Planning A Dream Safari

Are you planning a dream safari for yourself or for a group of people? Whether you’re going on a solo African adventure or heading out with a larger group, a well-planned safari can be an amazing experience.

But to ensure you get the most of your African adventure, it pays to plan ahead. This guide provides all the best tips, tricks and information you need to plan the dream safari you’ve been dreaming of.

Choose the Right Safari Destination

One of the most important decisions you need to make when planning a dream safari is where you want to go. There are dozens of amazing safari destinations across Africa, each with its own unique wildlife, scenery and activities.

Here are some of the most popular safari destinations in Africa:

• Tanzania: This East African nation is home to some of the largest game reserves in the world, including Serengeti National Park, Ruaha National Park, and Ngorongoro Conservation Area.

• Zimbabwe: This southern African country is home to some of the world’s most famous game reserves, including Hwange National Park, the famous Victoria Falls, and Mana Pools National Park.

• Botswana: Known as the “Jewel of Africa”, this beautiful country is home to some of the most diverse and untouched game parks, such as Chobe National Park, Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve.

• Kenya: Head to Kenya for some of the best safaris in Africa, with the famous Masai Mara National Reserve being the highlight of the country. Other well-known reserves in Kenya include Amboseli National Park and Tsavo National Park.

• South Africa: South Africa is one of the greatest safari destinations in the world, with the Kruger National Park and the Garden Route being two of the most popular attractions.

Once you’ve chosen your destination, it’s time to decide on the type and duration of your safari.

Decide on the Type of Safari

The type of safari you choose will depend on your interests and budget. Some of the most popular safari types include:

• Self-drive safaris: If you’re on a budget and don’t mind a little DIY, then a self-drive safari could be the perfect option. Rent a jeep or 4×4 and take the wheel yourself.

• Group tours: If you’d like to join an organized tour, then check out some of the tour companies offering safaris in Africa. These tours are great if you want someone to do all the planning and organizing for you.

• Adventure camping: For a truly authentic experience, you could join a camping safari. This could either be in a shared camp setup or rent out your own private accommodation.

• Luxury lodges: If you want to indulge in a little luxury and pamper yourself, book into one of the many luxury lodges or luxury mobile camps in the area.

Once you’ve chosen the type of safari, it’s time to pick a duration.

Choose the Right Safari Duration

Most people will want to choose a duration that allows them to maximize their safari experience, but won’t break the bank. Generally speaking, a longer safari trip will be more expensive than a short one, but it will also give you more time to explore the best parks and game reserves.

The duration of your safari depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. Here are some suggested durations for different types of trips:

• Short safari: 1 to 5 days

• Medium safari: 5 to 10 days

• Long safari: 10+ days

Once you’ve chosen your duration, you’ll need to think about the type of accommodation you’ll need.

Decide on Where to Stay

Where you stay will depend on the type of safari you’ve chosen. If you’re driving yourself, you’ll need to book into hotels or campsites in the area. If you’re joining a tour, most tour companies will include accommodation in your package.

If you’re joining a camping safari, you may need to buy or rent camping equipment and supplies, such as tents, sleeping bags and cooking equipment. You may also need to rent a vehicle if you don’t have your own.

For luxury safaris, you’ll need to research the best luxury lodges in the area. Most of these will provide a high level of comfort, as well as great game viewing activities.

Once you’ve sorted out your accommodation, it’s time to think about activities.

Plan Your Activities

One of the most exciting aspects of planning a dream safari is choosing the activities you’ll do. There are so many things to do in Africa, from game drives to walking safaris and hot air balloon rides.

When planning your activities, consider the type of safari you’ve chosen, the location and the duration of your trip. Here are some of the most popular safari activities:

• Game drives: Game drives are a great way to see animals in their natural environment. Most safari lodges and camps will arrange game drives for guests.

• Wildlife spotting: With luck, you may spot some of the unique creatures that inhabit Africa, such as big cats, elephants, giraffes and zebras.

• Walking safaris: For a closer look at the wildlife and nature, join a guided walking safari.

• Hot air balloon rides: See the African bush from a whole new perspective with a hot air balloon safari.

• Cultural tours: Learn about the rich cultures and traditions of African communities with a guided cultural tour.

• Boat trips: Explore the rivers and lakes of Africa’s wild landscapes with a guided boat trip.

• Fishing trips: Get close to nature with a fishing trip.

These are just some of the many activities you can enjoy on a safari.

Choose a Reputable Tour Operator or Safari Company

If you’re planning to join an organised tour, it’s important to ensure you choose a reputable tour operator or safari company. Tour operators vary in terms of what they offer and the quality of their services, so do your research before choosing one.

Look for a tour operator that provides the type of safari you’re looking for and has good reviews from previous customers. You should also make sure they have the appropriate licenses and permits to operate in the area.

Most tour operators will have an online booking system, so you can easily book your safari and view the full itinerary.

Pack the Right Gear

Packing for a safari can be daunting, as you’ll need to consider the weather, the type of safari you’re doing and the activities you’ll be doing. Don’t forget to also think about how you’ll be travelling – will you be driving yourself or joining an organised tour?

Here’s a checklist of essential items to pack for a safari:

• Comfortable walking shoes

• Long-sleeved shirts and trousers

• Hats and sunglasses

• Sunscreen

• Insect repellent

• Camera and binoculars

• Adapter plug (if applicable)

• Torch

• Waterproof jacket

• First aid kit

• Mobile phone

• Any personal medication

• Reusable water bottle

With the right gear, you’ll be set for your dream safari.

Set a Realistic Budget

A dream safari doesn’t have to be expensive, but it helps to set a realistic budget before you start planning. It’s important to factor in flights, accommodation, meals, activities, safari supplies and any incidentals.

The cost of a safari will depend on the type of safari you choose, where you go and the duration of your trip. As a general guide, you should expect to spend around $100–$150 USD per day.

It can be helpful to ask tour operators for an estimate of the cost of a safari before you book, so you can get an idea of how much you’ll need to budget.

Stay Safe on Safari

Your safety is paramount, so it’s important to take the necessary measures to ensure your dream safari is a safe and enjoyable experience.

When on safari, make sure you follow the park regulations, stick to the designated paths and don’t approach wild animals. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid wandering around at night. It’s also important to have travel insurance and ensure you have your vaccinations up to date.

Planning a dream safari requires a lot of research and preparation, but it’s worth it. With the right destination, plan, activities and safety measures in place, you’ll have an unforgettable experience. So go ahead, book your safari and make all your safari dreams come true!