal items unattended, especially at airports. Fully trained uniformed security guards monitor animal activity within lodge areas and escort guests to/from their suite.