advice for going on safari (Dreamstime)
Advice 12 February 2019

20 top tips for going on safari as chosen by you

Going on safari is a dream trip for many, but making the most of that opportunity can be trickier than it sounds. We present your tips for ensuring every wildlife adventure is one to remember…

For the best views...

The lit up watering hole at Etosha NP (Dreamstime)

The lit up watering hole at Etosha NP (Dreamstime)

Etosha NP’s Okaukuejo Rest Camp has a watering hole that’s lit up at night, so you can watch the huge number of black rhino that congregate around it at that time.

— Gemma Grimbley

"Be prepared for some very early morning starts to view animals and trust your ranger. They know their patch inside out and will maximise your chances of a sighting."

 — Gina Carey

“The Sarova Salt Lick Game Lodge in Tsavo NP has an underground tunnel that opens out into a viewing dome near a waterhole where you can see the animals drink. Its lodges are also on stilts, so you can hear wildlife roaming below.”

— Christine Newton

"It is good if you can take binoculars for each person as passing backwards and forwards means you miss some viewings."

— Cheryl Edwards

“Go on a night drive where the guide has an infrared torch or goggles. We saw so many animals you wouldn’t see during the day, including spring hares, bush babies, hippos out of the water and snakes – the highlight was an aardvark!”

— Kate Smith

 

For making a saving...

Try a semi-participation safari in Botswana – you won’t have to do much more than pitch your own tent. You get more of an experience for less money and can meet like-minded travellers. You get other company, too – we had hyenas, lionesses, and a couple of elephants around our campfire.

— Nandini Chakraborty

The Chakraborty family volunteering in Botswana

The Chakraborty family volunteering in Botswana

“There are ways to make a safari less pricey: Try self-driving, consider camping and look closely at lodge inclusions as they often include meals and game drives.”

— Claire White

"If you're on a budget, travel out of season."

— Mark Mccaffery

"If budget is tight then go to more remote areas."

— Don Spiller

"Trips run by local companies can be very good and half the price. Check with others who have been for recommendations."

— Chris Michael

For hitting the road...

Making a splash on safari (Dreamstime)

Making a splash on safari (Dreamstime)

When self-driving Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park always deflate your tyres and never exceed the speed limit, as this creates dust for those behind you. Try to be first out of the gate at dawn as this is when the animals are wandering back from feeding.

— Andrew Allport

Having been to Kruger in a safari jeep and covering 200 miles in one day I recommend you take a comfy cushion.

– Arthur Humphreys

Keep your limbs inside the jeep to stay safe.

— Steve Weston

"There is nothing as good as driving yourself in the middle of nowhere and with no people around" 

—Michelle Freeman

"Make sure you have a full tank of fuel"

— Mary Houlihan

For the perfect packing list...

When on safari in Botswana make sure you take a varied wardrobe. You can experience hot, cool, wet and dry conditions. Don't forget to pack glasses and eye drops, too. Safari's can be a dusty business.

— Claire Austin 

Dressed for safari (Dreamstime)

Dressed for safari (Dreamstime)

“Take a drawstring bag and put your camera in it. The fine dust is horrible, and doing this can often save a lens – or even the camera itself – and avoid unnecessary cleaning.”

— Mark Wardle

“Don’t wear blue – it attracts tsetse flies, which have a nasty bite and can carry sleeping sickness.”

— Catherine Rees

"Safari drives are commonly at dawn or dusk and it can be chilly then so remember to take warm clothing and hat and gloves."

— Chris Nelson

"Wear comfy shoes and make sure you break them in before you go."

— Gina Carey

For dodging the crowds...

 

 

 

Helen enjoying the quiet of safari in Malawi

Helen enjoying the quiet of safari in Malawi

Malawi has never been a big safari destination, with heavy poaching and few animals. But a huge translocation programme, which included moving 500 elephants, has changed all that. This is still largely unknown to travellers, though, so when we stayed at Majete Wildlife Reserve and Liwonde and Nyika National Parks, we were often the only guests yet saw a massive variety of animals, including the big five.

— Helen Jackson

"Kaudulla National Park in Sri Lanka is quieter than many safaris and is a great introduction to the wildlife. Herds of 100+ elephants can be seen here without the interference of too many jeeps."

— Ria Joyce

"Try a walking safari in Botswana. You will rarely see other people and it really feels like you are with the animals, not disturbing them.”

— Julia Saurazas

"The best Wildlife Park I have been to is Madikwe, South Africa. It is wonderfully quiet and has all the game and predators you could wish for."

— Linden Porter

"Spend as much as you can afford in order to avoid crowds."

— Mark Mccaffery

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