Before you go on an African safari

Important Information to Note below

  1. Choose your preferred safari

The Safari

East, Central Africa and Southern Africa as whole is alive and waiting for you to discover her magic beauty so come and explore with Xavier safaris.  Forever changing, shifting and reinventing herself, Africa continues to inspire, impress and amaze travelers.  If you dream of having an authentic African adventure, Xavier Safaris is one of the best ways to achieve it.  We organize and plan everything for you, leaving you free to relax and really enjoy your Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and South Africa experience.

All Xavier Safaris adventures are ‘off the beaten track’ and the emphasis is on the journey, as well as the destination.  Unexpected events are part of the package and often add to your real-safari land experience.

What are safaris?

An adventure safari journey along a suggested or preferred route, which is aimed at the more adventurous and budget conscious traveller.  It is an off the beaten track adventure and many of the areas that we visit will not have the infrastructure that the “package holiday tourist” may require.  The route taken may also change from time to time due to unforeseen circumstances as conditions change on the road very quickly and Xavier Safaris will always do what is in the best interest of the Safari in these instances.

An adventure safari is different from a package holiday.  Instead of limiting the experience by providing transport and accommodation only, an adventure safari aim to provide a more inclusive experience. We include cultural interaction, boat rides, mountain hikes, bungee jumping, , sport fishing, wild game viewing, social interaction, gorilla & chimpanzee trek and the opportunity to book more adrenaline-based experiences such as white-water rafting.

Xavier safari’s belief is that it’s not all about the arrival at a destination, but the total experience of the adventure safari that is important.  We travel together, eat together, learn from each other’s cultures and form a strong, supportive team. Although our guides are professionals, they are not “heroes” and won’t pamper you.  Our guides are passionate about Africa, enthusiastic and will always do their best to get you through any challenges with a smile.For a successful expedition, all we need is space under the stars and your willingness to join in and expect the unexpected!

Zebras crosing the park road as jeep with tourists slows down Africa. Tanzania.

A typical day on safari starts when the sun comes up – we live by nature’s timetable and use as many day light hours as possible.  The accommodated midrange tours or safaris you will sleep in the mid-range3 star lodges or hotels that suite your safari price, you will not expect luxury. For those who book for luxury safaris/ will sleep in luxury lodges, camps or hotels! These hotels, camps and lodges provide 3 course meals (starter, main course and dessert). On all the safari meals are part of the accommodation, you will have three meals a day (Breakfast, lunch and dinner).

Tourist taking photos of a lioness during a game drive in Serengeti National Park Tanzania.

One of the few things we can guarantee about Africa is that not everything is going to run perfectly.  Along the way there are sure to be a few unexpected surprises! These include road closures due to weather conditions, jeep mechanical failure (it happens, but not often) or having wild animals around most hotels and lodges located in the national parks!  Anything can happen, the main thing to remember is that whatever happens, we are experienced enough to handle the situation and make sure that you still have a fantastic holiday with Xavier Safaris.

Tourist viewing a herd of elephants in Queen Elizabeth national park Uganda2018

All of our safaris in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi Kenya and Tanzania, Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa (including short and long safaris), we have vehicles like land cruisers, for luxury safaris that can accommodate tourist between 2-7. We also offer mid-range and budget safaris with a maximum of 7 guests on our 9-seater mini bus. (Each guest is assigned a good seat with his or her own window for viewing). The bigger the group the less the safari will cost.

Tourists in the luxury Land cruiser view a lioness in Akagera National park Rwanda2014

Accommodation?

On Accommodated safaris, we have done all that we can to keep our fantastic low prices on these safaris so the accommodation is budget, mid-range and luxury.  In some places, we also make use of permanent safari tents which are considered “accommodation”.  

Mara Sopa lodge Kenya
Mihingo lodge lake Mburo national park Uganda

We have selected accommodation that is in keeping with the areas we visit so there is a good variety. On our accommodated safaris, single supplements are compulsory if you are travelling and joined a group safari and you prefer to sleep in your own room with out sharing a room with anyone in the group then you must pay sin single supplement fee on top of the group safari price.

Buhoma lodge in Bwindi impenetrable national park Uganda

Flexible Itineraries

Although we intend to stick to the published itineraries it is critical to understand that the routing can and does change from time to time. Africa is unpredictable and many variables may require changes to the itinerary, this cannot be stressed enough. If we are forced to make a change to a safari, we will ensure that we still provide what we specified in our Itinerary. If we can no longer provide what is published in the itinerary, then we will provide a comparable experience of the same value. We will of course inform you as soon as we can about any changes.

What’s included and what’s excluded

There is no such thing as an all-inclusive safari, ever.  We provide you with a great safari however there are always additional activities that you can do en-route so in your safari Itinerary you are provided with a full list of all the Optional Activities that can be booked on the tour you have chosen. There are many activities available and your guide will help you choose what is best for you.  If you want to go white water rafting or bungee jumping, we will make sure you book this for you. On safari there are also other expenses such as tips at restaurants, lodges and your safari guide.

Tips and gratitudes

  1. Hotels$3 per person per day
  2. walk/hiking porters$5 per person per activity
  3. safari guide driver$7 per person per day
  4. park rangers$6 per person per activity
  5. Safari guide group leader $9 per person per day
Tip jag

Do What You Can Afford To

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to do all of the activities on offer.  We keep our tour price as low as possible without compromising the quality of the tour so that you have choices as to what you’d like to do.  The optional experiences and activities are carefully and strategically selected to give you a break from the routine of travelling adventure tour style.  They enhance your holiday and give you an adrenaline rush when you need one!  These are selected for their value for money, enjoyment factor and feedback from our guests.

Optional activities are not included in the price of the Safari for a few reasons:

  • Not everyone can afford to do them all
  • Not everyone wants to do them all! (No point in throwing you out of a plane if you can’t bear heights!)
  • Optional Activities are not always available, depending on time available
  • We leave the running and safety of these specialised activities to the people who do them best. We take you there and then let the professionals take care of you in pursuit of your thrills and spills!

Please keep in mind that the prices that we display in the itineraries for these optional activities, can change from time to time as we do not control the pricing of the operators who run these activities.  We do our best to ensure that we give you accurate figures so that you can budget accordingly.  

Your Money

Money can make or break a tour so make sure you have enough and tailor your trip to fit your pocket.  Africa is not so cheap so spend wisely and note the prices of the optional activities in your itinerary when planning for your safari.

Foreign Language Tours

Xavier Safaris has always been the premier foreign language tour operator. All our scheduled tours are conducted in English for those who speak and understand English. We also have guides who conduct our safaris/tours in Germany, Spanish and French.

 Wild Game drive

Oops as it goes all wild animals in Africa are not pets, they are extremely wild and dangerous, it’s very important to keep in mind when you go on a game drive or game walk that you are not in a zoo and no one can ever guarantee which animals we will see and how many animals we will see.  All our Xavier Safaris guides and all our local partners know where to best spot animals and do have an extensive knowledge about where and when to see wildlife however there is simply no way anyone can ever guarantee to see animals. when you are on a game drive, no matter if it is our Xavier Safaris4x4 vans or an open 4×4 jeep vehicle, please be as quiet as possible at all times and don’t make sudden movements – this will ensure the biggest success on your game drive.  Also, bring binoculars.

Tourists having a game drive

(2) Currency

Money and Cash

In Africa the local currencies used are different

  1. Uganda: US $1=3500 Uganda shillings and in
  2. Rwanda US: $1=1016.49 francs.
  3. Kenya: Us $1=114.35Kenya shillings
  4. Tanzania: Us $1=2319.44 shillings
  5. Zambia: Us$1=17.7874Zambian kwacha
  6. South Africa: US$1=14.98 Rands
  7. Namibia: US $1= 15.10Namibian dollars
200 Namibian Dollar Note

NOTE:

The information below is subject to change however we do update it as frequently as possible so please feel free to send us feedback if you feel that the information is not as accurate as it could be.

If you are carrying US dollars, always make sure that they have been printed after 2014 and if possible, make sure that your bank in your country of residence provides you with notes that are not torn or severely creased as you may find that the bills will not be accepted if they are not in a good condition. Request that your bank provides you with a range of bills so that you can use the smaller ones for tipping and the larger ones for settling bills if required.

Carry your cash in a flat money belt on your body however always keep a small amount in a more easily accessible place so that you can access it easily if required.

Credit cards

In most major cities or towns in Africa do have credit card facilities available, however they may charge you a surcharge fee to use the facility. Visa and MasterCard are the two most widely accepted credit cards in Africa, while Diners and American Express may not always be accepted in some towns unless major banks. Cards should have a chip and pin if you plan to use them to withdraw money from ATMs. Please be sure to advise your bank before you travel that you will be using your visa card in a different country as they may block access to your card.

ATM / Debit Cards

ATM cards are a good way to withdraw local currency on arrival in a new country. This may not always be possible but it is an option in most cases. Cards should have a chip and pin. The amount that you withdraw depends on how long you will be in the country for and what you plan to spend your money on while you’re there.

Visa card

Local forex vendors

You may encounter local market traders on arrival in countries who will offer to exchange your US$’s for a more favorable rate than the banks. Please don’t be tempted to do this, it is not worth the risk or the hassle and it is not good practice to display your foreign currency. use only forex exchange bureau

Forex exchange center