Go Wild in Africa, here are Authentic Travels top 12 tips on getting the best Safari experience:
1. Choose the smaller camps and lodges for the best Safari experiences, not only is the service normally significantly better, but you achieve a much more intimate relationship with the beauty of the bush and animals without too many people.
2. Try and pick the more remote camps, in this way you can avoid the overcrowding element when viewing game. In the more populated areas, we have seen up to 10 vehicles looking at rare sightings. These more remote camps are normally serviced by an on-site runway and easy to get to.
3. Although it is inevitable that there are some fences in game parks, there are those that are completely fenced in relatively small area. These to us seem less natural and are stocked for animal balance. Those that we prefer are private reserves that adjunct to larger reserves such as the Kruger Park. This allows roaming animals to come and go as they please and provides real African experience where the animals are in control rather than man.
4. In our experience having your own family vehicle, ranger and tracker is paramount. This ensures that you go at your own pace, stopping when you want and dwelling on those aspects that interest you most rather than your fellow travelers dictating the agenda. We have seen up to 10 safari guests on one vehicle, this takes a lot away from the experience especially when it is your first safari.
5. When you have children always look for malaria free reserves, whilst it does create some restrictions in choice there are enough malaria-free lodges of a very high quality. Taking courses of anti-malarial pills can be unpleasant and we have known rather strong side effects especially with children.
6. Many camps take their staff from the nearest village, and we would encourage that you take time to visit for culturally enriching experiences. We find that exposing our children to the conditions of school and living in an African village is an education that will remain with them forever.
7. The best times to go on Safari is Spring and Autumn, where the days are very warm and the nights cold. Southern hemisphere summer is too hot, and the winter can be cold and wet.
8. Cooler nights and sunny days require a mixture of clothing. The restriction on luggage in the small aircraft that service the bush requires careful luggage organisation but make sure you have warm clothes for morning drives. Most Lodges have a super-efficient laundry service offered free to guests.
9. Tented camps are our favorite. There are some fabulous luxury “tents” with hard floors, huge beds, exotic bathing areas and an outside shower! When you hear a Lion roar whilst you are in your bed the experience will stay with you for life. In general, you just feel more at one with the bush when you just have canvass separating you.
10. Don’t hide behind the camera, it is clear at a photographic record is essential but there is a temptation to take too many shots and miss the true majesty of your experiences.
11. For piece of mind make sure that the camp/ lodge that you choose has a reputation for safety and a strong medical emergency system.
12. We suggest a minimum of three nights at any one lodge. This will give you time to really engage with the experience. Many of our customers will plan two lodges of different types of environmental eco systems and then follow this with a few days at a beach location.
Authentic Travel is an independent travel agent specialising in luxury bespoke holiday and tours. We are always happy to have a chat about the hottest trends in travel, and together discover your tailor made tour, holiday or short city break.