Africa is one of the most beautiful and exotic places on Earth and its home to some of the most incredible wild animals on the planet as well. Africa safaris have been incredibly popular with tourists since they became possible, and they are not likely to be going away any time soon!
If you are planning your first safari, or you have been on many but are looking for advice about how to plan the best one yet, here are some great tips to help you make your trip incredible.
When to go
African safaris are a wonderful experience, but it is important to know when you can go so that you get the best experience. With Africa being on either side of the equator, there is never really a bad time to go on safari. However, wildlife is seasonal and most animals are more active during certain times of the year. Depending on what type of wildlife you want to see, you should research when they are most likely to be out in force. Many countries have guides or websites with specific information about what wildlife you will find at which time of year. Some other tips for planning your safari include:
Time of day: Morning or evening sightings tend to yield better results. If you want to guarantee seeing nocturnal animals, do your search well ahead of your trip as many places stop tours after sundown.
Expertise: You might consider an expert tour guide if you do not have any experience driving through wild terrain.
What to pack
Most safaris are overland tours, which means you will be spending a lot of time in a vehicle. If you are expecting hot temperatures, pack light clothes and plenty of sunscreen. You will also need comfortable shoes for walking around town – sandals or low heels are best. Bring sunglasses and hats for when you are outside too. A camera is always essential, and it is best to bring a zoom lens if you have one!
If camping is not your thing, we recommend staying at some lodges on game drives rather than hotels. This way you can enjoy luxury while experiencing wildlife up close. Be sure to choose a lodge with private viewing decks where you can watch animals right from your window or balcony! Pack binoculars and cameras, so that you are ready to snap pictures at any moment. Evenings are usually spent eating dinner under an outdoor canopy lit by candles, watching wildlife through scopes or night vision goggles. It is an experience like no other!
What kind of Safari to take
Searching for deals on safaris can be a daunting task. You will want to keep in mind that there are many aspects of your safari which you will need to consider before booking. Here are a few things you should think about before booking your next safari:
-Do I need visas? -Is my tour company certified? -What is included in my itinerary? -What is the average price of an average safari per day? -Are drinks and meals included or do they cost extra? -What type of vehicle do they offer and how many people can it hold comfortably? -What is the driver-guide-to-client ratio? -Can I choose what activities I would like to partake in during my trip? -What kind of wildlife should we expect to see, specifically?
-Will we have food and lodging arranged for us when we are out on our own, or does it cost extra for these services too?
What to expect on a Safari
A safari is often considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience. You can go on an African safari in order to see some of the most exotic and beautiful animals in the world. In order for your safari to be truly special, you should plan ahead as much as possible.
First, you need to think about how many days you want your safari trip to last. There are three options: one day, two days or four days. The longer your safari, the more activities will be available to you. The recommended time frame for visiting Africa is six weeks or more, so this type of trip would not be feasible.
The second thing that needs to be planned out before setting off on a safari is which area in Africa to visit. For example, if you are interested in seeing gorillas then East Africa might be the best place for you; if lions and elephants interest you then West Africa would be the better option.
How to find the best deals
Planning a safari for your group can be an expensive endeavor, but with some planning and smart shopping, you can save on lodging and transportation. One of the first things you need to do is decide on a region that will work for your travel dates. Next, start looking for deals on flights and lodges. You may want to consider booking more than one lodge in order to save money as well as maximize your options. Travel off-season to get better prices.
Keep in mind, however, that this will affect how many animals you see while driving or walking because they are less active during colder months. It is also important to remember what type of wildlife experience is most important to you: seeing large mammals like elephants or rhinos or bird-watching? If large mammals are what excites you the most, then focus on national parks where they are prevalent while other travelers might be attracted to parks rich with avian life.