Your Dream Safari is waiting for you! Here is a sneak peak of things you need to know to plan an amazing safari in Africa. Planning a safari is not easy. However at The Good Safari Guide, we make your planning easy. Helping travelers getting the best out of an African safari is the major intent as to why this blog was started. Here we give you guidelines to the most important things that you should start with in order to plan a perfect safari. Whether you are taking a safari for the first time or you travel frequently, this information will help you get the best out of your trip and make your safari trouble-free!
The success of any true African safari is directly linked to the amount and quality of planning that goes into it’s preparation. This is especially true as travellers to Africa become less satisfied with being shepherded around the wilderness in large groups, preferring instead a more personalized, individual style of travel.
Did you know one of the biggest myths are: You can be at the #1 Safari Destination and have the best Safari Guide to take your around and still not see the Big 5?
When should I start planning for a trip to Africa?
Many travelers wonder about when to plan an African safari. It is advisable to plan a safari as far in advance as possible. Some activities require prior booking in destinations where to ecotourism has been developed. If you are planning to take a safari during the “high season” months of July through October, you must plan as well in advance though you can still look out for last minute deals.
What Destinations Should I Visit?
The toughest thing about planning a safari is deciding which place to go. On this guide, we list the favorite African safari destinations that have been visited. We also list the best tours, things to do and see so that we can help you find the best safari destination fitting your interests. Knowing your interests and reading more about it will make the selection of your dream destination easier. If you are stuck, just tell us whatever you want for your vacation so that you can be sure to find something you are interested in.
How much does it cost?
Most of the African safaris are 100 percent customized to their individual interests, time frame and budget. This therefore means that the rates are normally catering for the specified number of travelers intending to travel. If you are intending to travel alone, you will find prices being very high than for those booking in a group. There are a few companies that sell scheduled trips. The prices vary significantly from the “high season” (generally July through mid-November) to the “low season” (generally November through June).
Creating a Trip Itinerary
One of the essential ingredients of a great safari is an exciting and original itinerary. This in turn requires careful and thoughtful planning integrating several elements. Essentially, the key to successful planning lies in using in-depth and up to date local knowledge to carefully balance a clients interests and expectations with an appropriate destination and resource best suited to meet those requirements.
Given the proliferation of information on Africa through travel guides and the internet it is relatively easy for anyone plan an itinerary of their own, on paper that is! However, the reality of what happens on the ground in Africa may turn out to be totally different with little or no opportunity for recourse.
Most people have a fair idea of where they would like to go and what they would like to do, others have very little idea or no experience of Africa and some with specific interests know exactly what they require from their safari. Either way, through a proven process African Safaris Travel is always able to put forward a set of original itineraries as a basis for consideration or further modification as required.
For the best ideas on how to create an itinerary you can contact a local tour operator who can advise on the best things to do, destination conditions and more that will help you make an informed decision. Don’t be pushy with your ideas when more than 1 tour operator tells you that “this is not possible”. You can end up hitting the bullet in your head.
FAQs About Safaris
Planning Africa safari can be overwhelming especially for a first-timer. This is because many first-timers do not have any idea on what to wear on safari, what to pack, safari safety, etc.
Here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions for your information. Feel free to ask us any questions regarding your Africa safari.
1.) When is the best time to go on safari?
The best time to visit Africa depends on the focus of your safari. For lovers of animals, the dry season is the best for taking game safaris as sparse vegetation makes game viewing easier. This is also the time when animals gather around permanent waterholes. On the other hand, the wet season is best for lovers of bird-life and those eager to see baby mammals.
2.) What are the entry requirements?
You require a passport that is valid for six months after your return home date and a visa. Nationals of certain countries do not require visas (depending on the country they are visiting). Holders of American passports, for example, do not need visas when entering Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. It is advisable to confirm with the embassy of the country you intend visiting for the latest entry requirements.
3.) What heath precautions should I take?
(a) Malaria – Most African countries do have occurrences of malaria, although your chances of contracting the disease (which is transmitted by a small percentage of female Anopheles mosquitoes) are quite low.
However, it is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites by using mosquito repellents, wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers in the evenings and by sleeping under treated mosquito nets. It is advisable to consult your doctor before and after your safari.
(b) Yellow Fever – This disease has been reported in 43 counties, mostly in Africa, including DRC Congo, Angola and Tanzania. All visitors from any of the affected countries are required to present a valid certificate of vaccination against the disease. It is advisable to consult your travel agent about this requirement.
(c) Bilharzia – This disease is common in many lakes in the southern half of Africa. It is easily diagnosed by blood test and effectively treated with biltracide. Taking this test is advisable after any Africa safari where you may have toured lakes or rivers.
(d) Tsetse Flies – These are large flies residing in certain low lying and humid safari destinations such as the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Tsetse flies bites can cause sleeping sickness and you should take precautions (such as wearing light colored clothes) to lessen the chance of being bitten by them.
4.) Is Africa safari safe?
While on Africa safari, you should always be alert although dangers are negligible so long as you listen and follow the advise of your guide. Never get out of your vehicle unless you are sure about your safety. Remember African animals are some of the world’s most dangerous. Stay away from elephants even when in a vehicle and above all, it is safe to assume all water holds some crocodiles.
5.) What should I bring with me on safari?
- It is advisable to keep your luggage to the basics for your Africa safari. Neutral colors are best for your clothes as animals do not spot these colors. Avoid black and deep blue colors as they attract Tsetse flies plus they absorb the African heat. You may also need to carry a hat and something warm for the evenings. It is also recommendable to bring with you a good camera and some binoculars (this is a must as views can be distant).