Misconceptions are awful things: based on hear-say or pure fantasy, they manage to influence people, sway their opinions and some will even harm us.
There are many myths about African safaris and we’re here to tell you that they’re just that: myths. BookAllSafaris.com presents the top 20 African safari myths that will put your mind at ease and convince you to finally book that unforgettable African adventure!
Myth #1: Safaris Are Expensive
Some safaris can be really expensive, especially luxury safaris, but because they are becoming so popular, their prices are really starting to drop and now budget safaris are incredibly affordable! Did you know that you can go on an African safari for as little as €500?! That’s wild!
Myth #2. Africa is Not Safe
Safety may be an issue for some African countries, but when it comes to its national parks, they are actually some of the safest places in the world. Did you know that the Kruger National Park alone received around 1.5 million visitors every year?!
Myth #3. You Can’t Talk during a Game Drive
When you’re in the car, on your game drive you don’t need to sit still or be quiet. You are free to move and talk to your fellow safari goers. Animals are quite used to seeing people and cars! The only case when you do need to keep your voice down and still is when an animal approaches your car, you want to avoid startling it!
Myth #4. You Always Need a Guide
While this is true for beginners, once you’ve been on enough safaris and are educated on safety, you can actually go on self-drive safaris, which are insanely fun and you get to feel wild and free!
Myth #5. Africa is All Savannah
As you already know, Africa is a vast continent! Did you know that you can actually fit the US, China, and several European countries inside it? Africa’s got savannahs, rainforests, and deserts, even concrete jungles with skyscrapers and all. Educate yourself a bit about Africa and the country you’re planning to visit, to avoid any potentially embarrassing situations and also enrich your knowledge.
Myth #6. Safaris are Strenuous
Safaris may be an adventure due to the fact that you get to see wild animals and experience living in tents and all, but safaris are far from strenuous. For most safaris, you’re driven to see the animals and once back at the camp, you get to relax all you want!
Myth #7. There Will Be Bugs Everywhere!
Yes, you will see bugs, but they won’t be everywhere you look. Unless you’re doing a rainforest safari, expect to see a minimal amount of bugs that won’t bother you too much. But if you’re going in the rainforest to see the gorillas, expect bugs. And lots of them!
Myth #8. Good Safaris Last a Long Time
This is probably one of the most popular safari myths and it’s just that: a myth. You can see quite a lot of things in a few days, and we actually recommend that you go on a 4-day safari if you’ve never been before. Just to get the hang of things and not feel too overwhelmed by the whole experience.
Myth #9. You Can’t Take Children Under 10 On a Safari
Many say that children under the age of 10 aren’t supposed to be brought on a safari, but we beg to differ. These days, there are plenty of family safaris oriented towards those with children, that work extra hard to make sure that your kids are entertained and safe.
Myth #10. You Can Go on a Safari Everywhere in Africa
This is another common myth that is actually be dispelled with a bit of knowledge of geography. Egypt is not really a good country for safaris. It’s great if you want to go on a desert safari, but awful if you want to see the big five. Some of the most popular safari destinations are Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Myth #11. African is a Language
You’d be interested that there are over 2,000 languages spoken on the African continent and African is not one of them. It’s as if you would ask a German if they spoke European. Once again, before going on a safari or take any vacation in Africa, read up on the country. It’s fun to learn new things and avoid weird situations in which you utter the words: Do you speak African?
Myth #12. Safaris are Dangerous
As mentioned above, for our myth number 2, national parks are very safe and this is where you’ll be spending almost all of your time. You will have an experienced guide and they will make sure nothing goes wrong. If safety is what’s holding you back, we say to take a leap of faith and just book your African safari today!
Myth #13. One Safari is Enough
So, you think that if you’ve done one safari, you’re good to go?! Wrong! One safari will only whet your appetite. We recommend you start small, with a driving safari and then work your way on up with a walking safari and even a self-drive safari. You could go on a safari 20 times and there will still be something awesome to see that you haven’t yet seen.
Myth #14. Seeing The Big Five are a Must
The Big Five animals are the African lion, the African elephant, the Cape buffalo, the African leopard and the black rhinoceros. While it would be incredibly satisfying to see all these five during your safari, the big five aren’t everything. Giraffes, gorillas and so many more African animals are fantastic to view.
Myth #15. It Will Be Too Hot
We’re not going to lie to you, Africa’s climate is hot, but not all the time. In the morning and at night, it can actually get quite chilly and you will need to bundle up to stay warm. It’s a nice balance between the heat of the day and the cool of the night.
Myth #16. I Can Only Wear Khakis
We did an entire blog post on what to wear during a safari, but we’ll tell you the gist of it here: you need to wear colors that will blend you into the background as to not to disturb the animals. Great colors aside from khaki are green and beige. Avoid black because it can attract the tse tse fly. Wear comfortable shoes and sunscreen and you’re good to go!
Myth #17. I Get to Pet a Lion (or Other Wild Animals)
Even though the child inside you will always hope that is the case, you will most definitely not get to pet a lion or a leopard or any other type of animal, for that matter. The animals you get to see on a safari are wild and dangerous and petting one is the worst idea in the world.
Myth #18. Game Watching is Boring for Children
Watching wild animals in their natural habitat is rarely boring for children, but there can be portions of time where you don’t see anything and that’s when your child can grow impatient. We suggest you encourage them to draw the animals they see or teach them basic survival skills.
Myth #19. You Need a Great Camera to Snap Photos
While any old camera won’t really cut it for an African safari, you don’t need the expensive lens that you see in wildlife documentaries. A decent 300mm lens with a 1.4X teleconverter will be enough for whatever comes your way.
Myth #20. Animals Are Likely to Attack You
When on an African safari, animals attacking is probably the last thing you need to worry about. Animals, in general, prefer to avoid the company of humans, so they won’t be hunting you down. Even snakes scurry away when they sense humans around.
Relieved to learn that so many of the above statements were just myths and misconceptions? Head on over to BookAllSafaris.com and book yourself a guided safari to discover Africa’s beauties and also learn more facts about this stunning continent and its wildlife.