Discover our top safari travel tips to ensure you have an amazing African adventure
Going on safari in Africa is an amazing experience, quite unlike any other kind of holiday. Taking in breath-taking landscapes, getting up close and personal with stunning wildlife, embracing new and exciting cultures – it truly is once-in-a-lifetime stuff! Whether you’re a first-timer or old hat, you definitely need to be extra prepared when it comes to planning your safari adventure. Here are our top tips for going on safari in Africa…
First things first – where are you going to go? Africa is a big continent, with different regions boasting unique and diverse wildlife. People generally choose between East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda), South Africa and Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia and Zambia). Spend some time researching what animals you would most like to observe and which national parks are best for these. The time of year should also influence your decision. While Kenya is best visited from late July to August, when the climate is coolest and migration is underway, Tanzania is better suited to September safaris.
If your knowledge of African wildlife is limited to childhood viewings of ‘The Lion King’ it may well be time to dust off the encyclopaedia and spend time researching the species you are likely to encounter on your trip. Understanding animal habits and traits will undoubtedly improve your overall safari experience, not to mention enhance your safety overseas. It is important to remember that these creatures are in the wild and will defend themselves against tourists if necessary. Respect their terrain and they are much more likely to respect you in return.
Book travel insurance
It goes without saying, booking travel insurance is an essential prerequisite to going on safari. Things can go wrong, no matter what preparations you make or how reputable your tour operator is. Make sure that your policy accounts for all possible outcomes, including trip cancellation, a medical emergency and luggage loss. Also check if your current health plan covers medical reimbursements for overseas care.
Africa is a beautiful continent, sadly home to some nasty illnesses such as yellow fever, rabies and poliomyelitis. Make sure you get all of your required vaccinations before travelling to greatly minimise the risk of falling ill. The last thing you want is to have to cut your long-awaiting safari trip short due to a stint in a foreign hospital. Because you will be exploring rural areas, additional vaccinations such as diphtheria, meningococcal meningitis and tuberculosis will also be necessary. Make sure you also take precautions against mosquito bites and malaria.
Take in your surroundings
When you think of safari, the first thing that pops into your head is probably ‘The Big Five’, right?! While spotting lions, elephants, rhinos, leopards and buffalos is undoubtedly an incredible experience, it’s important to appreciate the little things too. The landscapes and nature in Africa are out of this world and reason enough to venture into the wild. Don’t fall into the trap of simply ticking things off your list. Taking the time to acknowledge the diverse vegetation and smaller species, such as insects and birds, will lead to a much more enriched safari experience.
There’s no need for fancy attire on safari so leave those heels or expensive suit at home. Pack sensibly, making sure that all clothing is comfortable and suitable for the climate. Layers that can be easily removed are ideal as African temperatures tend to vary a lot between day and night. Clothing in earth tones is advised so you remain inconspicuous among the wild animals. You definitely don’t want to be distracted by blisters on safari so remember to break in new shoes before you go.
If those top tips don’t have you safari ready, then we don’t know what will. Spending time researching your destination and the wildlife that call it home will greatly enhance your safari experience. Take precautions against illnesses and pack appropriately to ensure you have the most comfortable getaway possible.
Those going on safari or a holiday in Africa are strongly advised to seek medical assistance at a TMB clinic before travelling. Book an appointment to speak with a qualified consultant who will offer advice how to stay safe while you’re away and information about all of the required vaccinations.