Safari 101

A Safari in Africa is one of those bucket list ideas. For many, the continent is an uncharted land, vast in its design, culturally absorbing and blessed with animals that captivate the eyes. Possibly even a little dangerous concept to some. People from all over the world come for the very first time and they simply fall in love. This euphoric feeling stays with them long after they have left. The bucket list idea that originally had the intention of being crossed off then stays as a repeat. Though for the first time safari travelers, it can feel like a daunting task. With a plethora of inquisitive questions, we have compiled a few of the most asked to give you some clarity.

leopard-close-up-(leopard-hills)

Let’s get started:

Is it safe to travel to Africa?

When it comes to the most visited countries in Southern and East Africa, the likes of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and so forth, they are safe to visit. Africa is always represented by the international media, all 46 countries within the continent, as a single entity. Each location is unique and has individual characteristics.

As with any city you are unfamiliar with, if you follow basic safety principles, you should be safe and sound. These would include not carrying valuables in plain view, locking car doors (if you are driving), not walking alone at night, being vigilant of your surroundings.

While staying at African safari lodges and tented camps, you will be far removed from the concrete jungle and crime in camps is virtually non-existent. And most importantly, choose a knowledgeable tour company like Perfect Africa to help you.

When is the best time to travel to Southern Africa?

Southern Africa is a year-round destination. Different regions are at their most wonderful at different times. Winter in most of Southern Africa is between May and September. These are prime months for game viewing because it is dry and cooler. November to February are the summer months and the temperatures can reach between 30 and 40 Degrees Celsius. This would be the best time to visit beautiful beaches and coastal resorts.

When is the best time to travel to Eastern Africa?

East Africa is a destination you want to travel too during the dry months. The long rains are from early April through to early June and there are short rains from late November through to December. It is often less expensive to travel during the long rainy season. However, the dry season offers excellent game viewing opportunities, this is because the animals congregate around the limited water sources. July and August are busy months, offering comfortable temperatures.

Will we definitely see the Big 5?

While on safari, you can only expect the unexpected and there is never a guarantee that you will see all of the Big 5. Each day will be different but the chances are quite high in seeing all of them.

How did the Big 5 get their name?

The Big 5 are leopard, lion, elephant, rhino and buffalo. The term is a reference from colonial trophy hunting. Hunters ranked the animals as to how dangerous they were when hunting them. And this explains why hippo and giraffe (despite their importance) are not included in this sought after group.

How can I prevent contracting Malaria in Africa?

Malaria is a dangerous disease however if you take your anti-malaria medication, the chances of you getting it are extremely slim. Malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes that carry the disease and they are active at night. Our recommendation is to sleep under a mosquito net, take the medication and use repellent. Enquire with us about our malaria free safari areas.

What is a typical day on Safari like?

A typical safari day begins very early in the morning, often before sunrise, to see the animals at their most active. You’ll gather and enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and snacks before the first game drive. The hours after your first encounter with the local wildlife will be dependent on the lodge and location. Usually time is wiled away with spa treatments or siestas. You’ll then depart in the late afternoon for another game drive. When you return in the evening for dinner, stories are shared around a campfire of the day’s excitements and a delicious dinner is devoured.

What currency should I take on Safari with me?

Most major developed-world currencies are available throughout Southern and Eastern Africa. US dollars, the Euro and UK pounds are all currencies accepted. There are ATM machines as well as money changes in most of the major centres throughout these regions.

What accommodation can I expect on Safari?

It depends on your budget. The accommodation can range from 5 star opulence to something a little more budget orientated. Speaking to one of our consultants will give you a better idea of what is available and what suits you best.

What standard of food can I expect on Safari?

Exceptional British and European cuisine as well as local dishes are served in hotels, lodges, camps and restaurants. Most are impressed by the quality and quantity of food provided on an African safari. It is also possible to get vegetarian and most food preferences, simply tell your consultant what your dietary requirements are.

Is it safe to drink the water?

It is safe to drink the tap water in some African countries. Tap water in hotels and at lodges in Southern and East Africa is safe to drink but bottled water is available in shops if you prefer to have it. If ever in doubt, stick to bottled water.

When should I start planning my trip to Africa?

We encourage our clients to plan their Safari as far in advance as possible, several months at a minimum to ensure a better selection of camp availability.

If you have any other pressing question, pop us a mail, give us a call or comment. We are more than happy to help! Africa is waiting to be explored and set itself a place in your heart.

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