Advice for a First-Time Safari Goer

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The days leading up to your first-ever safari can be a very exciting time. In addition to packing your clothing and making sure you have all your documents in order, you’re probably doing as much research as you can so that you can have a great trip. A safari is a one-of-a-kind vacation, and if you’ve never been before, getting a little advice can help maximize your enjoyment. Here is some safari advice for first-timers that you should be sure to take to heart so that you can have the exciting trip you deserve.

Give Up Control

With a typical vacation, you’ll have almost complete control over what you get to see and do. On an African safari, however, things rarely go according to plan, so you should be sure to be as flexible as possible and keep an open mind.

Safari drives can be unpredictable, and while your guide will do their best to help you see interesting sights and sounds, sometimes nature simply won’t cooperate. On some drives, you’ll need to wait to see exotic animals, and on others, the animals may not come out at all. If you give up your preconceived notions of what a safari should be, you’ll have a much better time on your trip.

How to Stay Safe

Helping you stay safe is the basis of most safari advice for first-timers. Because you’ll be in close proximity to wild animals, there is more risk involved with a safari than with a traditional vacation. Fortunately, it is very easy to stay safe on safari as long as you keep a few things in mind.

First, and most importantly, you should obey all the rules your safari guide gives you, without question. Your guide is familiar with the process of exploring Africa, and their instructions are meant to keep you safe, not to interfere with your good time.

Second, you must be certain to keep your distance from the animals. While it’s understandable that you would want to get as close as possible for the best view, this can also be very risky. Before your trip, buy some high-quality binoculars so that you have a clear view of the animals from the safety of your safari vehicle.

Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up

If you want to get the most enjoyment possible out of your first-ever African safari, the most important thing you can do is to ask your safari guide as many questions as you can. Your guide is a font of knowledge when it comes to the sights you’ll see on your safari. They can tell you about the different animals that you encounter so that you’ll have a richer experience.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask the guide to stop your vehicle, particularly if you think you’ve spotted an animal. Regularly engaging with your guide will make your safari one of the most memorable vacations of your life.

Keep in mind this safari advice for first-timers, and you’re guaranteed to have the thrilling vacation that you’ve been waiting for. You may even enjoy the experience so much that you’ll want to book a safari for all of your holidays.

Essential Items You Need on Your Next Safari

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There is no vacation quite like an African safari. On your trip, you’ll see sights of which you’ve only dreamed, and will be able to experience activities that will be hard to forget. However, like any trip, the key to making sure you have the best time possible is being certain you have the right equipment.

Traveling in Africa requires much different equipment than your typical holiday, and learning about a few of the items you need to pack will guarantee a fantastic trip. Here are some essential safari items that you need to make sure you have on hand so that your next vacation is easy and rewarding.

Clothes You Don’t Mind Losing

An African safari can be very hard on your clothing, so when your purchasing attire for your trip, you want to be sure you’re investing in clothes that you wouldn’t mind leaving behind. If you’re not worried about protecting your clothes, it will be much easier for you to enjoy your trip. When your clothes tear or stain, you can leave them behind without worry.

Extras of Your Most Important Items

On your list of essential safari items, there will be some things that you will need to function on a daily basis. For example, you may need to bring along contact lenses or have a medication that you require regularly. If you use any of these types of items, you should be sure that you’re bringing along extra on your trip.

There’s nothing quite as frustrating on a vacation to use your last pair of contacts or to realize you’ve run out of a necessary medication. Packing extras of these items will make for a worry-free vacation where you’re easily able to enjoy your scheduled activities.

Lightweight Cold Weather Wear

If you know anything about Africa, then you know that temperatures can become very cool once the sun has dipped below the horizon. It is for this reason that one of the most important items to bring with you on your safari is lightweight jacket or sweater that will keep you comfortable when it gets colder outside.

With a lightweight jacket, you’ll be able to keep yourself more comfortable without taking up too much of your valuable storage space.

A Crushable Hat

You’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors on your African safari, which means you run the risk of experiencing a sunburn. Obviously, since a sunburn can greatly lessen your enjoyment of your trip, you need to protect yourself from the harsh sunlight, which is why it’s a good idea to pack a crushable hat with a wide brim.

For starters, crushable hats are very easy to pack, and can often be stored in your pocket when not in use. Second, the wide brim of these hats are perfect for a safari and will give you the protection you need so that your face doesn’t get burned from your hours in the sun.

Invest in these essential safari items, and you’ll be able to enjoy a top-notch trip that you’ll be raving about to your friends and family back home.

Your Safari Shopping Lists

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For many people, the most exciting part of planning for their next vacation is going on a shopping spree to purchase everything they need for their trip. While this is an important part of preparing for every vacation, it is particularly crucial for a safari. It requires different equipment than you would need for a standard holiday.

If you want to make sure you’re able to have fun on your safari, it’s important to get an idea the items that you need to purchase before you leave for your trip. Here is a brief safari shopping list that you can use to be certain your choosing the clothing and equipment you need for your vacation.

Start with Luggage

When you’re shopping for your vacation, the best place to start is with your luggage. Unlike a typical vacation, where all you’ll need is a suitcase, there are very specific forms of luggage that you will need for a successful safari.

When you’re traveling around Africa, you will typically do so by plane, which means you need luggage that’s easily transported. Choose soft luggage that will be lightweight and will allow you to carry your clothes and other items with minimal effort.

You should also make sure that you’re investing in a backpack that will let you carry the items you’ll use every day on your safari, including your camera and its charger.

Pick Your Clothing

In addition to the right luggage, your safari shopping list needs to include clothing that will help you stay comfortable while you’re on your trip. Picking the right clothing, in fact, is perhaps the most important thing you can do to make your safari vacation a success.

First, you want to make sure that your clothing will help you blend into the environment, which is why you need to pick clothes that have neutral colors. Second, you should make sure that the clothing you plan to wear during the day will help you stay cool. Even in winter, the daytime temperatures in Africa can be very hot. Thirdly, you need evening clothes to keep you warm if you’re traveling during the winter. This should include sleeping close.

Finally, you need to purchase suitable footwear. Make sure that you purchase comfortable hiking boots that you won’t mind wearing all day, as well as a few thick pairs of socks.

Choosing Your Accessories

Luggage and clothing are the main items you will need to purchase for your trip, but you should also consider buying a few accessories that will make your safari safer and more fun.

First and foremost, you need a pair of sunglasses that will effectively protect your eyes from the bright African sunlight. Because it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated on safari, you should think about bringing along a stainless-steel water bottle or flask. Since you’ll often be viewing animals and other sights from a distance, you may also want to buy some binoculars.

If you make sure to purchase all these items on your safari shopping list and book your vacation correctly, you should be able to have an exciting trip that you’ll fully enjoy.

Choose a Safari to Match Your Personality

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From time to time, everyone needs to get away from the humdrum of their everyday life and let loose on an exciting vacation. If you’re looking for a trip that you’ll remember long after you’ve returned home, few choices are better than going on a safari.

There are countless benefits of choosing a safari as your next vacation, but one of the most enticing is being able to plan a trip that perfectly matches your personality. Here are safari options that you could choose and advice for planning a vacation that fits your individual wants and needs so that you have a great time.

Relax in a Small Group

While many people go on vacation to add a little excitement to their life, other travelers are mostly interested in forgetting about the pressures of their normal life so that they can finally relax. If relaxation is what you’re looking for out of your next trip, then your best option is going on a small group safari.

Unlike other safari options, small group trips will give you the individual time that you’ll need for rest and relaxation. While there will be group activities, you can also spend time on your own enjoying the beautiful African scenery and reflecting on what’s most important in life. Small group safaris are the perfect idea when you want a restorative vacation that you’ll always remember fondly.

Fill Your Trip with Activities

If you do the same things day in and day out, then your goal for your vacation may be to break free from boredom and participate in activities that get the blood pumping. For adventure seeking travelers that don’t mind meeting new people and taking part in new experience, going on an overlanding safari is an excellent decision.

With an overlanding safari, you’ll have a unique vacation where you make new friends and go on adventures that you can only find in Africa. If you’ve never tried bungee jumping, for example, you could book an overland safari that includes a stop in Vic Falls, one of the world’s most thrilling bungee jumping locations. Overlanding trips will also include great sightseeing opportunities where you can enjoy both exotic plant and animal life.

Extroverts looking for their ideal vacation should strongly consider an overlanding safari.

Consider Your Needs

Small groups and overlanding safaris are just two of the many options you could choose if you’re finally ready to go on an African safari. This means that the best way to book a safari vacation of your dreams is to take some time to consider your needs.

What type of fun are you looking for out of your vacation? Do you want to reconnect with nature, or are looking you experience new cultures and meet new people? Is a trip that’s loaded with adventure from start to finish the right choice for you, or do you want time on your own to explore? Answering these questions before you start booking your trip will guarantee that you have a vacation tailored to your specific tastes.

If you want a vacation that provides your perfect idea of fun, you should start exploring your safari options so that you can take a fun and memorable trip.

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

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

Should You Take Your Kids on Safari?

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If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip in the near future, then you want to make sure you’re choosing an option that can be enjoyed by your entire family, including your children. While researching your trip, you may become interested in going on an African safari, leaving one important question that needs to be answered: can you take your kids on safari?

Learning a little more about African safaris, including potential safety concerns, can help you decide whether visiting Africa is the right choice for your next family vacation. Here are a few tips for taking your kids on safari that will help you plan a vacation you and your family will remember for a lifetime.

Restrictions on Age

The biggest decision you’ll need to make when taking kids on safari is the activities your family wants to enjoy. While there are a variety of ways for families to have fun on safari, certain locations and activities have age restrictions.

For example, many people going on safari want to see the exotic animal life that can only be found in Africa, which is why they visit game reserves. However, some game reserves have strict rules for child visitors, with some areas preventing children under the age of 12 from entering. While planning your safari, investigate potential age restrictions to make sure your children won’t miss out on the fun.

Can Your Children Handle Long Drives?

One thing that many people aren’t prepared for when going on an African safari is just how much time they’ll need to spend traveling between destinations. If you’re visiting multiple spots in Africa, you may need to spend hours on the road. Driving for hundreds of miles can be difficult even for adults, so it’s easy to imagine how hard it might be on your children.

Similarly, if you’re planning on going on a game drive so that you can see plant and animal life, you should be aware that these drives can take upwards of three hours, which may be too much if your kids are very young. Think about how well your kids handle regular car trips, and you should be able to tell if they’re ready to go on a safari.

Other Considerations

As you may be able to tell, whether your children are capable of going on safari mostly depends on their age and maturity levels. How old your child is will determine if they’re able to safely take part in safari activities and if they’ll have a good time.

Backpacking and overlanding, for example, require a great deal of physical activity thanks to the miles of walking and the need to set-up camp. Also, very young children, such as those five years or younger, are much more vulnerable to malaria, meaning they should avoid traveling to areas where contracting this disease is a risk. You should take into account the age of your children before you decide to take them on African safari.

If they’re the right age and you choose activities you know that they’ll enjoy, taking your kids on safari can be a great choice, and will make for a family vacation they’ll never forget.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Making Your Safari a Once in a Lifetime Trip

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If you’re looking for an exciting trip to an exotic location, there is no better choice than going on an African safari. For many people, booking an African safari is a lifelong dream, and when this dream is finally fulfilled, it’s common to be overwhelmed by the experience.

There is so much to see and do on a safari that you may worry you’ll miss out on something, making your vacation much more stressful than it needs to be. Fortunately, making the most out of your safari isn’t as difficult as you might think, especially if you plan ahead. Here are a few tips to help you make your African safari a once in a lifetime vacation, and advice for easily planning your next trip.

Research and Preparation

An African safari is unlike any other vacation you’ve ever taken, which is why it’s common for travelers to be intimidated by the process of planning their safari. This means that the best way to make the most out of your safari is to search and make preparations well before your departure date.

Once you have the itinerary and pre-departure information for your safari, review this information until you know it backwards and forwards. Committing these items to memory will help you feel prepared when it’s time to leave for your trip. Next, you should be sure to research your destination. Find out the season when you will be arriving so that you can know what clothes and equipment to pack.

If you start prepping for your vacation early enough, you’ll be able to overcome any pre-trip jitters.

Plan for Optional Activities

When you’re booking your African safari, you should have the option to sign up for a variety of extra activities. If you want your trip to be as memorable and fun as possible, you should register for as many of these activities as you can. The optional activities available on safari can help you maximize your fun and ensure that you won’t miss out on excitement while on your safari.

Pack Your Technology

A mistake that many people make when going on safari is leaving their electronics behind. While it’s understandable you may want to unplug for a bit while on your trip, certain electronic devices can be invaluable.

For example, driving between locations on safari can be very time consuming, and having your electronics can help keep you entertained. Also, if your smartphone has a quality camera, it can be much easier to use your phone for photographs instead of packing bulky camera equipment.

Be Flexible

Perhaps the best way to make the most out of your African safari is to keep an open mind. Even the most well-planned vacation can run into roadblocks, so it’s very easy for a complex trip like a safari to not go as you might expect. Keeping a flexible attitude will ensure that you have a great time on your safari, regardless of the circumstances of your trip. If you expect to have fun on your trip, then you will.

With the right attitude and a little planning, you can easily book an African safari that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

How to Avoid Getting Scammed While on Vacation

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Imagine the feeling of joy when you finally land in Africa to begin your safari tour after all of your hard work planning, only to have the excitement stolen from you when you find that you have become the victim of a scam. Unfortunately, this is all too common, as shady individuals love to take advantage of the fresh flow of tourists that stream in and out of Africa throughout the year. Most travelers are under the impression that they are too smart to fall for a scam, or that they will be able to spot trouble from a mile away. The truth is that even the most aware people become victims of professional scammers. It is almost impossible to know when or how someone might scam you, so it is important to arm yourself with as much insight as possible. Here are some tips for avoiding getting scammed on vacation.

The Overpriced Taxi

One of the most common scams that tourists fall into is the overpriced taxi. The good news is that this is relatively easy to spot once you know that it happens. Taxi drivers will claim that their meter is broken, charging you upwards of hundreds of dollars as a consequence. If you enter a taxi and something feels off, find another mode of transportation or settle on a rate with your driver before you take off.

Closed Hotel Scam

As if being tricked into paying hundreds for a taxi ride was not bad enough, this next scam goes right in line with the last one. Shady taxi drivers make arrangements with certain hotels and receive a commission for dropping off patrons at the door. Drivers will often tell their passengers that the hotel they want is completely booked or no longer open, suggesting an alternate hotel instead. The price to stay in this hotel, much like the price of the taxi, has been grossly exaggerated to pay off the taxi cab driver.

Nothing is Free

This scam mostly impacts female travelers, but men and women alike should be aware. Venders love to put a bracelet on a person’s arm or give them a bit of rosemary. This gesture might make the goods appear to have been a free gift, you the vender will almost immediately demand money.

Help from a Pick-Pocket

Be weary of helpful people. Though some have good intentions, others are simply trying to create an opportunity for their friend to take what you have in your pockets. If you are stopped to be helped, or stopped to answer questions from a stranger, have a friend look out for those who are up to no good.

Learn More about Safari Tours

While you are on your African safari vacation, stay vigilant. Remain aware that scams happen, and try to avoid it happening. If you do find yourself the victim of a scam, do not panic. Contact your insurance agency or travel advisor. If you would like more information on planning your safari tour, visit our safari page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui. Travel Africa