Planning for Your First African Safari

An African safari can be the ultimate travel experience for the outdoor and wildlife enthusiast. These trips combine opportunities to view some of the world’s great wildlife and habitat often in exotic locations of the world.

Many first-time safari travelers choose a travel package. These packages often include airfare from a limited number of destinations as well in-country travel in Africa along with lodging, meals and wildlife viewing excursions.

Transportation is often limited to a single departure point with the traveler responsible for reaching that point. For example, an African safari package may list New York City as a departure point. Travelers are responsible for reaching New York.

Travelers planning an African safari should do considerable planning prior to booking a travel package. Study the seasonal weather conditions and plan the safari for the best possible weather that fits within your travel schedule.

Other considerations include the lodging included with the package. Some safari packages include lodging in varying degrees of luxury. The rooms often include views of wildlife viewing areas with some outfitters boasting that wildlife may pass directly in front of the rooms. Other outfitters utilize tents and portable housing. These camps allow the safari to follow the game and may offer the best wildlife viewing opportunities.

Once the traveler has chosen the outfitter, it is time to research the area and understand the wildlife and habitat of the area. This knowledge will aid in the enjoyment of the trip and improve the chances of seeing great game. If the African safari includes viewing elephants, a basic understanding of elephant life habits will help improve the experience. Guides will help the safari traveler safely find the game and talk about the animals but personal knowledge of the wildlife will improve the safari adventure.

Most safari outfitters will furnish the traveler with a list of items they are responsible for bringing. This commonly includes personal hygiene items and clothing but can extend to camping gear, such as sleeping bags and other items, if it excursion is a camping safari. Travelers should include the best quality gear they can afford and know how to use it effectively before the trip.

Travelers will want to take home pictures to go with the memories they make on the African safari. Packing the right photography equipment can be vital to the enjoyment of the safari. Quality cameras and lenses add to the experience. The photographer should choose equipment that is durable and bring along backup items in case of a failure at an inopportune time. Check with the safari outfitter for information on electrical sources for recharging camera or computer batteries and bring along plenty of film or memory cards to capture every moment of the African safari.

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