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Tips For Your Journey

HOW DO YOU MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TRAVEL TO AFRICA?

Many of our guests are very well traveled, but have either never been to Africa, or never been on a safari before. We want you to get the most out of your vacation, and so we hope that the following information will be useful to you in preparing for your trip, and once you are there:

DRESS:

Dress as you normally would, and dress comfortably. People often think that since they are going to Africa they need to look as much like Dr. Livingstone as they possibly can, but it is far more important to be comfortable and warm than to have a hat in the right shade of khaki or look like a 1930's hunter. If you avoid anything, avoid bright patterns, which can distress animals, or blue, which can attract Tsetsi flies in regions where you find them. It's often better to go for natural colours, simply because they can pick up a little dust without looking too grubby. Take some warm clothes with you, especially on trips in winter, the peak game-viewing season. At this time of year it can be quite cold out in the early mornings, and some thick socks and a good set of boots together with some warm layers can go along way toward making your morning game drive a comfortable one. Then, once the sun goes down it can cool off quickly, and you may be on the back of an open-topped vehicle enjoying a night game drive in the best possible conditions, but you don't want to be cold in the wind.

GAME DRIVES:

Don't worry about lions or leopards jumping into your vehicle or attacking you, it is extremely unlikely that they will. However, for you to be safe, when on game drives and in the vicinity of animals it is important not to stand up or to isolate yourself from the group and vehicle as a whole. Talk at lower volumes and don't call out to animals, try get their attention, or feed them. The animals that you will see on a game drive are wild, roam free, and have the instinct to hunt for food naturally, and we shouldn't interfere with that.

Be very careful of smoking on game drives, the bush is often dry, it ignites very easily, and fire spreads very quickly through the dry bush. On a good safari trip you will be hundreds of kilometers away from any kind of fire station.

Overall, we select great locations with very experienced game rangers and guides for you, and you can't go wrong following their advice. They're also there to help you, so feel free to ask them questions.

WHAT TO PACK?

Pack light. Your whole trip will be easier. If your trip involves traveling in a light aircraft, as most of our safaris do, it is important to remember that the luggage restrictions on these aircrafts are a lot more stringent than on your international flight into Africa. These restrictions are for your own safety and are in order to prevent light aircrafts from flying overweight. Please adhere to your luggage weight restrictions - normally 15kg or even 12kg - and pack your luggage in soft bags. Hard suitcases are great for cities and large modern airports, but can cause you problems in a safari trip.

There are a few clever things that you can pack that are easily forgotten, although you will also be able to buy some items there:

  • Binoculars - yes, the lodges and the vehicles do provide them, and yes, you will be better off having sole use of your own pair such that you don't miss anything waiting for another few guests to finish with them first. Go for magnification between 8 and 10.
  • Camera - take a camera that you are comfortable using. Telephoto lenses are great for wildlife photos, but we suggest that you be experienced in using the lens that you take with you to avoid unwanted surprizes, such as shakes. Bring a lens cleaning kit if you can. Take an extra memory card.
  • Camera Bags - Take a light-coloured waterproof roll-top bag for your camera equipment if you can. Black ones heat up your equipment, and the roll-top will keep any dust out.
  • Eye drops - especially if you wear contact lenses or have eyes that could be sensitive in drier slightly dusty conditions
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen - Especially if you are combining your safari trip with some time on the beach, but even if you are not. The sun is "hotter" in Africa, and your skin will burn faster there than it does in Asia.

For security reasons, we advise our guests not to pack any valuable such as cameras, iPads, computers or jewelry in their checked luggage when traveling on flights to, or around, Africa. Prevention is better than cure, and it is simply safer to carry them in your carry-on luggage. We will not be able to be held responsible for any losses, and advise you to ensure that you are adequately covered by your travel insurance in this regard.

TIPPING

At Robert Mark we believe that tipping is dependent only on good service. We also aim to send you away with experienced guides and staff that should deliver fantastic service.

Tipping is at your discretion. If you wish to tip and are unsure of how much to tip, as a general rule game rangers in Southern Africa would be tipped around R200 - R300 per couple, a day.

Many game lodges will have an established system for ensuring that any tips to lodge staff such as wait or kitchen staff are well distributed. When they do, we would recommend following their advice.

WHEN YOU RETURN

Some of our guests return from their vacation with excellent stories, and photographs. If you would like these to get seen, and wish to publish these online in our forum for guest photographs or on our blog, please let us know and we will be glad to assist you.

We would also like to hear whatever feedback you can give us from your trip, in order to bring you the best possible product in the future. We would even like to hear about the staff at the lodges you stayed at - please feel free to let us know when somebody has gone out of their way to make your vacation that little bit more special.


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Overall, we had a great trip, thank you for helping us organise everything!

Jolene, New York


Overall we had a fantastic trip to the Okavango Delta. Everything was perfectly organised. Thanks a lot for making this trip memorable and totally hassle free. Our entire family loved it.

Jay


Thank you - everything went well, all the arrangements went well and it was exactly the kind of thing that we wanted out of this trip.

Beatta, Germany



We had a great time on Safari - thank you so much for planning a fantastic trip!

Sian, U.K.


We had a fantastic time, everything ran very smoothly. The visas were all easy, Rwanda is now a full visa on arrival service for U.K. Citizen, so no need to apply online at all before hand.

Samantha, UK


We are back in Sydney, I'm not back at work until Wednesday, Absolutely amazing - I don't know where to start. I would rattle on email so perhaps we can chat when you are free. Happy to give you feedback, suffice to say we will be booking all future African trips with you.

Millie, Sydney


Thanks Catherine, all went on well. Kapama was really excellent. We had awesome experience there. And the overall arrangement was great.

Kausalya G

In all, we were very pleased with your recommendations and the overall arrangements, and we would happily recommend RMS to friends who consider an African holiday. I must also add that you have been a pleasure to deal with, always prompt in your responses to queries even when you have been away in the bushes !! Well done.

Sri



Greetings from Singita, you've killed it again!!! Cheers, awesome place!!

Sunil, Switzerland

Thank you for xxxx. Once again. This clearly demonstrate the excellence of your after sales service. I must say, you couldn't have done better. We greatly appreciate every prompt and fruitful assistance you provide during this whole event (from planning to event completion). We will definitely come back for more and recommend your services to friends.

Mac, Singapore

We had a fantastic time, everything ran very smoothly. The internal flight times changed (I think for every single one!) but the guides knew what was going on and had us there at an appropriate time for each. Thanks for all your hard work organising this magical trip for us.

Sam L


The safari was a success and the wife was deeply satisfied. the game in Masai mara was great, the kindness of the people was amazing.

Frederick - Singapore


We had a fantastic honeymoon, absolutely loved Kenya and Tanzania - both really wonderful countries. Our safari at Eagle View was great - beautiful scenery, great animals and wonderful staff. Thanks for all your help in organising it!

Matt, Hong Kong



We are finally back.. Thanks alot for all your help..We really enjoyed and had a terrific experience in both Namibia and SA..

Jose, Mexico

Thanks to you, your expertise and your attention to my needs, this trip was the best of my life! and i had fabulous trips in my life already, but this one surpassed them all. there was not a single hiccup with accommodation or transportation. nothing. flawless!

The trip was well organised and i am happy i finished it with Namibia. Wow!

Karen, France

We had a simply wonderful trip especially in Botswana. Super accommodation, wonderful guides. Everything was so organised with the food and we were a little worried that we might not have much to eat as vegans, but everyone was very accommodating and we ate so very well! :-).

Sebastien, Vancouver

I'm very impressed by every detail, particularly the seamless guidance from the moment I landed Nairobi. This took away my biggest concern with safety. Thank you very much again Catherine for all efforts made. Africa now becomes a preferred option for our family holiday. I'm sure I'll need your help again not too long.

F. Y. - Hong Kong


Thanks for the follow up. We had a great time and the organisation all went very smoothly, so many thanks.

The private plane charter was a big success – the kids loved it. And very swish service etc. – all very impressive, felt rather special and was a wonderful start.

John, Singapore


Hi Stacey, Thank you for this! And thank you for this amazing trip, we can't quite believe it, it's been so magnificent so far and we are totally in love with South Africa, it's been incredible. And these places!!! We've toasted a few times to you so far, this is amazing!!!

Gen, Hong Kong


Hi Rob, My Fiancee and I had a wonderful time on the trip. All of the camps you chose for the safaris were top notch and we saw pretty much everything (4 of the big 5). Thanks again for you help and setting up a most memorable trip.

Kenneth, Hong Kong

Thank you so much for your email and for organising this trip for us.

Yes everything went smoothly and me and my buddies, we had a great time. Thanks for your help in arranging this trip. It was fantastic and memorable!

Joey, Singapore

Ol Donyo was really magnificent. The managers of the camp - Shaun Mousley and Amy both are very warm and friendly. They made us feel very welcomed and we thoroughly enjoyed staying at Ol Donyo. The camp is on par in terms of standards with Singita group, in terms of quality of their accommodation and service.

Joey, Singapore



We had an absolutely wonderful time in SA! Thank you for all your arrangements!

Peggy



The tour you organised to Cape Point was excellent and our guide for the day, Jerry, was very engaging and knowledgeable.

Jeremy



Our recommendation for first timer safari goers is that 5 days is an absolute minimum to go for.

Karen, Singapore


We were very happy with the whole trip and are planning to visit different lodges in Africa. Next up we are looking at Tanzania for next year and we think it will likely be a yearly trip for us to Africa!

Karen, Singapore


The feeling at Mara Plains was really good. The managers were great, a lovely couple, and the guides were really good as well.

Nick, Hong Kong



Everything went really, really well with the whole trip. In hindsight the highlights were the Gorillas and Victoria Falls.

Nick, New York



Botswana - The safari was incredible!

Daniel G

The safari turned out to be the absolute highlight of our trip.

Thank you so much for recommending Sabi Sabi. It was perfect for us. We loved every minute of the safari experience and each day saw The Big 5 - and more!! It was a truly remarkable experience.

Linsey

Thanks Stacey, we had a great time, everything went very smoothly. By far the easiest trip we have taken. Kim was there to meet us in Johannesburg and everything went very smooth from there, pickups, flights, reservations, etc. Ate way too much, saw lions on a kudu hunt, leopard finishing off a little duiker, rhino, elephant, impala, bush bark, water buffalo, wildebeest, nyla, etc. Very sad to leave!

Robert, Malaysia


Suffice to say we had a great time! The organisation worked as clockwork, and all thanks to you for organising it perfectly. The two guides we had were excellent and we saw the Big 5 in both Tarangire and the Serengeti.

S. S. - Malaysia


We really had a fantastic time. Thanks for putting together such a great itinerary for us, we really were impressed with the quality of the itinerary that you put together for us.

Ray - Hong Kong


Little Tubu was our favourite of the three camps we stayed at but even the others were also really good. Small camp and far away from everything, really great. Suggestions from Robert Mark were very good and the staff at the camps looked after us well. Very exciting.

Danny Ng - Hong Kong



Spent 10 Days in Kenya Oct 2014, had a great time, everything was superb, thanks a lot RMS for organizing everything. Tarryn & Glen

Tarryn & Glen - Dubai

We utilized Robert Mark Safaris for a recent adventure holiday to Serengeti & Ngorongoro. It had always been on our bucket list. Robert Mark Safaris were fantastic in ensuring that out trip went seamlessly, and we were especially pleased with the detail that they placed on our personal requests. They also provided some great recommendations that added special memories to our trip. Thanks again, we will be back.

Steven Rowe - Australia

Amazing experience that took us to two different safari lodges.

With plenty of opportunities for hiccups along the way the whole trip ran very smoothly and was the trip of a life time. I highly recommend Robert Mark Safaris if you are looking for a hassle free, safari experience.

David S - Hong Kong



Our expectations were high, but the reality topped all preconceptions.

Dave

A group of my friends and I were looking for an African Adventure when we were recommended Robert Mark Safaris, and we were not disappointed. We had the most fabulous tour ever - Initially we spent a week in the beautiful Cape Town. The service we received from the Robert Mark Safaris team were second to none and we could not be more thankful. Thanks again, and we cant wait to return!

Pierre V - Australia


We could hear the elephants walking through the camp at night, hyenas cackling away close by and even hippos as they left the water to graze in the cool of the evening.

Fonty Z


Elephants were a frequent visitor around our tent particularly one which liked to sleep beside our tent, buffalo tended to wander past and numerous small animals delighted us with their antics.

Bev P



Mombo is one of the premier camps in the Okavango Delta. Food, accommodation and service are absolutely top class.

M Witul



E - for excellent, excessive and exceptional.

Eud - Hong Kong


Excellent Trip! King's Pool will be first on our list for our next visit to Botswana.

Spencer L



Our entire experience at Chitabe was first-class. The wildlife we were able to see in a few short days was unbelievable.

Paharlan


"Abu Camp on the Okavango Delta in Botswana is surely at the top end for luxury African safari camps… There is an incredible amount of game to be viewed… Finally, the great attraction of the camp is the Abu elephant herd."

Gordon D

My Boyfriend and I were very happy with the service provided by Robert Mark Safaris on our visit to the South Africa - we went to the Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Cape Town They made sure we were taken care of the whole way through and even planned ahead of us to make sure our activities were scheduled according to the weather conditions. Two Thumbs up!

E Lim - Singapore

I was fortunate enough to get to spend two nights at Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge. What a great Experience. Sabi Sabi is a top class reserve and the game viewing was brilliant. Robert Mark Safaris did a great job & the lodge itself is luxurious and modern and a really nice place to return to after sundowners and a night drive!

Gary D - Sydney


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