Safari Vehicles: Open vs Closed

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What kind of vehicle do you picture when you think of an African safari? Some of you might picture an open-air 4X4 while others might think of a minibus type vehicle. It turns out both are options when it comes to African safaris. However, determining which one is right for you can be a bit tricky.

While open safari vehicles and closed safari vehicles both have unique advantages, they offer considerably different experiences. Learn more about the pros and cons of each and discover which safari vehicle you want to take on your African safari adventure.

Open Safari Vehicles

If your safari takes you to countries like Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and other places in southern Africa, you’ll likely be venturing in an open safari vehicle. These 4X4s lack a roof altogether and perform incredibly well in the African brush and savanna. The openness of the vehicles leaves nothing in between you and the African countryside. You can more easily hear and see the gorgeous wildlife as you travel through the brush. The vehicle will be moving, and animals certainly aren’t going to stop for you. Thus, simply being able to turn your head without anything blocking your sight makes it much easier to keep track of the wildlife.

The downside of an open safari vehicle is that you’re left exposed. You don’t have to worry about the animals as your vehicle can easily outrun anything you might encounter though the chances that animals will come after you in the first place is incredibly low. What you really have to worry about is the rain. If your African safari is during the wet season, an open safari vehicle leaves you completely exposed. Some vehicles are equipped with sunshades that can help keep the rain at bay. The sun will also be bearing down on you the entire time, so make sure you pack sunscreen and insect repellant.

Closed Safari Vehicles

When your African safari takes you to eastern Africa into countries like Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya, you’ll be more likely to encounter closed safari vehicles like minibuses. This is in large part due to the extensive system of roadways in eastern Africa not being as prevalent in southern Africa. It’s common in eastern Africa for the same vehicle to pick you up from the airport and take you on the safari tour.

While these vehicles are better equipped for traveling on the road, they offer limited visibility when you’re trying to see wildlife. You need the walls and roof to protect from the wind when going at highway speeds, but those same walls and roof leave small openings for you to take pictures or even catch a glimpse of the animals. Most vehicles have a roof that can be propped up in the middle to allow a viewing space of sorts for rear passengers. To make use of this, however, you have to stand up and poke your head through which can be uncomfortable and still offers limited viewing capabilities.

No matter which vehicle you travel in during your African safari, you’re in for an experience like no other. Book your African safari today for an exciting adventure you’ll never forget.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Places to Visit on Your Kenya Safari

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When you’re planning your African safari, one of the best places to take your trip is the nation of Kenya. Known as the gateway to Eastern Africa, Kenya is a brilliant country with plenty of diversity in its landscapes and wildlife. A safari adventure here will be a trip that you’ll never forget.

If you want to see the best Kenya has to offer, you need to make sure your safari takes you to the right locations. Whether you love wildlife, thrilling adventure or beautiful natural landscapes, Kenya has plenty to offer. Take a look at the best places to visit in Kenya and discover the adventure this great country can offer.

Mount Kilimanjaro

If you’re looking for snow in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the few places you’ll find it. Mount Kilimanjaro is a massive mountain that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy night drives and safaris around the base where you can find massive bull elephants in their natural habitat. If you’re looking for a place to rest in between your safari outings, Mount Kilimanjaro is home to quite a few camps and lodges that offer scenic views of the mountain.

Mount Kenya

The other mountain on our list is Mount Kenya in Laikipia. A national park here was created just a few years ago where you can find a remarkably well-preserved countryside that a huge number of species call home including zebras, monkeys and even ostriches. There are also numerous private ranches around that allow free reign, so you can enjoy a safari without the limitations imposed by national parks.

Samburu

Most of the land around Samburu is a dried field of lava, but the Ewaso Nyiro River has created a beautiful oasis in the center. If the idea of a beautiful oasis is drawing you in, you’re not the only one. Numerous species of wildlife flock to this oasis all the time, and others have decided to settle there permanently. If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of the fast and elusive leopard, Samburu is the best place to go. The draw of the oasis plus the skills of a trained Maasai tracker will greatly increase your chances of spotting the smallest of the big cats.

Masai Mara

One of the most popular spots in a Kenya safari tour is Masai Mara. Here, you’ll find beautiful grassland with dense trees in several spots alongside the Mara River. Numerous species of wildlife roam this area including hippos, giraffes, zebras and more. The most interesting feature of this area is the available method of transportation. You can enjoy your Kenya safari tour via hot air balloon rather than in a ground vehicle. This allows safe low-level views of the wildlife while traveling at a speed that makes it easy to snap pictures and keep track of everything.

Nairobi

If you want to move on from Kenya during your African safari, Nairobi is where you need to go. This is the gateway to East Africa allowing you to explore other countries like Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. You can find rainforests here with elephants and gorillas.

If you’re ready for adventure, book your Kenya safari tour today. You’ll be in for a thrilling trip that you’ll never forget.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Common Myths About African Safaris

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You may be hesitant to embark on an African safari due to several negative rumors you may have heard online or from friends. Is Africa really that dangerous? Do you need to make a camp in the wilderness to truly experience Africa? Are safaris that expensive? You’ve probably heard the wrong answers to these questions countless times.

Fortunately, African safaris aren’t as bad as some of the rumors make them out to be. In fact, a lot of what you experience is largely up to you, and there are multiple ways to enjoy the trip. Learn more about common myths about African safaris and discover whether or not a safari trip is right for you.

Africa is too Dangerous

Whether you’re worried about wild animals or political unrest, there are always horror stories about Africa populating most news feeds. The truth is, however, that you’re safer in Africa than in America if you travel during the cooler months. Most safaris are on open flatland while things like snakes and spiders tend to flock towards jungles. The lions and leopards are dangerous, of course, but most accidents happen when people don’t follow the park rules.

Some people may be worried about political strife. When less informed people think of Africa, they picture tyrannical dictators and brutal mercenaries. The reality is that Africa is a big place and every country has a different political climate. Nations in southern Africa tend to be quite peaceful and safe and host millions of tourists every year from all over the world.

Comfort Ruins the Experience

A lot of people are obsessed with authenticity and claim that high-class safari escapes don’t really present the African savanna as it is. While you have the option to make camp by yourself in the middle of the African wilderness, the accommodations are generally the better option. You still get to see the wildlife and don’t have to worry about going thirsty or not having a shower.

Keep in mind that these accommodations aren’t raised high above the savanna or surrounded by tall walls. Generally, the surrounding wall is mostly decorative and is short enough for you to walk over. These unfenced accommodations come equipped with modern kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms for you to enjoy.

Safaris are so Expensive

The truth is that only some safaris are expensive. Others are surprisingly affordable. It’s entirely possible that your plane ticket will cost more than the rest of the trip. Large resorts will be costly, but if you book a small fenceless encampment, prices might run cheaper than a relatively nice hotel in the states.

For even more savings, there are communal accommodations available that still offer the same views you’d find in a luxury resort without the flash and hefty price tag. Suffice to say, you can enjoy an African safari on just about any budget and see just as many incredible animals as the people staying in high-class resorts.

Now that you know the facts, you can book your African safari. Embark on this exciting adventure today!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Vehicles You May Ride in on African Safari

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If you’re planning on taking an African safari, then you’re probably interested in learning everything that you can about your upcoming trip. While there are a lot of issues you need to be aware of before your safari, one of the most important is the different options for transportation that you can choose.

Modes of transportation on safari can include vehicles both large and small, as well as travel on foot. Learning about a few common African safari vehicles will help you plan your trip so that you have the best time possible. Here are a few of the most common African safari vehicles that you could choose and advice for planning convenient transportation for your safari holiday.

Trucks for Overlanding

The most common vehicle that you will encounter on safari is an overlanding truck. These are very large vehicles that have been specifically designed to handle the tough driving conditions that are common on African safari, including river crossings and poorly paved roads.

Overland trucks can range widely in size, with some vehicles capable of carrying 12 passengers and others able to accommodate as many as 44. Seats in these trucks will be raised and there are large windows on both sides of the vehicle so that you have a full view of the gorgeous scenery. If you want to fill your safari with as many sights and sounds as possible, then an overland truck is your top transportation option.

Benefits of Microbuses

If you’re going on a smaller group safari and don’t plan on traveling through tough terrain, then an adapted micro bus is the perfect safari vehicle. These buses can comfortably seat between six to ten passengers, and there are a variety of features that make for convenient, comfortable transportation.

Many of these budgets, for instance, have large windows that are perfect for sightseeing or picture taking. When a micro bus has been outfitted specifically for safari, it will include a variety of features, including a GPS system, a suspension that provides for a smooth ride, and an air conditioning system that will keep you cool in the African heat. There may also cooler boxes so that you can take food and safety equipment such as a fire extinguisher or first aid kit.

Game Viewing Vehicles

Travelers that are planning on visiting a game park during their African safari will usually ride in a game viewing vehicle. These vehicles have been designed to give safari goers the best game viewing experience possible, and will ensure that you are able to clearly see the exotic plant and animal life in the game park.

Many game viewing vehicles are completely open, meaning without windows, so that you will have an unobstructed view while driving through the game park. However, because they are open, these vehicles are meant only for short drives. If you go for a ride in a game viewing vehicle, make sure to protect yourself from the elements with the proper clothing and equipment, such as wide brimmed hat and sunscreen.

Before you book your African safari, think about the type of vehicle you may use for transportation and you’re sure to have a great trip.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

The Most Effective Safari Safety Tips

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As most experienced travelers will tell you, there is no more exciting vacation than going on African safari. On a safari, you’ll be able to meet new friends, sample delicious cuisine, and experience some of the most exotic sights and sounds in the entire world.

While a safari is a once in a lifetime experience, it is also a much different vacation than any trip on which you’ve ever been, which is why it’s a good idea to get a few tips so that you can have the safest, most enjoyable holiday possible. Here are a few easy safari safety tips that you can use on your next holiday to make sure that you have an exciting trip free from harm.

Getting Ready Before Your Trip

If you want to make sure that you enjoy the safest African safari possible, then you need to start preparing before you even book your flight. With a little preparation, you can avoid many of the risks of safari before your trip even begins, giving you total peace of mind.

As many people know, malaria is a risk in many locations in Africa, so it’s important that you take malaria pills on your trip. While you’re on safari, you should be sure to sleep under mosquito nets to reduce your risk any further.

You will also need to make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations before you leave on your trip. In particular, you need to make sure you’re vaccinated for hepatitis and Yellow Fever, both of which are a threat on safari.

Finally, it’s a good idea to purchase medical travel insurance prior to your trip. Extra coverage will help you more quickly receive medical treatment if you’re injured on your vacation.

Safely Viewing Game

For most people, the biggest benefit of going on African safari is being able to see wild animals in their natural habitat. Because most people are accustomed to seeing these animals in a zoo, it’s common to forget that these creatures can be threatened by humans, sometimes resulting in attacks that can put your health in serious jeopardy. By following a few simple rules, you can safely enjoy exotic animal life while on Safari.

When you’re on a game drive, you should remain as quiet as possible, as human activity is likely to agitate the animals. You should also keep your arms and legs inside of your safari vehicle at all times. Although the animals are sometimes used to vehicles, they are not as accustomed to the presence of humans. Try to avoid eating on your game drive, and always make sure you’re properly attired. Bring along warm clothing, sunscreen, and hats so that you’re prepared for every weather situation.

If you plan on taking a walking safari, you should never go without a guide, as they are trained how to safely navigate the bush. Walk in single file, never run, and be sure to wear subdued clothing, as animals will be attracted to bright colors.

Follow these safari safety tips while you’re on your next African safari tour, and you’ll have a safe trip that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

How to Budget for Your African Safari

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If you’ve never been on an African safari, then you should seriously consider this option for your next vacation. A safari is one of the most memorable trips you will take in your entire life, allowing you to experience exotic plant and animal life that you won’t see anywhere else in the world.

Like most vacations, the key to making the most out of your African safari is having a rock solid budget that will help you choose the activities you’re interested in the most. Plan your perfect African safari budget so that you can take advantage of all the sights, sounds, and activities possible on your trip.

Picking Your Travel Season

The most important issue to consider when you’re developing your safari budget is the season in which you plan to travel. There are both high and low seasons in Africa, which will directly impact the costs of your trip.

For instance, because it is cooler, the low season generally provides better rates. In addition, many popular locations, such as the Kruger National Park, are much drier during the low season, meaning you won’t have to worry about being rained out while game viewing.

Before booking your trip, research the high and low seasons for the areas of Africa you plan to visit so that you can take advantage of the best rates and weather.

Booking Your Flight

Generally, the most expensive portion of your African safari budget will be booking your flight. Flying to Africa means booking at least one international flight, and possibly many more, which can eat a large portion of your travel budget. In order to control costs, many travelers try to fly during the off-season and take advantage of available specials. While this can be a smart decision, flight specials also include inconvenient travel times and multiple layovers.

Another factor to consider when booking trips is how many domestic flights you will need to take within African. Domestic flights in Africa can be very expensive, meaning that the more flights you take, the larger budget you will need. If available, and if you’re up to the challenge, you might consider the self-driving options between destinations in Africa. Although this will extend your traveling time, it can also drastically reduce your costs.

Purchasing Travel Insurance

If you’re going on an African safari, then you should be aware of the fact that you will need to purchase travel insurance. If you book your flight with your credit card, it’s possible that your baking institution will offer you travel insurance.

While having travel insurance is of the utmost importance, it can also add to the costs of your trip, expanding your budget. Buying as cheap a policy as possible can be tempting, but you should be sure your travel insurance covers the right items. A few of the things you need to make sure your travel insurance covers includes the cost of medical treatments, medical evacuations, loss of baggage, and tour cancellations.

Take some time to plan your African safari budget and you’ll be able to book an affordable trip that includes a range of exciting activities and comfortable, convenient transportation.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Choosing a Small, Medium, or Large Overland Safari

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If you love meeting new people while on vacation, there is no better trip than an African safari, particularly an overland safari. When you go on an overland safari, you’ll be able to experience the natural beauty of Africa while forging friendships that are sure to last a lifetime.

However, before you book your overland safari, you need to decide what size group is right for you. Overland safaris can range from very small to very large groups, with every size safari providing its own unique benefits. Here are a few tips for choosing your overland safari group size so that you can enjoy a vacation that meets your exact wants and needs.

Benefits of a Small Group

When planning to take an overland safari vacation, many travelers choose to join a small group. Generally, a small group will feature between four and sixteen safari goers, a guide, and possibly a cook. While choosing a small group safari provides a variety of benefits, cost isn’t one of them, as these safaris are usually a little more expensive than most.

One of the biggest benefits of a small group overland safari is that you’ll have more one on one time with your guide, allowing you to learn more about Africa during your trip. Also, because these safaris aren’t as crowded, you’ll be better able to enjoy all the sights and sounds. However, with a small group, you generally won’t be able to choose your fellow travelers, which can be a drawback if you’re paired with someone whose personality conflicts with your own.

Advantages of a Medium-Sized Group

If you want to meet new people on your safari but are reluctant to deal with large crowds, then you should consider joining a medium-sized overland safari. A medium-sized safari group can have as many as 24 people, providing you with great opportunities to meet new friends.

Medium-sized overland safari groups are the perfect choice for social travelers, as there will be many people to talk with and enjoy your safari experience. With this size safari, you can often get impressive discounts, saving you a great deal on your trip. You may also have access to a wider range of activities with this size safari.

On the negative side, you won’t have as much interaction with your safari guide, which some travelers prefer.

Choosing a Large Group

Finally, we come to the large group overland safaris. With a large group, you can have as many as 30 travelers, which is an ideal number for social butterflies. With a large group safari, you’ll be able to enjoy Africa alongside travelers who are looking for the same memorable vacation experience as yourself.

The benefits of a large group safari are basically the same as a medium-sized group. You’ll be able to meet a wide range of people and will have access to great activities at an exciting cost. Going on a large group overland safari means having a trip that you’ll never forget.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui