You'll be over the moon, once you spot your first lion or elephant. So go on - get the khakis on, pick up the camera and welcome yourself to safari life!
No matter where you go in sub-Saharan Africa, there are rules and regulations you must follow when in the bush. Rules designed to keep you and the animals alive. Be aware, most rangers will watch you get eaten before they kill one of their beloved animals. So follow the rules.
These are the simple rules and they will differ. From Botswana to Kenya, South Africa to Uganda, all rules vary. But they are aimed at keeping you safe, keeping the animals safe and keeping the tourist dollars flowing.
When you travel in Africa, things can always go wrong…quickly! So make sure you are covered, don‘t make a once-in-a-lifetime journey turn into years of regret because you didn‘t cover yourself properly.
Plus, being in the wild will bring you in contact with all sorts of nasty infections: malaria, sleeping sickness and dysentery are just a few of the lovely diseases you can pick up. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date, and take precautions against insect bite:
And watch out for Africa‘s favourite pest – the baboon.
These fellows will be at most tourist places in Africa – they know travellers bring food and aren‘t usually up for a fight.
Baboons and their other monkey buddies are crafty and usually smarter than us, so if you want to see your new camera plus a sandwich disappear, then just leave them out. They will be stolen.
The last thing you want to do is get into a fight against the animals – baboons have giant teeth and will leave quite the scar. Better to just let them have it, but assert yourself so they don‘t try it again.
Just because you have paid for a safari doesn‘t mean the animals are getting a cut of the profit…and they are WILD animals.
If you want to see every animal within an hour, it‘s much cheaper to buy a ticket to the zoo.
If you go to one of the better game parks they don't have fences. Man and beast live side by side. But this doesn't mean seeing a lion, elephant, hyena, leopard and cheetah is always possible.
(Surprisingly difficult to spot in the bush)
Here are some ways you can increase your chances:
Guides will always have suggestions where to look for the animals. Lions love the shade and leopards love the trees, don‘t expect them to just walk into the middle of the road.
Always remember safari doesn‘t mean animal-spotting, it literally means journey – so take in your surroundings. The environment is just as important as the creatures that fill it.
One of the true great experiences of being on a safari is sleeping under the stars. Falling asleep to the bark of a lion, the footsteps of a nearby hyena or the grunt of a hippo can be awe-inspiring.
But don‘t be fooled, along with the joys there are dangers, so go with one of the organized tour operators.
Your guides will run you through each rule.
Animals won‘t walk into your tent if it is secure.
If you think these rules are a little bit over-the-top, just wait until you see the footprints around your tent the next morning.
Do yourself a favour before even considering travelling to Africa, buy a good camera and make sure it is charged before you venture out. If it is a battery operated camera then carry some extra batteries.
Africa is a photographer‘s dream, from its sun-drenched plains, treacherous rivers and unforgiving jungles. Safaris can be some of your most memorable experiences; lions, rhinos, elephants, giraffes. You don‘t want to get substandard snaps or miss ‘that shot‘ because your battery has died.
But don‘t let you whole trip be seen through the viewfinder, put the camera down and experience Africa.
(Impala - the snack food of Africa)
Kenya – if you don‘t find animals here, then you will never see them. Try the legendary Masai Mara, Tsavo National Park, Amboseli NP and Nakuru. Each place is unique and will provide you with an unforgettable experience.
Tanzania – try the incredible Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater for plentiful animals and breath-taking surroundings. For the more hearty souls, get down to Ruaha NP.
Botswana – heaven on Earth. The last great wilderness of Southern Africa. Moremi NP, Chobe NP and Savuti NP make up the Okavango Delta region. Want to live a National Geographic Dream? Head into this wetland paradise.
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