A Beginner’s Guide: Preparing for Your First Safari Trip
Safaris are perfect destinations to experience the great wildlife and nature. Each day in such locations will not be the same as you get to see different animals in their natural habitat. For sure, a safari experience is one thing you should include in your travel bucket list. If you’re currently thinking of going on this trip, let us help you decide and make planning easier. Check out some useful tips when preparing for your first safari visit.
What to expect from a safari experience?
Some people are hesitant to visit safaris thinking that wild animals roam around the safari the whole time. In fact, you’ll actually need buckets of patience to spot wildlife. To get perfect snapshots of wildlife, you need to long game drives and work together with your guide and tour group. Remember, game drives come with rough seats and roads to be sure to prepare yourself for the long ride.
Safaris are perfectly safe. Book your game drive or tour with a reliable and established company. Make sure to look for child-friendly safaris in case you will be traveling with your kids. Talking about the guides in safaris, they are well-trained in keeping guests safe for the entire trip. All you need to do is listen to these expert naturalists and follow every rule! Safaris are not zoos where you can walk or run around anytime or anywhere you want.
Aside from game drives, all-inclusive camps or safaris offer other fun outdoor activities for guests. You can try horse riding, biking, or even archery. And nope, this kind of trip is not crazy expensive! Actually, they’re of great value considering all the inclusions. On average, it’ll cost around $600 a night for one person. But that already includes almost everything you need, from meals and drinks, guided walks, game drives, and extra activities.
What are the requirements?
If it’s your first time visiting a safari, you’ll need to first check the latest vaccination requirements in the country, which are updated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. You can then book an appointment with your physician a month before your trip. For instance, if you’re going to a South African safari, tell your doctor about it to see if you’ll need some prescriptions or pills for malaria.
You’d also want to check what visas are required by the country. Most visas can now be purchased before the trip with confirmation of campsite, hostel, or hotel booking. Some countries also require an invitation letter, which you can get from the tour company or hotel you booked. As for other visas, they are typically given or purchased at the border. If visas are needed, make sure to secure them at least four weeks before the trip.
Take note: if you’re visiting a location that can put your health at risk, get travel insurance or find somewhere else to go. As most people say, if you can’t afford the trip, if you can’t afford travel insurance. Get yours so you can be covered in case you need medical attention or your bags go missing.
What essentials should I pack?
Let’s discuss the clothes first. Safari attire is typically a combination of green and khaki clothes, which makes it easier for individuals to blend in with the environment and wildlife. So basically, you need a comfortable attire that you’re okay with getting dirt or dust on.
Some basics include fleece pants or leggings, long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, warm or fleece jackets, windbreaker jackets, or comfy dresses. You’d also want to have a good pair of casual sandals or walking shoes such as Dockers footwear so your feet won’t get sore for the tour. For the miscellaneous stuff, make sure to bring sunglasses, a scarf, lip balm and sunblock, moisturizing lotion, quick-dry towel, plug adaptor, flask, clothespin, and water bottles.
Moving on to the camera gear, you’d want to take as many photos or videos as you can. Don’t plan a safari trip without good photography or videography equipment with you. Get a good DSLR and wide-angle lenses that you can afford. You’d also want to bring extra memory cards, spare batteries, or portable power banks for charging both your camera and smartphone. If you have an extra budget, get a pair of binoculars too!
Visiting a safari will definitely be an unforgettable experience for you and your loved one. Plan ahead of your trip and arrange every requirement and essentials you need to avoid travel delays. This is a trip of a lifetime, and you surely don’t want to ruin the experience with a visa or camera gear. Make your trip worthwhile by following our suggestions above!