About Us

Real World Travel & Conservation is a small, independent UK based company. Conservation is at the core of our ethos. Our tailor-made Real World journeys encompass Real Africa and Real Asia - they're the holidays we recommend to our friends, and in the style of travel we enjoy with our own families. Each and every trip is crafted with the same trademark care and attention specifically around your requirements - something we've been doing since the year 2000. Underpinning all journeys is a commitment to responsible travel and wildlife conservation.

We are dedicated to raising awareness and funds for conservation projects worldwide via our charitable Real World Conservation Trust (UK registered charity no 1177505) and online through our Real World Store. Our keynote campaign, Explorers against Extinction has achieved great things. You can find out more on our conservation pages.

Travel and wildlife is an abiding passion. We look very forward to sharing it with you.

Feedback

The service we had from the local agents where ever we went was very very good and we were transported in nice vehicles which were new and clean. The places you booked us in to, I do not understand how they could be called Guest Houses, the rooms we had in these places just got better and better, the attention to detail with directions when travelling and the Rovos Rail train (on which we were upgraded to a Royal Suite!!), and the Safari all in all it made this the best holiday we think we have ever had, and that's saying something as we go away at least 3/4 times a year, and I did China for my 60th which we did not think could be topped. Thanks you once again for all you did for us.
Mr & Mrs L , UK ( Oct, 2015 ) Visited: South Africa, Zambia
Our driver/guide, James, was very good - particularly with the difficult driving on very dusty and uneven roads. He was always pleasant and cheerful. Thank you very much for a wonderful safari experience.
Mr and Mrs B. , UK ( Dec, 2015 ) Visited: Kenya
It is about time we contacted you to say how wonderful our holiday was. Everyone turned up as planned and were very courteous and helpful. The lodges were excellent - most comfortable, service and food excellent. Our guide/driver on safari was wonderful. He had the most amazing eye sight to spot the game and his knowledge was second to none. His driving was very good - we always felt safe - and he always kept a safe distance from the game, particularly the elephants! With the exception of rhino and cheetah I think we saw just about everything (only one leopard though and he was up a tree!). Wildebeest were in their thousands! May I also say how impressed we were with your service. Our emails were always answered within 24 hours (except when you were in Botswana!!) and you always gave us plenty of information. We will have no hesitation in recommending Real Africa and if you need to ask us any questions at all please do not hesitate. My sincere thanks for organising everything so well - we really did have a terrific and most memorable holiday.
Mr & Mrs S , UK ( Oct, 2016 ) Visited: Tanzania
A professional and personal service from the outset - many thanks Paul! We had a really wonderful experience in Rwanda and Kenya and would highly recommend Paul at Real Africa to anyone wanting a special holiday.
Mr S.A ( Sep, 2016 ) Visited: Kenya, Rwanda
Once again superb service - cannot fault a thing. We wouldn't use anyone else - nothing is too much trouble.
Mrs B ( Sep, 2016 ) Visited: South Africa
This is our third trip with Real Africa and they have all been amazing. The itineraries are always spot on with beautiful accommodation in every location we have been to. I would not travel to Africa with any other company as I feel we can completely trust Real Africa to organise us a brilliant holiday.
Mrs L ( Sep, 2016 ) Visited: Namibia
If you have a vision of a dream holiday in Africa, Paul at Real Africa can make that dream become reality. We have just returned from a family holiday in Kenya & Zanzibar. Our safari's in Kenya were amazing - balloon & bush champagne breaky second to none worth every penny. Girraffe Manor WOW. All accommodation first class. The Sea Cliff resort in Zanzibar is out of this world, and ideal to relax after the bush. Thank you Paul for helping us live the dream, you did us proud, and our hearts will hold these wonderful memories for ever.
The M Family ( Aug, 2016 ) Visited: Kenya, Tanzania
This is our second year with Real Africa, they have been fantastic with all our arrangements yet again. With them you can feel happy on holiday and not worry about travel to and from your resort, the lodges were of the best we have stayed in for many years. Botswana we stayed at the Ngoma Safari Lodge in Chobe, the wild life is unbelievable. We must have seen most of the 129,000 elephants in the area. So well done Real Africa.
Jo & DM ( Apr, 2016 ) Visited: Botswana
We had the most wonderful time so well organized, with concise fact sheets, excellent accommodation , transfers,which allowed us to enjoy our holiday without any worries. Botswana was the jewel in the crown.The Ngoma Safari Lodge a real find - Judy and Peter made us feel like VIP'S along with first class dining plus the game drives truly a bucket list time.. The river trips at both Botswana and Zimbabwe were a wonderful experience. Thank you for all your care and attention.
Mr & Mrs L ( May, 2016 ) Visited: Botswana, Zimbabwe

Privacy Policy

Real World Travel & Conservation Ltd (RWTC) takes your privacy seriously and will not disclose your personal details to any other parties unless authorised to do so.

We are registered with the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) in the UK. Our registration reference is Z7101093.

The Privacy Policy below outlines how Real World Travel & Conservation collects and uses your personal information.

Our promise to you:

  • To hold your data securely;
  • Share only where you agree;
  • Use your data to tailor the information we provide you, arrange your travel arrangements and improve our services;
  • Put you in control by allowing you to update, delete and access your data;

This policy covers how Real World Travel & Conservation Ltd collects, uses, discloses, transfers and stores your data. We are Real World Travel & Conservation Ltd of 5 Market St, North Walsham, Norfolk, NR28 9BZ. Our websites are realafrica.co.uk, realasia.co.uk and realworldtravelandconservation.co.uk

Please read the following information carefully. If you book on behalf of others, you are responsible for ensuring that the others are aware of the content of this Privacy Policy and are in agreement with you supplying their personal date to use to make a booking or enquiry. By making a booking or an enquiry, you agree to the transfer, storage and processing of your data as necessary. We will take all reasonable steps necessary to ensure your data is treated securely and in accordance with this privacy policy but if you do not agree with this policy we cannot accept your booking and you should not use this website.

The personal information we collect and when and why we use it

The sort of personal data we collect will be information such as name, address, email address, telephone number, date of birth, and personal travel arrangements. In addition, we may also be required to obtain your passport details to pass to overseas authorities which require Advanced Passenger Information.

We will need to collect this information to arrange the travel and other services you are requesting. In some cases, we may also need to collect more sensitive personal data such as information concerning medical conditions, disabilities and special requirements such as dietary requests which may disclose your religious beliefs, so as to be able to consider your particular needs in relation to a booking.

How we use this personal information

We use your personal information to:

  • fulfil our contract with you and/or deal with your booking or intended booking, including processing your booking, sending you your itinerary or other details relating to your booking
  • update you on changes to your travel itinerary (for example, if there is a change to your booking pre travel; if a flight is delayed or cancelled).
  • manage your wider travel or services requirements (for example, liaising with and transferring your data to airlines, service providers and/or travel facilitators so that they can facilitate your booking and/or your travel arrangements so any disruption can be minimised), this includes when you book a holiday package, hotel, car or other service which may be provided by us or third parties with us
  • process payments for your booking, fulfil requests for refunds and for accounting or audit purposes
  • personalise the service and offers you receive (for example, by being aware of previous travel experiences, transactions or preferences, and tailoring the way we provide our products or services to you based on your preferences and profile)
  • communicate and interact with you at different times throughout your journey
  • communicate with airlines, accommodation providers and other parties that are part of your journey regarding your experience, preferences, compliments or complaints
  • improve the products and services we offer or help us to create new ones
  • conduct customer satisfaction surveys so that we can obtain a better understanding of how we can continue to improve the products and services we offer or help us to create new ones. During these surveys we may collect personal information from you relating to your thoughts/comments about your experience with us
  • market our products and services to you
  • manage our business such as for systems testing, IT maintenance or development training, benchmarking and performance measurement
  • use in connection with your online account as you may authorise or consent to additionally from time to time

We do not generally collect special categories of personal information from you (or those you are booking for), but where we do, we seek to minimise the collection and use of it and handle it with extra care. We also share this information with third parties (who help manage our business and deliver services such as those parties who provide wheelchairs at airports) and other companies (who help manage your booking or journey), and we transfer it globally. Where you (or any passenger travelling) provides us with special categories of personal information you agree that you have voluntarily provided such information, and you consent (and the passenger travelling consents) for us to use that information for the purposes for which it was collected.

If you have any queries about any of our products or services, compliments or complaints, we will need to collect information from you, including your contact details, in order for us to respond to your query or provide you with assistance. We will collect this information when you, send us an email, call our customer office or contact us via another form of communication such as through social media or an online chat tool.

Personal information we collect and use for legal, compliance, regulatory and crime detection and prevention purposes

We process your personal information so that we can meet our legal, compliance and regulatory obligations, for legal purposes, such as to respond to a valid legal claim, summons or regulatory order, and to protect our property, rights and interests as well as the property, rights and interest of other persons.

We also process your personal information for crime prevention and detection purposes, including the prevention of fraud for online payments, for identity verification, for credit checking and credit scoring purposes and accounting or audit purposes. If you visit one of our local offices you may be monitored by closed circuit television for security purposes. In each case, we do so in compliance with applicable laws.

Personal information we collect and use from third parties

We collect personal information from third parties who you have authorised to provide your personal information to us (for example, this may be your travel agent or another person making a booking on your behalf, your travel companion, your travel coordinator, our promotion partners, social media and other digital website). We also collect personal information from individuals who may refer you as a friend to our products or services. We ask these individuals to confirm that you are happy to hear from us.

Personal information we collect and use when you are making a payment

We collect different personal information depending on your payment method (such as credit card, bank transfer, cash). For example, for credit card payments we may collect the credit card holder name, address, card number, expiry date and CVC code. We never store any payment information. Once a payment has been made we destroy all payment information.

Legal basis for using your personal information

We will only collect, process use, share and store your personal information where we are satisfied that we have an appropriate legal basis to do this. This may be because:

  • we need to use your personal information to perform a contract or take steps to enter into a contract with you. For example, to manage your booking with us, to take payment for your booking, or to complete your travel arrangements;
  • we need to use your personal information for our legitimate interest as a commercial organisation. For example, we may record calls to our customer service centre so that we can review how we handle calls. We may also capture your interactions with our website and booking journey via tools on our website in order to identify errors or issues and ensure your customer experience meets expectations. In all such cases, we will look after your information at all times in a way that is proportionate and that respects your privacy rights.
  • we need to use your personal information to comply with a relevant legal or regulatory obligation that we have. For example, in some countries, we are required to provide API to border control, customs and law enforcement officers at ports of entry and exit on your itinerary; and
  • we have your consent to using your personal information for a particular activity. For example, where you consent to us sharing with you special offers which we think may be of interest.

Sharing your personal information with others

We share your personal information in the manner and for the purposes described below:

  • with third parties who help us manage our business and deliver our products and services. These third parties have agreed to confidentiality obligations and use any personal information we share with them or which they collect on our behalf solely for the purposes of providing the contracted service to us. These third parties include service providers who help manage our IT and back office systems, detect fraudulent transactions and security incidents, provide customer service centre support, manage communications and tailor marketing and advertising; verify payments such as banks and payment card companies; provide internet services; host our facilities and conduct research that assists us with understanding consumer interests.
  • bank and payment providers to authorise and complete payments;
  • with governments, government organisations and agencies, border control agencies, regulators, law enforcement and others as permitted or required by law, in relation to API or such other legal requirements as apply from time to time when travelling to or from a particular country, and to generally comply with all applicable laws, regulations and rules, and requests of law enforcement, regulatory and other governmental agencies;
  • to improve the products and services we offer or help us to create new ones and for marketing, profiling and analytics as detailed below; and for the purposes described in this Privacy Notice.
  • with third parties whose products or services you are purchasing through our website or offices, or otherwise such as airlines, tourism agencies, hotel, transfer and car hire companies, tour and excursion providers or to travel agents, including if there is a problem with your booking so that your travel agent can resolve it with you;

How you can manage your marketing preferences

To protect your privacy and to ensure you have control over how we manage marketing with you and provided that you have indicated that you would like to receive it:

  • we will take steps to limit direct marketing to a reasonable level;
  • only send you communications which we believe may be of interest or relevance to you and at all times in line with your permissions, which, as appropriate, may include:
    • telling you about developments in the products and services available through us;
  • you can click the "unsubscribe" link that you will find at the bottom of our emails which you receive from us, or you can unsubscribe by contacting us or changing your account settings which will remove you from the relevant marketing list;

If you unsubscribe completely from our marketing communications we may be unable to notify you of tailored offers to meet your needs. If you do unsubscribe from marketing communications you will still receive operational and service messages from us regarding your booking including where you may not have completed a booking (such as abandoned cart emails or pop-up notices), and responses to your enquiries made to us.

When and how we undertake analytics and profiling

Analytics

We aggregate personal information and remove any identifying elements in order to analyse patterns and improve our marketing and promotional efforts, to analyse website use, to improve our content and products and services, to customize our website' content, layout, products and services, and to support our business operations and we may appoint third parties to do this on our behalf. We gather certain usage information like the number and frequency of visitors to our website. This information includes which webpage you just came from, which webpage you next go to, what browser you are using, your device ID and your IP address. This collective data helps us to determine how much our customers use parts of our website, and do research on our users’ demographics, interests, and behaviour to better understand and serve you. One of the ways we do this is by installing and using Cookies on your browser or device.

If you use buttons on our website linked to social media or similar sites (for example, "Like" and/or "Share" buttons), content from our Website may be sent back to those sites and, depending on your privacy settings, may be privately or publicly visible (for example, to friends, followers or generally to anyone who has access to your profile page).

Transferring personal information globally

We sell travel arrangements to destinations around the world, which means your personal information may be transferred and stored in other countries which may be outside your country of residence. Some of these countries are subject to different standards of data protection than your country of residence.

We will take appropriate steps to ensure that transfers of personal information are in accordance with applicable law, and we only transfer personal information to another country where:

  • we are satisfied that adequate levels of protection are in place to protect your information; and
  • the transfers are fully managed to protect your privacy rights and interests and are limited to countries which are recognized as providing an adequate level of legal protection or where we can be satisfied that alternative arrangement are in place to protect your privacy rights.

To this end:

  • where we transfer your personal information outside our company or to third parties (who help us to provide our products and services), we obtain commitments from them to protect your personal information; or
  • where we receive requests for information from law enforcement or regulators, we carefully review and validate these requests before any personal information is disclosed.

In the event your personal information is transferred to a foreign jurisdiction, it may be subject to the laws of that jurisdiction and we may be required to disclose it to the courts, law enforcement or governmental authorities in those jurisdictions.

You have a right to contact us for more information about the safeguards we have put in place to ensure the adequate protection of your personal information when this is transferred as mentioned above.

How we protect and store your personal information

Protection of your personal information

We have implemented and maintain appropriate technical and organisational security measures, policies and procedures designed to protect the personal information that you share with us and safeguard the privacy of such information. For example, the measures we take include:

  • placing confidentiality requirements on our staff members and service providers;
  • destroying or permanently anonymising personal information if it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected; and
  • following security procedures in the storage and disclosure of your personal information to prevent unauthorised access to it; and
  • using secure communication channels on our website such as SSL ("secure sockets layer") for transmitting data that is sent to us. SSL are industry standard encryption protocols used to protect online transaction channels.

Storage of your personal information

We keep your personal information for as long as is reasonably necessary for the purposes for which it was collected. For example, to manage bookings and provide you with any relevant products or services, as explained in this Privacy Notice. We will ensure that it is disposed of in a secure manner. In most cases we will destroy your data 7 years after collection in order to comply with UK HMRC rules. Where no booking is made, data will be removed not more than 12 months after collection

In some circumstances we may store your personal information for longer periods of time, for example, where we are required to do so in accordance with legal, regulatory, tax, or accounting requirements. In specific circumstances we may store your personal information for longer periods of time so that we have an accurate record of your dealings with us in the event of any complaints or if we reasonably believe there is a prospect of litigation relating to your personal information or dealings.

Cookies

A "cookie" is a small computer file which is downloaded to your device. It collects information as to how you navigate our Website and the internet and helps us provide better website services to you.

Cookies may collect personal information about you. Cookies help us remember information about your visit to our website, like your departure point, and other settings and searches. Cookies enable us to understand who has seen which webpages and how frequently, and to determine which are the most popular areas of our website. They can also help us to operate our website more efficiently and make your next visit easier and customise your view of the website to reflect your preferences and activities. They also help us tailor our marketing and advertisements to you on our website, other website you visit, social media website and your other devices.

Legal rights available to help manage your privacy

You have certain rights in relation to your personal information:

In order to exercise your rights, we may ask you for additional information to confirm your identity and for security purposes, in particular before disclosing personal information to you.

You can exercise your rights by emailing us at robert@realafrica.co.uk or by sending us a communication at 5 Market Street, North Walsham, Norfolk, NR28 9BZ. Subject to legal and other permissible considerations, we will make every reasonable effort to honour your request within 30 days or inform you if we require further information in order to fulfil your request.

We may not always be able to fully address your request, for example, if it would impact the duty of confidentiality we owe to others, or if we are legally entitled to deal with the request in a different way.

Right to access personal information

You have a right to request that we provide you with a copy of your personal information that we hold and you have the right to be informed of: the source of your personal information; the purposes, legal basis and methods of processing; the data controller’s identity; and the businesses or categories of businesses to whom your personal information may be transferred.

Right to rectify or erase personal information

You have a right to request that we rectify inaccurate personal information. We may seek to verify the accuracy of the personal information before rectifying it.

You can also request that we erase your personal information in limited circumstances where:

  • it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected; or
  • you have withdrawn your consent (where the data processing was based on consent); or
  • following a successful right to object ; or
  • it has been processed unlawfully; or
  • the personal information must be erased for compliance with a legal obligation under European Union or Member State law to which the we are subject.

We are not required to comply with your request to erase personal information if the processing of your personal information is necessary:

  • for compliance with a legal obligation; or
  • for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

Right to object to the processing (including direct marketing) of your personal information

You can object to any processing of your personal information which has our legitimate interests as its legal basis, if you believe your fundamental rights and freedoms outweigh our legitimate interests.

You can request that we stop contacting you for marketing purposes.

You can request that we not transfer your personal information to unaffiliated third parties for the purposes of direct marketing or any other purposes.

If you have joined our mailing list, you can manage your marketing preferences automatically by clicking the "unsubscribe" link that you will find at the bottom of our emails which you receive from us, or you can unsubscribe by contacting is at (your email address).

Right to obtain a copy of personal information safeguards used for transfers outside your jurisdiction

You can ask to obtain a copy of, or reference to, the safeguards under which your personal information is transferred outside of the European Union.

We may redact data transfer agreements to protect commercial terms.

Right to restrict the processing of your personal information

You can ask us to restrict your personal information, but only where:

  • its accuracy is contested, to allow us to verify its accuracy; or
  • the processing is unlawful, but you do not want it erased; or
  • it is no longer needed for the purposes for which it was collected, but we still need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or
  • you have exercised the right to object, and verification of overriding grounds is pending.

We can continue to use your personal information following a request for restriction, where:

  • we have your consent; or
  • to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or
  • to protect the rights of another natural or legal person.

You have a right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office if you have concerns about how we are processing your personal information.

If you have any concerns regarding data that we hold, please contact our Data Controller Robert Ferguson at Real World Travel & Conservation Ltd, 5 Market St, North Walsham, Norfolk, NR28 9BZ. robert@realafrica.co.uk

Staff

Since we offer holidays to many destinations in Africa and Asia, our clients naturally range in age and interests, but all share a passion for wildlife and the natural world, just like us. Enjoying these to the full is something we prioritise in all our tailor-made holidays. Introducing our clients to the highlights of any specific country, at a pace and style which suits them is of course important, and we use local English speaking, fully accredited guides to do this. In our experience these guides can give a far more personal and interesting insight to their own country, cultures and wildlife.

We also like to show our clients more unusual locations, taking them away from the main tourist routes to discover the real gems - these are places we've usually explored ourselves.

Our small team of knowledgeable UK travel specialists have firsthand knowledge and can offer independent advice. They also liaise with an extensive network of expert ground handlers and guides in order to create unique itineraries for you. Together we look after you every step of the way.

Robert Ferguson Managing Director

Rob has worked in special interest travel for over 25 years, the last sixteen of which have been spent running Real Africa. Most of his recent trips to Africa have been focused on the work of the Real Africa Trust. In Kenya, Rob visited a school on the edge of the Maasai Mara where the Trust has funded and built a new classroom and also took time to visit the elephant nursery at the Sheldrick Trust with his family. Rob has travelled widely in Africa with many visits to Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Swaziland. Rob's career in travel started a long way from Africa - in the Himalayas, as a mountain guide. It was during this time that climbing and trekking trips to Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho and South Africa started his love for Africa. He hasn't forgotten his origins however and is the author of the Footprint Travel Guide to Nepal, published February 2017.

Paul Hickey-Fry Sales Director

Paul is our Sales Director and has worked for Real Africa since it started back in 2000. His has accrued, during a 35 year career in travel, immense skill and knowledge about tailor-made travel to Africa. Paul loves to return to Africa whenever he can and has travelled extensively in Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, South Africa and Namibia. It is a standing joke that Paul has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Africa and an incredible memory for detail. In 2013 he toured the Cape Provinces of South Africa, visiting a selection of our property portfolio. In two weeks he somehow managed to see over 30 properties, as well as quite a few bars and restaurants... Paul takes great pride in matching the right property with the right client and oversees all the bookings made at Real Africa. Our client reviews are testament to Paul's skill and dedication.

Sara White Marketing Director

Sara has lived and worked overseas during a varied career encompassing journalism, photography and over 15 years specifically in long-haul travel. She's travelled extensively worldwide but her most memorable moments in Africa include catching a grain pinasse down the Niger River to Timbuktu in Mali and going in search of wild dogs in Zambia’s South Luangwa. Other travels in Africa include Morocco, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Cape Verde, where she got stranded on the island of Fogo (it's a long story...) She has found herself returning time and again to a number of places, including Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and the Seychelles. Passionate about wildlife conservation, in 2016 Sara spent time with the Save the Elephants team in Samburu and went on exercise with the Lewa anti poaching dog squad. Her 2017 visit to Kenya included visiting our partners in Mara North Conservancy and the Sheldrick Trust in Nairobi. She is looking forward to returning in 2018 to see how Explorers against Extinction fund-raising has helped.

Helen Botha Safari Consultant - Real Africa

Helen lived and worked in South Africa for 18 years before settling in the UK and working for Real Africa. During 20 years in travel she has built up an excellent knowledge of Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean islands, including stays at many of the leading hotels and game lodges we use. One of her most memorable trips was to Chobe in Botswana, which she combined with Victoria Falls although she also loves Mauritius...and the Comoros Islands! She was back in South Africa in 2015 visiting Kruger.

Lily Appleby-Newby Senior Consultant - Real Africa & Real World

Lily is an Africa addict! She has visited Kenya 10 times and Tanzania 11, the most recent of these being a visit to the national parks and lodges of Southern Tanzania. She travelled to Ethiopia for the first time just recently. As well as East Africa, she is no slouch in the South. She has been to South Africa an incredible 18 times, visiting just about all the places and properties we go, from the Kruger to KwaZulu Natal. Lily has explored Zimbabwe extensively, she loves Zambia (she's been six times), Namibia (she's notched up three trips there) and Uganda (just the two trips so far which included a very close encounter with a certain mountain gorilla). She's also found time to explore Malawi, Lesotho and Mauritius. Lily's enthusiasm for travel is not restricted to Africa. Lily also designs tailor-made itineraries for our clients wishing to visit other continents via our Real World portfolio. Lily's 2017 travels include India and Vietnam.

Ruth Bolton Programme Manager - Real World

Ruth left university with a degree in European Studies and then took a Masters in Tourism Management at the University of Surrey. Her work in travel commenced with Hyatt Hotels and later included a two year management training course with Saga Holidays. Ruth joined Real Africa in June 2000 from Simply Travel, where she was Programme Manager, in charge of sales, reservations and operations for their Cities and Short Breaks programme. With her extensive and varied tourism background, her fluency in French and Spanish and her travel experience in Europe, the US, Africa and Asia, Ruth has a varied role working with our partners to ensure Real World offers quality itineraries with conservation at their core, and also with our repeat clients - she has recently arranged a tailormade journey to Sri Lanka where her clients were lucky enough to spot rare leopards. Ruth has travelled throughout the world - she particularly loves South Africa where you can usually find her somewhere on the waterfront in Cape Town ...working of course.

East Africa Driver Guides

Many of our driver/guides have been with us since we started in 2000. From Sammy, George and Henry in Kenya to Marco, Hashim and Gaudens in Tanzania, we know our guides well and where possible try to match them with the right client. All guides are local and accredited. With drive-in safaris in Kenya we have a choice of vehicle - custom built pop top safari microvans or 4x4s and in Tanzania all vehicles are 4x4. Driver/guides meet you at the start of your holiday and will often stay with you right until dropping you back at the airport. They not only introduce you to the flora and fauna of their country but, if of interest to you, to the customs and culture as well.

East Africa Reservations

Our staff here in the UK work closely with our partners in Africa - this includes local reservations and operations staff based in Nairobi, Kenya and Arusha, Tanzania, pictured here with Sara on a visit in 2017. Having local expertise on the ground in all the countries we operate is vital to providing a quality safari experience. This extensive network ensures we are constantly kept up to date, from latest wildlife movements and weather to new camps/lodges and special offers. The local teams meet you at the airport and look after you throughout your stay, ensuring every thing runs smoothly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a safari?

A safari holiday is when you go in search of animals living in the wild. It can be any type of animal, although most people hope to see what are known as the 'Big Five'; lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. This is a throw-back to the last century and the days of the Big Game hunters who wanted trophies from the most dangerous animals to shoot. These days the only shooting on our safaris is thankfully done with a camera! Seeing any of these animals in the wild is a thrill. 

The game-viewing - searching for the animals - tends to be done at dawn and dusk. This is when the animals are at their most active. At night it is too dark to see them and the use of flashlights is prohibited in most parks and reserves. However South Luangwa in Zambia is a notable exception - famous for its night drives with flashlights and trackers. Alternatively we offer many superb camps in private concessions offering night drives. Night drives are especially good for seeing leopard, who are nocturnal. 

During the heat of the day many animals sleep or shelter from the sun. The word 'safari' first came into the English language at the end of the nineteenth century. It comes from the Swahili word for 'long journey', and possibly from the Arabic word 'safar' which means 'travel'. Its first usage can be traced back to the explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton, who travelled between 1851 -53 in disguise to Mecca and then between 1856-60 to the Great Lakes of the African interior. As a gifted linguist who spoke 29 languages, it was he who first used the word 'safari' to describe his journeys.

Where should I go on my safari holiday?

It depends on how long you have and what you want to see. In East Africa both Kenya and Tanzania are excellent for seeing all the main animals. If you don't have much time then a visit to Kenya, visiting Laikipia and the Masai Mara gives you a good chance of seeing the Big Five in a few days. If you have longer then a visit to explore the larger national parks of Tanzania gives you a true perspective on the scale of Africa.

For specialist viewing, such as Gorilla trekking and Chimps you need to visit specific places. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and Volcanoes National Park offer the best Gorilla viewing, while Western Tanzania and Kibale in Uganda allow you to walk in to see chimps.

In Southern Africa you can experience true wilderness (albeit from the comfort of luxury lodges and camps) in both Botswana and Zambia, both of which offer exceptional safari and a great variety of habitats.

For a quick safari then the parks and reserves, such as the Kruger, in South Africa make an attractive destination, and if you are travelling with young children then the Private Reserves in the Cape Provinces are ideal. Not too big so the kids won't get bored and malaria-free. You also have the bonus here, at the right time of year, of being able to see whales and sharks.

Check out our blog about 'Where to Safari' here.

Should I drive-in or fly-in on safari?

Both types of safari have their advantages, you just need to choose the one that suits your requirements best.

A fly-in safari is a good idea if you are limited on time. A flight of one hour can often save you a drive of 4-5, maximising your time on safari. Fly-in safaris also offer you  a great view of the landscapes as you fly over. They are also good if you are prone to travel sickness or suffer from a bad back and want to avoid bumpy roads! Fly-in safaris are more expensive because of the cost of the flights and more often than not you will then join other camp guests in camp vehicles for the safaris, although you can pay a supplement for exclusive use at some properties.

Going on safari with in-house camp rangers in camp vehicles certainly has benefits - the guides live there and so they know the areas really well - they even know individual animals. You also benefit from all sorts of lovely little extra touches,  like a bush breakfast perhaps or sundowners out on the evening game drive. These little experiences really add to the overall holiday experience.

On a drive-in safari you tend to see more of the country, driving through the everyday villages, countryside, fields and forests. You have your own private vehicle and so complete flexibility to move at a pace that suits you. You are met at the airport by your vehicle and guide who will stay with you throughout your holiday until being dropped back at the airport. This gives you the chance to really get to know your guide and through talking with him/her to get an understanding about the country and culture - all our guides are local and speak excellent English. Some drives are, however, long and the roads are of an African standard! Drive-in safaris are more economical than fly-in safaris. Your choice of lodge is a bit more restricted with a drive-in safari, to those that are a bit larger and can accommodate driver/guides.

In Kenya we offer micro-vans - custom safari vehicles with pop top roofs - as well as 4x4 safari vehicles. In Tanzania, all the vehicles are 4x4 with a fridge and charging facility. The northern circuit in Tanzania is perfect for a drive-in safari. 

How strenuous and tiring are safari holidays?

It's all about getting the right balance and that's where we can help.

True, you have to get up early to be out in time for dawn, but in most cases there is steaming hot tea and coffee provided to help you wake up and then you are back to your camp or lodge by 9.30-10a.m. for a lovely big breakfast. You then have the rest of the day to relax until your afternoon game-drive, which leaves around 3.30/4pm after tea. 

During the day there are often additional activities or excursions if they are of interest to you - or you can simply relax, watch the comings and goings from your balcony or verandah, find a spot on the lawn or in the camp lounge/bar, read and relax. Some properties have a pool, some have spas. 

In the evening there is time to freshen up after the game drive - sundowners are a safari staple and are enjoyed either out on safari or when you return in the camp bar. You can then enjoy a good supper and relax with a nightcap or coffee around the camp fire, under the exceptional African sky.

Depending on your itinerary there can be a fair amount of travelling between national parks and lodges so it's important to have the right balance of nights in the right places so you can really see the best of a place. 

I want to go on safari but don't want to rough it

You will not be roughing it. The properties we use are all of an excellent standard. All lodges have en suite bathrooms, as do the vast majority of camps. Some properties are incredibly luxurious. 

The great thing is you have a lot of choice and we can make sure we book the right property for you. As well as traditional Lodges (with doors and windows, and air-con) we also offer Tented Camps - some have canvas walls and ceiling with a thatch roof, hardwood floors and glass doors while others are more traditional walk-in tents but all are ensuite and have raised beds with mosquito nets and are very comfy. Bathrooms tend to have a flush loo and most have running hot and cold water. If your camp has 'safari showers' this means the staff heat up a bucket of steaming hot water when you want to shower and there is an ingenious pully system for you to use. Many of the camps have a thatched roof over their tents and teak floors inside. Nearly all have electricity for lighting and to recharge camera batteries and solar lanterns are usually provided as well. 

Tented Camps can be permanent, or seasonal. Permanent tented camps have excellent facilities while the seasonal camps are a little more rustic. Fly camping is different again and for the more adventurous traveller - great for a couple of nights. The staff usually set up camp for you but you move each night, paddling or walking between stops - fly camps are more basic and use a bedroll. 

People assume that because you are in a camp it will be a throw-back to their days as a scout or girl guide. It is nothing like it, except maybe for a marshmallow or two around the campfire at night.

 

I want to go on safari but don't want to go on an organised tour and be stuck with a group of strangers

Many of the safaris we offer in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania are private, meaning that you have your own vehicle and guide and do not share with anyone else. In South Africa, Botswana and Zambia you will travel independently but will usually share vehicles on camp drives with other guests. This is because you often have to fly to the camps because of their remote locations. You are guaranteed a window seat in these open vehicles.

For those travelling by themselves or who prefer it, we offer a range of small group departures. These are selected by us to ensure that you are not crammed into a small vehicle but have excellent views with guaranteed window seats and knowledgeable guides. Groups are usually 6-8 people. 

Do I need many injections? Will I become ill with a bad stomach?

You will need certain injections, exactly how many will depend on how frequent a traveller you are and the destination(s) you are visiting. Normally people require 2-4 jabs, depending on these factors. You will also need to take malaria tablets for the majority of destinations. You can find out the most up to date health advice (if you live in the UK) by referring to the NHS website Fit for Travel. We recommend you book an appointment with your Travel clinic or Nurse, if possible, at least 6 weeks before travel so you can get organised in time. 

With the widespread availability of bottled water - which is provided free in our private vehicles in East Africa -  and by many of the lodges and camps in your room/tent, stomach problems are much rarer than in previous decades. You are staying in excellent properties with high standards of hygiene. Upsets do happen, but the vast majority of our clients enjoy their safaris without stomach problems. We always travel with a small anti-bacterial hand wash in our hand baggage/day bag and this also helps maintain good hygiene especially when out for the day enjoying picnics. 

I'm worried about travelling to Africa. Is it safe?

On all our holidays and safaris we follow the advice of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth office and their guidance on the safety of travel. This is kept up to day with all factors that affect safety in the destinations you are travelling to, including weather, natural disasters, political turmoil, terrorism threat and local conditions. If the advice says not to travel to an area in a country, we do not take our clients there. We strongly recommend you too review the current travel advice on your preferred destinations to be found at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice  before booking and ensure you remain up to date with this advice before travelling.

Financial Protection

All monies paid to Real Africa are fully protected by ATOL 6115 giving you complete financial security. We also have a 24/7 emergency service to ensure total peace of mind. You can find out more about our financial protection below.

The Air holidays on this web site are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL licence is ATOL 6115.

ATOL is a protection scheme for flights and air holidays,managed by the Civil Aviation Authority ("CAA"). Most firms who sell air travel in the UK are required by law to hold a licence called an Air Travel Organiser's Licence ("ATOL"). If you've booked and contracted with a tour operator for a complete air holiday package or just a flight, ATOL protects you from losing money or being stranded abroad if the tour operator goes out of business. All licensed firms have to lodge bonds with the CAA so that if they go out of business, the CAA can give refunds to people who can't travel and arrange for people abroad to finish their holidays and fly home. There's also a Government-backed fund called the Air Travel Trust that steps in if any ATOL bond isn't enough to look after everyone affected by the failure.

Your Financial Protection When you buy an ATOL protected flight or flight inclusive holiday from us you will receive an ATOL Certificate. This lists what is financially protected, where you can get information on what this means for you and who to contact if things go wrong.

We, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL Certificate, will provide you with the services listed on the ATOL Certificate (or a suitable alternative).In some cases, where neither we nor the supplier are able to do so for reasons of insolvency, an alternative ATOL holder may provide you with the services you have bought or a suitable alternative (at no extra cost to you). You agree to accept that in those circumstances the alternative ATOL holder will perform those obligations and you agree to pay any money outstanding to be paid by you under your contract to that alternative ATOL holder. However, you also agree that in some cases it will not be possible to appoint an alternative ATOL holder, in which case you will be entitled to make a claim under the ATOL scheme (or your credit card issuer where applicable).

If we, or the suppliers identified on your ATOL certificate, are unable to provide the services listed (or a suitable alternative, through an alternative ATOL holder or otherwise) for reasons of insolvency, the Trustees of the Air Travel Trust may make a payment to (or confer a benefit on) you under the ATOL scheme. You agree that in return for such a payment or benefit you assign absolutely to those Trustees any claims which you have or may have arising out of or relating to the non-provision of the services, including any claim against us, the travel agent (or your credit card issuer where applicable).You also agree that any such claims may be re-assigned to another body, if that other body has paid sums you have claimed under the ATOL scheme.

For more information on our ATOL license issued by the CAA please click here

ATOL Licence No. 6115

We are also members of The Travel Vault. Travel Vault complies fully with the Package Travel Regulations (PTR) and has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Our membership ensures our clients are fully protected for non-air holidays or land-only packages defined as, "A prearranged combination of two or more travel components (transport, accommodation or other significant tourist services) when sold at an inclusive price and covering a period of more than 24 hours."

Payment handling and Trade Associations

All card payments are securely handled by Barclays Merchant Services. Our web site, IP address and network are also monitored and scanned by SecurityMetrics, experts in cyber security.

We are members of ATTA - the African Travel & Tourism Association, the largest trade network dedicated to the promotion of travel to Africa.

We are members of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.

Real World Conservation Trust

Partnerships to protect the wild

In the time we’ve been operating our world's wildlife has sadly faced enormous challenges.

In Africa more than 20,000 elephants are poached for their ivory annually while lion also face a battle for survival with 40% being lost in the last 20 years. All five species of rhino are endangered while just 4,000 tigers are left in the Indian sub-continent – down from 40,000 a half century ago.

We recognise that tourism plays a huge part in the battle to conserve our world's wildlife and through our charitable trust we work to safeguard both wildlife and wild places. Collaboration is key and our partnerships include Save the Elephants, Save the Rhino International, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, African Parks, Rhino Conservation Botswana, Animals saving Animals and Ol Pejeta Conservancy, part of Fauna and Flora International.

The Real World Conservation Trust is a registered UK charity No 1177505 and the successor to the Real Africa Trust (No 1149508). You can find out more about our work on the conservation pages.

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Real World Store

The Real World Store offers a range of lovely hand-picked items from cotton Tshirts to bespoke silver jewellery. The net profit from the store is donated to the conservation charities we support. The Real World Store came to be because we wanted to find another way for people to pledge their support for our charities - not everyone is able to go on a luxury safari holiday. For every person that travels with us there are several hundred more that buy a Tshirt! We have found that by offering Tshirts and other hand-picked items via the Real World Store, we are able to raise significantly more funds for our partners. This is fantastic news and something we are very proud of.

Real World Store Website