African Safari blog

What to expect from a luxury wildlife safari

Preparing for a Safari

When my African born husband first proposed our first safari together, I had visions of demountable tents, rock hard beds, pretty ordinary food, a blizzard of insects and lastly but most concerning of all potential exposure to my nemesis, snakes.

Being of completely reptile paranoid Irish extraction, I have taken every precaution over the last thirty years in the snake capital of the world, Australia, to avoid exposure to these legless creatures. But a wildlife safari – wouldn’t that be an open invitation for such encounters?

Thankfully I was wrong on all counts! Although much safari accommodation is described as tented, it is of a completely different species to that which first came to my mind! Certainly while luxury wildlife safari accommodation may include some canvass, it is usually a permanent establishment with all the mod cons even, in many if not most instances, including air conditioning.

Far from a mat on the floor, the beds in luxury safari accommodation are usually huge, luxuriously festooned with pillows and cushions and protected by mosquito nets.

As for food, rather than a dearth of appetizing food, the challenge is to try and resist overindulgence in the delicious cuisine. No matter how remote, luxury wildlife safari kitchens always seem to produce copious amounts of the most amazing fare and can accommodate just about any diet restrictions including gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, low salicylate, low amine, etc. While I am not celiac, I am intolerant to gluten and so on one luxury wildlife safari I made the mistake requesting a gluten free diet. I say it was a mistake because in the wilds of Botswana I was presented with a huge array of gluten free options at every “food” opportunity which on safari means, pre-morning game drive, coffee break, brunch, afternoon tea, sundowners and dinner! Even I, with my healthy appetite, just couldn’t do it justice – I felt very apologetic!

The insects were no more numerous or dangerous than in Australia – though there is some risk of contracting malaria which I countered with malaria prophylactics and copious amounts of insect repellent – if they are anything like their Australian cousins they will be particularly partial to Irish blood!

As for snakes, we did not find a single snake in that first wildlife safari, not that I was looking for one! Despite numerous subsequent safaris we have only ever encountered two and only while we were safely ensconced in the game vehicle – where I remained despite the curiosity of fellow guests! I am not willing to test out my friend’s thesis that they are more afraid of me that I am of them – but then she doesn’t know just how paranoid I am – even snake “tracks” on the dusty road are enough to make me shiver!

So in summary what you can expect from a luxury wildlife safari is a chance to get away from it all into a world filled with surprise and wonder, a world which time seems to have forgotten apart from all the mod-cons that make our lives more comfortable!

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