Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Personal Safari? How Small Is a Small Group?
What a private safari is not: a herd (and herded) experience like The Great Migration.
The majority of East African safaris throw a group of strangers together in a bus-like vehicle and carry them where the safari company thinks they should go, when the safari company decides they should go.
On a private safari, our guests design every aspect of the holiday they want us to create for them. We do the work while our guests enjoy the Africa they’ve always wanted to experience.
A private safari is as small as an individual or a couple, or as large as any number who decide to share a safari they’ve planned together.
If you’re planning on coming as a group, please note that a single safari vehicle comfortably seats seven guests plus your guide. Travel for groups greater than seven will be in two or more vehicles, each with an additional guide. Six people plus guide per vehicle provide the greatest comfort.
What Does a Dream Wild Safari Cost?
Because each Dream Wild safari is custom-designed in accord with the wishes of our clients, the cost of each will be different.
The length of the safari and the particular parks, lodges or camps you select will affect costs, as will the time of the year you choose to visit East Africa.
Optional activities that we can arrange for you but that we do not directly provide also influence costs. Such activities can include a dawn hot air balloon ride in the Maasai Mara, a breakfast in the bush away from your camp or lodge, and a night game drive in a private game reserve. Night drives are not permitted in parks or reserves run by the wildlife agencies of Kenya and Tanzania.
We could easily post prices for safari itineraries that we recommend as most other safari companies do. Prices advertised by other companies, however, may not apply to the dates you want to come nor include all necessary fees. You may find what you think is an excellent price for a safari only to discover that the price you’ll pay is much higher for the dates you want to come to East Africa.
The price can also change substantially should you ask to make even a small change to the advertised itinerary, replacing a destination on which you’re not absolutely keen with one that you prefer, for example.
Dream Wild guarantees the price we’ll quote you once we’ve worked together to design your safari the way you want, going where you want, and when you want.
How Long Is a Dream Wild Safari?
Dream Wild can organize a safari of any length for you.
Safaris from Mombasa and Nairobi can be as short as one day. For a more immersive, less stressful experience, we recommend a 3-5 day safari beginning in either city.
From Mombasa, we recommend visits to Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Amboseli if you are doing a brief visit.
For shorter safaris from Nairobi, we recommend Tsavo West, Amboseli, and Lake Nakuru, as well as Nairobi National Park, an often-overlooked jewel at the edge of the city itself.
If it fits your plans, you can begin a safari in one city and end it in another.
Safaris in Tanzania usually begin at Arusha/Kilimanjaro International Airport, if you are not entering the country from Kenya.
A very satisfying Tanzanian safari can be done in as few as 4 or 5 days.
For a brief safari in Tanzania, choose among Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park. Or select all four. All these parks are within an easy drive of one another. For a more satisfying visit to the Serengeti, consider adding an extra day or two.
You also have the option of combining destinations in both Tanzania and Kenya into one safari.
Plan on about ten days to two weeks for a comprehensive safari covering the geographically diverse parks in Kenya or combining some of the best locations in each country at greater length.
Safaris in both countries can cross the border either in the south between Nairobi and Tarangire/Lake Manyara, or between the Maasai Mara Reserve and Serengeti National Park in the north.
When Should We Come?
Traditionally, there are two rainy seasons in East Africa: the Long Rains of April and May, ending towards the beginning of June, bring our heaviest rainfall for the year; the Short Rains of October and November bring lesser amounts.
It’s perfectly possible to experience an excellent safari during these months. Even in Long Rains months, most days enjoy sunny mornings, with rain, when it does come, usually only for brief periods in the afternoons.
Accommodation prices are lowest during April, May and into early June. Rates are still off-peak in October and November.
Accommodation prices are highest for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Like much of the world, East Africa is experiencing climate changes. Recently, the Long Rain months have seen less rainfall than usual.
Kenya is an equatorial country. Our temperatures do not vary much from one time of the year to another. Days tend to be warm to hot, while nights are cool to cold. Northern Tanzania has a similar climate.
The annual Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra, with their attendant predators, usually begins around the beginning of July and ends about the last of September. Natural factors determine the beginning and end dates each year, so our estimate can only be approximate.
What Accommodations Can We Select?
Accommodation at most parks and reserves in East Africa is at lodges or tented camps. On some short safaris and usually on longer safaris, guests will stay in a combination of both.
Tents are fully en-suite with enclosed plumbing and pitched beneath a permanent external structure. They’re large, comfortable, but still romantic.
Many guide books rate accommodations on a scale of 1 to 5, usually with stars or currency symbols. Comfort and value, of course, are subjective.
Our guests selecting them have always found mid-level camps and lodges quite comfortable. When asked to do so, Dream Wild chooses smaller camps and lodges for a more intimate safari experience.
Accommodations that receive a "4" rating are often indistinguishable from "3s", though they may tend to offer a slightly more varied meal menu.
All camps and lodges used by Dream World guests can accommodate any diet regimen a guest may require or prefer.
Level "5" accommodations tend to be more posh.
For those of you arriving Nairobi in the evening, Dream Wild recommends spending the night in a comfortable guesthouse at the edge of the city. Your safari will then begin early the following morning. Nairobi traffic is quite congested. This arrangement insures that you’ll reach your first park or reserve as soon as possible.
Dream Wild is happy to offer you whatever accommodations fit your plans and budget.
Are all Dream Wild Safaris by Road?
All major safari destinations in Kenya and Tanzania are accessible by air.
If you prefer, Dream Wild will arrange for you to transfer between parks by air. We’ll escort you to your departure flight and you’ll be met upon arrival by one of our representatives. Your safari guide will follow you by ground with the same safari vehicle you’ve enjoyed before your flight.
When Will Our Safari Begin and End?
You may begin and end your safari on any dates you wish. Unlike prepackaged safaris offered by other companies, there are no dates you must select to comply with their plans.
At What Airport Should I Arrive?
You may arrive at any of the three major airports that best suits your travel plans.
- Nairobi (Jomo Kenyatta International, NBO) 15 km 9.3 miles from Nairobi’s central business district.
- Mombasa (Moi International, MBA) 10 km / 6.2 miles.
- Arusha (Kilimanjaro International, KIA) 31 miles/50km from the city. There are lodges and hotels conveniently located near the airport.
Arusha Airport nearer the city is small and used mostly for internal flights.
If you arrive early in the day, we’ll take you on to your first camp or lodge. If you have an evening arrival, Dream Wild will arrange overnight housing for you in the city at which you arrive.
You may depart from a different airport from that at which you arrived in either Kenya or Tanzania if doing so better serves your needs.
How Do I Book a Safari with Dream Wild?
Tell Us When You’d Like to Come and What You’d Like to Do
Please send us an email telling us what you’d like to do and when you’d like to do it.
Selecting the email link in our Contact section is an easy way to do this.
You can tell us what parks and reserves you’d like to visit and let us suggest the most convenient itinerary. Or you can send us a set itinerary if you’ve decided on one.
In either case, we need to know when you’d like to visit East Africa.
Camps and Lodges
Rates for camps and lodges vary throughout the year.
Rates are most economical in April and May, our traditional rainiest months. Rates are also lower beginning in October through early December when rain traditionally picks up again between the drier months.
We also need to know what housing you’d like on your safari.
Every camp and lodge used by Dream Wild is a first rate facility.
Some camps and lodges offer luxurious facilities should you want them. The luxuries offered come, of course, at a higher rate.
Lodges and camps we recommend can accommodate many special physical requirements and diets. Please let us know if special arrangements can make your safari even better.
Please indicate as well any extra activities in which you’re interested. Balloon flights at dawn, night wildlife drives, bush meals, visits to villages of our local peoples are examples.
Dream Wild can arrange any special activity you may want. Costs for these activities are set by third party providers.
With a Complete Itinerary, We’ll Prepare a Quote for your Approval
Once you’re happy with your itinerary, dates, and activities, we’ll email you a quote for your dream safari in East Africa.
This quote will be complete and accurate at the time that we send it to you.
You may request your quote in Euro, dollars, or British pound sterling.
Costs can change between the time that you receive your quote and the time that you arrive in East Africa for your safari.
Deposit and Payment
Because of this, we ask for a 25% deposit at the time of booking. This deposit will lock in your rates, guaranteeing them even if there are subsequent price increases.
The balance of your safari quote is payable 120 days prior to the beginning of your safari.
Not often, but occasionally, a lodge or camp will close temporarily for remodeling or other repair.
Should this be the case for a lodge or camp that you’ve booked, Dream Wild will consult with you on an alternative lodge or camp. Dream Wild guarantees that any substitution required will be made at no additional cost to you and will be made for a camp or lodge at the same level of service as that originally requested.
Prior to payment in full 120 days before you arrive, 100% of you deposit is refundable.
80% of payments will be refunded for a cancellation made 120-90 days before a scheduled arrival. 60% of payments will be refunded for a cancellation made 90-60 days before arrival. 20% of payments will be refunded for a cancellation made 60-40 days before the beginning of your safari. We regret that no refunds are possible for a cancellation made less than 40 days before a safari was booked to begin.
Other Ways in which We’ll Help
Once you book your safari with Dream Wild, we’ll email you a comprehensive set of information that includes a number a number of topics such as:
Do we need to get a visa in advance? How do we pay? What about multiple entry visas?
What are taxable items? What are duty free?
Should we come with local currency? Or exchange for it upon arrival?
Do we need to bring anything special because of weather?
Do we pack warm or cool?
For example, if your safari includes air connections, there are different weight requirements for luggage from those of international air carriers.
Proper immunization is very important throughout all of Africa.
Dream Wild staff will, of course, provide you with any practical information that can help give you the safari that you’ve always wanted.