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.

Everything You Need to Know About Seeing the Big Five

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There are several great reasons to make your next vacation an African safari. If you’re like most people, the only motivation you need is being able to see the Big Five, a group of exotic animals that include lions, elephants, buffalo, leopards, and rhinoceros. If your main goal for your safari trip is seeing these well-known animals, then there is some information that you need to consider to make sure you’re booking your trip correctly.

Here is some advice that will help you plan an African safari that will allow you to spend some time with the Big Five and have a great vacation.

Time of Year to Visit

If you want to book an African safari where you can see the Big Five, the most important thing to consider is the time of year you’re traveling. In terms of seeing these animals, the best time to go on a safari is during the cooler, dryer months of winter, which is between July and October.

Seeing these big animals is much easier during this time of year for several reasons. First, because there is less moisture, the vegetation is considerably thinner than during other times of year, which means there are less places for these animals to hide from view. Second, animals tend to congregate more heavily around watering holes during these dry months, making it much easier for you to see multiple members of this group at one time. Booking your safari for the winter months in Africa is the best choice if you want to do some animal watching.

Where to Find the Big Five

In addition to booking your safari for the right time of year, you need to be certain that you are visiting the right location. Not every spot in Africa will feature every member of the Big Five, so you need to be careful about how you’re planning your trip if you want to see all of these animals.

Probably the best place to view the Big Five for first-time safari goers is Kruger National Park. Found in South Africa, Kruger National Park is a popular safari destination where you can see the Big Five in a mostly controlled environment. Madikwe Private Game Reserve, which is also located in South Africa, is another spot where you can see all of these magnificent creatures. When booking your safari, make sure you include a view of these popular game viewing spots.

Tips for Taking Pictures

Most travelers want to make sure they document their glimpses of these animals by taking photographs. If you want the best pictures possible of these beautiful creatures, there are a few tips you should follow. First, you need to make sure you maintain your distance to protect both yourself and the animal. Second, you should use a wide-angle lens so that you can capture both the animal and the surrounding environment. Third, take multiple pictures so that you can make sure you’re capturing the animal from different angles.

If you want to see the Big Five on your next trip, you must keep these important factors in mind when booking your African safari.

Picking the Right Camera for Safari

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Because of the ubiquity of smartphones, virtually everyone is able to take a picture whenever the mood strikes. However, while the camera on your phone is probably good enough for your everyday photography needs, taking pictures on a safari is much different.

On safari, you will see sights that you can’t find anywhere else in the world, and if you want to remember your trip, it’s important that you always have a high-quality camera at the ready. If you’re interested in buying a camera for your safari, there are several factors to consider that will help you pick the device that meets your needs. Here are some tips for purchasing a camera for safari that will let you pick an option that will help you capture the best pictures possible.

Start with Price

When you’re investing in a piece of equipment such as a camera, there are several factors to consider. However, if you’re like the majority of travelers, your biggest concern is probably cost. The great thing about purchasing a camera for safari is that you can easily find a camera that meets your budget as long as you do your research and shop around.

Although you don’t want to spend too much money, you should also make sure that you’re getting a quality option. Look for a mid range camera that will allow you to take excellent pictures without ballooning your travel budget.

Easy to Carry

The main benefit of using your phone to take pictures is that these devices are meant to be ultra-portable, meaning you don’t need to think about how much space they’ll take up in your travel luggage. You should keep this same issue in mind when you’re picking a camera to take with you on your safari.

Packing light is of the utmost importance when going on safari, which means you want to make sure that your camera is portable and doesn’t require excess equipment. For instance, some high-end cameras may require a tripod to be used effectively, which can make it harder for you to pack. When you’re shopping for your camera, try to look for a lightweight option that won’t require you to bring along a large number of accessories.

Ease of Use

When you’re taking photographs on safari, almost nothing is more frustrating than missing the perfect shot because you’re fiddling with the settings of your camera. The ideal camera will allow you to take a high-quality photo at a moment’s notice, which is why you need to think about ease of use when buying your camera.

Although some people prefer to invest in a camera that includes a variety of settings, the much better idea for most is to pick a point in click camera that can be used whenever needed. With an easy to use camera, you’ll never have to worry about missing an animal, sunset, or anything else that you wish to photograph on your trip.

After you’ve done your research, purchasing a camera for safari should be quick and easy. Once you’ve invested in your camera, you should be sure to book a safari that will allow you to photograph some of the world’s most interesting sights.

 

Hippo Facts to Know Before an African Safari

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Seeing exotic animals in the wild is one of the best reasons to make your next vacation an African safari. While there are a variety of species that you may encounter while traveling through Africa, one of the most interesting is the hippopotamus.

Most people have seen these animals at some point in their life, whether at a zoo or on television. However, encountering a hippo in the wild is a much different experience than viewing these creatures behind glass, making it a smart idea to learn a little more about hippos before your trip. Here are a few interesting hippo facts that you should keep in mind if you plan to see these animals on your African safari.

Hippos Can Be Dangerous

If you’ve ever seen a hippo in a zoo, then you’ve likely only seen these animals floating lazily in the water, possibly leading you to believe that they are gentle creatures. While hippos would prefer not to interact with people, they can be extremely dangerous animals, particularly if they feel threatened.

Hippos are very large and powerful and have been known to attack without unprovoked. What makes hippos more dangerous than other creatures is that that can attack in both the land and the water, meaning you need to be careful if you find yourself near these creatures.

Hippos Are Fast

There are several surprising hippo facts that you should know before leaving on your African safari, but perhaps the most surprising is these large animals can move quickly. Because of their appearance, many travelers assume that hippos are slow, but this is simply not the case.

On land, hippos have been seen running at speeds close to twenty miles per hour, and it’s not unusual for hippos to travel multiple miles a day when searching for food. So, if you find yourself a good distance from a hippo, be prepared, as they may be able to make up the ground much quicker than you might imagine.

Hippos and Water

Hippos and water go hand in hand, making it a good idea to learn about some of the aquatic facts related to these African animals.

First, hippos, while they do venture on land from time to time, will spend the majority of the day in the water. Two-thirds of a hippo’s day—sixteen hours—is spent in the water, and this includes sleeping. While they are sleeping, the will automatically surface for air every five minutes or so and won’t wake up when doing so. Because hippos are pensive to sunlight, they must frequently return to the water to protect their skin.

Second, hippos are actually closely related to whales instead of other land mammals. Studies have shown that whales and hippos once shared a common ancestor, which is likely the reason that hippos are so drawn to water. At one time, it was thought that hippos were related to pigs, but DNA evidence corrected this misconception.

After learning these interesting hippo facts, you’re probably ready to see these animals in their natural habitat, which means you need to start booking your next African safari today.

Hacks for Safari Photography

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If you’re like many travelers, then your favorite part of going on vacation is taking photographs that you’ll remember for a lifetime. When you go on an African safari, you’ll able to take pictures of some of the most interesting sights in the world. However, because photographing in Africa can be very different than other environments, you want to make sure you’re doing everything you can to get your pictures to come out the right way.

Here are a few simple safari photography hacks that you should keep in mind if you want to capture images that you will cherish forever.

Don’t Limit Yourself

When many people go on safari and take photographs, they may spend most of their trip waiting for the perfect shot, potentially causing them to miss out on a great picture. Instead of looking around for a great image, go hog wild and take as many pictures as you possibly can. There is so much gorgeous scenery in Africa that every picture is sure to be a winner, so you should take as many pictures as you possibly can.

Because you’re going to be taking so many pictures while you’re on safari, you want to be certain that you’ll never run out of memory. Invest in multiple memory cards for your camera so that you won’t have to worry about running out of storage while on your trip.

Take Pictures at the Right Time of Day

The trickiest part of taking pictures on safari is getting the lighting right, which is why one of the most useful safari photography hacks is being certain that you’re taking your pictures at the right time of day.

The best time to take your safari photographs is during a period commonly referred to as the Golden Hour, which is either right before sunset or right after sunrise. During these two times of day, the light is perfect for photography, ensuring you’ll be able to take a breathtaking shot that you’ll want to show off to your friends back home.

Don’t Neglect People

While you’re looking through the lens of your camera, it’s likely that most of your attention is going to be focused on the exotic animal and plant life, which is certainly understandable. However, spending too much time trying to get a picture of a lion or elephant can cause you to miss out on one of the most important parts of a safari: Your fellow travelers.

When you go on a safari, it’s a virtual guarantee that you’ll make new friends, and these friendships may end up being the most memorable part of your vacation. Years later, when you’re flipping through your photo album, you’ll definitely want to see pictures of the people that you met on your holiday. Make sure to take a few shots of your fellow travelers so that you can remember every single part of your safari experience.

If you want to take gorgeous pictures of your next African safari, all you need to do is follow these easy safari photography hacks. With this advice, you should be able to take some truly wonderful pictures of your safari vacation.

Why Walking Tours Exclude the Big Five

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Going on an African safari is an outstanding choice for your next vacation, especially if you love seeing exotic animals in the wild. While it’s common to expect to see Africa’s Big Five on your safari, you may end up disappointed if you choose a walking safari.

The Big Five will always be excluded from a walking safari for some very good reasons, and examining these reasons is the best way to decide if a walking safari is the right choice for you. Here are a few of the reasons that you won’t see the Big Five on your walking safari and advice for booking a safari where you can see these animals.

More Scared of You

If you’re like most people, then you’ve likely heard the old adage that wild animals are more scared of you than you are of them, and this is the main reason that you usually won’t see the Big Five while on your walking safari.

Despite their size, the Big Give are intimidated by humans, and will almost always prefer running away to encountering you face to face. Most of the creatures in the Big Five have highly attuned senses, meaning they can detect people approaching from a good distance away. As soon as these animals catch your scent or hear you walking, they will flee. Although this might be disappointing for travelers dreaming of a close encounter with the Big Five on their safari, it’s actually for the best, as these animals can be dangerous when cornered.

Big Five on a Game Drive

If you’re desperate to see the Big Five on your African safari, then your best bet is booking a game drive. While this does mean you’ll be in the confines of a vehicle, it will also make it more likely that you’ll be able to see every member of the Big Five.

While on a game drive, you’ll be accompanied by a safari guide that will know when and where to find the Big Five. By approaching from a distance in the game vehicle, you’ll be able to see these animals without scaring them off. To get a good view, make sure to pack a pair of quality binoculars or a camera with a long-distance lens.

Staying Safe on a Walking Tour

Even if you may not be able to see the Big Five, going on a walking safari is still a great choice, particularly if you follow a few easy safety tips.

The first and most important tips for staying safe on a walking safari is to never venture out without a guide. Your guide will be able to steer you away from dangerous areas so that you have an enjoyable trip free from harm. Always walk in single file, and if you do encounter a wild animal, remain calm and never run. Make sure that your clothes aren’t brightly colored so that you can blend into your surroundings. Finally, refrain from eating, drinking or smoking while on your walking safari.

If you want to experience the beautiful natural beauty of Africa, a walking safari is an excellent choice, even if it means you may not see the Big Five.

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

Activities to Avoid on Your Next Safari

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Any traveler looking for the most exciting vacation possible should consider going on an African safari. If you’ve never been on a safari, then you’ve been missing out on one of the most magical vacations in the world. Whether you want to see wild animals in person or are interested in learning about a new culture, an African safari is your best possible choice.

For first time safari goers, it’s important to learn about a few activities that should be skipped on these trips. While these activities may seem fun, they’re often more trouble than they’re worth. Avoid choosing these activities when you’re booking your African safari so that you can have a safe vacation that’s filled with unforgettable memories.

Interacting with Lions

As previously mentioned, being able to see exotic animals is one of the top reasons to go on safari. One of the most popular animals to see on safari is the African lion, one of the most majestic creatures in the world.

While you should definitely be sure to view lions on your safari, you should refrain from booking any activity that promises direct interaction with these creatures. Allowing travelers to cuddle lion cubs is a huge industry in Africa, but it also puts these animals at risk. If a lion cub frequently interacts with humans, it will have zero chance of surviving in the wild.

Adventures with Baboons

Another safari activity that should be avoided is feeding wild baboons. While it can be tempting to feed baboons, particularly as they are frequently found near picnic areas, you may be putting both yourself and the animal in harm’s way.

When baboons are fed by humans, it encourages them to interact with humans on a more frequent basis, fostering dependency and reducing the baboon’s ability to find food on their own. Additionally, baboons can be very aggressive, especially when they aren’t given what they want. This means that baboons that have learned to accept food from humans may attack if a traveler denies them a treat.

If you travel through an area where there are baboons, make sure that all your food is locked up. If possible, stay in your vehicle until the animal has departed. Should a baboon approach you, do not attempt to pet the animal. Despite their appearance, baboons are still wild animals that may attack when they feel threatened.

Taking an Elephant Ride

If your only experience with African safari is films and television shows, then elephant riding is an activity that you may associate with this type of vacation. While riding on an elephant may seem fun, it is actually an extremely risky activity, and is something you should avoid.

Although they are large creatures, the spine of an elephant is not designed to support weight, meaning riding on an elephant can harm the animal. In addition, elephants that respond to human commands have often undergone cruel training, and taking part in elephant rides supports this practice. Instead of going on an elephant ride, view these creatures humanely in a game park or conservation area.

Choosing the right activities, and avoiding the wrong ones, will ensure you have an exciting African safari.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya CHui

What You Can’t Miss on a Great African Safari

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Going on an African safari is a fantastic choice if you’re thinking about taking a vacation. A safari is a one-of-a-kind experience, allowing you to see exotic animals and plantlife in one of the most interesting locations in the world. However, as with most vacations, getting the most out of your safari depends on planning your trip with the right activities.

Learn about what you can’t miss on a great African safari trip, and how you can book a trip that is tailored just for you and your family.

Safari Guide

The key to a rewarding, exciting safari is being able to see a wide range of sights that will allow you to immerse yourself in African culture. However, if you’re not familiar with Africa, then you might not know which locations you should visit and which should be skipped. It is for this reason that hiring an experienced, knowledgeable guide or ranger is something you can’t skip on if you want a great African safari.

The right safari guide will be both entertaining and informative, and will be able to take you on a tour of game reserves and national parks so that you can see the gorgeous scenery and exotic animals that are the hallmark of an African safari. Choosing the right guide means having a memorable safari.

The Big Five

Even if you’re not an experienced with going on safari, you may have heard of the Big Five, which are animals that a person typically sees when they’re on safari. These animals are the rhinoceros, the Cape buffalo, the African lion, the African leopard, and the African elephant. While there are several sights that you can see while on safari, the Big Five is definitely something you can’t miss.

Ensure that you make time to see these animals on your trip if you want the full safari experience. In fact, make seeing the Big Five the first item on your safari itinerary so that you don’t miss out.

Wilderness Dining

Africa is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire world. While Africa is gorgeous every time of day, the best views come at sundown, when the light gets low and you can see breathtaking colors on the horizon. During your safari vacation, an activity that you need to make sure to participate in is wilderness dining, or enjoying a meal while immersed in the bush.

Many safari lodges offer sunset meals that are the perfect opportunity to relax after a long day of adventuring.  While enjoying a refreshing drink and eating a delicious meal, you can take in the sites and reflect on your vacation.

Be Adventurous

If you’re a traveler that can’t fully enjoy your vacation until you get your blood pumping, then you need to be certain that your African safari includes a little bit of adventure. For example, you may want to plan an excursion to Victoria Falls, where you can enjoy thrilling activities like bungee jumping and helicopter rides. A memorable, fun safari is one that lets you go on an adventure you wouldn’t experience in your normal life.

Include these can’t miss activities in your African safari so that you can have the time of your life.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

How to Take Gorgeous Safari Pictures

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A key part of going on vacation is taking enough pictures so that you can remember your trip for years to come. While photography is an crucial part of any trip, it is particularly important when  you’re visiting a breathtakingly gorgeous location like Africa.

While on your African safari, you want to be sure that you take pictures that both look great and are an accurate reflection of your trip. Luckily, with the right tips at your disposal, photographing your African safari can be fun and easy. Here is some quick advice to help you take great safari pictures, and tips for planning the African safari that’s right for you and your family.

Lighting Tips

As any photographer knows, the key to taking a great picture is getting the right lighting. However, this can be especially difficult in Africa, where the light is much harsher and brighter than many people are used to. Instead of trying to adjust to this severe light, you should plan your picture taking for the times of day where the light is gentler. Taking pictures at dusk and dawn, for example, will result in beautiful pictures you’ll cherish for the rest of your life.

Planning your photographs for sunrise and sunset provides several benefits. First, as mentioned, the light is much more conducive to successful photography. Secondly, animals are much more active at these times of day, increasing your chances of a memorable shot.

Choose Your Shots

People going on safari for the first time often want to take as many pictures as possible, filling digital memory cards or rolls of film with thousands of pictures. While it’s understandable that you may want to take a photo of everything you see on safari, constantly taking photos can actually cause you to miss important sights, and may result in blurry, unattractive pictures.

When you’re taking safari pictures, you should be discerning about where and when you photograph. For example, if you see an animal in the shade, either wait for it to move into the light or give your camera time to adjust so that you can take a clear, attractive picture. Limiting the amount of pictures you take will help you stay present on your safari and will increase your chances of a fantastic photo.

Picking Your Equipment

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they’re photographing Africa is choosing the wrong equipment. For instance, if you bring multiple lenses on your safari, then you may spend more time adjusting your camera than enjoying your trip. When it comes to taking pictures on your safari, less is always more.

Choose one lens for your camera so that you aren’t constantly tweaking your equipment. Also, instead of breaking the bank for an expensive camera, invest most of your money in a safari package that will let you experience the sites up close and personal. Not only will this ensure better pictures, but it will give you a more exciting safari.

Photographing Adventures

Another factor you should consider is whether you want to spend your entire safari looking through the viewfinder of your camera. An African safari is a once in a lifetime experience, and getting that perfect picture may not be worth what you missed. Consider reserving one day of your safari for picture taking, and then spend the rest of your trip immersing yourself in the natural beauty you’ll only find in Africa.

By sticking to these simple picture taking tips and making sure you have the right equipment, you can easily photograph your next African safari.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui