Safaris can make for an expensive trip so you want to get it right. Wanderlust editor-in-chief Lyn Hughes shares a few things she wished she'd known before her first
Seeing the Big 5 is exciting but there is so much more to see. Watching a giraffe, a dung beetle or a secretary bird can be just as fascinating, especially with a good guide.
Don’t expect a peaceful night’s sleep. The bush comes alive at night and you’ll find yourself enthralled by a chorus of lions, hyenas, antelopes and frogs. After a couple of nights, you’ll find it as soothing as a lullaby.
Do you need aircon and solid walls? Or would you prefer a rustic chalet of natural materials, or a safari tent? There’s a wide range of options available so choose what suits you.
Africa is sometimes described as a cold continent with a hot sun. Early mornings and night drives can be surprisingly chilly, especially in winter or at elevation. Take warm layers.
To avoid shining out like a beacon to the animals, you need colours that blend in – do not wear white or anything bright. Neutral and earthy colours work best. Avoid black and blue too as these can attract tsetse flies.
To avoid malaria, avoid getting bitten in the first place. Wear a DEET-based repellent, and cover up. Save the sandals and shorts for the daytime; mosquitoes hunt at ankle-level at dusk so wear long trousers and socks in the evening.
You will probably spend most of your time sitting in a vehicle; the rest of the time you’ll be chomping – most safaris offer plenty of excellent eating opportunities. Oh, and jogging is not encouraged either! One way to get some (gentle) exercise is to take a walking safari.