We've rounded up our top 10 safari tips on how to get the most out of a safari in Africa:
1. Don’t try to do too much in one safari
A lot of people want to cram as many wildlife areas as possible into one trip, but all this does is make a trip hectic, with lots of time spent flying or driving between one destination and the other. Rather, focus on one specific area, which ensures that you will have a well-balanced, enjoyable safari.
2. Take advantage of all the activities on offer
A lot of camps and lodges offer walking safaris and in some cases boating safaris as standard game-viewing activities. These excursions can only enhance a safari experience, so if the opportunity arises to do them you should absolutely take it.
3. Binoculars are a vital part of any safari
Whether it be to look at various vibrantly colored bird species or an animal that is a couple of hundred meters away from your vehicle, a pair of ‘bins’ is an important component of any safari.
4. Take advantage of your guide's expertise!
During the booking process, make as much use as possible of your safari specialist’s knowledge of the areas, camps and lodges you are looking to visit, to ensure that you get the trip that is most suited to what you want to see and experience.
5. Make sure you pack wisely!
Too many people going on safari often pack far too much and bring clothes, shoes and accessories that get lugged halfway around the world without ever being used. This becomes particularly problematic on the internal flights, as these have strict weight restrictions for luggage due to the smaller size of the planes.
6. Keep an eye out for the smaller creatures!
Temper your expectations! Unlike what many wildlife documentaries pertain to show, you won’t see lions and elephants around every corner. As a result, it is important that you look at the bigger picture. It is often the smaller animals, birds and insects that bring vibrancy and color into your bush experience.
7. Avoid falling into the ‘Ferrari safari’ trap
No matter where you go, your guide will always be in radio contact with other guides. This may be useful for finding out about good sightings, but it can become tempting to do your entire safari racing from one sighting to another. It is much more enjoyable to slowly meander through the parks and reserves at your own leisure.
8. Keep asking questions
Your guide will have in-depth knowledge of what is going on in the bush – from animal behavior to tracks to birds. Exploit his or her knowledge to the fullest by asking even what might seem the most trivial of questions.
9. Enjoy the experience
Unless you book a private vehicle, you will most likely find yourself with a few other people on a shared game drive, which is the standard operating procedure for the majority of safari camps and lodges across the African continent. With this in mind, leave your phones and tablets at the camp or lodge, not just for the sanity of your fellow travelers but also to allow yourself to get fully immersed in the African safari experience.
10. Don't forget to tip!
If you are coming off an amazing stay at a particular camp or lodge, don’t forget to tip your guide and the camp staff as tips make up a big percentage of the staff’s salary. Feel free to ask your safari specialist for guidelines of how much to tip and when.
These 10 points should help you get the most out of your trip! If you'd like to discuss a safari with YZ, feel free to contact us on +1 855 225 1155 or send us an email at [email protected].