Frequently Asked Questions

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Are there opportunities to meet with local people or visit real African villages?

There are many opportunities for cultural interaction! East Africa contains one of the most diverse tribal and cultural heritages in the world. Kenya and Tanzania offer guests an unrivalled cultural experience from the Maasai, Kikuyu, Samburu and Turkana tribes in Kenya to Tanzania's multicultural heritage with their Maasai herdsmen and approximately 120 tribal groups scattered throughout the country. Your guides, trackers, waiters and other employees in most of the East African safari camps we use are from the indigenous tribes. We are also able to arrange visits to authentic villages and settlements where you can observe and participate in celebrations, rituals and day to day tribal life – the options are endless.

Southern Africa is also rich in culture. In Botswana, Jack's and San camps, which are located deep in the heart of the Kalahari desert on the edge of the Makgadikgadi Pans, offers guests a rare opportunity to go on nature walks with San Bushman trackers and to observe age-old tracking and hunting methods and other rituals. A visit to Chapman's Baobab - the historical baobab tree used by Livingstone, Stanley, Selous and other early explorers is a very memorable experience. At most camps in Botswana and Namibia, guests will be entertained by traditional singing and dancing.

In Namibia, during one's stay at Serra Cafema and Hoanib Skeleton Coast camps, we visit and spend time with beautiful and striking Himba tribespeople (semi-nomadic pastoralists of the Namib desert) and their settlements and native Ovahimba family settlements, just outside the park, for an incredible cultural experience.

On the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, visits to Simonga and Songwe villages enables guests to interact with the local Tokoleya people for whom the Falls are sacred. In South Luangwa in Zambia, our partner Robin Pope Safaris offers guests the opportunity to visit Kawaza School, a local school in the Nsefu village which Robin Pope has been supporting for over 15 years, and to stay overnight in Kawaza Village to learn more about village culture and the local way of life.

Please note that unlike in East Africa where wildlife and tribes live side by side in harmony, most of the safari camps and lodges in southern Africa are located in remote wilderness areas far from human settlement and thus offer no formal cultural interaction with local villages. However, you should note that all of the camps we use employ locals from the area. Your guide, tracker, waiter, chef and cleaning lady will be from the area and will be very interested to discuss their culture and way of life with you during your stay.