Imagine feasting your eyes on majestic animals and exotic game like you’ve never seen before – all close-range and under the warm blanket of the sun.
Millions of people head to Africa for epic safaris every year. If there’s one trip worth planning for, it’s an African safari trip. If you haven’t experienced one before, your mind is probably plagued by several questions – which country to choose, what to expect, what to avoid, etc.? So, are you thinking of making this once-in-a-lifetime trip for the first time? Here are a few things you should know.
Where to Go: Although the continent offers a wide range of exotic species to see, each country is different. However, East-African countries like Tanzania and countries to the south are probably the most popular options for many travelers. For example, Tanzania offers a rich diversity of wildlife that you can enjoy from close range – giraffes, water buffaloes, elephants, ostriches, and more. In 2014, I headed to Tanzania for my honeymoon, and we also made time to visit the spice island of Zanzibar afterwards.
How to get around: The best way to get around on a safari adventure is to use a guide. There are people who do it on their own, but traveling in these parts of Africa is easier done with a guide. Plus, it is definitely possible on a budget! You’ll be treated to a 4WD-driven experience (among other options) through the safest spots for observing wildlife in their natural habitats.
Depending on which country you visit, you may even get the chance to combine your safari experience with some hiking, canoeing, or even horseback riding. Just make sure you’re fully prepared for your outdoor adventure! You can use platforms like Untamed Space to help you enjoy your outdoor experience more comfortably and responsibly.
What to Do:The basic rule of thumb is to follow the instructions your safari guide gives you, and you’ll be fine. For example, do not shout or scream at the animals to get their attention. Remember, these guys are not being held in cages like you may find in a zoo. They’re hanging out in their natural habitat and have been kind enough to allow curious humans to invade their privacy. The last thing you want to do is disturb their peace of mind! Large animals like elephants will not mind charging at your vehicle if you startle them either. You can, however, take as many photos as you want from a safe distance!
What to Wear:There isn’t much of a dress code when it comes to African safaris. That means you can wear anything you feel comfortable in. However, before you jump into a fancy dress for the ‘gram, you need to remember that you will be spending long hours on the trail of wild animals. Therefore, it is best to ensure that your clothing is as light and comfortable as possible. Also, depending on the time of your travel, you may require more or fewer layers of clothing.
What to Pack:You’ll most likely be exposed to a fair amount of sun during your trip. Therefore, don’t forget to pack some sunscreen – ideally, SPF 15 and above. Also, get yourself a hat with a cord or string to keep it from falling off, and add a pair of dark sunglasses too. It is also advisable to get the right vaccines and insurance before you set off. For me, being in a jeep all day on bouncy dirt roads, I found it most comfortable to wear moisture-wicking pants, and a t-shirt with breathable fabric.