Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is included in an Asilia safari?

A safari with Asilia Africa offers visitors the opportunity to visit a number of camps in prime locations in the East African bush, discover insights into the environment with a trained local guide, as well as an unparalleled viewing of African wildlife (including the Great Wildebeest Migration and the famed Big 5) while staying in our award-winning camps.

In addition, daily game drives are included, as well as your selection of the many optional activities on offer dependent on the camp you’re staying at.

In the spirit of warm African hospitality, all your meals and drinks are provided so you’re free to relax and enjoy your safari.

Find out more about what to expect on your first safari with us here.


Types of safari

A safari with Asilia Africa is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Depending on your interests and desires, and time of year you wish to visit, there’s a safari experience to suit you. Whether you’re looking for something romantic and intimate, or even something a little more active, it’s entirely up to you. If it’s a family experience you’re after, some of our camps cater specifically to creating a magical experience for all ages, while others might want a more private safari experience for a small group.

In addition, Asilia Africa also offers guests the opportunity to combine an authentic bush safari with an idyllic island escape in Matemwe in Zanzibar


What is there to do on safari?

Asilia Africa’s camps are ideally situated for access to the incredible wildlife of East Africa, as well as the beauty and serenity of the landscapes.
Our safari holidays offer unparalleled and unforgettable wildlife experiences, from the Great Migration, Big 5, birding and more.
In addition to daily game drives, East Africa boasts many activities, including climbing Kilimanjaro, hot-air ballooning, walking safaris, meaningful cultural experiences and relaxing on the beach amongst others.

What is a typical day on safari like?

Life on safari has a rhythm of its own, largely dictated by the animals’ movements. Generally, the most rewarding times for game viewing is in the cooler early mornings and also late in the afternoons when the animals are at their most active.

A typical day on safari will vary depending on the camp you’re staying at, but will include early morning and late afternoon game drives, with time during the hottest part of the day to relax in camp.


Is it safe to go on safari?

Absolutely. Asilia Africa has operated camps in East Africa for two decades and has maintained an exemplary safety record over this time. Our safety practices and procedures are not only effective in managing any emergency situation but also in preventing any unsafe situations from occurring both in camp and outside in the bush.

Other than Encounter Mara, all our camps are unfenced, which guests soon find forms an essential part of connecting with nature.

Our guests are safeguarded by 24-hour Askaari security who keep a lookout for animals, escort guests when necessary, and through their presence, help to keep the animals away from the camp area.

Additionally, our camps maintain strict operational safety protocols, which all guests are briefed on upon arrival. In the unlikely event that a medical situation does occur, we have 24-hour medical back up available with offices in all our operating countries to ensure that our guests are safe from the environment and any unknown medical threats.


Can I bring my children along on safari?

Without question! Family safaris in Africa are a worthwhile and meaningful experience, as can be seen in this video. Aside from spending quality time with your nearest and dearest under a wide blue African sky, a safari in Africa offers invaluable experiences including unique cultural experiences, memorable wildlife sightings, and the opportunity to learn more about nature.

It is worth noting that some of our camps can unfortunately not accommodate children under the age of 5. Feel free to get in touch with us to confirm which of our camps are suitable for smaller children.


How does the weather influence a safari?

While a safari holiday can be had at any time of year, it is worth noting that seasonality will impact the type of experience you’re likely to have as well as the cost of your safari.

During the dry season, the wildlife tends to congregate around the few remaining watering holes. Vegetation at this time is sparse making the animals easier to spot.

The wet season is abundant both in vegetation and wildlife, as this is the birthing season – which means predators come out in force to prey on vulnerable newborns.

Whichever season you choose to travel in, rest assured that our camps are well equipped for the East African climate and to ensure your comfort at all times.


What happens on a game drive?

Game drives are an integral part of any safari. You’ll head out into the wilderness with your trained and knowledgeable guide in one of our specialised vehicles. We have both closed and open-sided vehicles and try to have no more than six guests in one vehicle, so everyone is guaranteed a window seat for the best view of the action. Our vehicles also have the added benefit of charging stations to ensure your gadgetry is never at a loss, and a cooler to ensure you’ll have a cold beverage or two along the way.

Private vehicles can be arranged in advanced at an additional cost.


Is there wifi available?

Most of our camps do have basic wifi available in certain areas. We are currently rolling out in-camp wifi to all of our camps, and you can check with your agent to see if your chosen camp has this available.

It is important to note that while wifi is available, it is more than likely not at the same fast speeds that you may be used to, but sufficient for checking emails and keeping in touch with home.


Can I charge my phone? What type of plugs do I need?

Electricity is available at 220/240 volts AC, 50 Hz. Primary Socket Type: British BS- 1363 (British Standard). Adaptor plugs will be available in some lodges but we advise that you bring at least one with you.Bs1363-non-earthed-plug

Please be aware that the power supply is subject to cuts and voltage fluctuations even in major cities!

On safari most of the lodges are powered by generators or solar panels and these are often turned off during parts of the day and night to reduce noise and fuel consumption. Please also note that in most camps and lodges, power sockets for charging are only available in the main area.


What is the accommodation like?

Most of our camps feature stylish and authentic tented suites in keeping with the classic safari experience. Each tent has a main bedroom with an ensuite shower, toilet and basin, decorated to reflect an authentic safari style while providing the necessary amenities and furnishings to provide a comfortable retreat.

Shampoo and conditioner are provided in camp, as well as shower gel, body lotion and hand wash. Hairdryers are available at certain camps such as Matemwe and Sayari Camp. Electricity is a precious resource in the bush and is supplied largely from solar power and generators, so not all camps can support hairdryers.

Great Migration

What is the Great Wildebeest Migration?

The Great Wildebeest Migration is one of the New Seven Wonders of the World and is the largest animal migration in the world. Every year, more than 2 million animals (Wildebeest, Zebra, and Gazelle) migrate in a clockwise direction across the ecosystems of the Serengeti (Tanzania) and the Masai Mara (Kenya). On the way, they have to cross crocodile-infested rivers, are hunted by predators, and face natural disasters such as droughts and flooding in a daily struggle for survival.

Asilia Africa operates a number of camps specifically along the route of the migration to offer you a front-row-seat to all the migration action. For example, Sayari Camp is located close to many of the Mara River crossing points in the Northern Serengeti. Many of our camps are semi-permanent, and change their location up to three times a year to ensure proximity to the action of the migration, while other camps are in a fixed location and offer additional amenities such as swimming pools.


Which is the best camp for the Great Wildebeest Migration?

Since the Great Migration sees the herds migrate slowly over a route thousands of kilometres long, the best camp for experiencing it will largely depend on the time of year. In addition, although the animals broadly follow the same ancient migratory route every year, there are occasional variations based on environmental or weather conditions, such as the rainfall in a given year.

For this reason, Asilia Africa has permanent camps that cover the traditional migration route as well as semi-permanent camps which are moved 2 to 3 times a year to ensure prime game viewing. To get a better feel for this, view our interactive migration map which shows how the animals tend to move each month.


What is the best time to see the Great Wildebeest Migration?

The Great Migration can be enjoyed year round. Different times of year and location will offer different encounters, so it’s a good idea to work closely with your travel agent to ensure you plan the ideal migration safari to suit your needs.

The first few months of the year offer exceptional predator encounters in the Serengeti as this is the calving season for the wildebeest and newborns make for an easy kill.

By July, the herds are heading into the central Serengeti where the wildebeest make their first river crossing, and take their chances against the waiting (and hungry) crocodiles.

In August, the herds cross over into Kenya’s Masai Mara and by September, the big herds have fragmented into smaller groups. The last few months of the year bring the short rains, causing the Wildebeest to move back into the Serengeti where the animals brace themselves for the next calving season and predator attacks.

You can read more here about what to expect from the migration each month as well as which of our camps are best positioned to enjoy this spectacle at those times of year.

We recommend that you consult with an expert travel agent to assist you in planning your safari experience.


Do you offer special deals?

We do run special offers from time to time and all our current deals can be viewed here. If you’d like Asilia news and offers emailed to you each month, be sure to sign up for our newsletter here.

Are all Asilia Camps open year-round?

You can enjoy a safari with Asilia all year round, however, the season will influence the kind of experience you’re likely to have. If your dates are not flexible, drop us a line and we’ll structure the ideal safari to suit your needs.

Some of our camps are semi-permanent which means they move location up to three times a year, while other camps are in a fixed location. The Mara Bush Houses, Dunia Camp, Namiri Plains, The Highlands, and Ol Pejeta Bush Camp are open all year round.


How do I choose which camp to visit?

Choosing your ideal safari will generally depend on a combination of the following factors: who you are travelling with (e.g. are you going with your family), where you want to go (e.g. Kenya or Tanzania), what you would like to see (e.g. Great Migration) and any special activities you are interested in doing (e.g. hot air ballooning or climbing Kilimanjaro).

You can narrow down your choices using our safari tools for where to go and what to do, or you could check out some of our itineraries to get you started with some ideas.

We’d love to hear from you so we can create the perfect safari to suit your needs.


Where are Asilia’s camps?

We specialise in Kenya and Tanzania, home to some of the highest concentrations of wildlife in the world. Our camps are positioned in prime locations ranging from the world famous Serengeti and Masai Mara, through to critical private conservancies, as well as more pioneering areas somewhat off the beaten track.

Kenya: Greater Maasai Mara, Mara Naboisho Conservancy & Ol Pejeta Conservancy

Tanzania: Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Ruaha, Rubondo & Tarangire

Zanzibar: Matemwe


How do I choose between Kenya or Tanzania?

If you have more time available for your holiday, the bordering countries of Kenya and Tanzania can easily be combined with each other as well as with other nearby places like Uganda, Rwanda and Zanzibar. If you are going on a shorter trip (less than 10 nights is a fair guideline), choosing which country to enjoy will depend on what you want to see and do. For example, if you’re planning a migration safari, your destination of choice will be largely dependent on where the wildebeest are at your chosen time of travel.

To provide you with the best advice tailored to your particular travel needs, we recommend contacting your preferred travel agent or simply enquire with us and we’ll get right back to you.


Can I combine my safari with a trip to Zanzibar?

Definitely – Zanzibar is a great addition to any safari itinerary or even just as an idyllic escape on its own. Drop us a line and we can package the perfect safari and beach holiday to suit your needs.

Food & Accommodation

What are meals like on safari?

Meals on safari feature wholesome homemade dishes with a hint of local flavour. We take great pride in growing our own fresh, organic produce wherever possible and supporting local communities.

Our camp chefs are able to cater to any dietary requirements with advance notice, including preparing gluten free, dairy free, vegan, and halaal meals.

Lunch is usually a buffet featuring fresh salads and meaty mains, while dinner is a 3-course meal served beneath the stars. Dishes feature beef, chicken or fish, and wholesome organic produce with a hint of local spices and flavours.


What is the accommodation on an Asilia safari like?

Most of our camps feature stylish and authentic tented suites in keeping with the classic safari experience. Each tent has a main bedroom with a shower, toilet and basin, decorated to reflect the local cultures while providing the necessary amenities and furnishings to provide a comfortable retreat.

What are the costs?

What is included in the price of my safari?

The overall cost of your safari can vary depending on a range of factors including seasonality, activities, any special offers that may apply as well as other factors.

Generally, a safari at Asilia’s properties will cost you anything from USD $450 per person, per night, and upwards. Your accommodation costs are all-inclusive, which means that all meals, local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and game drives with our expert guides are included.

For a more accurate estimate, it’s best to contact a safari specialist travel agent who can package an itinerary to suit your needs and budget.

Booking My Safari?

Can I book my safari directly with Asilia?

We handle our booking process through a trusted group of highly experienced East Africa safari experts. We operate this way due to there being many nuances involved in planning a well-arranged, unforgettable safari holiday in East Africa. We know through experience that this is simply the best way to ensure our guests enjoy a seamless trip matched to their individual needs. Due to the volumes handled by these agents, they’ll also ensure you get the best possible overall price. If you’re thinking of joining us on a trip to East Africa and you are not currently working with an agent, simply enquire on our website and we’ll arrange for the best agent matched to your needs to tailor-make the ideal itinerary to suit all your needs.

Travel Arrangements

How do I get from the airport to your camps?

Getting around in East Africa requires significantly more planning than other destinations. Distances can be large; roads may be few. Our safari experts know their way around and can arrange all the transfers you require.

What are the visa and vaccination requirements?

Certain vaccinations may be required for travel to Africa, for example, often you will need a yellow fever vaccination. To be sure, consult your travel agent and your local Travel Clinic to obtain the latest health travel advisories. Concerning Visas, your travel agent will help there too.

What are the points of entry to get to your camps?

For Internationals visitors, the following apply:

Kenya: Nairobi
Tanzania: Dar es Salaam or Kilimanjaro Airport


Help! I’m planning my first safari. Where do I start?

A great place to get a feel for your trip is by using our interactive map. We also have some handy tool to help you along, including our camp finder and our experiences page. Another great place to draw inspiration from and to whet your appetite is by browsing our list of itineraries. These can be booked as-is, or customised to suit your needs.

We would also recommend talking to a specialist East Africa consultant who will assist you with your plans and recommend the best itinerary for your travel needs. In addition, they’ll be able to arrange your transfers, flights, and any additional activities you require. If you do not already have an agent, simply enquire with us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our trusted East Africa specialists.

Special Requirements

Can I still go on safari if I have special medical needs?

A safari can be suitable for a wide range of ages and physical conditions. With advanced notice, our camps are capable of catering to certain special requirements, so it’s best to advise your travel specialist early on in your booking process.

Are safaris suitable for people in wheelchairs?

Some of our camps are accessible by wheelchair. It’s best to chat to your consultant as they will be able to advise which of our camps with be most suitable.

What to pack?

What do I pack for my holiday?

There are a few handy items you won’t want to forget when going on safari such as a hat and sunblock to name just two. However, it is important to note that certain light aircraft transfer flights will have a smaller and stricter luggage limit.
You can read our recommendations on everything from clothing to photography to toiletries in this blog post.

MATEMWE FAQs

What is there to do in Zanzibar?

Activities that can be enjoyed on the island include superb scuba diving and snorkelling, a visit to a spice plantation, a walk through the famous Stone Town, various watersport activities such as sea-kayaking and kite-surfing, or simply relaxing on the beach, in your hammock or at the pool. To find out more, read here.

How do I get to Matemwe?

While a few international airlines offer direct flights to Zanzibar, it is more easily accessible via a short hop flight from Dar es Salaam and Arusha in Tanzania. You can also fly in from Nairobi in Kenya.

The airport in Zanzibar is called Abeid Amani Karume International, and it is about 5km (3 miles) south of Zanzibar City on the island’s south-west coast. Transfers from the airport to Matemwe Beach – a distance of 57km (35,4 miles) – are by road.


When is the best time to go to Matemwe?

Zanzibar has hot and sunny beach weather nearly all year round. July to October is reliably hot and sunny, with prevailing trade winds cooling things down just enough. November is usually humid, but afternoon showers provide relief from the humidity and heat.

From December to March, temperatures cool down slightly; you can still expect occasional rain showers, but all things considered this is a great time to visit. In April and May, our Matemwe properties are closed for the peak of the rainy season.


What’s the climate like at Matemwe?

Dry season: July to October; December to mid-March
Peak of wet season: April and May (Matemwe closed during this time)
Max. temp. range during the day: 27˚C to 32˚C / 81˚F to 90˚F Max. temp. range at night: 23˚C to 25˚C / 73˚F to 77˚F