So this is your first safari! We are excited for you. We imagine you can’t wait, but you’re also feeling a tad nervous. You learn the ins and outs of safari by experiencing it, so it’s hard for a neophyte to prepare. We’ve got a few tips from our own safari trips to help you out!
It’s All In The Timing
Before you go, research the best time of year to travel. This always differs depending on which part of Africa you’re flying to. Commit to at least three days of safari; no less. You won’t get the full experience otherwise and you may go home feeling disappointed.
Patience Is A Virtue
If patience isn’t your strong point, you will have to work on that before you go on safari and maybe see everyone’s favourite choice, the African Lion. You will spend a lot of time, armed with nothing but a pair of binoculars, waiting for a sighting (yeah, don’t go without binoculars; it’s a bad move). It doesn’t matter if you’re in Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya or South Africa you might get lucky or have to wait it out.
It’s so important to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day. If you’re with friends, have one or two bevvies, but pace yourself. Bathroom breaks can mean that you miss important sightings.
You can capture some really impressive pictures on camera, but you’ll need to invest in the right equipment. Yes, that means a posh camera with an adjustable lens – you want optimal zoomage.
Don’t overcomplicate your wardrobe. Everything should be made out of breathable cotton and your clothes should be entirely matchable – you’re limited to a natural colour palette anyway, so you don’t frighten the animals: khaki, stone, brown, olive, green, and sand. It’s well worth buying some decent zip-off trousers, as well as a lightweight fleece for the evenings.
On a safari, you can stay safe by relying on your common sense. Yes, there will be dangerous animals around, but keep alert and listen to your safari guide. Choose your guide wisely, as he or she can dictate how enjoyable and how secure your safari experience is. Only ever travel with a reputable safari company and check out their reviews online – Tripadvisor is always a good touchstone.
Think Of The Kids
If you’re bringing the whole family along with you, the kids will have to stay entertained. With the right guide, a safari trip can prove to be a great learning experience. For the long stretches of time spent waiting for a sighting, bring something to keep them occupied, such as a book or a few travel games. You will have a lot of time to pass.
Always go visit your travel nurse a few months before you’re set to leave to get your vaccinations and to receive health advice for your trip. It’s also worth buying supplements to help your digestive health – it’s very easy to get a tummy upset while abroad. Your nurse can advise you further, depending on which part of Africa you’re choosing to visit.