All jokes aside, let’s get you straight to the point.
The first picture that conjures up in our mind when we hear or utter the word ‘safari’ is the image of a pale yellow-green prairie with a coalition of cheetahs paused in ambush, awaiting the passing of a herd of impalas, followed by a marathon-chase between two of the fastest species of mammals on Earth. After all, this is what is usually shown on the National Geographic and the Travel Channel, but is this really what a real-life safari looks like?
To help you be well informed (well prepared) before you set off to enjoy this unique travel experience, we list down some of the essential things you need to know before planning a safari:
1. Do Your Research
While most safaris may offer similar activities or itineraries, what can surely vary is the geography, the climate and the diversity of animals in that region. And even though you do not have much control over what you are going to experience once you are out in the wild, you definitely have enough control about making this decision.
If you’re interested in going on a safari in Kenya for example, I recommend doing your due diligence. Do the climatic conditions suit you and your health? Or most importantly, do they sync with the health of your loved ones traveling along with you?
Also, is this the best month of the year to travel or should we pre/postpone our visit? Finally, if you have managed to tick these boxes with a flurry of thumbs ups, it’s time to get your tickets booked. Head on over to sites like VoucherBin to get the best discounts on flights and hotels.
2. Ask Yourself: Are You All In? (Yes/No)
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Though travel is certainly synonymous with fun, it also requires plenty of effort and investment on your part. So before jumping into the planning stage, ask yourself. ‘Are you all in?’. Your answer should be along the lines of either ‘Hell yeah! let’s do this, come what may!’ or a ‘Naah! I am not really prepared for this’. There is simply nothing in between.
And why is that? Well, let’s think about it this way. You may have sweat yourself and convinced your boss to get your hard-earned vacation approved. Secondly, though there’s a vast selection of budget safari holidays available, chances are, you would need to dip into your savings to make this dream trip a reality.
Last but not least, as mentioned prior, planning and going on a safari requires more planning and preparation than most other types of travel. All of these factors can add up to build a mountain of chaos which leads to more suffering than enjoyment. Be sure that you’re all in so you give it all you’ve got to be prepared at all level and plan up well in advance to avoid the last-minute hiccups.
3. Expect anything and everything
Once you’re out in the wild, expect all types of species – big and small – to ‘pop up’ and greet you. You might encounter slithering snakes around your boots, wild insects crawling up your legs, well, you get the picture. There’s practically nothing that can not happen on a wildlife safari trip!
To add to my previous note about ‘preparedness’, be sure to carry first aid vitals in cases of minor medical or health-related emergencies.
4. Learn to become a travel photographer
Image credit: Will Burrard-Lucas
If you have yet to do so, it’s time to aspire to become one! There is so much to be captured and reminisce on a safari trip and nothing but a good camera kit can help you achieve that.
Research and invest in a decent digital camera or a full-fledged DSLR with high zooming facility to capture some of the fascinating moments Mother Nature has to offer.
A large zoom capacity would be required since it’s highly recommended to always keep a safe distance from the wild animals. Caption your pictures with relevant hashtags when you share them on social media and who knows, your hard work might just end up in Nat Geo’s hall of fame!
5. Mannerism above everything
There may be occasions where one wishes to leave an annoying co-traveler in the wild or be tempted to take a wild species home as a pet. People tend to get overexcited during these exhilarating expeditions and forget to adopt the right etiquettes and mannerism, especially towards the wildlife and the locals.
The same applies to the instructions of guides during the jeep ride and other outback. It is important to bear in mind that the rules have been set for your own health and safety and abiding by them should ensure that you enjoy the most out of your vacation. Remember to always offer your respect and common courtesy to everyone and everything you encounter during your trip and be sure to leave only your footprints behind.
Are you ready to take the plunge and go on a once in a lifetime safari? Why not pamper yourself and opt for a luxury safari adventure? It’ll sure be one trip that you’ll fondly remember for many years to come!