Your Ultimate Guide to  an African Safari

Your Ultimate Guide to an African Safari

Is there anything more thrilling than an African safari holiday? Having your hair stand on end as you watch a gazelle narrowly escape the claws of a lioness, squinting your eyes to spot a leopard amongst the tall grass, and straining your ears to decipher the eerie sounds of the night outside your game lodge – Africa safari tours overwhelm all the senses. With a holiday so action packed, you can barely afford to blink, let alone be underprepared. So here’s our ultimate guide to an African safari that will hold you in good stead for all your Africa safari tours. 

When to go?

While there’s a lot to see in Africa, its wildlife is its biggest attraction. And to catch the native species in all their glory, you have to time your Africa safari tours meticulously. It’s best to take an African safari during the winter season when the grass is lower making the animals easier to spot. Moreover, the animals tend to be more active during the day due to relatively cooler climate. That said, the sight of the annual wildebeest migration is a sight like no other, and the best time to watch the multitude of animals stampede across the Mara River is between July and September.  
Watch the Wildebeest Migration, Africa

Where to go?

The continent of Africa is filled with untold wonders, with each country adding a unique new dimension to your journey. For the most authentic experiences in terms of abundance of wildlife on an African safari and unique cultural encounters, East African countries are the clear choice. Visit Zimbabwe to be spellbound by Victoria Falls; Kenya and Tanzania for the wealth of wildlife in the Masai Mara National Reserve and the Ngorongoro Crater, as well as the captivating Masai culture, Botswana for much of Africa’s big five; and South Africa for the African penguins (that’s right, penguins!). 
Experience the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, Africa

Where to stay?

How do you get the best out of your Africa safari tours? Three words: location, location, location. When you pick where you want to go, it is equally important to pick where you want to stay, because there is no better experience than sipping your morning cuppa while watching elephants making their way down for a drink of water in your backyard – something you can look forward to at the Elephant Valley Lodge in Botswana. Southern Africa and East Africa have an amazing variety of hotels, but their game lodges are the real highlight. Kuzuko Lodge in Greater Addo Elephant National Park lies in a private concession in South Africa’s third largest national park. In Kenya, Lake Nakuru Sopa Lodge sits on the border of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. Ngorongoro Sopa Lodge is located on the crater rim and enjoys unparalleled views across the caldera, while Mara West Camp borders the Masai Mara National Reserve, famous for the annual migration of wildebeest crossing from Serengeti.
Stay at the Elephant Valley Lodge, Africa

What to see and do?

Africa’s cultures are locked in time even as technology has managed to make inroads into the ancient tribes. So don’t be surprised when you pass a Masai warrior in full traditional regalia, holding a mobile phone to his ear. It is all part of Africa’s charm. While an African safari is a given on your holiday, for a unique experience, try a hot air balloon ride over Masai Mara, and take a river cruise on the Chobe River, the banks of which boast the largest population of elephants in Africa as well as huge pods of hippo and predators such as lion, leopard and hyena. If you can time your holiday with the wildebeest migration, you are guaranteed an experience of a lifetime. Take a trip to the magnificent natural wonder of the world – Victoria Falls, and make the time to include a traditional outdoor ‘boma’ dinner.  
Admire elephants on an African safari

What to pack?

Now that you have a tentative plan for your big African adventure, it is time to start packing. The top things to include in your Africa safari tours packing list are: 
  • Loose, covered, cotton clothing: Most African countries are conservative and keeping yourself covered is considered respectful. However, keep it light, comfortable and breathable as the days can get hot and humid. Also pack some layers as the nights can get dramatically cold, depending on the time of the year. 
  • Comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a fair bit of walking on uneven ground so pack a comfortable pair of shoes that provide a strong grip.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses: African sun can be very harsh with very little natural shelter when you’re out spotting wildlife from an open jeep. So slip, slop, slap!  
  • Insect repellent: Nature is beautiful, but also pesky. Pack yourself a good insect repellent and slather it all over your exposed skin day and night. 
  • A headlamp or torch: While your tour operator will ensure that you’re always comfortable, African safari camps can get quite dark due to their location within national parks. Pack a torch and keep it handy at all times. 
  • Camera and binoculars: To capture some of the most astounding holiday memories – from a clumsy week-old elephant calf to the thundering of Victoria Falls – and preserve them for life. 

African Safari Tours