African Safari Tips from the Specialists

We sat down with Gemma and Rebecca, two African Travel Specialists, to get insider tips and knowledge on their safari experiences. They were generous and gave us some amazing stories of their travels as well as some great advice for your next African safari. To find out what they said, read on:

What is your favourite safari destination and why?

For Rebecca there was no doubt in her mind what her favourite destination was.

“For me, it would be, Rwanda. There’s nothing like trekking to the gorillas and having the opportunity to sit with them and be in such close proximity to an animal so closely related to us. Being so close was the most amazing and magical experience of my life.”

Gemma, like most of us couldn’t choose just one.

“Hmmm, that’s a hard one.”

“South Luangwa in Zambia has been a highlight for me. Because I love leopards and had a few really great sightings there. Although I don’t have any photos as my camera broke on that trip, I have the most amazing memories and mental snapshots of those leopards. Zambia also has stunning scenery and offers game drives as well as tracking animals on foot.”

“As an aside my most favourite safari experience was in the Makgadikgadi National Park in Botswana. In the early morning we sat and waited for the meerkats to emerge from their burrows and then followed them on foot as they started scratching around for insects and playing with each other.”

What are some rare wildlife species to look out for?

“One rarity I’m yet to see is an aardvark. However I was lucky enough to see a brown hyena on my trip to the Kalahari, it doesn’t sound exciting but it is the rarest species of hyena and with its shaggy coat it looks quite different. We sat by the den for ages before she finally emerged!”

Items you cannot leave home without…

  1. Good comfy walking shoes
  2. A cotton scarf
  3. A journal to write about the amazing experiences.
  4. Camera
  5. Camera charger (Gemma left that one behind before!)
  6. Lots of memory cards

Reflecting on your first African Safari, what was most surprising?

Rebecca shared with us, her first safari in the Masai Mara.

“My very first safari was in the Masai Mara and it took my breath away. I remember waking up before the light and driving into the open plains. It was calm and peaceful and it was like every animal in the Mara was there to greet me. I was so blessed to see each of the big 5 and plenty more in my first 3 days of being in Africa. It will always have a special place in my heart.”

Gemma noted how surprised she was when she discovered how close she was able to get to the animals and how relaxed they are around vehicles; something we wouldn’t expect for wild animals.

What are some insider tips you can give us for embarking on an African Safari?

Rebecca and Gemma shared with us some insightful insider knowledge; we hope you find it as valuable as many of our clients do…..

  1. You get what you pay for in Africa. Keep in mind that cheap isn’t always a great deal. Most of the time “cheap” means things are either being cut, standards are dropped or worst of all someone locally isn’t being paid correctly.
  2. Africa is an amazing place, home to many animals but remember that conservation is key so that the animals and lands will be there many more years to come and for future generations to experience.
  3. Your experience will be greatly enhanced by taking a pair of binoculars
  4. Don’t expect that because it’s Africa it’ll be hot; morning game drives can often be very chilly so layers are the key
  5. The advice of a team of specialists is crucial to ensure that you are in the right location at the right time of year, otherwise you risk wasting your money – whilst you may have snagged a bargain it’s not money well spent if you don’t see anything!

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