Preparing for an African Safari
It’s easy to understand why many people are drawn to the wonders and beauty of Africa. Often considered to be the ultimate adventure destination, Africa is a continent that attracts travellers of all ages wanting to take in the history, culture, and plentiful wildlife. There are few experiences in life more moving and exciting than an African safari, witnessing majestic lions, elephants, and giraffes(oh my!).
Types of safaris
There is a different type of safari for every style of traveller. Whether you’re an adventure traveller, athlete, photographer, or luxury traveller there are several kinds of safaris to suit everyone’s style.
- Overland safari: The classic safari in a 4×4 game drive vehicle which is an ideal way to cover ground and see an abundance of wildlife. Sit back and enjoy the ride, and don’t forget your camera!
- Walking safari: Enjoy your safari at a slower pace while learning how to track animals in the bush. Notice the smaller details that can be overlooked on a game drive.
- Water safari: A tranquil experience to see countless species of birds and witness the enormous hippos bathing in the water, while floating in a boat along one of Africa’s lakes or rivers.
- Cycling safari:If you are looking for a more active safari, then a cycling safari is ideal. You may also be able to reach areas that game drive vehicles can’t to get to.
- Photographic safari: Geared toward photography enthusiasts, these safaris are guided by professional photographers to ensure you capture the stunning photos you’re seeking.
- Hot air balloon safari:A unique and exhilarating experience to view wildlife from above.
- Combo safari: If you’re like me you might not fit the box of one type of traveller and may want to experience different styles of safaris on your trip. Luckily many tour operators offer custom safari packages over several days where you can choose different types of safaris.
No matter what type of safari you embark on, the most important consideration for a successful safari is to observe safety rules. It’s imperative to remember that you are surrounded by real-life wild animals. This isn’t virtual reality! Observing safety rules and common sense will go a long way to ensure that you can enjoy your meals whilst on safari without becoming a meal. Some simple, yet life-saving rules to follow:
- Keep your hands and your camera inside the car when near the big cats
- Keep a safe distance from the elephants (they look so calm and docile, but they can charge unexpectedly)
- Don’t stand between a hippo and water
- Don’t feed the wildlife
It’s important to remember that when on safari you’ll be subjected to particularly harsh elements. Here are some items you may want to pack to ensure that you’ll be properly protected on your trip:
- Sunscreen a high SPF
- Quality Sunglasses with UV ray protection
- Wide brimmed hat
- Plenty of drinking water (often safari tours will provide water)
- Mosquito repellant with 30% DEET or 20% Icaridin
- Travel medical kit (including medication for traveller’s diarrhea and malaria prevention)
- Power bank external battery charger for cellphone, tablet, etc., or extra memory card/battery for camera
Health and vaccines
As idyllic as an African safari may be, it comes with health risks which may include malaria and yellow fever. Vaccines recommended for travel to Africa depend on your destination, planned activities, length of travel, age, previous vaccine history and health history. Vaccines that may be recommended for your trip to Africa include:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Yellow Fever
- Dukoral (Cholera and ETEC)
Routine vaccines that may also be recommended include:
- Tetanus/diphtheria (Td)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
- Varicella (chicken pox)
- Pneumococcal pneumonia
If you are planning an African safari be sure to book your pre-travel consultation at TravelSafe Clinic to receive up to date health advice, immunizations, and any travel prescriptions you may need. Simply call us or email us today to book your appointment.