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Tips for Your African Safari

. Saturday, 9 September 2017 .
I have just got back from an incredible trip in Tanzania and while I was there I was lucky enough to go on a four-day safari. It was an expensive addition to my trip but no doubt worth every single penny. Here are my tips to make your safari as enjoyable as possible!

Campsite at the Ngorongoro Crater
  • You get what you pay for: The number of animals you see will obviously not change no matter how much you pay. However, if you know you’re someone who likes to enjoy a little more luxury while travelling, I’d recommend you apply this to your safari too. If you are paying for a budget safari then be prepared to stay in tents in public campsites. I stayed at the most basic camps possible; they were literally an open space with a toilet/shower building on one side and a kitchen/dining building on the other side. The toilet and shower facilities were extremely basic, extremely dirty and extremely cold! The campsite also isn’t fenced off in any way at all so when the sun goes down be prepared to get a bit closer than you expected to some of the wildlife! One night we had hyenas outside our tent (that was pretty terrifying) and on another night there were zebras outside.  Remember that they are wild animals so don’t get too close when possible and make sure you go to the toilets at night in groups! If you choose to pay a little more for your safari then you’ll likely have a nicer vehicle to travel around in, better food and a chance to stay in some of the beautiful lodges. I would say that saving money on your safari is not worth it if it will ruin your experience. I personally love camping and really enjoyed that aspect of the trip (apart from the night I was so cold I couldn’t feel my feet in my sleeping bag!) You’re already paying a hell of a lot of money for your safari so if you're the kind of person that knows you won’t enjoy the ‘budget’ aspect of it then pay a little more. It’s not worth letting it tarnish your trip if you are someone who likes a bit of luxury and can pay a bit more to get that.
  • To my female readers, wear a sports bra: The roads are B.U.M.P.Y. Like seriously, I have never experienced anything like it. I don’t really think I need to go into any more detail on this but you’ll thank me later.
    Three sleeping lions by the side of the road
  • Check your driver/guide has a radio before you set off: Safari companies will usually pick you up from where you’re staying or you’ll go to their office and set off from there. Before you leave ask your guide if he has a radio (and that it works!) When you’re out in the parks it can often be hard to know where the animals - especially the cools ones - are. Zebras, gazelles, wildebeests; they’re all awesome. But after you’ve seen hundred of them you’ll be getting a bit fed up and hoping to see some lions and elephants. The guides will communicate with each other using the radios to inform other groups when they’ve found something awesome. We managed to see three adult male lions asleep right next to the road because the first guide to spot them radioed it through. I met other groups at the campsites who were complaining they hadn’t really seen anything that day because their guide didn’t have a radio so they’d just been aimlessly driving around the Serenghetti (which is HUGE!) Once you’re already out at the parks there will be nothing the guide can do, but if you kick up a fuss before you leave to make sure your guide gets a radio then you’ll glad you did!
    Overlooking the Serengeti 
  • Wear layers: Animals are most active in the early hours of the morning when its not too hot, so its quite likely you’ll head out on sunrise safaris (which means setting off around 6am before the sun comes up). These usually result in seeing the most incredible animals however it is also unbelievably cold! Especially because you’ll be driving around with your roof lifted to allow you to see the animals. But just a few hours later, under the hot African sun, you’ll be sweating. So it’s best to take clothes that you can layer. This way you can stay warm in the early mornings but as the temperature starts to climb take your warmer clothes off. I liked wearing trousers under a dress. That way I could tuck the dress into the trousers to look like a t-shirt in the morning and pop a jumper/coat and scarf over the top. Then when it was hotter I could remove the trousers and outer layers to stay cool in a loose, flowy dress.
  • Take sunglasses: Not because of the sunlight, although that’s a bonus, but because of the dust! All the national parks are pretty dusty, and as I’ve already mentioned you’ll most likely be driving around with the roof up. Unless you want to spend most of the day wiping the dirt from your eyes I’d suggest wearing sunglasses even when stationary. It only takes another vehicle to drive past or a gust of wind to throw up an unexpected cloud of dust and rather than seeing the wildlife you’ll be seeing tears.


What is your favourite animal that you might spot while on safari? Mine is definitely elephants! I love them so much I actually have an elephant tattoo.

If you’ve been on a safari I’d love for you to share your experience and tips in the comments!


Chloe
I have just got back from an incredible trip in Tanzania and while I was there I was lucky enough to go on a four-day safari. It was an expensive addition to my trip but no doubt worth every single penny. Here are my tips to make your safari as enjoyable as possible!

Campsite at the Ngorongoro Crater
  • You get what you pay for: The number of animals you see will obviously not change no matter how much you pay. However, if you know you’re someone who likes to enjoy a little more luxury while travelling, I’d recommend you apply this to your safari too. If you are paying for a budget safari then be prepared to stay in tents in public campsites. I stayed at the most basic camps possible; they were literally an open space with a toilet/shower building on one side and a kitchen/dining building on the other side. The toilet and shower facilities were extremely basic, extremely dirty and extremely cold! The campsite also isn’t fenced off in any way at all so when the sun goes down be prepared to get a bit closer than you expected to some of the wildlife! One night we had hyenas outside our tent (that was pretty terrifying) and on another night there were zebras outside.  Remember that they are wild animals so don’t get too close when possible and make sure you go to the toilets at night in groups! If you choose to pay a little more for your safari then you’ll likely have a nicer vehicle to travel around in, better food and a chance to stay in some of the beautiful lodges. I would say that saving money on your safari is not worth it if it will ruin your experience. I personally love camping and really enjoyed that aspect of the trip (apart from the night I was so cold I couldn’t feel my feet in my sleeping bag!) You’re already paying a hell of a lot of money for your safari so if you're the kind of person that knows you won’t enjoy the ‘budget’ aspect of it then pay a little more. It’s not worth letting it tarnish your trip if you are someone who likes a bit of luxury and can pay a bit more to get that.
  • To my female readers, wear a sports bra: The roads are B.U.M.P.Y. Like seriously, I have never experienced anything like it. I don’t really think I need to go into any more detail on this but you’ll thank me later.
    Three sleeping lions by the side of the road
  • Check your driver/guide has a radio before you set off: Safari companies will usually pick you up from where you’re staying or you’ll go to their office and set off from there. Before you leave ask your guide if he has a radio (and that it works!) When you’re out in the parks it can often be hard to know where the animals - especially the cools ones - are. Zebras, gazelles, wildebeests; they’re all awesome. But after you’ve seen hundred of them you’ll be getting a bit fed up and hoping to see some lions and elephants. The guides will communicate with each other using the radios to inform other groups when they’ve found something awesome. We managed to see three adult male lions asleep right next to the road because the first guide to spot them radioed it through. I met other groups at the campsites who were complaining they hadn’t really seen anything that day because their guide didn’t have a radio so they’d just been aimlessly driving around the Serenghetti (which is HUGE!) Once you’re already out at the parks there will be nothing the guide can do, but if you kick up a fuss before you leave to make sure your guide gets a radio then you’ll glad you did!
    Overlooking the Serengeti 
  • Wear layers: Animals are most active in the early hours of the morning when its not too hot, so its quite likely you’ll head out on sunrise safaris (which means setting off around 6am before the sun comes up). These usually result in seeing the most incredible animals however it is also unbelievably cold! Especially because you’ll be driving around with your roof lifted to allow you to see the animals. But just a few hours later, under the hot African sun, you’ll be sweating. So it’s best to take clothes that you can layer. This way you can stay warm in the early mornings but as the temperature starts to climb take your warmer clothes off. I liked wearing trousers under a dress. That way I could tuck the dress into the trousers to look like a t-shirt in the morning and pop a jumper/coat and scarf over the top. Then when it was hotter I could remove the trousers and outer layers to stay cool in a loose, flowy dress.
  • Take sunglasses: Not because of the sunlight, although that’s a bonus, but because of the dust! All the national parks are pretty dusty, and as I’ve already mentioned you’ll most likely be driving around with the roof up. Unless you want to spend most of the day wiping the dirt from your eyes I’d suggest wearing sunglasses even when stationary. It only takes another vehicle to drive past or a gust of wind to throw up an unexpected cloud of dust and rather than seeing the wildlife you’ll be seeing tears.


What is your favourite animal that you might spot while on safari? Mine is definitely elephants! I love them so much I actually have an elephant tattoo.

If you’ve been on a safari I’d love for you to share your experience and tips in the comments!


Chloe

3 comments

  1. Yayyyyy!!! Finally found it!! I wasn't typing 'www.' That's why apparently it wasn't working! But yayy!! Your blog!! The tent in the photograph looks awesome! Tips are great!! Will keep them in mind if I ever happen to visit Tanzania!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you were finally able to access it!
      I actually quite liked sleeping in a tent, I'd only ever camped before in my back garden as a kid. So it was a pretty cool experience! Not everyone that I met while camping felt the same though haha

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    2. Camping is difficult stuff... Not everyone likes to feel unentitled to stuff once in a while! I find comfort in not being entitled to stuff which is why I love camping! I have done that previously and it somehow makes me feel closer to what I am as opposed to a lavish hotel which does not go with my headspace! ❤

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