Planning to take a safari in Africa? Need help planning your national park vacation? Discover our best tips, travel ideas, and secrets about taking a safari to Africa’s national parks. Here is a collection of all the information you need to know to get started with planning an African Safari.
- What are the best things to do in national parks
- When is the best time to go
- What are the essential things to pack for a safari?
- How to book an African Safari
- Orientation guide for safaris
- African Safari Preparations
- Malaria in Africa
Traveling to Africa requires great planning. One can minimize problems by planning well in advance and taking a few precautions before embarking on the journey. This will alleviate problems and ensure that you have a safe and hassle free trip. There are several things that you need to do to make your travel in Africa trouble free and interesting. Although this safari guide is written principally as a detailed ‘Safari Companion’ – an invaluable resource to accompany you on your trip – there is much to be thought about and considered before you even start to plan your trip in detail, in addition to such further matters as medical precautions, what to pack, and so on.
Which Safari – Choosing a Safari to Take in Africa
Most visitors combine wildlife with other things to do in Africa including, photography, fishing, cultural tours or even a beach safari. For all-inclusive group packages booked in your home country, your tour operator is bound to influence the duration and places you will visit and the kind of accommodation facilities you will use. On the other hand, a package that you design together with your operator is more likely to carry your preferences. As in many other destinations, the duration of the vacation and the nature of transport and hotel facilities used largely determine the overall cost of your package.
Safaris in Africa go on throughout the year. However there are two peak seasons with the first one running between June and October and the second between December and February. There are similarly two low- tourist seasons. The first one lasts from March to June and the second from October to November. Discounts on accommodation and other services are common during the low seasons.
Booking Your Safari
You may book your Safari with your local agent or engage a tour operator many of whom run their own websites. You could alternatively do your booking upon arrival in Africa though this is very risky during the peak season – June – September and November – December. There are many tour operators operating within different countries in Africa. When booking online it’s advisable to engage an agent and negotiate for prices of the package. Also, it helps to have preferences on what you would love to enjoy most– Is it game (which kind of Game?) or beach or both? – rather than have the operator draw the whole safari for you.
Best Times to Travel
Going on an African Safari is a great way to spend a vacation because it exposes you to the great wonders of its land like the sights and wildlife and also to its rich culture and people. However, preparing for such an adventure can really be stressful because there are a lot of things to take into consideration, especially if you are from a cold country or aren’t used to traveling. Below are a few tips to help you travel smart and light. The very first thing you should do is learn as much about African Safaris as you can. This is not to spoil the fun but to prepare you for possible problems you may encounter there. Learn about your route, the climate and other physical conditions, the current political situations and most especially the safety measures imposed. This information will be the center of your preparation.
It is very important to keep your luggage as light as possible because you will be moving around constantly. Choose clothing based on the weather conditions. Don’t assume that because Africa is hot, you’ll only bring short-sleeved tops and shorts. Bring a good number of protective clothing as well like long-sleeved shirts and pants to keep out the sun during the day and the cold and bugs at night. Bringing clothes with neutral colors will help you blend in with the surroundings and keep you cool which is important when you go wildlife watching. Also, when passing by the larger African cities, it is always nice to bring dressier clothes as long as they are light. Be sure to pack a solid pair of walking shoes. Most travelers will recommend broken-in shoes over brand new ones. Bring along face towels and cotton socks.
On an African Safari, or any trip to Africa, it is crucial that you are armed with sun protection. No matter what time of year, the sun is scorching during the day. Make sure you bring a broad-spectrum high SPF sunscreen for you face and body. Also bring along lip balm. Take advantage of any kind of sun protection like hats, sunglasses, scarves, bandanas and clothes with tighter weaves such as cotton shirts to block out the sun’s rays.
An essential part of every African Safari, or any trip, is taking care of your health. There are certain precautions you are encouraged to take before leaving for Africa. It is always a good idea to visit your doctor and have a full medical work-up. Visit your dentist too. Remember to have prescriptions filled in with enough to last the trip and back. You can also take prophylactic medication or vaccines against any infectious diseases that are endemic in the countries you will be visiting.
Also check the drinking water supply
If you are unsure of the drinking water or you have a sensitive stomach, bring a lot of bottled water or water purifying tablets. Since dehydration is almost inevitable because of the heat, make sure to bring a lot of re-hydration tablets.
First Aid Kit
Plus, you can never go wrong with a first-aid kit. Have one stacked with bug repellents, analgesics, antipyretics, anti-diarrhea meds, antiseptics, gauze, cotton balls and elastic bandages.
Be sure that you insurance coverage is adequate in case you become sick or injured during you trip.
And finally, do not forget to bring your camera!!! If you have a digital camera, make sure you bring a lot of rechargeable batteries and the charger.
Bring along extra memory cards too just in case you become shutter-happy.