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Tips Travel Tips

Driving in Africa: Useful Tips to Know

Are you looking to driving in Africa? A self-drive safari offers a great way to explore some of the African countries by yourself. With the increased availability of maps and travel guides including the GPS Navigator, today it is easier to explore several destinations on a self-drive in Africa. However before renting out a car from an agency, here are some things that you should know.

  • it’s better to Book well in advance

When traveling to Africa particularly Uganda –its better you book your car rental in time to avoid being overcharged when you arrive at the airport, during low seasons some companies tend to cut-off price and during peak seasons they run out of vehicle due to very many bookings so, It is vital you book your car well in advance rather than arriving at the airport and risking higher prices, or even worse, no car at all. If this is done well you cut any extra cost that may ruin your safari.

  • Don’t get trapped into extras when you arrive

This goes to booking in time, this last-minute booking may put you into extra charges, if you get at the airport don’t get talked into any extras that are not needed during your booking, before confirming your car hire booking its better you untick any extra you don’t need –so if this is done prior to your safari you will avoid being trapped into extras when picking your car as your tired and impatient after a long flight and check-in.

  • Comparing like for like

Before confirming with any car hire travel agencies, you should communicate very well with the agent so as to get clear information about the car, size, and the number of doors, air conditioners, and the type of fuel. At times it’s not easy to make a perfect comparison between offers on different websites because few car hire companies guarantee the exact model you will get when you arrive at the airport. So research the full details of the contract and terms and conditions before you confirm the booking if this is done well your safari will be memorable.

  • Second driver charges

It is very better to inform your travel agent that you will be sharing the car, although most companies ensure only one person, you may find you have to pay a heavy premium for a second driver. So in case of compensation caused by the second driver without the notice of the travel agencies you may have to pay the damages caused. So consult with your agent to clarify if a second driver is allowed to avoid extra costs.

  • Fuel

When placing your booking, don’t accept to pay full tank in advance before your arrival, this service is often offered at the pickup desk. It’s advised to fuel it as soon as you leave the airport. Most companies offer unlimited mileage so you should be assured of it in the deal when you book, or that additional mileage charges are reasonable and will not bump up your bill too much.

  • Damage

Ounce you receive yourself drive car make sure that you check carefully any damage on it to avoid paying uncaused damages. You should report any damage found to the travel agent and he should note them before you leave and if possible ask for a copy of the pre-existing damages and keep them and you can also take photographs of the car just in case before you start your journey.

  • Speeding Fines

Always ask for the traffic rules and speed limits as traffic rules differ from country to country, so to avoid extra costs you must obey with the laws governing the road.

  • Pay in advance

If you have confirmed with your car travel agency its better you pay in advance to avoid disappointment or extra charges when you arrive at the airport.

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Travel Tips

Planning a Gorilla Safari – 5 Things to Know

In a lifetime everyone has the right to encounter something out of the world, an experience that they will wish to take home with them, and just boastfully narrate to their relatives and friends in form of a deeply captivating story. Deciding to embark on a gorilla safari results in one of the few experiences that many people desire to have. The few who have experienced this still tell the same story but in different versions every day.
Yes for many, the climax of the trip to the gorillas is standing still and looking into the dark pensive eyes of the mountain gorillas is such a magical experience that will never fade off your memory! some travelers try to take a “selfie” with the mountain gorillas in the background, and share it with jealous friends. At that point, all your preparations have held truth; and all the nights of anxiety are no more. But what are those little things that might make the entire safari even more gratifying? Here is my short list;

  1. Make sure you travel at the right time of the year. If you are not so sure about your fitness levels, I advise travelling during the dry season when the soils aren’t boggy. The best months of the year to track the gorillas would be December to late February and from June to September during the dry season.
  2. Remember to book your permit in time, preferably before you set off. Due to the high demand, over 70 people travel to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park daily for the Uganda Gorilla Safari experience, while others are placed on hold. You surely don’t want to be among the miserable lot that has to wait.
  3. All Uganda’s gorilla tracking trailheads are traversed on foot, with some hikes lasting 8 hours. As humans are playful, the gorillas might decide to play hide and seek so hikers should check that they are basically fit to climb through the jungle even for long duration like these.
  4. The rains are rarely predictable, so tourists should pack a pair of solid shoes, preferably jungle boots, a jacket and an umbrella. On a sunny day I would advise you to travel with a fine cap or hat, sun glasses (in case you find that you need them), smear yourself with sunburn lotion, and also come along with a good insect repellant.
  5. The other thing to mind about when planning your safari is choosing the right tour operator. The criterion for choosing the tour operator is somewhat crazy, but basically a company with a good customer reputation would be a good choice. With the right tour operator you won’t have to worry about sleeping uncomfortably, or arriving later than 8am when the gorilla trekking exercise has commenced. These are just a few things that will complement your holiday and make it more enjoyable. A hint to search for the specialty tour operators who may know better about the process of organising a gorilla safari, choices of lodges and campsites where to stay and how to craft tour itineraries.

 

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Travel Tips

Tips to Travel Cheaply to Africa

Traveling away from your daily routine work is becoming more and more fun. Are you eager to travel but you thinks that you do not have enough cash for it? Many people are in this particular dilemma. There are many ways of breaking the norm and enjoying that particular safari or tour you have ever dreamed of.
Here are some tips that can help you travel cheaply
1. Available Promotional – If you have opted to stay in a hotel, there are many ways of making that budget more affordable. Look for hotels that are offering promotions online. Check for the best hotel but of good quality
2. Be Flexible with Dates: Some seasons are less expensive during the year than others; one can wait until the prices are more reasonable. Also you can wait until there is a promotion being launched. Sometimes check and request for weekend deals. You can also schedule your travel to a less popular travel time.
3. Stay in Hostels: Sometimes staying in hotels does not add value, if you are spending most of your time on a safari or doing outdoor activities. Hostels can come in handy for relaxation and storing your luggage. There are very good hostel in most destinations that offer quality accommodation.
4. Cost Sharing (Vehicle): if traveling to a destination or safari, it is sometimes advisable to join a group rather than traveling alone. Traveling alone will be a bit costly. If the vehicle is shared, the travel cost will be shared equally.
5. Value for Money: Select a hotel, guest house or hostel that offers value for money, if the prices are the same look for a hotel that offers free coffee/tea/water or internet.
6. Purchase goods in local market – if you would like to purchase a souvenir, the best place to get a good deal is to purchase at a local market. Bargain to get the best deal. Shop around for the prices of your desired souvenirs and then look for them in the local markets.
7. Eat Local Food: It is advisable to request for the local food, eating local food is cheaper than if you eat in international fast food and restaurant chains. Inquire where the local restaurants are and try out their menus.
8. Use Public Transportation: using public transport is way cheaper than using a taxi, inquire about the routes where your are traveling and carry a map.
9.Reusable Water Bottle: Instead of purchasing water from time to time, carry a bottle and fill it with water at the hotel or restaurant which has a dispenser in their lobbies
10.Consider a package deal – Sometimes it’s much cheaper in booking a safari as a full package. Shop around to see if you can get a better package.

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Travel Tips

Traveling Africa on Budget

When one plans for a safari there are many things that one needs to take into consideration. When a safari is advertised one might say ohh! These prices are very expensive. Although it being my dream safari, I cannot afford it, not knowing the price can come down further and still enjoy that spectacular experience. One can enjoy the same safari from luxury to budget cost. One can either use road package or fly from one destination to another. There are several factors that will determine how much you will need to budget for your safari trip. You need to figure out in what areas you might want to splurge and other areas where you want to save money.
Using the services of a Consultant will ensure that you see the most wildlife possible on your safari.
1. Country- The first thing to consider is the country to visit, select a country that you would like to visit. One with the best attractions, safe and less expensive depending on your interest
2. Airfare – The next step is to shop for the best airfare prices, check with different airlines to check when the fares are cheaper or which time of the year they are fairer
3. Length of trip. The shorter the safari the less the cost while the longer the safari the higher the cost. Destinations that are close to each other will be much cheaper than destinations that are far apart
4. Study safari packages or hotels and identify what the package includes and excludes, some safari packages include game drives and laundry services and meals. Sometimes its cheaper to book a combined package than those an item each
5. Accommodation – Select a type of accommodation that you will be comfortable with and affordable, One can cost the same package with different type of accommodation and get different prices, and at the end of the day he experience would be the same.
6. Travel – Decide on the type of transport that you will use from one point to another while on safari. If you opt to fly from one point to another it can be a bit expensive. Also while on a road package you can opt for a Mini-bus that is a bit cheaper that a 4X4 land cruiser in some countries.
7. Specialty – if any specialty or activity added onto your safari will increase the cost, always decide if you really need that extra package.
8. Travel Insurance, Doctor, sometimes its advisable to factor in some extra cash for emergency cases.
9. Season – the safari packages will also vary from season to season, low season are always cheaper than high season. Check the season that is more comfortable for you and plan accordingly