Surely you have heard about “African Safari” from numerous Hollywood movies, read it somewhere in the book or just shared stories with your friends. Here we would like to share our rough guide to an African safari.
We would say, “Africa begins with a safari.” The meaning of “African safari” could often mean different things – the hunt, a ride on an elephant, walking safari, safari on open land rovers or a hot air balloon… However, African safari is above all an adventure expedition with the main purpose of acquaintance with the flora and fauna of the bush. Safari is nothing but a spiritual connection with the amazing and diverse world of nature, which opens up its breath-taking scenery and striking diversity of the animal world.
In most cases, your African safari is a guided adventure accompanied by a professional guide (ranger). These trained professionals know their National Park and game reserves with great knowledge of wild animal trails and their behaviour in a natural habitat.
Among the most popular safari destinations are National Parks and Game Reserves around the Southern and Eastern parts of Africa. These areas of tourism have become a definite “must” on a bucket list of any discerning world traveller.
For many tourists who are planning to go on an African safari, the ability to see the Big Five is the number priority. Many believe that safari is not a safari and you are not lucky enough to see buffalo, elephant, lion, leopard and rhino. This is a common misconception.
Safaris usually conducted in specially protected National Parks and Private Game Reserves.
There are many options to choose from, such as luxury private safari lodges to government campsites. All depends on your budget, but keep in mind that Africa safaris can be quite pricey.
Lodge is actually a hotel in the national park. There are rooms of different levels of comfort, restaurants, and even a musical accompaniment in the form of a national African music. One of the important advantages of accommodation in lodges is availability of electricity and all basic amenities. As we all know, batteries in cameras and camcorders have a habit of running out at the most inopportune moment.
Another option of accommodation are camping in tents – for real fans of extreme sports and nature enthusiasts. Here you can really get close to the nature – grazing antelopes, monkeys frolic, or even walking elephant or a roaring lion. Life in the camp undoubtedly creates a greater level of participation in an African safari than a hotel – more reminiscent of the olden days.
But, the proximity to nature has a downside – for example, meeting face to face with a lion, so be assured of your safety and keep in mind this is the wild, not your city Zoo.
Another major difference between the different versions of African safari is being part of a group. This option is cheaper and easier, it does not require participants to independent action to collect the group. Cons – like any group tours – in a large group you would often have to wait for each other and lose valuable time as well as only travelling on standard routes.
Another option is to put together a small group of 6 to 10 pax and to rent a jeep with a guide and a cook and travel with a compact team – for example, family or two families. Surely, this option would be more expensive, but it allows for individual and tailor made itineraries, with more to things to see and experience it all first hand.
Climate in African can be unpredictable with sudden changes in temperature from day to night. We suggest taking summer clothes as well as long-sleeve comfortable jersey and long pants. Sturdy comfortable shoes and sandals are obligatory!
Sunblock is a must!
Do not forget your camera or camcorder and spare battery pack!!!
We recommend taking binoculars on your African safari.
If you want to stay in safari tents, be sure to have a flashlight, buy toilet paper and wet wipes
Participation in safari is not recommended for those who does not tolerate shaking in cars who have problems with digestion or serious health problems. Medical institutions and pharmacies are not often found on a safari routes.
For South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, vaccinations are not required, but for Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda need a certificate of vaccination against yellow fever.
It is recommended to be vaccinated against tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B, cholera and meningitis. A prerequisite is the availability of comprehensive medical / travel insurance.
The most popular destinations for African safaris are:
South Africa – Kruger National Park and Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
Kenya – Masai Mara Game Reserve
Tanzania – Serengeti National Park
Botswana – Chobe National Park and Moremi Game Reserve
Namibia – Etosha National Park