Ok, so you’re in the process of planning a safari holiday in magical Africa? But you’re a bit confused with all of the preparation that you are required to carry out? Well here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions from people awaiting their African adventure.
- Do I require any immunisation jabs?
- Should I take malaria tablets?
- What is the best way to avoid sun burn or sun stroke?
- What type of accommodation should I stay in?
- How do I find a reliable tour operator?
- What type of clothes should I wear?
- Are there any accessories I should obtain that will heighten my safari experience?
- What is the difference between a private and shared safari?
Do I require any immunisation jabs?
This all depends on which part of Africa you will be staying in, but in most cases you will require some jabs (e.g. yellow fever). To find out exactly which types you will require, visit your doctor or general practitioner, who should have all of this information readily available to them.
Should I take malaria tablets?
The same applies to this question as the last, it all depends on the area you are staying in. Take the same action and ask your doctor or general practitioner about this point also.
What is the best way to avoid sun burn or sun stroke?
Firstly, apply sun cream (SPF 40-50+ recommended) to any exposed areas, and sun block to any exposed areas which are much more sensitive or stick out more (e.g. nose). You should also wear a wide brimmed hat to cover your neck, face and head from sun exposure during the peak of the sun’s heat. A pair of UV protected sunglasses are also essential, as these will protect your eyes from being damaged by the strength of the brightness of the sun.
What type of accommodation should I stay in?
There are three main types of accommodation that you can choose to stay in whilst on safari:
Basic camping – This type of camping is the cheapest and closest to the wilderness style of accommodation you can stay in. It consists of pitching a tent, and camping on a site specified for such activities. You will usually have a cooking stove to heat drinks and meals on, and a thermal sleeping bag to ensure you are warm enough at night.
Tented camps – Not to be confused with camping, tented camps are often very luxurious and feature a centre piece of a bar/restaurant and then the rooms are close by. They get the name tented camp because the rooms usually have a wooden or stone base, and then have a canvas tented roof.
Lodges – Lodges are similar to tented camps in terms of having the bar/restaurant close by, but the rooms are usually solidly constructed, from either stone or wood.
How do I find a reliable tour operator?
There are so many tour operators around that finding a specific one can be hard work, it is usually a good idea to check online reviews on places such as Trip Advisor and find a safari company that is listed on there for being reputable (e.g. for a Tanzania safari tour, I would select a known and recommended expert in that area, such as Ziara Safaris).
What type of clothes should I wear?
Neutral khaki or beige coloured clothing is highly recommended to wear on safari, to avoid attracting insects such as Tsetse flies, which are said to be attracted to bright blues. You should also have a sturdy pair of walking boots, that are comfortable enough to wear for the majority of the day. A fleece is also an essential to keep you warm during the early morning hours and the evening – when it can get pretty chilly.
Are there any accessories I should obtain that will heighten my safari experience?
Yes, there are! And namely a pair of binoculars – to see distant wildlife, and a camera – to preserve those extra special memories! (Don’t forget spare batteries/charger and film/memory for your camera!)
A private safari means that dates of travel, places to visit and things to do will all be changeable and you will have the final say of what your itinerary does, you will also have the safari vehicle all to yourself. A shared safari means joining a group of an already existing safari trip and sharing your vehicle and experience with a group of other random travellers, you will not be able to be flexible over dates and places to visit on a shared safari.