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What You Need to Know

Africa – the LAND WHERE TIME BEGAN

WE MAKE AFRICAN TRAVEL A BREEZE

Our tips and advice to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time on safari

Regardless of whether you have been to Africa before, there are a number of things that you need to know before going on safari.

The most important thing to know is how essential it is to listen to your safari guide and comply with his or her instructions. This will keep you safe and in good stead throughout the duration of your safari experience.

 

General Safari Safety

You will remain safe on game drives if you comply with the following:

  • Refrain from standing up in open 4WD game drive vehicles. Note that your vehicle might move off without warning (this happened to a friend of ours who ended up in a coma as a result of the fall). Additionally, wildlife seem to regard game vehicles with seated passengers as a benign animal. Standing up in your seat changes the nature of the “4WD beast” from the perspective of the wildlife, and may put you in danger.
  • Avoid making loud noises when at a sighting, as animals may react defensively – and a defensive elephant is naturally better avoided.
  • Abstain from trying to attract the attention of the wildlife – they should have your attention, but it’s preferable to avoid theirs.
  • Keep your hands inside the vehicle as some of the vegetation that you will pass on game drives has very unforgiving thorns.
  • The best way to react to encounters with wildlife is to stay still, quiet and calm or as our friend, Peter Allison, advises, “Whatever you do, don’t run. Food runs!”
  • Finally on the subject of wildlife, meeting an animal’s gaze is generally thought to be a combative threat. Avoid meeting their gazes directly.
Clothes

Given that you should be seeking a “fly on the wall” type of game experience (i.e. you want to observe the creatures going about their day-to-day activities rather than alarming them), it is best to dress in muted colours e.g. beige, khaki or muted green etc.

While denim jeans are quite acceptable safari attire, be warned that tsetse flies (bigger and nastier than the housefly, and with a sharp bite) are attracted to blue and black – an attraction also best avoided. However, these unpleasant creatures are mainly confined to East Africa (and are significantly more predominant in Tanzania).

Additionally, a hat is absolutely essential, preferably with a broad brim rather than a cap (which leaves ears exposed). A warm jacket in your pack is also strongly recommended, whatever the time of the year, but especially in winter as the mornings can be very cool with temperatures hovering around 0 degrees celsius. You need to be prepared to peel off layers as the morning progresses, though we recommend retaining long sleeves most of the time to protect against sunburn.

Luggage Limitations

Some safaris involve light aircraft flights in which both type and weight of bags are of critical concern. The usual restriction is a maximum of 15 kgs in a soft bag without wheels. (Hard cases and even some soft bags with spines and wheels do not fit into the luggage hold of these little planes.) With the exception of East Africa (Kenya & Tanzania), that luggage allowance is extended to permit an additional 5 kgs of hand luggage.

Please be reassured, it is actually possible to comfortably survive on that small luggage allowance as most places on our recommended list provide laundry facilities.

Travel Insurance

While some things go without saying, like the need for sunscreen and insect repellent, the need for travel insurance cannot be repeated too often. Safaris tend to occur in relatively remote locations, which are perfect for adventure but less than ideal for sustaining an injury or illness.

Suitable travel insurance can ensure prompt, appropriate medical attention without having to pay an exorbitant sum.

However, you need to make sure your travel insurer is reputable, and that the terms of your policy are adequate to your needs and include all activities in which you are proposing to engage (e.g. abseiling, white-water rafting).

SHARE IN OUR PASSION FOR ARICA

If you’re looking for an African safari company in Australia, all that we ask is that you get in touch with us first, so that we have an opportunity to show you what we offer and to discuss your options. Our itineraries are individually tailored to various budgets, so please don’t assume that our safaris are out of your reach.

Please let us assist you on your journey. It would be our pleasure.