Contact Us & FAQs
We would love to help create a spectacular African journey for you.
The key to achieving this is plenty of communication, research and planning before your trip. Please do get in touch with us at our Hampshire offices:
Nungu African Safaris
Tel: +44 7710 306230
Fax: +44 1794 388655
What is the best safari destination?
There really isn’t any one single destination that could be regarded as the best and much depends on what time of year you travel and what exactly you would like to see and experience, whether this be game, culture, birding, luxury or wilderness. For the most part it is important to craft an itinerary that combines a blend of special destinations and even countries.
Aren't luxury safaris to Africa and beach holidays in the Indian Ocean very expensive?
They certainly can be. They can also be surprisingly affordable however and the best game viewing or beach experience is not necessarily at the most luxurious and exclusive lodge. There are an overwhelming number of lodges and camps that dot the wilderness and beach areas of southern Africa, each with more impressive sounding facilities, game viewing and service than the next. Our job is to use our local connections, expertise and personal experience to design the holiday that best suits the fantasy and reality of your African dream.
Is any one time of year better for either a safari or beach holiday in Africa?
Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to the natural world, but it really does depend on what exactly you would like to see and experience and also on the exact design of your itinerary. We pride ourselves on being able to come up with exceptional holidays for any time of the year that satisfy all the requirements of the holidaymakers. If, for example, it is lions you want to see and you are only able to travel in May, then we will discern the best destination to fit that desire: Similarly for whalesharks, flamingos, warthogs or whatever else it is that you would like to experience.
How much of a risk is malaria and what sort of precautions should I take?
Malaria reputedly accounts for more human lives in Africa each year than HIV/AIDS and is certainly a disease you should be aware of. For a variety of reasons the chances of contracting malaria on the kind of trips and destinations organised by Nungu Safaris are minimal, we do still however strongly encourage a visit to your doctor for the prescription of a recommended course of prophylaxis to ensure peace of mind on your trip. Travelling to malaria areas with young children or when pregnant is not recommended, there are however some fantastic safari destinations outside of malaria areas, particularly in South Africa, that we are very familiar with.
Will we really be staying in tents and just how luxurious are they?
Tent is something of a misnomer for most of the ‘tented’ accommodation offered in Africa. They are certainly built mainly of canvas, but that is where the resemblance with the two-man construction you might have imagined ends. Most are raised onto wooden decks, covered with thatch roofs and sport luxurious en-suite bathrooms, dual vanities, indoor and outdoor showers. Of course some trips specifically offer traditional safari-style tents in a dome or walk-in style, but for the most part a more accurate description would be ‘luxurious canvas, thatch and timber construction’: somewhat more of a mouthful than ‘tent’.
Just how much benefit will local rural communities actually see from my visit?
Put bluntly, it really does depend entirely where you stay and with which safari operator. While everyone may say just how much benefit accrues to the communities on the boundaries on the wilderness areas and reserves, it is worth asking to what degree this is so, and in exactly what areas (i.e. education, training, health, revenue share, equity stakes). A number of operators are doing sterling work in this area and it is their camps that we prefer to recommend.
How serious are the carbon emissions associated with my trip (e.g. international flights) and how can I offset these?
While intercontinental flying is commonly perceived as a carbon villain, it actually accounts for a relatively low percentage of global carbon emissions. Households, local transport and of course heavy industry are in reality far worse for carbon emissions. The reason for this is that flying is perceived as a luxury, while day to day materialism is thought of as a necessity. It is important however to distinguish between different types of travel. Ecotourism is a critical contributor to conservation of the remaining existing carbon sinks on the planet. Without visitors, vast tracts of wilderness (playing a daily role in the natural carbon cycle) would be even more under threat from less sustainable, extractive industries. It is our opinion then that the intercontinental travel that allows ecotourism to function is not an evil, but rather a necessity. Carbon offset schemes that we recommend include those run by The Carbon Neutral Company and, in particular, one that is encouraging an afforested buffer zone around Gorongoza National Park in Mozambique to prevent deforestation. Another project close to our hearts is a similar afforestation project in central Malawi run by Wilderness Safaris.
How can I make a difference to conservation and communities beyond simply visiting Africa?
Bearing in mind that the best contribution to African communities and conservation is booking a trip with a reputable safari operator and thus contributing to employment, lease and traversing fees, conservation projects and anti-poaching, it is possible to go even further. A number of safari operators that we use devote a percentage of nightly revenue to conservation and community projects, and it is possible to travel on specific ‘conservation safaris’. In addition Nungu Safaris supports a specific not-for-profit organisation called the Wilderness Wildlife Trust. See ‘make a difference’.
Is there any risk from wild animals while on game drive in open safari vehicles?
Large mammals such as elephant, buffalo and lion do not regard humans in a vehicle (open or closed) the same as they regard humans on foot. Over the last 3 million years of life side by side in the African savannahs, wild animals have an ingrained understanding of the dangers posed by the human species and on foot on a walking safari the response of game is very different to that while you are in a vehicle. As such, while in a vehicle, you are able to approach to amazing proximities of otherwise potentially dangerous species and not have any cause for concern. The level of training and experience in the guides of the camps we use is also quite phenomenal and all aspects of animal behaviour are well understood.
What sort of equipment is appropriate for a safari? Do I need a 'big lens' to capture the action and what sort of binoculars are best?
Unless you are a camera buff we feel that a good ‘point and shoot’ digital camera is sufficient to capture the essence of your trip as well as some memorable wildlife shots. We would recommend instead that you invest in a pair of good binoculars in the 8x40 range of a good brand name. These can really bring aspects of your African safari experience alive. If you do want to do more photographically we would be happy help you with specific technical advice in selecting a high end digital SLR camera and appropriate lens.
What sort of books would help me prepare for my trip and get the best out of the game and bird viewing?
There are a number of excellent guide books to nature, ecology and wildlife viewing available for southern Africa as a region, as well as each individual country. In addition there is a rich and entertaining local literature. We provide a recommended reading list tailored to each trip that is booked through Nungu Safaris.