Are you planning to go on an African safari? Here are some tips on how To Avoid Costly Mistakes When Buying A South African Safari .
Here are the Top 3 Questions To Ask before booking your safari.
- 1. Do they have the big five? Most people want to go on safari so that they can see lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard. These are called the big five since they were the most dangerous animals for hunters to hunt.There are many other intriguing animals and plant life to discover but you need to make sure you know if the park or private reserve has animals you want to see.
- 2. Is the safari in a private reserve that is fenced in or is in part of a national park? Many excellent safaris can be had in a private reserve – privately owned land that may also own the animals that you see. The private reserves can beentirely fenced incan be adjacent to other private reserves where animals move freely between reservesadjacent to national parks where the animals can move freely between the national park and the private reserve.This is a key question since with the boom in the number of game lodges especially in South Africa, you may go to a game poor reserve. Either they don’t have a lot of certain types of animals – lion for example, or they are in an area that can’t support a large number of animals. They might not have many lions for example because they would eat too many other valuable animals.Even though some private reserves are very large, some people want more of a wilderness experience where animals are roaming freely over a more vast area. But there are advantages to a private reserve also (like night drives and walking safaris).
- 3. Are the game drive vehicles permitted to go off road to follow animals? Even in private reserves the animals are wild. Sometimes just as you get close enough to see them they decide to run off. If you are really keen to get as close to the animals as possible, you may want to consider going to a lodge on a private reserve. Since these reserves permit their rangers to drive off road if necessary to get you really close to the animals.Many national parks forbid off road. The reasons are to protect delicate flora and to give the animals a break as well. Private lodges that are within some national parks compensate for this by enabling you to walk off road. This is a stunning opportunity. It is a very different experience and is a welcome break after riding in a game vehicle for a few days. We have taken our 11 year old daughter Maya on plenty of these and you should do it if you get a chance. (Most lodges won’t let children this young do this, Maya has been on so many safaris though that sometimes she was allowed.) We have taken Maya on African hiking safaris as well.