Kenya safari guide - Lions, tigers and bears oh my!

Seeing the Big 5 is high up on the list for most visitors to Africa and we're with you every step of the way!

Well you won't get the tigers and bears, but you will get lions...

Spotting big game in Africa is a great travel adventure, surrounded by wide-open landscapes, dangerous animals and the continent‘s raw beauty and intriguing history. You will be in sheer excitement once you spot your first lion or elephant. However, no matter where you go in sub-Saharan Africa, there are rules and regulations you must follow when in the bush. So if you want to make this an enjoyable and memorable experience, you will need to follow them assertively and don't worry too much if you don't get to see the big five. 

The dangers of safari life

Remember, 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. Let us assure you, most rangers will watch you get eaten before they kill one of their beloved animals. 

So, first things first. Here are some basic rules. 

  • Keep your voices down - animals scare easily and you wouldn't want to miss a pride of lion because you are chatting too loudly.
  • ALWAYS stay in the van, truck or 4WD - Africa is not a zoo and its animals will eat you. There have been too many terrible cases of people getting out to try and grab the perfect photo. It always ends badly.
  • NEVER turn your back - this is more for the brave souls who undertake a walking safari (one of the great joys of Africa). The only thing that turns and runs in Africa is prey, so lions will chase you.
  • LISTEN to your guide - not every situation can be safe for you. If your guide advises you to move on or back away, then do so.


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.

Infections

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 diseases you can pick up. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date, and follow these precautions against insect bites:

  • Wear long loose-fitting white clothing
  • Put insect repellant on exposed skin – day and night
  • Sleep under nets or have insect repellant in your room

My Battery Is Dead!


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 - there's a reason why National Geographic has made an industry out of bringing you images 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 in saying that, don't let your whole trip be seen through the viewfinder of your new Canon.

Great Game viewing Guide


We know that you want to see them all, but disappointment is a word some people come away with when they get back from a safari.

If you want to see every animal within an hour, it's much cheaper to buy a ticket to the zoo.

Good game parks don't have fences, they are sweeping plains where animals roam free. If you decide to go to East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania) there are no fences. Man and beast live side by side.

But this doesn't mean seeing a lion, elephant, hyena, leopard and cheetah is always possible.

Here are some ways you can increase your chances:

  • Go with a trusted guide - someone who knows the terrain, the best areas and the movement of the animals.
  • Don't expect to see everything in one safari - You can spend months in the African bush and still see new animals each time you go over.
  • Pick your time of year, if you have limited time, go when the grass is short, the animals are around and viewing is expected. But in saying that, animals don't have the same timetable as us.
  • Keep your eyes out - people sometimes wait for the animal to come to them. They aren't paid performers, so search yourself. After a few trips, your eyes will become sharp and you spot game everywhere.
  • And finally, listen!! You aren't the only ones on the lookout for the animals. Smaller, less aggressive creatures are also watching their backs. Bird calls, animal noises and strange silence can all mean a lion is lurking nearby.


Guides will always have suggestions where to look for the animals. Lions love the shade and leopards love the trees, so don't expect them to just walk into the middle of the road.

Africa is a living environment, you are just a guest - the myths about a wide playground full of animals are all true.

And 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.

Where The Wild Things Sleep


One of the true great experiences of being on a safari is sleeping under the stars. Most tourists go straight to the luxury lodges, the outdated hotels - but they miss out on the real experience.

Pitching a tent with an organized company is amazing for those who want to feel the African ground.

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.

Your guides will run you through each little rule.

  • Zip up your tent.
  • Don‘t walk about at night.
  • Don‘t take food to your tent.

And you might think these rules are a little bit over-the-top, just wait until you see the footprints around your tent the next morning. You'll understand why they are in place.

Baboons Everywhere!!


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.

  • Secure all your food and belongings.
  • Wind up windows in cars and trucks.
  • Don‘t take food into your tent or room.

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.

And 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.

Hot Tips for the Best Safaris


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.

Insurance


Africa is Africa - by that I mean things can go wrong and they usually will. 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.

So make sure you are covered
, don't make a once-in-a-lifetime journey turn into two weeks of regret because you didn't cover yourself properly.

If you can't afford insurance, you can't afford to travel.

Get a travel insurance quote for Kenya

You can buy at home or while traveling, and claim online from anywhere in the world. With 150+ adventure activities covered and 24/7 emergency assistance.

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