You’ll find some common questions listed below, but please call us on +255 753 174949 should you have any further queries.
WHAT IS THE AFRICA EXPERIENCE?
“Lifetime dream trip.” “Exceeded my expectations.” “Loved the people.” “Always felt safe.” “Surprised at the great food and fabulous accommodations.” – These are some of the comments that Sungura Safaris’ travelers express upon their return home. A trip to Africa can be a combination of culture, scenery, history and of course, wildlife viewing.
In general, the food and accommodations will surpass your expectations. Guides are top notch. No matter where you go, we’ll endeavor to take you to the ‘real Africa’, show you the less travelled/more rewarding path, and make sure you are more than ‘just comfortable’.
There are destinations and trips where the infrastructure is not refined. We will always be honest with you and let you know about this before you plan to undertake one of these areas. We want to be sure that the only surprises are good ones.
WHAT IS A DAY ON SAFARI LIKE?
No two days will ever be alike. Game viewing is the priority when on safari, but each destination and camp may offer different activities. You may even do a combination of various ways to explore the bush in search for animals.
Most game drives are done in the early morning and afternoon when the wildlife is most active. There are certain areas where you may go out for a full day with a picnic lunch.
An average day in the bush begins just a bit before dawn with tea or coffee and a sunrise game drive, staying out anywhere from 2-3 hours depending on sightings. You’ll be back to the lodge in time for hot breakfast with fresh baked breads, eggs, pancakes and fresh fruit.
During the heat of the day when the wildlife is at rest, sit back on the lodge veranda and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of Africa. Or, if you are more active, partake in one of the activities offered by the lodge. This can include observing wildlife from a hide, a village visit, guided nature walks or boat excursion.
In the afternoon there is another game drive that will go until sunset. Stop for “sundowner” cocktails at a hippo pool. In the evening, many properties have campfires where guests and guides tell stories of the day’s sightings and experiences in the bush. Everyone usually heads off to bed early. We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but we can assure you it will be another exciting day!
HOW DO I DECIDE WHERE TO GO?
When you call us, your personal Safari Specialist will go over your requests, guide you through the many options and help to determine what trip will be closest to the one that you envision.
WHAT IS THE TRAVEL COMFORT LEVEL IN AFRICA?
Conveniences and inconveniences will depend on which accommodations and destination you select. Comforts are high in almost all destinations. There are not many inconveniences in the more modern tourism countries in East Africa. Discuss your comfort level and needs with your Sungura Safaris Specialist, who will work with you in creating a journey that meets those needs.
In most countries, accommodations range from world class, premium properties to basic inns and hotels. All the accommodations that Sungura Safaris recommends will have private, en suite toilets and showers, even at the value level. Be aware that certain camps and lodges, no matter how deluxe, may have private outdoor showers. This is regarded as something very special and unique.
Food is good, with a wide variety available. Most dietary needs can be met. We have been able to arrange for Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegetarian, Diabetic and other diets. Just let us know your needs, and we will recommend the properties that are most accommodating.
Touring & On Safari:
Vehicles are comfortable and will vary in locations. In the bush, coolers are carried with refreshments. Sungura Safaris’ vehicles will never be over-crowded. On Safari or during general touring, pacing of your trip will be discussed to understand how you like to travel regarding driving versus flying between locations (if available).
No matter how deluxe a safari you’re on, there are still going to be bumpy, dusty roads, and in some cases, you may be out in the bush for many hours. When you fly between locations, the flights will save transit times and will eliminate some long drives, but once you get to camp you will still go out on bumpy game drives. We avoid drive times over 2 hours between safari locations, but in the Serengeti, it can be a full day’s drive to your next camp. On these longer days, game drives will be done en route.
WHAT'S IMPORTANT WHEN CHOOSING SUNGURA SAFARIS?
Longevity specializing in Africa as its prime destination.
Sungura Safaris is a family-owned Tanzania corporation that has been creating trips to All of East Africa for more than 10 years! Eliud Mang’ana, Sungura Safaris’ owner is considered an expert in understanding the Africa continent and its nuances in planning trips. He is backed-up by local staff with exciting ideas who also bring their own personal vision to planning travel to Africa.
ARE SITE INSPECTIONS OF PROPERTIES DONE ON A REGULAR BASIS?
Yes. Sungura Safaris staff have visited over one hundred properties in the last year.
DOES THE COMPANY HAVE A FINANCIAL INTREST IN ANY AREA IN AFRICA?
Sungura Safaris is an independent corporation with no parent company to govern what we recommend or not recommend. We are not ‘invested’ in lodges or any service that would sway our recommendations. As a Tanzania owned and operated travel company, we can give you an honest opinion on where to travel throughout Africa. Our prices for equivalent services are the same or better than a standard direct booking with properties
HOW WILLING IS THE COMPANY TO WORK WITH YOU AND MEET YOUR NEEDS AND NOT JUST SELL A SET SAFARI?
Make one call to our experienced staff and hear how responsive they are to you and your needs. We hope that this will impart that we are here to give you honest opinions and make appropriate recommendations.
WHAT ABOUT SAFETY & SECURITY?
Africa has become a top travel destination. The word has spread around the world that the local people are friendly and welcome travelers with open arms. But we must also be realistic. Your safety and security are top priorities. We will anticipate your safety needs as much as possible. We prepare for contingencies. No matter where you travel, the reality is that there are good and bad people all over the world, including our own home cities. We do suggest you leave all jewelry home and always keep your valuables in a safe or with you. It is always important to use ‘travelers smarts’ no matter where you are. In truth, being in the bush in Africa is most likely one of the safest places in the world.
Safaris take place in virtually unpopulated areas, not high profile on the world’s political map. But this can be a concern for others having a fear of being in such remote locations. You will be in the hands of our local staff who are in constant contact with head offices, and guides on safari who carry cell phones. We also have a list of local doctors and hospitals that we know offer excellent services. In East Africa, you are covered by emergency evacuation flights to the nearest hospital.
We will provide you with 24/7 emergency numbers. During your travels you will not only have our local Africa office contact numbers, but the direct cell phone of Eliud Mang’ana, President of Sungura Safaris.
SHOULD I GET TRAVEL INSURANCE?
The short answer is absolutely yes. It can be expensive, it can be annoying to apply, and there are enough riders, waivers, exceptions, and disqualifying events that purchasing insurance can be frustrating. But it’s essential for whenever and wherever you travel.
We have seen too many travelers have a change of plans or have their trip interrupted for various personal reasons. In almost all the cases, insurance would have covered their financial loss. The unexpected can occur, and it’s always better to be prepared.
The most comprehensive coverage is “cancel for any reason”. Of course, that is generally a higher cost than standard policy.
Double check with your airline on ticket rebooking or cancellation fees before your ticket is issued. Adjust your coverage according to airline policy.
Look at your standard health insurance and check what the coverage is overseas. Do they pay outright or is it reimbursement? If you are not covered internationally, you would want a policy that includes travel health coverage. With rare exceptions, traditional Medicare does not cover overseas health needs, but some Medicare Advantage and Medigap plans do.
Different insurance companies vary slightly in their requirements around pre-existing conditions, but most require you that you take out insurance upon deposit, or within around 10-20 days if you have a pre-existing condition that may flare up and cause you reason to postpone or cancel your trip.
SHOULD I BRING MY CELLPHONE?
Most smart phones can be used internationally, but guests need to contact your service provider specifically inquiring about the countries you will be visiting. Cell service can be quite spotty, especially on safari. Find out fees for roaming charges. Cellphones are also available for rent at the major airports (subject to availability) and are reasonable.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TYPES OF SAFARIS?
These are exclusive trips where you travel privately with your own companions and private guides throughout. There are lodges, villas and safari camps that can be reserved for the exclusive use of your group of friends and family. Completely designed around your vision, this type of journey is our most popular.
Set Group Departures:
We offer a limited number of small group departures or scheduled trips that you can join. Safari Group size is always limited to 6 guests per vehicle (stretch Landcruiser) with guaranteed access to a photographic hatch. Group trips are not necessarily less expensive than private trips! The main advantage of the group safari is the chance to socialize and stay with one or two cohesive groups during the trip.
Tailor Made Safaris:
Most of our safaris and tours are customizable, designed to meet your requirements including financial resources and comfort level. A custom trip is not necessarily more expensive than a published or group trip. In some cases, it may even be less. Tailor Made safaris can be a Private Safaris or a Set Group Departure, or even a bit of both.
Whether you go on one of our small group safaris or take a private Safaris, you have our full attention. Our partners in Africa will meet you at airports and escort you to your hotel, handle vouchers, internal flights and all the minutiae that goes into executing the trip.
Other than your guide, you will have a Sungura Safaris local contact, someone you can talk to in real time. Our approach is to truly make your extraordinary journey to Africa as seamless as possible.
I AM ON MY OWN AND WANT TO TRAVEL TO AFRICA. IS THIS FEASIBLE?
Yes, it is totally feasible. We can provide services to you as a solo traveler in the same way as we do to groups. You will be met at the airport on an exclusive basis and escorted to your hotel and escorted back to the airport upon departure.
Safaris are very conducive to the single traveler. There are many camps that you can fly into as a single traveler. Here you will join other guests for activities. Many camps serve meals family style or if you prefer, you can request a single table. Camps are small and it is easy to sit around and meet fellow travelers, many who might be traveling on their own as well.
Specialty escort guides can be assigned to solo travelers to provide another level of confidence. Not just a passive driver, these guides will discuss daily activities, tell you stories, and become your partner in travel, confidently able to handle your vouchers, luggage, vehicle issues and any on-site requests you may have.