Frequently Asked Questions

Safari and Travel Information

As with any other location in the world, complete safety cannot be guaranteed in Africa. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that Africa is one of the most secure destinations you can visit today. Our headquarters are in Zimbabwe, which has faced its fair share of political and economic challenges. However, it's important to note that visitors to Zimbabwe have never had their safety compromised due to these issues. You can trust us to provide a safe and enjoyable experience during your visit to Africa.

Rest assured that your safety is our top priority. If we ever believed that traveling to Zimbabwe or any other country in Southern Africa posed a threat, we would advise you immediately. We would never endanger the well-being of our clients, and we understand that our reputation is at stake if we take unnecessary risks. You can trust us to be transparent and honest with you about any potential risks and to prioritize your safety above all else.
If you're new to traveling to Africa, don't worry - we're here to help you make the best decision for your trip. For first-timers, the priority is often experiencing the best game viewing opportunities available. For repeat clients or those seeking more adventurous experiences, we can recommend more far-flung destinations. You can explore our Experiences section for more information on what each destination has to offer. Whether it's your first or tenth visit to Africa, we'll ensure that your journey is unforgettable and tailored to your specific preferences.
  1. At Untamed Trails Safaris, we offer a range of safari experiences customized to your preferences.
  2. Our safaris typically involve guided tours through some of Africa's most stunning natural landscapes, enabling you to observe and interact with the continent's unique wildlife up close.
  3. We collaborate with experienced local guides who possess a deep knowledge of the terrain and wildlife, ensuring your safety and an unforgettable experience.
  4. Our team will work closely with you to plan every aspect of your safari adventure, including transportation, accommodation, daily activities, and meals.
  5. With Untamed Trails Safaris, you can trust that your safari experience will be expertly crafted to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
Looking to make the most of your travels? Consider hiring a private guide to enrich your experience. Our knowledgeable and personalized guides bring a wealth of expertise to your journey, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your destination. From local insights to tailored itineraries, our private guides offer a range of benefits that make the expense worthwhile. Let us help you create unforgettable memories on your next adventure.
Safaris can be broadly divided into two different styles:

– A safari based on accommodation and lodges or permanently sited tented camps.

– A ‘pukka’ traditional safari based on tented accommodation of various levels. Camps are mobile and have full back-up teams. Top-of-the-range mobile camps are equipped with every amenity necessary to keep you comfortable.

There is a range of levels within both of the above from luxury to rustic and of course the two styles can be combined within a safari.

Choosing between the two is a very personal decision, but for a true African safari experience we recommend a combination of the mobile-tented safari (these are not available in all countries) and permanent camps and lodges. Many permanent camps are tented.
Different categories of tented camp are as follows:


  • Seasonal/semi-permanent
  • Permanent

Within these categories, the style of accommodation varies…

African Luxury – permanent

Either made from brick/wood, under thatch or tented.

Always spacious and beautifully appointed; large en suite bathrooms with hot and cold running water, bath, indoor and outdoor shower, flush lavatories; spacious veranda, usually with a private plunge pool; often air conditioned and spa/gym room available for use; gourmet food, butlers, everything you could wish for…

Luxury-style tents are enormous and more on the scale of a cottage made of canvas. Great attention is given to every design detail. Here genuine luxury is provided and the staff-to-client ratio and standards of service are impressive.

African Wilderness – usually permanent, sometimes seasonal

Includes the East African bush homes and ranches. Camps and lodges are both tented and brick or wood/reeds under thatch. Rooms are extremely comfortable; bathrooms are en suite with hot and cold running water and flush lavatory, often a dressing room and always a veranda.

These camps are often, but not always, owner-managed, which ensures personal attention to detail and a sociable experience.

African Escape – tented, seasonal, semi-permanent, mobile

These authentic-style camps are referred to as: –

– mobile because they are erected and raised as bookings dictate or to follow seasonal game movements, such as in the Serengeti and Masai Mara.

– semi-permanent because they are raised at the beginning of the season and stay up until the season’s end.

The tents are large, have spacious en suite bathrooms incorporating hot and cold water, a ‘short-drop’ safari or flush toilet and traditional ‘safari shower’.

Tents are fully gauzed to protect against insects. They are beautifully appointed and decorated. Each contains comfortable beds, dressing tables, safari wardrobe and luggage racks.

There is a large veranda with a table and safari chairs.

The communal living area is generally well stocked with reference books and reading matter and ‘a help yourself’ bar area.

These camps are often booked for exclusive use and are usually owner-managed, providing a very private, personal and sociable experience.

African Down-to-Earth – seasonal and tented

Small ‘dome’ or ‘bell’ tents are used, usually large enough for standing room. Sleeping is typically on a camping mattress in a sleeping bag. Communal bathroom facilities with long drop toilet and bush shower are available.

Please note: Due to the logistics of moving these camps (camels, porters, etc.), they are not necessarily less expensive, but do provide an unassuming, down-to-earth, authentic bush experience.

Your answer to “Where Shall I Go” will help decide the best time to go on safari.

If you have the luxury of being able to choose your travel dates, this decision will depend largely on what it is you are wanting out of your safari experience, e.g. which animals you would like to see, what experiences you’d like to enjoy, and whether you already have a country in mind, etc.

If you are not flexible with time, the choice is more limited but not radically so. Due to the varying weather patterns throughout East and Southern Africa there is always a country or area whose ‘best’ time will fit your schedule.

Southern and East Africa fall into two general weather pattern systems.

Southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia) has a dry winter season from around April to October while the rains come during the summer months of November to March. Parts of southern Tanzania (the Selous) also fall into this pattern. Most, but not all, safari properties are closed during the rainy season months December – April.

East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya and including Rwanda/Uganda) has two rainy seasons – ‘short’ rains in October and November and ‘long’ rains late March, April and May. Most safari properties are closed in November and again April and May. We are happy to give you further information on the weather especially concerning the expected impact on the Migration, which maintains a complicated and variable pattern.

Further information on weather can be found in Destinations. Below is a guide to the weather in East and Southern Africa designed as a quick reference to help you understand at a glance the best safari destination at any given time of year.

Month East Africa Southern Africa
Rain (Unlikely – prime time) Rainy season
Rain (Unlikely – prime time) Rainy season
 Rain (Unlikely – prime time) Rains ending
 Long rainy season begins Rains ending
 Long rainy season Rain (Unlikely – prime time)
 Long rains ending Rain (Unlikely – prime time)
Rain (Unlikely – prime time) Rain (Unlikely – prime time)
Rain (Unlikely – prime time) Rain (Unlikely – prime time)
Rain (Unlikely – prime time) Rain (Unlikely – prime time)
Rain (Unlikely – prime time) Rain begins late Oct – prime time
 Short rainy season Rainy season
Short rains ending Rainy season
We need to understand your requirements perfectly. At all times, but particularly during the initial planning process when you are making decisions and have lots of questions to ask, we attempt to offer you our prompt and undivided attention.

In order to get started please tell us if you have any initial ideas, suggestions from friends, etc that you would like to incorporate into your safari.

We need to know which year, the time of year you plan to come to Africa, and what length of safari you anticipate. Destinations we recommend will be entirely dependent on Africa’s different weather patterns throughout the year.

We need to know the size of the group so that we can give you an estimated cost. We also need to know if there are any children in the group as we will, in this instance, design a child-friendly safari!

We then need to know the sort of comfort level you would prefer, e.g. mobile tented, permanent tented or lodges; comfortable but rustic accommodation; 5 star throughout; or a mixture of the above?

Another question to answer is the level of activity you prefer – i.e. would you like game viewing on foot combined with other methods of game viewing, e.g. vehicle, canoe, boat etc; the emphasis on walking, no walking at all, etc.

Besides game viewing, do you have any particular interests e.g. birding, geology and scenery?

Would you like to spice your safari up with a little adventure such as a camel trek or a walking trail, perhaps sleeping “out” in an ultra light-weight tented fly camp?

Please go to CONTACT US, and complete and return our pre-safari contact form.

Without question Africa is a wonderful family holiday destination; we often put together safaris for multi-generational families. Being on safari is not only a time to be away from it all and together as a family, which we all know is something we all do too little of these days, but also a schoolroom like no other. Throughout East and Southern Africa various camps and lodges do not accept children under 12 years of age, but this is not at all a limiting factor as these are usually not environments children of this age would be happy in anyway. There are many other choices.
Once you have decided on your safari destination and planned an itinerary we will send you comprehensive safari information particular to the country or countries you will be visiting which we hope will pre-empt your questions. This information covers such topics as what clothes and other items, to bring along; current airport departure taxes; time differences, etc.
The Big Five are lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The term came from trophy hunting during the colonial era when hunters ranked animals in terms of how dangerous they were to hunt. Equally magnificent animals, such as hippo and giraffe, were easy to hunt and so not included.

The Big Five often appear on the wish list of first-time safari goers. These five animals will probably not be found in the more remote areas of Africa (where the overriding advantage is also fewer visitors). However there are places where the likelihood of seeing the Big Five during your safari is more likely. Obviously these areas are very popular.

Most camps or lodges have a good library, and your guide should be carrying with him a few good reference books during the day when you are out of camp. You might like to bring your own books. For animals we’d suggest a good general animal reference book “A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of Africa” by Jean Dorst and Pierre Dandelot. For East African birds “The Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa” (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi) by Terry Stevenson and John Fanshaw and for Southern Africa, “Birds of Southern Africa” by Ken Newman.

Try :

Booksite Afrika –
Kalahari –

We will send you a Recommended Reading List prior to your safari, too.

Champion Sadiere’ personal recommendation is that each person in a safari group should have with them their own pair of good quality binoculars. The initial outlay may seem excessive but once you arrive in Africa and can look through a good pair of lenses, which will bring to life this wonderful new world, the expense will be completely justified. Look for wide-angled binoculars not the new-generation compact variety.
These requirements change constantly so it is best to get up-to-date information. For the current information concerning visa requirements please visit:

Australia –
UK –
Canada –

Vaccination requirements change from time to time and so we advise that you contact your health department for this information.


World Travel Guide –

World Health Organisation –

Most of the game areas in Africa are malarial areas. You should get proper advice on prophylactics from your doctor.

All camps should have comprehensive first aid kits. We recommend that prior to your safari you take out comprehensive medical insurance cover, which includes medical air evacuation.
Generally we advise the layer method, i.e. dress in layers that can come off or be put on depending on the variation in temperature throughout a day. Further information regarding clothing and personal items to bring along will be sent to you once your itinerary has been finalised.

Your safari will take you to different places, where it’s possible to help either conservation or community projects (normally, these go hand in hand). We like to work with operators who practise responsible and sustainable tourism, and help support the wildlife and communities in which they work. There are many opportunities on safari to “give back” and these include:

  • Pack for a Purpose
  • Various conservation initiatives and community projects – get involved by teaching, playing, painting, building, networking, planting and learning
  • Volunteering
  • Your safari dollars can help support a worthy cause – ask us to outline how coming on safari can also benefit wildlife and communities

Talk to us about how you can get involved. We can help in this regard and make suggestions/identify various projects or initiatives for the country and destination you are visiting. Beware of tourist “scams. We are here to advise and assist you.