African Safari Tips
Planning an African Safari? Well, there are a few things that you need to consider before your visit there. According to my experience in Queen Elizabeth National park in Uganda, I will provide you guys with African safari tips and some useful information you might need prior to your visit there.
- Dos and Donts
- What to bring
- What to wear
- What to expect/consider
- How much will cost
That was a life goal achieved for me and a life dream which came through almost a year ago. If you are feeling and thinking the same, then you should visit Africa and choose one safari to go into.
Let’s start our journey of what you are going to need while you are there!
Dos and Donts in African safari:
Be open-minded and flexible.The safari drive is unique but also difficult sometimes. You need to pass off-road and small rivers sometimes, and this is not convenient at all believe me! So, try not to stress out or worry for where you are going etc. the driver is doing this for years, they have grown up there, and they know very well the best drive for you. You need to trust the people that you will be with. Sometimes drives will take much longer of what you expect, so stay calm and enjoy your tour! We did all of this when we were following a herd of a lioness and their cubs, and it was an amazing experience!
Obey the rules and stay safe. You should follow the rules at any stage! You should always stay in the car! Animals are very well camouflaged, and often you don’t see them until it’s too late. Do not approach the elephants too closely, they might seem cute, but they are very dangerous at the same time! Do not make strange noises; it is not fun. You should keep your hands and your camera inside the car. Never stand between the hippo and the water, hippos are very aggressive and are the most dangerous African animals after mosquitoes, so you don’t want to get them upset…
You are allowed to ask questions! Most safari guides are very knowledgeable, and you can learn a lot about animals and their behavior, so do ask them!
Do not feel shy to ask to stop if you think that you saw something and want to stop or go back it’s OK! It happened to us, and the driver will be more than happy to do it for you. You never know you might be right and at the end, all your safari buddies will thank you.
Take lots of pictures. This is an unforgettable experience, and you would like to remember it, so the more pictures you have, the better. The first time you will see a lion in a ‘breathing’ distance you’ll probably take 25 pictures of it! You can always delete the pictures afterwards and only keep the best but take pictures when you can because you may not get a chance for a better shot.
Sit on top of the roof if you have the chance! The view from there is amazing, and you can spot lots of things from a distance. You have a full clear view because there is no windows or other heads of people to bother you. I did it, and I love it!
Do not skip the night drives.Having a guided tour, there is another advantage of the night drives. Do not afraid just enjoy it. At night it happens the most amazing things that you might not be able to see ever again. You will be able to hear lions roar or see them hunt at night. It is such a unique experience! Don’t expect to take any pictures at night, just enjoy the ride and hope that you get to see some action.
What to expect and consider when booking a safari ride:
- Duration of the ride.Make sure you are well informed about the duration of the ride. Some will only last an hour or two, while some others can take the whole day.
- Time of the day.The very best time to watch animals is usually early in the morning or in the evening around sunset. This doesn’t mean you won’t see animals during the day. We saw lions with cubs, rhino’s, elephants, leopards, cheetahs and many other animals in the heat of the day. So, my advice would be to go looking for the animals whenever you have a chance. After all, that’s the reason you go to Africa, isn’t it?
- Size of the group.If you have a choice, always go for a smaller vehicle and a smaller group.
What to pack for an African safari?
- Easily taken travel bags. Whether you are planning on taking a small plane in Africa or joining an organised tour, you better pack light. Also, it WILL get dirty, so don’t feel embarrassed to take old luggage on a trip to Africa. Nobody cares.
- Camera equipment. Take the very best camera you have and the best lens you can afford. Your smartphone is always an option, but you will probably have better quality photos with a camera. You can also pack more memory cards just in case you need them. And it is suggested that you always have extra batteries and chargers in case you need them.
- Electrical adapters. There is not one standard electrical adapter in Africa, so you should check which one you need depending on where you are going.
- Binoculars. It will be more fun to bring a pair with you. If you are not don’t worry, the guide will probably give you one.
- Mosquito repellent.
- Sunscreen and sunglasses, you don’t want to get burned.
- A small backpack is very handy to store all your belongings during long safari rides. You can always put in some water and snacks as well. You will need them!
- Drinking water and light snacks. You should always have some drinking water with you to keep you moisturized under the hot sun. Your tour guide might provide you with some and some snacks, but it is always a good idea to have extra.
- Flashlight. You will use it all the time.
- First-aid kit, medication and good travel insurance are essential for any trip to Africa.You might visit a doctor before your trip it is handy and will suggest everything. Always take medication against diarrhea when you go to Africa and make sure you are OK with all the vaccinations. If you are going to Uganda, you will need to take malaria pills as well.
What to wear on safari and colors of clothing are very important.
Don’t pack too many clothes and don’t bother with brand new or special safari-style clothing. In Africa, you can wear pretty much anything, and they will all get dirty anyway. Make sure the clothes you are choosing are comfortable and light. Also, do take some heavier because at night you might feel cold. I suggest you wear closed shoes that you feel comfortable with again. Color of the clothes is also important, preferably in neutral colors.
Camouflage clothing should be avoided altogether as it’s considered military and is forbidden in some African countries.
- Windproof jacket
- One or two fleeces
- A pair of long pants (leggings), trekking pants are the best, but jeans are fine too.
- One or two pairs of shorts or convertible pants as they give you more flexibility
- T-shirts or shirts
- Sun hat
- Closed shoes (trekking shoes will be best)
- Swimming wear
- You may want to pack one smart outfit to wear for dinner, but it’s not necessary for Africa, and you won’t probably need it.
Costs of safari.
You can find different prices for safari, depends on the area and which National Park is. As I said earlier, the most popular ones are Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda and Kruger National Park in South Africa. One of those two will be approximately from 800 eu per person to – 1500 eu depending on what you want to do. You can go on a luxury safari tour or private safari tour which will cost you the maximum. Normally organised group safaris are approximately 800 eu each.
I hope that all those African safari tips will be useful to you.
And one last tip for you. Go on every single safari ride you can and make the very best of your trip is unforgettable and unique.
While I visited African Safari, it was wildest, untouched, and it was magic…