Animal Watching Mistakes to Avoid on Safari

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Although there are countless reasons to make your next trip an African safari, the main benefit of choosing this unique holiday is being able to see some of the most interesting animals in the world in their natural habitat. However, if you’ve never been on safari before, it can be easy to make some animal watching mistakes that can reduce both yours and the animal’s, safety.

To make sure you can view animals on safari enjoyably, you should learn about a few common animal watching mistakes and how they can be avoided. Here are some tips for safe animal watching on safari that you can use to make sure your next vacation is as enjoyable as possible.

 

Traveling at the Wrong Time

Although this isn’t a safety issue, the biggest mistake most people make in terms of animal watching on safari is planning their holiday for the wrong time of year. The season in which you travel will directly impact the animals that you’re able to see, and if you book at the wrong time, you may be unable to see certain creatures.

For example, while there are generally more animals out and about during the wet season, they can be easier to see during the dry season because they are all congregating at the watering hole. Research the animals you want to see and the season where they will be most visible so that you get the experience that’s right for you.

 

Noise and Proximity

When it comes to tips for safe animal watching on safari, the two most important things to remember are that you should control your noise level and make sure you are a good distance from the animals. Let’s start by talking about noise.

Most animals that you see on safari have an outstanding sense of hearing to help them avoid predators. If you’re making a great deal of noise, you’ll likely scare the animals away, making it difficult to enjoy the animal watching experience for which you are looking.

It’s also crucial that you are maintaining a safe distance from the animals that you see on safari. When humans get too close, most animals will run away. Others, however, will go into defense mode and may end up attacking if they feel the threat is too great. Invest in a quality pair of binoculars before your trip so that you can clearly see the safari animals without having to encroach on their space.

 

Be Patient

It’s often said that patience is a virtue, and at no time is this statement truer than when you’re animal watching on safari. On your trip, there are going to be times where you won’t see any

animals at all, which can cause some people to be frustrated. Instead of feeling disappointed or annoyed that there the animals are out of sight, enjoy the beautiful African scenery. Eventually, the animals will come out of hiding and your patience will be rewarded.

Plan your trip correctly and follow a few safe habits, and you can easily enjoy world­class animal watching on safari. Book your trip today so that you can experience some of the world’s most exotic animals in person.

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

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

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

2018 Safari Travel Trends

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If you’re interested in a one of a kind vacation that will provide lifelong memories, there’s almost no better choice than going on an African safari. Going on a safari means being able to experience exotic wildlife in one of the most beautiful locations in the entire world. However, if you’re like most travelers, you want to be certain that your trip is as fun-filled as possible, which means you need to learn about a few of the hottest safari trends.

Here are a few African safari trends for 2018 that you need to know about so that you and your family can plan the most exciting holiday possible.

Immersion Travel

While on vacation, many travelers want a touristy experience where they can enjoy staying in a lush hotel and see all of the most popular sites. However, if you want your trip to be as memorable as possible, then the best safari trend for you is immersion travel.

Immersion travel, as you might expect from its name, is a type of vacation where you immerse yourself in a culture, learning about longheld traditions and connecting with the local people. Unlike typical vacations, immersion travel allows you to have a rich and rewarding trip that you’re sure to remember for the rest of your life.

Whole Family Safaris

A vacation is the perfect opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life so you can finally spend time with your family. If you’ve been thinking about taking an African safari as a family vacation, you should consider going on a multigenerational safari, one of the hottest trends for this year.

On a multi-generational safari, grandparents, parents and children/grandchildren can enjoy a unique vacationing experience. You can even choose a safari that is tailored to the exact needs of your family, whether you want an experience focused on your children or a trip that has something for all ages.

Adventure Safaris

If you’re like many people interested in going on a safari, then you want to be certain that your trip is as thrilling as possible. If so, then the ideal safari trend for you is going on an adventure safari. With an adventure safari, your trip will be filled with pulse pounding excitement, providing the getaway that you need and deserve.

When planning an adventure safari, you can match your activities to your skill level, ensuring that you have a great time while staying safe. Whether you choose a walking safari tour or a forest hike, an adventure safari is a great choice for thrill seekers everywhere.

Personalized Safaris

If you’re the type of traveler that marches to the beat of their own drum, then the top safari trend for you is going on a personalized safari. With a personalized safari, you’ll be able to pick the activities that interest you the most, ensuring a trip that you’ll remember fondly for the rest of your life. If you want a vacation that is tailor made for you, then a personalized safari is a great choice.

Think about the trends that best match your tastes, and you’ll be able to go on a thrilling African safari that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Meta: Here are a few African safari trends for 2017 that you need to know about so that you and your family can plan the most exciting holiday possible.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

 

More Than Gorillas: Primates of East Africa

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Primates intrigue us for many reasons, not the least of which is their similarity to our own mannerisms and physical makeup. Africa is the only place in the world to see most of the highly developed primate species as well as unique specimens like the bush baby and vervet monkey.

And, yes, gorillas number among these species, but since gorillas get much of the focus when talking about African primates, we decided to highlight some other interesting species worth taking a look at when on an east African safari.

Bush Baby

Bush babies are one of the smallest primates and one species group that people often forget are included in the order. They are noted for their enormous eyes, nocturnal nature and characteristic “crying” mating call that actually does sound quite like a baby.

Bush babies exhibit fewer human-like characteristics than other primates, but they can still engage in social bonding activities like play and grooming. And they can actually be quite sweet when they bond with humans. Just don’t get any ideas; they are illegal to own as pets and cannot thrive outside of the wild.

Vervet Monkey

Vervet monkeys are easily recognizable for their small shape, sandy-colored fur and tufts of wispy white hairs. They are not afraid of humans — quite the opposite, in fact! Having a group of vervet monkeys jump on your car roof as you enter a park is not an uncommon occurrence.

They usually expect to be given food in these situations, but feeding them is illegal since it disrupts their natural diet and encourages them to be even worse pests. Plus, they may be cute but can still bite!

Colobus Monkeys

Colobus monkeys are much more elusive primates despite their body size (up to 50 lbs) and the easily spotted wispy white hair growths on their arms and tail. These black-and-white coats were once prized as ceremonial attire until hunting of Colobus furs was made illegal.

Since they flee from the sight of humans and rarely leave their treetops for the ground, you are more likely to hear colobus monkeys than see them.

Baboons

While they are more different than us compared to apes, baboons are actually the second-most successful primate species on the planet. They can adapt to a variety of environmental conditions and tend to live near cliffs, forests, savannas and even near highways! In fact, baboons have been so successful at living outside of protected areas that many farmers consider them crop-stealing pests.

Chimpanzees

Chimpanzees are the most similar living primates to us humans on the planet. They share 98 percent of our genetic makeup, and they even have the same number of teeth as us.

Observations of chimpanzees by researchers, including Dame Jane Goodall, have revealed their complex and quite human-like social structures. They use tools, exhibit a range of sympathetic emotions and can even engage in warfare between chimp groups.

Unfortunately, while chimpanzees have success breeding both within and without captivity, habitat loss, disease, poaching and illegal trading of chimpanzees as pets has led to significant loss in chimp populations.

See All of These Magical Monkeys and Amazing Apes on an East African Safari

Countries like Kenya and Uganda offer the best chance at seeing most or all of these wonderful, intriguing species. Make sure to book your east African safari tour with primates in mind since many tour guides and companies can help take you to the perfect spot to catch a look at your favorite monkey or ape species.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa