A safari, like a luxury cruise, is one of those once in a lifetime kind of timeshare holidays. You’ll never forget it. And, like a cruise, there’s “safari etiquette” to bear in mind while you’re out in the Landrover, much closer to lions than you thought you’d ever be!
Here are eight ways not just to stay safe while on safari, but also make this extraordinary experience even more special and memorable.
1. Seeing is believing – bring your best binoculars. It’s probably the only time you’re going to see cheetahs, lions or leopards – other than at the zoo – and out here in the wild you get to observe them in their very own habitat.
2. People who wear white on a safari had better have someone back at the hotel ready for some serious laundry, as it’s the most impractical colour you could wear, even if it IS cooling and reflects the sun. Try beiges or khakis instead and avoid brightly coloured clothes – the last thing you want is to stand out of the crowd in a safari environment, you’re better of blending with your environment’s earth tones…
3. Check the climate for the time of year you’ll be going – will it sweltering in summer in South Africa (Britain’s winter) or should go in the autumn (our spring) instead?
4. Your guide is a guide for a reason. Listen to what they advise as you learn about the habitats and habits of these beautiful, wild creatures. And never go against any safety advice they give you.
5. Pack the essentials like mosquito repellent – this is when you’ll need the super-powered ones with DEET in them to keep those bites at bay.
6. Stay in your vehicle! Never lean out, neck craning for the best photo, you want to keep as low key as you can, and stay in the car.
7. If you’ve bought special boots or shoes for this safari, have you worn them in beforehand? The combination of heat and new boots can be lethal, the last thing you need on the first evening of your safari is blisters and red, painful rub marks on the back of your heels.
8. Don’t get so caught up snapping the perfect shots that you miss out on experiencing the whole experience. Rather like a wedding, you can focus so much on clinching the perfect pictures that you’re not fully mindful of the event itself.
And last but not least, it’s vital to get any holiday vaccinations done well ahead of time – check how far in advance, so you’re 100% immune you before you leave.