What You Need to Know Before Going on a Safari

As African tour operators of over 10 years, we know that there are some misconceptions that prevent people from visiting and loving Africa.

Today, we’re going to work on dispelling some of those myths.

Myth #1: I’ve been to Africa, why go again?

Just as there is no European or American experience, there is no African experience.

Africa is as diverse as its many countries and cultures, and your experience of it will depend on where you go, what you see and who you are.

Many of our guests visit and revisit, even the same places, as there’s just so much to absorb and experience.

The Great Migration, in particular, is a life-changing experience with a prominent place on every world travellers bucket list.

Myth #2: It’s always hot in Africa, I won’t cope

I guess if you compare it to the snows of Northern Europe in winter, it might seem that way.

The best time of the year for a Migration Safari is the dry season, which makes it warm (but not unbearable) during the day and comparatively cooler at night.

Myth #3: Africa isn’t safe

We never arrange trips to destinations that are experiencing unrest.

We don’t allow our guests to visit if there’s anything remotely unusual going on.

We live here, so we know what’s going on.

As with everywhere in the world that we’ve been, there are areas that are unsafe.

That being said, the usual safety precautions that apply everywhere else should be adhered to.

The best time to travel

On that note, there are some times when it’s best to travel, depending on what you want to do.

January to March is low season, there is generally less going on. This does, however, make it a great time for photography and birding.

Rates are lower during this time, as game viewing is more difficult due to the lush vegetation.

July to September is the dry, peak season. This also aligns with the thrilling Mara River crossing and due to thinner vegetation game spotting is easier.

Animals will also congregate around waterholes and rivers, making it easier to find what you are looking for. Be sure to book well in advance to secure a spot during peak season.

Packing for Africa

Africa isn’t really a land of wild extremes when it comes to daily temperatures. You probably won’t need your snowsuit for this trip.

I always recommend that guests pack clothing that can be layered easily.

Safaris can be really hot during the day, and pretty chilly in the evenings and at night.

Think shorts and t-shirts plus a warm jacket, pants, and a hat.

Always remember sunscreen, after-sun lotion, and mosquito repellent!

Even in the winter, the African sun can be harsh, especially on European skin.

Pack a reliable SPF and after-sun lotion, in case you catch too much sun.

If your itinerary includes light or small aircraft bring a smaller suitcase or duffel bag.

Small aircraft have smaller luggage allowances so consider packing light or you can pack the essentials needed on that leg and leave your bigger suitcase behind for safekeeping.

Vaccinations

Check with your doctor about any other vaccinations you might need.

Your tour operator will be able to assist you on visa and vaccination requirements specific to your location and destination.

Passports, Visas & Vaccinations

Visitors to both Kenya and Tanzania require a passport that is valid for at least six months after the initial date of travel.

Almost all visitors require a tourist visa. It is best to get this visa before departing your home country.

Immigration rules and visa requirements are prone to change. It is advisable to enquire from your embassy or tour operator to find out what is required before visiting.

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