safari travel advice

Tips for Feeling Safe on Your African Safari

safe-on-safari

If you’re looking for an exciting vacation that you’ll always remember, look no further than an African safari. When you go on safari, you’ll experience some of the most interesting sights and sounds of your life while also be able to enjoy activities that you won’t be able to find in any other vacation destination.

However, if you want to enjoy your safari as fully as possible, you need to feel safe throughout your entire trip. Fortunately, feeling safe on safari is easy when you follow a few simple tips. Here is some advice for feeling safe on an African safari that will allow you to enjoy this one of a kind vacation without fear or worry.
Keep Your Distance
When going on an African safari for the first time in your life, it’s likely that your most anticipated activity is seeing exotic animals in their natural habitat. While seeing a lion or an elephant in the wild can certainly be thrilling, you also want to be sure that you’ll feel safe, which is why it’s crucial to maintain the proper distance from these creatures.

Viewing safari animals is perfectly safe as long as you’re certain to not get too close. With lions, for instance, you can get fairly close as long as you stay inside of your safari vehicle. When you’re viewing elephants, you may want to stay further away, as they travel in herds and may get spooked if you get too close or approach to rapidly. Being careful about how close you’re getting to the animals is an easy solution for feeling safe on safari.

Be Aware at All Times
Although there are several ways you can stay and feel safe while on safari, the most effective is staying aware of your surroundings. Too many people going on safari assume that they can rely wholly on their guide to keep them safe. While your guide will do everything they can to keep you from harm, you must also take some responsibility for your own security.
While you’re walking around, keep your eyes open and listen for any unusual sounds. This should help you detect potential threats so that your safari will be safe and fun.

Listen to Your Guide
Maybe the most important thing you can do to feel safe on safari is to trust your guide and to listen to their instructions as carefully as possible. Your safari guide has been trained to give you a fantastic vacation experience while keeping you safe, and if you fail to listen to their instructions you may be putting yourself and your fellow safari-goers at risk.
If you put your trust in your guide, you’re guaranteed to have a safe safari that you’ll remember for the rest of your days.

Going on a safari is the best choice for your next vacation, and as you can say, feeling safe on an African safari is easy when you follow these easy and effective tips. Start
booking your safari today and keep this advice in mind so that you can have an exhilarating vacation of which you’ve only dreamed.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

3 Reasons to book your Safari through an agent

why-you-should-book-your-safari-through-an-agent

If you’re long overdue for a vacation, then it’s time for you to get away by planning an African safari. Every person should go on safari at least once in their life, especially those whose idea of a good vacation is one filled with unforgettable sights and sounds.

When planning a trip, you might be tempted to do all the legwork yourself. While this may be a good choice for a typical vacation, it usually isn’t recommended when you’re going on safari. Find out why you should get professional help when booking an African safari and learn how to make the most out of this one of a kind trip.

Get Inside Knowledge

If you’re the type of traveler that avoids the typical tourist spots and prefers an authentic taste of what their vacation destination has to offer, then having a professional book your African safari is a fantastic solution. When you reserve your trip through an experienced safari company, you’ll have access to inside information about every location that you visit. This means that you’ll be able to enjoy the best food, activities, and more on your trip, all while being able to steer clear of tourist traps. With the right company on your side, you’ll be able to have the authentic vacation for which you are looking.

Time and Money

Let’s face it, planning a vacation is extremely time consuming. So much so, in fact, that many people simply aren’t able to book the trip that they want. However, if you have help from a professional, booking an African safari is quick and easy, as well as a great deal more affordable. Because safari companies have booked hundreds of trips for thousands of travelers, they will know how to reserve your holiday in no time at all. In addition, using a professional will often net you much better prices than you would be able to find on your own. If you want to save time and money on your next safari, book with a knowledgeable safari company.

Never Be Without Help

If you’re an inexperienced traveler planning on taking your first ever safari, it’s normal to have concerns. Fortunately, if you book your vacation through the right company, you will always have the help that you need, even if your thousands of miles away from home. For example, if you land at the airport and the transportation to your next location is nowhere to be found, you can call your safari company for assistance. Because they already have relationships with businesses in the countries you are visiting, your safari company will be able to help you overcome any and all obstacles and connect you with everything you need for a completely stress-free vacation.

Getting professional help booking your African safari means that you’ll never be alone when a problem arises during your vacation.
If you’re an independent person, it can be tempting to try to plan your next safari own your own. However, as you can see, booking a safari with help from a
professional safari company is the best way to go, particularly if you want a fun and easy holiday.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

What your safari tour operator is not telling you

learn about the best lodges of botswana
This is not about construction sites at the lodges your tour operator is not telling you about or that the food is actually really bad at the camp, that you booked. This misinformation might happen occasionally, but most of the tour operators are good and do their best to help you with an awesome safari holiday.

This is about the
incredible work that’s done in the background to make sure you have the best African safari experience ever. Safari lodges and camps are at remote places, which come with logistical challenges while being at the same time exposed to moods of the elements.

Imagine only
the delicious food at the camps. Being for example at a camp in the Okavango Delta, surrounded by water with only small aircrafts able to land, demands excellent planning and logistics. The guys at the camp need fine tuned order systems to make sure it is always the needed variety of ingredients available and not to forget one. You cannot go quickly to the next supermarket and get the strawberries. They got to be flown in at the right time for the planned menu, not too early and not too late. It can get expensive when the logistics are not right and food would be wasted or meals wouldn’t be of the expected quality.

And food is only one part of the operations.
Staff planning, maintenance and everything else is just as complex and well thought about long in advance. A small mistake costs a substantial amount of money and time. Big hotels are already impressing when seeing the big operations in the background, yet doing all that in the African bush is even more impressive. Outside temperatures can rise well above 40 degree Celsius, yet the kitchen has to work perfectly with no air-conditioning at hand. Heavy rains and floods can occur and still the safety of the guests must be guaranteed. Buffalos can decide to eat the thatched roofs or elephants find a new route straight through camp, yet the operations must go on with no effects on the guests safari experience.

The
people in the camps are doing great work to make sure all is perfect, no matter how the circumstances are and silently in the background.

How to make sure you can go off road on African safari

off road driving during your safari tour
Going off road on African safari game drives is essential for the safari experience. It makes a big difference seeing the lion a hundred meters away or 3 meters away. Not only for wildlife photography lovers, but also for all safari guests, seeing the Big Five through the binocular is not the same than having them sitting next to you.

Be aware, that in general
national parks do not allow off road driving. Also night game drives are prohibited, except for some parks exclusively for their own operations with limited numbers of guests. Safari National Parks are open to the public and it would do severe damage to the bush and animals, if off road game drives would be allowed. To make people listen high fines are in place and guides can loose their license.

The situation is different on
private game reserves. Game drives are regulated and rules for the number of vehicles on sightings are in place. Off road driving is allowed for the Big Five, but not to see an impala close up. Also there the protection of the bush and wildlife is of concern, but due to the private character of the game reserve, the safari experience is so much better. It is an incredible experience to follow a leopard through the bush and being able to witness otherwise hidden wildlife interactions or even a hunt. Private game reserves or private concessions are in all major safari areas like Sabi Sand/Kruger South Africa, Okavango Botswana or Masai Mara Kenya.

7 Essential Informations needed with your African safari booking

see leopards on big five safaris
Booking an African safari holiday comes with excitement about the safari destination, the Big Five, one wish to spot, the choice of the game reserve and the time of the year for the right weather and best wildlife sightings. During this process questions will be asked about the number of persons travelling, the available budget and more of this kind. When finally the booking is made, some more information is requested and for a good reason.

Travelling comes always with some risk and travelling to the African bush adds the
adventures of the wild. Although professional rangers/guides and lodge staff will look you after, nature can have its surprises. Extreme rainfall can cause floods or in the dry season a bush fire can occur. As said, the professionals will look after you, but there is always a rest risk of the unforeseen.

Besides nature’s moods, you could fall ill during a safari or do a misstep and twist your foot. These things can also happen while you are at home, but there medical aid is in general right at hand. When being at a private camp on a high ranked safari destination like the Okavango Delta, medical aid is not in direct reach. A light aircraft transport will be necessary to get you to a hospital. This is also quick, but costs a bit.

In order
to assist you best in case of an emergency, some essential information is needed:

1. Your passport details for registration with medical/evacuation services.
2. Your travel insurance name and number to cover the costs of medical aid and possible evacuation/repatriation.
3. Your health insurance name and number.
4. Information on possible medical conditions the operator should be aware of.
5. Information on possible allergies and dietary requirements.
6. The name and phone number of a person to be contacted in case of an emergency.
7. Your cell number for operational emergencies like changed transfer/flight times or similar.

By providing this information, safari ground handlers and lodge staff can
efficiently and quick help and organize whatever might be necessary to make sure you are safe. Your African safari should be worry free, also when the unforeseen happens or nature turns wild.

What should your African safari travel insurance cover

travel insurance for safaris
When you go on an African safari holiday you don’t want to worry about anything except, if you will see the illusive leopard or not or will you be able to see a rhino at all. You should be free to enjoy the safari you were looking forward to for so long.

In order to achieve that,
you should have a travel insurance. Pretty much all insurance companies offer travel insurance and it can be challenging to go through all the plans to make a decision.

Your safari travel insurance should in essence cover:

1. Emergency evacuation expenses.

2. Medical and hospitalization expenses including emergency assistance, accidental death and disability, personal injury.

3. Repatriation expenses.

4. Cancellation or curtailment of your travel.

5. Damage/theft/loss of personal baggage/goods/money/any personal effects of whatsoever nature and value.

6. Costs incurred as a result of changes to arrangements such as the cost of a private charter should you miss your (connecting) flight for any reason whatsoever.


The cover for
cancellation of your safari holiday varies per insurance plan. Study carefully the terms and conditions of the plan to know in which cases cancellation is covered. Some cover for medical reasons only, others include cancellation for work reasons and the most comprehensive cover includes cancellation for any reason. These variations come with different price tags and in general cancellation for medical reasons is sufficient, but it the cover for work reasons can be very useful.

Once the travel insurance is sorted, you can focus in the
joys of an African safari and get worried about which zoom lens you should bring with you or what to wear.

5 Essentials to bring on African safari

see cheetah on safari in kruger park
There are many packing lists for African Safaris and there are essentials, which make sure you feel comfortable and happy. They also ensure you pack weight wise with regards to your light aircraft transfers. And for emergencies the safari camps offer laundry service, mostly ready on the same day.

Bring one pair of
closed shoes you are very comfortable with, light and easy drying. Sneakers are fine or light walking shoes. You don’t need mountain boots on safari.

Bring a
light rain jacket. This is comfortable of course when it rains, but also for wind. It can get chilly on open game drive vehicles and it helps a lot when you have a light jacket to break the wind.

Bring a
fleece jersey. They are very light, dry very quickly and are cozy and comfortable when you feel a bit cold or very cold. Even in summer it gets chilly after rain and in winter they are just great.

Bring
outdoor trousers rather than jeans. In the hot and humid summer the jeans will be much too warm and uncomfortable on the game drives. Outdoor trousers are the best and work well in winter with warm underwear.

Bring
one fast camera and lens you can use for everything. Changing lenses or having several cameras with you can become stressful on game drives. Don’t end up being too busy with your photo gear and missing wildlife and nature around you.

These essentials might sound obvious, but one can get lost when packing for an
African safari. Keep it simple, light and practical. Have items, that combined are suitable for all situations you might encounter on safari. Don’t worry about fashion, hairdryer or makeup. That will cause only stress and will not make any difference to the bush and the Big Five.

Happy safari travel!