Buying Gifts whilst on safari:
GameTracker vehicles regularly stop at sites of outst website statistics
and ing beauty and at permanent sites for lunch and toilet breaks, in so doing providing guests with the opportunity to stretch their legs, use the toilets, and take photographs. Most locations are serviced by a gift shop; spending a few hundred Shillings at such sites will provide lasting memories of the safari, often at prices lower than those in Nairobi. Such purchases make a real difference to the communities who maintain these sites and facilities for our guests.
US Dollars are not readily accepted outside of the airport and major hotels, and Travellers Cheques can no longer be exchanged into local currency, not even at the largest of the international banks in Nairobi. Unless visitors have checked in advance that their hotel offers that a Bureau de Change, it would be prudent to rely on Kenyan Shillings and the provision of an ATM card. International travellers should take note and advise their bank BEFORE leaving home to ensure their bank cards are setup to work in East Africa.
Please be aware that notes issued pre-2002, or are not the “Big Face” kind, are not normally accepted in East Africa at all though there are few Bureaus in Nairobi that accept them at a poor rate of exchange.
For safaris to remote areas such as North Kenya (GTC 1 and 2), it is best to carry Kenya shillings in small denominations as change is sometimes hard to come by.
Gametrackers provide a comprehensive list of camping and personal items that will be required on safari. Just 2 minutes walk from GameTrackers offices in Nairobi you will find a large well stocked supermarket which sells just about everything a visitor might reasonably need – including bottled water, flash lights, backpacks, spare suitcases, shampoo, wet wipes, even sleeping bags.
Our touring tents have sewn-in groundsheets and fly-screens to the entrance to the inner tent and we will provide basic mattresses. Please note that we do not provide pillows, towels or toilet paper – but you can hire a sleeping bag from us (at Nairobi). Generally; a 2 to 3 seasons sleeping bag is recommended depending on the tour you are booked on.
Please know you can always speak to the Moneygram money transfer office staff and the vehicle crew before moving off in the morning. A decent torch or flash light is a must as campsites are also home to the local wildlife, including hippos and crocodiles and the toilets, wash points and shower blocks are invariably a short walk away from the tents or cabins!
At certain nominated sites visited during your stay it may be possible for guests to enjoy a camp fire in the evening; typically guests will be asked to contribute KS100 per person for locally sourced wood.
Some of the camp sites we use provide a bar where beers and soft drinks can be bought. Where sites are without such facilities, the vehicle guide will endeavour to source local bottled beer for your enjoyment – please note that any drinks consumed will need to be paid for in local currency prior to leaving the site.
Whilst all gate fees and excursions shown in the schedule are included within the cost of your safari, there may be occasion when a group will request an extended excursion; such charges would incur a locally agreed supplement – an example might be at Lake Baringo where guests may wish to spend a second hour on the lake in order to visit the eagle nesting sites on the far reaches of the lake
Gametrackers would love to host on our web site images of safaris you have taken with the company. If you care to send us digital images, please confirm that they are copyright exempt, which safari you were on, and ideally where and when the photograph was taken. (Tag on facebook)
Requests for financial aid and responsible tourism:
It is inevitable that as a group of visitors you will have opportunity inter-act with some of the communities you travel through on your safari; requests will as you might expect be made by local people for money in order to support ‘good local causes’. Whilst many of these will be for genuine and needy cases, guests need to be free to politely say “no”.
Please do not give sweets to the local children; a pencil, pen or notebook is greatly appreciated. There is the opportunity to visit local schools en route (Masai Mara Talek, Amboseli Lenkisem community, El molo primary school Turkana) and such a donation is highly welcome.
Tipping is both a common practice and expected in East Africa. A tip for a meal or taxi ride is always at your discretion, an appropriate level would be between 10 and 15% of the price paid.
If you wish to tip your safari crew, as a guide only we suggest this should be based on the cost of the safari excluding gate and excursion fees. Depending on the safari undertaken, you may also have had local guides providing expert additional supporting.
GameTrackers operate a fleet of some 30 vehicles, ranging from 4×4’s with trailers up to commercial trucks designed to carry 24 guests at a time. The vehicle you will travel in will reflect the amount of people travelling and the terrain involved. Typically a crew of 2 or 3 will accompany you; made up of a cook, a driver and guide. The tour guide may be supplemented with by a local expert in national parks to help ensure your safari is memorable and safe.
Tea and coffee will be provided at most meal times. You do, however, need to ensure that you have adequate bottled water with you at all times. Kenya is a land of extremes; ranging from rich rain forests through to drought ridden savannah; before leaving Nairobi please liaise with your vehicle crew and double check you have brought adequate water for the duration. The crew can confirm before departure whether an opportunity will exist during the safari to buy additional water. As with camping equipment, the supermarket next door to our office is an excellent place to buy bottled water at competitive prices.
Most of the animals you will encounter during your safari are truly wild (and some would be happy to eat you given the opportunity); whilst we will endeavour to provide opportunity to take photographs we will always give safety the highest priority. For your own protection, and the safety of the other guests and crew it is important that you adhere at all times to our safety guidelines and any instructions provided by our staff.
Useful words to know:
Impress your crew and fellow travelers with your knowledge of Swahili:
|Good morning||Asubuhi Njema[Habari za Asubuhi]|
|Goodnight||Usiku mwema orLala salaama|
|How are youVery well||Habari yakoMzuri sana|
|I’d like a cold beer||Tafadhali nataka
bia [pombe] baridi
|Let us go||Twende orTwende sasa|
|Chai bila maziwa/sukari|
|Thank youThank you very much||AsanteAsante sana|
|Travel well [Safe journey||Safiri salaama|
|You are welcome [Plural]||Mumekaribishwa|
|You are welcome (singular)||Unakaribishwa|
|Where do we go?||Twende wapi?|
|Where are we going?||Je, tunaenda wapi?|
|We’ll meet tomorrow||Tuonane kesho|