By Sébastien Charrieras
1. Bring warm clothes with you.
Always take a fleece and a scarf, among others. Surprising? Yes it is Africa, it’s hot, the sun can be relentless, but do not forget the freshness of an early morning and a game drive in an open 4×4! So, take these along to protect you against the biting morning cold. A small thermos of coffee or tea would help as well. This impression of cold will quickly dissipate with the rising sun, trust us.
2. Take your time.
A safari can be the fulfillment of a dream and undoubtedly the main highlight of your trip. So it would be a pity not to dedicate enough time and give you the best opportunities to see the greatest number of animals. Therefore, we advise you to stay at the same lodge, in the same park or reserve for at least 3 nights to get the most out of your safari experience.
3. Spend at least 2 nights in a private reserve
A self-drive safari is a bit like reading a book in which you are the hero (those who have children understand!). However, a deep learning of the bush, recognising and understanding the animals of the African wildlife in the company of a professional ranger is, from our point of view, an experience not to be missed. Not to mention, a personalised service provided by an attentive staff will maximise your enjoyment, especially if you are travelling with children.
4. Live in harmony with nature
Be aware, forget lazy mornings in safari! The best time, indeed, to see the animals and especially the famous Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) is at sunrise and during the last hour of sunlight. Don’t worry, you will quickly adapt your rhythm with mother nature’s one. This will also grant you some good breaks during the hottest hours of the day. Use this opportunity to have a swim in the lodge’s pool, for example.
5. Observe the speed limit
Respect the animals you came here to see to give you the best chances to see as many animals as possible. Believe us, you can drive pass an elephant without noticing its presence in spite of its mass. Finally, it’s all about your and your children’s safety. Hitting a hippo can cause heavy damages. The common speed limit is 50 km/h on tarred roads and 40 km/h on all other roads and tracks.
6. Stay calm, animals don’t really care about you
A lion is approaching your car? You come across a herd of elephants? A buffalo is sitting right in the middle of the road, determined not to move and preventing you from driving on? In all circumstances, keep cool and stay calm. Animals are used to cars. Never make any sudden movements, shout or make abrupt manoeuvre with your car. They will always get out of the way 😉
7. Be in the right place at the right time
We saved you the best and maybe the most difficult for the last as it’s not really in your hands: be in the right place at the right time 😉 Remember, animals are in their natural element and actually wild, so be armed with patience and also count on your lucky stars.