More often than not, a safari is a once in a lifetime experience and one that everyone dreams of encountering. Viewing some of the world’s most powerful and fascinating creatures in their natural habitats cannot be beaten. For this reason, you want to get the best from the trip so we’ve compiled a guide on how to get the best from a safari experience, from spotting animals to things to take with you.
Where to Go on Safari
Africa is a very large continent packed with many animal and game reserves, so drilling down to exactly where you want to go may be a difficult choice. Some of the most popular options include Kenya for the likes of Masai Mara Game Reserve, South Africa where you will find Kruger National Park, Tanzania for the Serengeti, with Namibia, Botswana, Swaziland, Zambia and Mozambique further extending your options. Eastern Africa offers fantastic opportunities for viewing of large herds whilst in Southern Africa, you are more likely to encounter one on one opportunities. Each country offers a slightly different experience with a prevalence of different animals, changing scenery, local cultures and other sightseeing opportunities so take some time to decide what you want to get from your trip and do plenty of preparation and research when choosing your destination. Do you have any tips to help others decide?
When to Go on Safari
Choosing when to go should be your next consideration. The right time very much depends on your destination as seasons differ in each country and the variety of landscapes allow for different animal behaviour. As a general rule, dry season is a good choice as you may find higher concentrations of animals at water holes and roads are more likely to remain open during this time. Dry season frequently falls between May or June through to September or October, although this can vary slightly so visit this site to get recommendations for your chosen destination.
Tips for Spotting Animals on Safari
Your days spent out on safari will revolve around the times of day when the animals are at their most active which is usually at dusk and the early morning, allowing the animals to avoid the heat of the midday sun. Prime game viewing is usually at first light so be prepared for very early starts and be mindful to keep any noise to an absolute minimum to avoid disturbing the animals. Many of the animals will be well camouflaged so it may take some time for your eyes to accustom to the surroundings; watch out for movement and odd shapes and remember to keep your eyes moving as some animals like leopards could be decorating the trees! Keep your ears attuned to the sound of the bush too as this can give you clues before your eyes. One last thing to look out for are the “Sightings Boards” which you will find in all reserves showing the latest animals to have been seen, as well as the latest kills which in turns indicates the likelihood of seeing particular animals such as lions and scavengers.
What to take on Safari
Patience, time and respect are the three most important things to take on safari with you; remember that you are a visitor to the reserves whereas it is the animals’ home. Warm and neutral clothing will be another asset on your trip to keep you warm in the early mornings and help you blend in. Insect repellent will no doubt become your very best friend as you try to fend off those little critters and some food and water will always go down well but you must ensure to take all traces of rubbish away with you. A torch and binoculars will do wonders to help you spot wildlife and a camera is naturally essential so you can record your experiences. Otherwise, the only other thing you need to remember to take is yourself! Do you have any other suggestions for essential gear?
Safety Tips on Safari
Always remember that you are in the presence of wild animals. No matter how harmless or cute they may look, they are wild and are not used to humans so keep at a safe distance and never approach them. If you venture into the bush, do keep your wits about you, both at eye level and on the ground; after all, you don’t want to step on a snake.
Hopefully if you are planning a safari, these tips will be helpful in your preparation and enhance your experience when you arrive. Do you have any helpful tips you can add? We’d love to hear them so leave a comment.