We can accommodate you in anything from luxurious lodges to basic camping depending on your budget. Most of the places we stay at are locally-owned so we support the local economy. We also select accommodation that has a great location, with well-appointed amenities and, where possible, runs on sustainable resources.
Your private safari will be in comfortable 4x4 vehicles, either a mini-van or Land Cruiser, depending on availability. The vehicles seat up to eight people and have a pop-up roof to enable easy wildlife viewing. For larger groups, overland trucks are available.
We encourage our guests to budget a little bit more for their holiday with OTA to make room for a possible donation to the community-based organisations we visit. We do not take you to a project simply to fleece you; our main aim is to show you the positive activities being undertaken. But we have found that after spending some time with the people impacted by the projects, many of our guests are inspired to assist the projects financially or in other ways (volunteering for example).
As much or as little as you want! Our private charters give you the flexibility to decide your itinerary and inclusions. If you want a full-catered safari we can organise it for you. If you prefer the freedom to find your own restaurants, that’s fine too. If there are definite “must-sees” for your holiday, we can pre-book them. Or if you want to go with the flow once you land, we can provide simply the accommodation and transport and leave the rest to how you feel on the day. It’s up to you, your budget, and your dreams.
How does it work?
Together we will design an itinerary. Contact OTA to let us know where and when you want to travel and we will start putting together a plan. We can suggest highlights of the region as well as the types of community-based organisations available and you can tell us what is interesting to you. Once you have confirmed the itinerary, OTA will go ahead with booking accommodation and other services. On arrival in country, we will meet you at the airport, transfer you to your hotel, collect the final payment and make sure you all are set for your adventure.
For most nationalities, visas can be obtained on arrival in East African countries. Please check with your embassy for particular information or requirements of your nationality.
The prices of visas are not included in the price of your holiday with OTA and you will need US dollars to pay for them.
The US dollar is still the best currency to travel with in Africa. ATMs can now be found in most large towns in East Africa, but you should not rely on finding them everywhere. Credit cards attract fairly high fees and are often not accepted outside major cities. We recommend bringing a combination of hard currency and ATM cards to cover your expenses on the road.
When To Travel
The peak tourist season in East Africa is June-August and December-January. The winter months (June-August) see clear blue skies and moderate temperatures but cool evenings. These are also the best months for wildlife watching (especially the famed Migration) before the rains make the grass grow too high. However prices tend to rise in this period and flights are popular.
OTA does not provide flights from your home country to your tour starting point. We can organise airport transfers when you arrive, just let us know while we are planning your itinerary.
You must hold your own personal travel insurance to travel with OTA.
On the Road
Distances can be misleading in Africa due to road and traffic conditions. If you are from Australia and used to driving the 1000km between Sydney and Melbourne in a day, you’ll have to adjust your paradigm a bit. 500km is a very long driving day in Africa and not something to be taken on lightly! The roads are gnarly with potholes, unmarked speed humps and random farm animals scattered along them. The traffic is equally exciting as public buses overtake, undertake, cut off and weave crazily around the cars. Our experience allows us to plan a realistic itinerary to ensure you are not stuck in the car the entire time.
OTA cannot provide specialist medical advice and we strongly suggest you visit a medical professional before travelling. Malaria is widespread in Africa so we recommend you seek advice on taking a prophylaxis while travelling on the continent. Additionally, Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificates are required to gain entry to many African countries and, more importantly, often your home country on return from Africa. Please remember to bring this certificate with you!
There are many other vaccinations for you to consider and OTA strongly recommends you visit a medical practitioner before travelling.
As you proceed with your booking we'll give you lots more information including what to bring. But I just love this packing list tool so I'll share it now!
We spent a lovely couple of weeks with Tracey and Francis. I shared this trip with my daughter who lives overseas so it was a great time together. OTA was very helpful and made sure all our needs were met. I had a free day before my daughter flew in and Tracey took good care of me by taking me to see the giraffes and the orphan elephants in Nairobi. We then did a road trip to Naivasha, Massai Mara and Lake Nakuru before travelling up into Uganda. We had a lovely day riding bicycles in Hell's Gate and climbed Mt Longonot. OTA was excellent with all the information we needed before we left. Emails each week to get us ready. They made the tour very flexible to meet our needs and time restraints. I would be very happy to recommend them as an affordable, friendly, fun tour company.
- Carolyn Hutt, Australia
Tailored itinerary Kenya-Uganda, August 2013