As we’re coming up to summer, one of the first things on everyone’s bucket list is to go on safari. However, apart from being a once in a lifetime opportunity there’s a few things you should know and be prepared for in advance of heading on your adventure. One might think that there isn’t much that goes into the preparations of going on a safari; I too was once that naïve. However, my recent trip to South Africa has rid me of my ignorance and now I shall share my wisdom with you. Here are a few tips to surviving a safari:
1. Key words: insect repellent
Unfortunately, nature can be cruel and one of the ways it likes to exercise its evil powers is by sending little vampires aka mosquitoes to suck your blood and leave you with itchy bumps on your skin. Avoid the irritation of itchy skin and smear yourself in insect repellent.
2. Carry a blanket (only applicable for night drives)
Even though Africa is known for its warm temperatures, it can get pretty chilly at night. If you plan on doing a night drive, carry a blanket.
3. Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen!
The sun is brutal! This is no joke! Protect yourself!
4. Wear a hat
This is just extra protection from the sun – trust me, you need it.
5. Stay hydrated
With the high temperatures that can sometimes reach up to 45 degrees celcius, it’s always best to stay hydrated. Always carry water with you! Fainting is not fun.
6. Avoid carrying food
I wouldn’t say this is a major rule, but no one wants to be attacked by monkeys or baboons – so leave the packet of crisps at the campsite.
7. Wear comfortable clothes
This is not a fashion show! When dressing, ask yourself: “can I run away from a lion (or an elephant) in this outfit?”
8. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR GUIDE!!!!
Although game rangers always take extra measures to insure that their guests are safe, sh*t happens. E.g. an elephant charging at the vehicle, so if your guide says stay calm, you better stay calm!
9. Make a game of it e.g. Spot the Animal
Sometimes driving in the heat or cold (depending on the time of day of your game drive), looking for hidden wildlife can be come mind-numbing and boring, so keep things lively by making a game of it. The person who spots the most animals wins a souvenir at the gift shop or something like that!
10. Bring Binoculars
The best animals tend to hide, therefore bring binoculars to enhance your chances of spotting a leopard or lion.
Have fun and stay safe (and hydrated)! HCXO<3