We cannot guarantee that safari accommodation and other facilities will be available for such as wheelchair passengers, however, we shall do our best to reserve equal value/standard properties and facilities that conform to the special needs.
We request that you specify your special needs and requirements including diet preference in this case.
Our safari tour driver / guides have sufficient experience and will to attend to special needs persons during safari tour.
Almost all safari tours operated by Sowbictoursandsafaris are private per booking and in own safari vehicle and dedicated tour driver / guide.
We do not make tour groups from individual bookings.
This is to allow for your flexibility ,customization and freedom in selection of accommodation.
The only exception is the Masai Mara group tour which we operate on Tuesday & Friday of every week.
Kenya is world famous for its friendly and hospitable people.
We extend this hospitality to our safari participants by providing complimentary meet and greet services including Nairobi airport to hotel shuttle transfers during your arrival and departure.
Other services include general Kenya destination assistance services as may be requested
Almost all accommodations during your safari in economy , comfort & Luxury categories provide Wifi
This is in the public areas of the facilities including the reception , dining areas and lounge
Wifi is not provided in the individual rooms or tents
At Sowbictoursandsafaris , we believe that your primary reason for safari is to view wildlife and encounter nature to the maximum
This means that prime game viewing times shall be utilized for the purpose to the maximum
Your safari tour driver / guide is at your disposal for maximum and most rewarding possible game viewing activities
We however respect the park authorities opening and closing hours which range from 6.30AM to 6PM
Game viewing time and pace are also flexible and you may decide to skip some , shorten others and maybe relax to enjoy your accommodation facilities
Kenya is within the tropics and the Equator divides the country into two
Temperatures are relatively high on the safari circuit .Safari is in its nature dusty
We realize the need for frequent hydration during safari and thus provide an unlimited supply of bottled drinking water
All SowbictoursandSafaris vehicles are fitted with a cooler box and a constant unlimited supply of bottled drinking water in your safari vehicle
Bottled water is replenished at stops along the safari route
On our only Masai Mara group sharing safari ,it is not possible for an extra night extension
This is because you co share tour vehicle transport with the other travelers
It would require a unanimous extension interest from all tour participants for this to happen
It would also depend on the accommodation availability and of course at an extra cost
Sowbictoursandsafaris invests in the selection of among the best driver / guides in the tourism industry
This does not mean that you cannot have that special preference of an individual driver / guide
If you do decide to choose your driver / guide at safari booking , we shall allocate him to your safari if available for the dates
If not ,you can always make another choice or simply let us do it for you
Our portfolio of safari lodges and tented camps is well selected to give the best in terms of comfort , rest and atmosphere during safari.
We understand the need for your protection against Malaria and insect bites.
In this regard , all rooms / tents are fitted with mosquito nets to protect you against bites
The maximum number of persons allowed in one room / tent are 3 , these can be accommodated in a double bed and a single bed.
Alternatively , they can be accommodated in 3 single beds.
Where 4 persons or more are travelling together with a one room / tent preference , we may book them in 2 rooms with interconnecting doors
For those that want to stay close , as a family or friends maybe ,we may book them in adjacent tents / rooms
Some safari lodges / camps have family units for maximum of 4 persons , not more
Your safari tour vehicle has sufficient luggage space in its rear luggage compartment ,however you may be carrying extra luggage due to the length and activities involved on your overall holiday.
You can safely store your extra luggage at our Nairobi office for safe keeping until when you may pick it up next for your onward travel
Your safari tour vehicle has sufficient luggage compartment at the rear and can comfortably carry 6 suitcases with an average 25 -30kgs each
We suggest that you pack / carry your luggage in soft sided suitcases for ease of storage in safari vehicle and also to minimize on friction and damage during the sometimes bumpy road safari trips
Sowbictoursandsafaris is sensitive and appreciates moments , events and circumstances
As honeymooners or a family travelling with kids ,we shall be happy to extend a discount or offer some top up extras to spruce your holiday safari experience
The baggage allowance for local domestic flights commuting between national parks is 15kgs excluding hand luggage
You may store extra luggage not required on safari at our Nairobi office.
You may also choose to pay an extra $ 5 per kilogram for any extra baggage if you decide carry all around (this is subject to flight / carrier capacity)
Kenya welcomes visitors from all over the World with diverse diet preferences .Some preferences may be due to religious or health reasons.
The menu in all safari lodges & tented camps is continental , however vegetarian , Halal , gluten free etc.. meals are also catered for
As part of our safari tour services , we provide free of charge return airport transfers for visitors booking a 3 days plus safari tour with Sowbictoursandsafaris.
The transfers are provided even when you arrive or depart 4 days before or after your safari start / end
In all cases , you shall share with us your arrival & departure flight details including airline and timings ,we shall in return provide transfer driver name and telephone contact in advance
Nairobi has a wide range of hotels in budget , economy ,comfort and luxury categories
We pick up and drop off for safari tours from all Nairobi hotels and its environs
If you do require advise ,suggestions or a booking for your Nairobi hotel ,we shall be happy to assist you
While a normal hotel may consist of a large building with rooms , a safari lodge in Africa is located in a remote Wildlife area and is made up of a number of cottages / chalets spread over a landscaped land .Here shall be a main building which houses a restaurant ,bar ,gift shop together with the reception and also administration facilities .There may also be a swimming room
The lodge’s guestrooms which are en-suite are spread in smaller separate scattered cottages around the main building
The atmosphere is rustic , natural and the buildings merge with nature
Safari lodges vary in size , design , location and standards with a nice range in comfort and luxury category
The safari tented camps share some similarities with safari lodges in layout , purpose and location
A tented camp is composed of the Main building (housing the public areas) usually thatched African style for effect .It may be also made of a large tent .The en-suite guest tents are spread around the main building .
The tented camp is a composition of large en-suite walk in tents which are built on a solid floor base and are complete with private bathrooms and a small terrace or veranda
Essentially they are rooms with the exterior being canvas rather than wood or brick
The tented camp complex may also have a swimming pool
Tented camps range from the comfort , superior comfort , luxury to the super luxury
-Fewer visitors visit the conservancies adjacent to the Masai Mara year round as only people staying in a particular conservancy’s camps/lodges can participate in game viewing drives here. In some conservancies there is a limit in the capacity of people to an average of 30 within an acreage of approximately 700 acres and one camp or lodge
-Visitors staying in conservancies may still make game viewing drives into the Mara Game reserve on payment of an extra $ 80 park fee per day. Some tented camps may offer a 1 day paid for Masai Mara game reserve visit.
-Off road driving is allowed during game viewing drives at the conservancies . This allows visitors to get close to the game in cases where they may be far from the game viewing tracks .
-The 5 vehicles per wildlife sighting rule is more effective at the conservancies . This is unfortunately the abused rule in most parts of the Masai Mara game reserve , except at the Mara Triangle where Driver / Guides are fined for disobeying the rule. It is usual to find more than the allowed vehicles congregating at a sighting in the national reserve.
-It can be argued that Lion lovers may have better lion spotting possibilities at some conservancies. It should be however noted that the Masai Mara ecosystem has in general a very high level of lion concentration and thus sightings. The Masai Mara in general is definitely lion and big Cat country
-Night game viewing drives are allowed up to 10pm within the conservancies . Night game viewing drives are not allowed in the National Reserve, as the reserve opening and closing times are 6.30am to 6.30pm respectively
-Longer Guided Walking safaris can be experienced in the conservancies but not in the Masai Mara National Reserve. These are a relatively different style than the vehicle game viewing drives
Masai Mara National Game Reserve
-The Great Wildebeest migration & Mara river crossings only happen at the Masai Mara game reserve . From July to September ,these are the best months to view the river crossings, though in some years and depending on the varying climatic conditions, this can start from late-June and last to mid-October.
-Visitors staying at the conservancies require to make day trips into the Masai Mara reserve in during the great migration months so that they can witness the Wildebeest crossings.
-The Masai Mara reserve is busy with visitors year round .This is because it has visitors staying in its many safari lodges and tented camps and also accommodates day visitors from the conservancies .The Masai Mara game reserve is roughly five times bigger than even the largest conservancy of the Mara North. It’s sheer size diminishes the fact that it hosts many visitors at any given times and the number of vehicles may seem less so .
-Masai Mara is still the best place to spot the big cats and the reserve remains a lion, leopard and cheetah hot spot.
-The great and lifeline rivers through the Mara reserve are the Mara, the Talek and Sand rivers and they are the main features of this incredible ecosystem. They are a distinctive essence of the Masai Mara national reserve. They are beautiful to the eyes and are also home to hippos and crocodiles .
-The endangered Rhino can only be spotted within the Mara reserve, and specifically at the Mara Triangle . For those keen on the ‘Big 5’ in this Kenya, it is important to consider a visit to the reserve.
-The Mara Triangle is the epitome of good wildlife park managements . They enforce the no off road rules, and the road infrastructure here is well maitained
A Kenyan Sim card shall greatly reduce your telephone roaming bills during your visit and on safari in Kenya
1 GB of data costs an average of $ 5
Safaricom , a telco provider in Kenya is the market leader and with the best national coverage and better offers
Sim cards can be purchased from official stores or approved resellers .You can make a purchase at the Nairobi airport outlets on arrival
Cost is approximately $ 1 or Ksh.100
To purchase local sim cards , you are required to have a Sim -unlocked ,GSM -compatible phone
If your Kenya safari starts from Nairobi and terminates at Mombasa beach ,you shall catch the Nairobi to Mombasa SGR train at either Emali ,Mtito Andei or Voi train stations this depending on your last national park visit.
Your first class train tickets shall have been booked and paid for in advance and you shall only need to print your travel ticket once at the respective train station
This takes only a few moments and your safari driver / guide shall be at hand to assist
The SGR train travel between Mombasa and Nairobi and now being extended to Near Lake Naivasha is the most recent and safest way to travel in Kenya.
It is also the most exotic means of travel between the interior and Kenya coast
The train coaches are air conditioned and with wide windows for best scenic views
From Nairobi to Mombasa and vice versa , the train meanders through the Tsavo West & Tsavo East
It is absolutely safe for both passengers and luggage..
Best landscape views can be experienced from the restaurant car of the train
All hotel, lodges and porterage gratuities are included on your safari price – these are referred to as service charge. Individual waiters ,porters and other service providers may provide exemplary service and it is your discretion to decide to tip .Usually $ 1 -$ 5 per move or sitting is appropriate
It is however customary to tip the driver / guide at the end of the safari tour. The amount is dependent on your evaluation of the quality of the service rendered. An average of $ 10 per guest per day or 5-10% of your (safari only cost ) is suggested . The amount is however at your discretion, you are welcome to provide additional compensation to any staff who have provided special services. A bar gratuity of $1 is acceptable.
You may tip in Kenya shillings,USD or in Euro
Tourists must have a valid visa to visit Kenya. Your passport must also be valid for at least six months after the date of your arrival in the country. In 2017 Kenya introduced ‘eVisa’, the electronic tourist visa , although you can still apply for a visa manually on arrival at the Nairobi or Mombasa airport in Kenya. The transition to the new scheme has taken longer than expected. This means that you can still apply for a visa on arrival at the Nairobi or Mombasa airport, or online before flying into Kenya.
Manual application for a visa on arrival in Kenya: On arrival at the Nairobi or Mombasa airport in Kenya, you will need to complete an application form and pay a fee of USD 50. The process is relatively smooth and fast-(takes only some few moments). It’s handy to carry your own pen!
In the field where you are requested to state your Kenyan address, please enter the name of the hotel/lodge where you are proceeding to spend your first night. (we shall provide the safari lodge / camp name if starting safari from the airport on arrival)
Electronic visa application for Kenya: Please use the website www.evisa.go.ke to apply for an electronic eVisa. You may pay by credit card. The visa processing fee is USD 50, and there is a service charge of USD 1. The minimum period you can apply for a Kenyan visa is three months before your travel date.
The visa application process involves uploading your passport picture along with your passport photograph. Your visa shall be issued approximately five days after you register. You shall be required to print a copy of your electronic visa, bring it with you for presentation along with your passport on arrival in Kenya. If you have any problems or enquiries related to applying for an electronic visa, please contact the Kenyan Embassy in your country / region. Other things you need to bear in mind with regard to your visa:
- You shall be required to complete a landing card that will be issued to you on the plane, or at the visa desk when you enter Kenya.
- You shall be required to complete an exit card, which will be provided to you in the departure terminal when leaving Kenya.
Please note that your Kenya Tourist Visa is valid for 3 months with an allowance for multiple entries . You shall use the same Visa permit if combining a Kenya / Tanzania Safari ,Gorilla trekking in Rwanda or Uganda or for a beach holiday in Zanzibar
Kenya’s currency is the Kenyan shilling (KSH). Check online for the current rate. You can exchange your convertible foreign currency in to shillings in a forex bureau (at the Main Airports when you arrive or in main towns ) you shall find the best rates at the airport. Small cash denominations are handy for tipping and minor expenses. You can also withdraw Kenya shillings at the ATM (VISA & MasterCard). Cash USD, Euro, British pounds are readily accepted in many outlets. We recommend that you exchange money only as needed. You will find it easiest to make small purchases in local currencies, and will usually receive a better price and also change when required You may conveniently exchange money at all lodges and hotels at close to the bank rate, but the best exchange rates you get from the Forex Bureaus at the airport or Nairobi city.
Specific animal species’ spotting cannot be guaranteed on safari, as animals are in their natural habitat. Our safari itineraries are however designed and operated to bring out the best opportunities for game viewing.
There are some national parks / game locations with almost guarantees for specific animal sightings.
In national parks and game reserves , game viewing drives become exciting because of the “search” and “find” aspect.
Distances and driving times in Africa vary from the European and American concepts. In Kenya, roads are narrow and may not be well maintained. The roads immediately leading to the National Parks and Game Reserves are rough.
Please note that advertised driving time on safari itineraries/programs on website are estimate and may vary depending on road conditions and road traffic
Our selection of Economy, comfort and luxury accommodation options for lodges and tented camps are sufficiently comfortable and adequate for rest , sleep and meals. However standard of facilities ,style and location of properties do vary.
Luxury Lodges and Tented Camps
In almost all instances, luxury lodges & Tented camps are located at vantage locations within the national parks and game reserves. They are unique in architecture and design. They also provide easy access to the game viewing areas. The facilities and comfort levels are of higher standard. Rooms, tents are private and en suite. There shall most likely be a swimming pool in most of the luxury facilities
Comfort category Lodges and Tented Camps
Comfort lodges and camps may be located inside or just at the boundaries of the national parks and game reserves. Others may be slightly further .In all instances ,they are less than 30 minutes from the park entry gate . The facilities’ comfort levels are sufficiently adequate although slightly lower than for luxury accommodation level. The rooms and tents in this comfort level category are also private and en suite. Most comfort lodges / tented camps shall have a swimming.
Economy category Lodges and Tented Camps
Almost all economy lodges and tented camps (except a few) are located outside the park or on the boundaries. They are comfortable and sufficiently adequate for rest , sleep and dining although relatively basic compared to the luxury and comfort options. Rooms and tents are private and have en suite bathroom facilities. Most of the economy options may also have a swimming pool.
A single room supplement is an extra fee imposed on single occupancy of a double room by hotels, safari lodges and camps. Our safari tour prices are based on two persons sharing in a double room /tent.
If someone chooses to take single occupancy of room, the single room supplement applies.
Our standard safari travel & game viewing drive vehicle is a custom designed 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep with pop up top for ease of photography during game viewing drives and sightseeing. The vehicle sits a maximum of 6 persons for guarantee window seats and access to the pop up top.
We also use the pop up top Safari Minivan for both travel and game viewing drives on tour. This is a standard safari vehicle on request and comes at lesser cost.
Both safari vehicle types are fitted with long range radios for easy communication, cooler boxes, and first aid kits.
Both Minivan and 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep are sufficiently adequate for safari tour.
The 4 x 4 Land Cruiser Jeep has several advantages over the Safari Minivan ; this includes a higher elevation, better navigation on rough terrain, deeper reach, more comfort and brings out better the adventure essence.
No ,International flight costs are not included in safari tour price.
This is due to the fact that the safari tour starts from and return to your Nairobi and Mombasa Hotels or airports.