View the most frequently asked questions about our safari tours and learn about what you’ll experience.

What should I bring?
Of course for any such trip into the wilds of Africa, there are a number of accessories to bring. For health reasons TIA Safaris does NOT provide sleeping mats and sleeping bags. You must bring your own sleeping bags and ground mats. For all trips, medications flashlight (headlamp is best), your usual toiletries, universal adapter (will be helpful for charging at campsites or lodges along the way), insect repellant, a small medical kit, at least one set of warm clothes, and a sense of adventure are highly recommended…

What vaccinations should I get?
You must check with your local doctors/travel clinic or government equivalent of the US’s CDC or Center for Disease Control. They will tell you up to date information on what vaccinations you will need for each region of Africa you will visit. Places like Zanzibar require that you have a Yellow Fever vaccination so it is wise to check with the aforementioned authorities on what you may need before coming to Africa. Getting vaccinations while in Africa can be a very taxing and in most places, impossible.

What are optional excursions and activities?
Optionals are activities that one may do at the different places we will stop. They are not included in the trip as many people many not want to do these activities. Most of the optional activities can be paid in US dollars. The Gorillas, rafting on the Nile, Chobe Overnight, Swakopmund activities, ballooning in the Maasai Mara, Zanzibar activities, and Vic Falls optionals should all be paid in US dollars.
Optional Activities .pdf

What should I take for malaria?
You should consult with your doctor about which malaria medication is right for you. Each drug has its own side-effects and everyone is different. Larium is about the only drug of which passengers should take care as it carries some very serious side-effects for some such as psychosis. This is especially so for those who may suffer from previous bouts of mental-illness. The most popular drugs are Malarone (arguably the best with least amount of side-effects albeit the most expensive) and Doxycycline (an anti-biotic that can make people sensitive to the sun).

Do you cater to vegetarians, food allergies, and other food-related preferences?
The answer is a qualified yes. Our chefs can accommodate our clients  when the preferred food is readily available. It is possible, this being Africa, we will not always be able to obtain the preferred food. Something will always be made to accommodate the client. (ie. Vegetarians will not be made to eat meat, gluten-free clients will not have to eat gluten-based foods, lactose-intolerant clients will not have to have milk products, etc.)

How much money (cash in US) should I bring?
Most places we stop for provisions have ATMs, so loads of cash are not necessary. US dollars may be used and recommended for certain activities such as the Gorillas, Delta trip, Orange River canoeing, Lake Naivasha activities, Rafting on the Nile, and as well as everything in Vic Falls as of this writing Zimbabwe uses US dollars as it main currency for everything.

Most places, such as banks where we stop for provisions, will require you to have your passport. This can be very time consuming and, thus, an ATM card would be the best mode of obtaining money. Traveler’s checks are the least recommended for this trip but can be, like cash, exchanged in most banks and Bureaus de Change.

Should I obtain a Visa before I come to Africa?
Depending what country you are from, you can get your visa at the border of the country which may prove to be much cheaper and easier for you. However, you MUST check with the countries included on the itinerary if you need a visa to enter them before you arrive in Africa! Many of the countries on the trip do require citizens of certain countries to have visas BEFORE you arrive at the border! Please check to see if your country is one that requires a Visa.

Is there a place to put my valuables while traveling on the truck?
Yes!  You will have a place to put your passport and valuables so that you will not need to carry them on your person.

Can I get off the truck and get back on at a future destination?
Although this is not recommended by TIA Safaris as the itinerary is picked for its quality, you can get off the truck to do other things or as necessary. If one does get off the truck, however, you will not be reimbursed for any part of the trip that you have missed. You will also have to pay for any expenses incurred while travelling to meet up with the truck. You will need to sign a release form stating your intention to leave the truck, to meet up with us at a later destination, and stating that TIA Safaris is not responsible for anything that may happen to you while departed from the trip.

Are there medical facilities along the way?
There are parts of the trip where we will have access to medical facilities. Other parts, medical facilities are very distant from our adventuring. The cities and bigger towns we stop in almost all have hospitals and doctors. Most will bill you and then have you send it to your insurance company when you return home from your travels if medical attention was required.

Is there an age limit for traveling?
Due to the nature of the trips of overlanding trips including some long travel days, possibly dangerous locations and situations, lack of third party care (babysitters, nannies, etc.), and the age of fellow travelers (the average age is somewhere around 27), the youngest age permissible on the truck is 15 years and that individual(s) must be accompanied by an adult. As for the oldest age possible, as long as the individual has a letter from his/her doctor there is no age limit on the truck. Anyone 65 years or above must have a letter of health from his/her doctor stating his/her ability to participate in the trip. There is no age limit for charters. It is up to TIA Safaris and the booking party to decide what is the best route and locations to visit when including children.

Are there upgrades at campsites for overlanding trips?
In Southern Africa there are far fewer places to upgrade than in East Africa. All prices are subject to change. The places one may upgrade on the Southern Africa route are:

Capetown: Ashanti Lodge (singles 400 Rand, around $60 US)

Fish River Canyon: Canon Roadhouse (Very expensive)

Swakopmund: Gruner Kranz (360 Rand per person/ per night, $55)

Rainbow Lodge: ($40 pp/pn)

Maun: Sitatunga Campsite: ($30 pp/pn)

Kasane: Thebe River Campsite ($50 pp/pn)

Vic Falls: Vic Falls Rest Camp ($20 pp/pn)

East Africa’s campsites all have upgrades excluding Meserani Snake Park. Prices are subject to change as per season and will be obtained during the trip.

Will there be toilets on the road?
On overlanding trips we stop every two hours or as needed for rest breaks. More often than not, this is at the side of the road where we utilize the “Facilitrees”. When it is possible, we will stop at places to utilize a gas station, etc. to use their facilities. One should be prepared, however, to use the Great Outdoors as a receptacle of one’s rest break.

Can I miss the Pre-departure meeting?
It is recommended to try one’s best to make the pre-departure meeting in East Africa at the Acacia Camp in Nairobi, and on the Southern route, at Ashanti Lodge (near Long Street) at 5:00 the evening before. It is not necessary to be there to be included in the trip. You do, however, need to be present at the hour of departure the following morning. One may get all the necessary information that is imparted at the pre-departure meeting the day of travel.

Should I bring clothes and goods for charity to Africa?
Although it can be a great thing to do, it is actually better to get things for charity in Africa than bringing it from home. This is simply for the reason that if you buy goods here and give them to needy projects both the economy and the charitable program benefit. Anything brought for charitable reasons will of course be appreciated and helpful. Items like sweets, however, should not be brought for children as there are very few who can afford dental care.

Are there showering facilities?
On the overlanding trips, the only places that do NOT have showering facilities are the bushcamps on the Southern Africa route at Spitzkoppe, The Delta, and the Chobe Overnight. In East Africa, all places we stay have shower facilities, even in the Serengeti. That being said, as this is Africa, nowhere can it be promised there will be hot water or water at every campsite. The same applies for electricity and charging facilities.

Are there early mornings on the trip?
There are some very early mornings. It is not impossible for us to wake up at 4:45 and leave at 6:00 AM. On average in Southern Africa, we have breakfast at 6:30 and leave at 7:30. In East Africa, the average would be breakfast at 6:00 and leave at 7:00.

How many passengers will there be on the overlanding truck?
The average trip will have roughly 20 passengers on a truck capable of seating 30. It is possible to have fewer passengers as well as up to 29 passengers in total.

Do I need to be “fit” or “in shape” to do a trip?
It is helpful to be “fit” to do any trip in Africa, but not necessary. There are hikes to be done, some with a relative degree of fitness required. For example, on the Okavango Delta excursion, one may hike for up to four hours on flat terrain. In Sossusvlei, the desert walk takes up to two hours on the dunes and in the sand, possibly in the heat. A certain degree of fitness will be helpful. The Gorilla trip, however, does require a degree of fitness as trekking and tracking the Gorillas in the steep areas of their habitat may take up an entire day.

Will I be able to use my mobile phone?
Like anywhere, there are places with reception and others without. Unless you have international roaming, you will have to buy a different SIM card for each country in Southern Africa. In East Africa, the company ZAIN, covers Uganda, Tanzania, and Kenya with the same SIM card.

What are the “Big Five” and will I get to see the “Big Five”?
The Big Five are the elephant, black rhino, leopard, lion, and buffalo. They were so named by hunters as they were arguably the most dangerous animals to hunt in Africa and perhaps the world. Now the term is simply used to denote these flagship species.

There is never a guarantee to see wildlife when one comes to Africa and goes on Safari. Some places, like the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti, however, one may see all the Big Five in one day.  As there are less than 2800 black rhino left and they like to live in the thick bush,  they are quite difficult to spot as are leopard. It really depends on luck when making sightings. The more game parks one visits and safaris one does, however, the greater the chances to see Africa’s animal wonders.

When is the Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti and Maasai Mara?
Although the migration can begin or end earlier than the usually “scheduled” months in terms of the number of animals in either of these places, the wildebeest and zebra usually leave the Serengeti for the Maasai Mara and Western Serengeti in March and return in November. In other words:

November-May – The herds are in or heading toward the Serengeti

May–November – The herds are in or heading toward the Maasai Mara

What do I have to pay for the Gorillas and why does it cost so much?
Trekking with the Mountain Gorillas will cost $600.00 US in Uganda for the permit and $750 in Rwanda. For overlanding trips there is a fee up to $200.00 US for permit processing fees and transportation between our campsite and the allotted trekking locations. There are three countries within which the gorilla trekking is possible: Uganda (our most common location), Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The amount for the processing fee and transportation depends within which country we do our trekking. The money you pay to have the privilege of trekking the gorillas, itself pays for 24/7 anti-poaching patrols, scientific research which includes the habituating of the gorillas to human visitation (a process that takes up to a year), and perhaps, most importantly, supports the communities around the mountain gorilla habitat and their countries with much-needed commerce. Although it may seem expensive, the money is going a long way to do a great deal of good in these countries as well as ensuring these critically endangered Primates survive for future generations to see and cherish.

Does TIA Safaris book the flights and transfers to the starting point destinations, and flights and transfers at the final destination?
TIA Safaris does NOT do bookings for flights and transfers (i.e. transfers from Capetown Int. Airport to the Ashanti Lodge on the Best of Southern Africa trip) unless designated in the “What’s Included” portion of the website, or otherwise agreed upon between TIA Safaris and the client(s). However, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding this part of your trip. Contrary to what many think, Africa is very accessible, especially the places we leave from and arrive in.

What is the Payment Structure for Safaris?

A) Once the Booking and Conditions forms have been received, a non-refundable deposit  of  33% is required to reserve a place on the trip. This deposit may be made by check or money order but not by credit card. The deposit will only be refunded in the unlikely event that the trip has to be cancelled because it did not receive the minimum number of registrants by the trip’s confirmation date.

B) Once the trip is confirmed, the remaining balance is due two months before departure. It can be paid by check, money order, or credit card. There will be a 3% extra charge on the remaining balance for the use of a credit card. Since these payments are non-refundable, TIA Safaris recommends traveler’s insurance in case unforeseen events prevent you from joining us.

Do I need to buy water on the trip?
For the overlanding trips and some charters, there will be potable water provided so purchasing water is not necessary.

Can I bring alcohol on the truck?
There will be a cooler provided on the vehicle so one may put alcohol in it. Drinking alcohol on the vehicle, however, is illegal and forbidden.

Do I need to worry about political turmoil in the places we are visiting?
The countries where TIA Safaris travels are presently free from political strife and are stable. In the event of change in any country’s political situation, the itinerary may change to insure complete safety for all passengers.