25 Tips for your First African Safari | Insights from our Collective

25 Tips for your First African Safari | Insights from our Collective

We’ve gathered the greatest insights of our collective to bring you 25 Tips for your first African Safari.

Africa is, in most parts, still untouched, untamed, and unspoiled. Dramatic landscapes beckon the adventurous to discover the bountiful beauties and experiences that the continent has to offer. Contrasted against her attractions, Africa also holds stark realities and harsh environments. To help you prepare for your first African Safari, our collective of world-class guides, travellers, and hosts have each shared their tops tips, touching on everything such as how to fly, how to pack; to how to prepare your spirit and mind for an unforgettable experience.

Lloyd Camp
Specialist Guide & Author
  • You’re on holiday, so take it easy. Things sometimes move just a little slower here.

  • Try not to capture your entire safari on camera: just listen sometimes, and take in the view.

  • Bring the best binoculars you can afford, and try to have a pair for each traveller: they make a HUGE difference.

  • What you give is what you’ll get: engage with the local people and they will go several extra miles for you

Malcolm Ainscough
Chairman & Founder
  • Consider the fact that a handful of people on this planet get to go on safari.

  • Plan a day on arrival in Africa to relax and recover from the journey.

  • Consider whether you are a hot or cold person. I dislike being cold!

  • Travel light. Most camps offer complimentary laundry service.

  • Send us a copy of your passport in advance of arrival. It has many advantages.

John Daniel Dunn
Specialist Guide
  • Pack light! All of the safari lodges and city hotels offer a daily laundry service and, in Africa, ‘casual is king’.

  • Purchase a decent pair of binoculars! They’ll add immeasurable value to the quality of your wildlife encounters and will become an asset for life!

  • Request seats at the front of the aircraft on each domestic flight. You’ll be first to disembark and first in line to attain your country-specific visa (the queues can be torturous!)

  • Depart on your morning game drive at sunrise (or as early as possible) and ask your guide to remain out for as long after sunset as possible (afternoon/evening game drive) as most of Africa’s big cats are primarily active at night (nocturnal) and into the early morning. They all ‘hunker down’ in the shade as daytime temperatures rise and become very difficult to locate. These two ‘windows’ are the best times to encounter them as they’re likely to be on the move.

  • Africa is a unique continent, she marches to her own ‘drums’ and arriving on her soil with an open-mind as well as the acceptance that she won’t resemble ‘home’ is the best advice I can offer. Immerse yourself in the experience, embrace the differences and allow her magic to enrich your soul….

Julie Allen
Travel Ambassador
  • Do not overpack … trust me, you will be bringing back clothes that have never been worn.

  • Let go of good hair days … you won’t have any but will still look amazing!

  • Trust your guides … they are the experts and they have your best interests in mind at all times.

  • Go on every game drive, they are all unique and you never know what you will encounter.

  • Immerse yourself in the entire experience, it is life-changing!

Lynn Hogan
Travel Ambassador
  • I always highly recommended purchasing trip insurance to guard against any emergencies, medical or accidental among others, that could prelude you from travel. The best time to purchase travel insurance would be within 14-21 days from the date of your initial trip deposit to cover any pre-existing conditions for yourself or any close family members ( whether or not they are traveling with you) and maximize the time you are protected.

  • To keep your safari duffel organized to find items quickly : bring your belongings in packing cubes. A set of zippered mesh packing cubes come in various sizes so you can easily divide your layers, T-shirts in one, Khakis in another, and so on. Divide and conquer space issues by rolling clothing tightly and bring an empty cube for dirty laundry which you can then quickly access for the lovely washing services provided at each camp.

  • One thing I love to bring to Africa is a head lamp because it can be so useful in many ways. Whether taking a pre- dawn climb up Lions Head in Cape Town or staying up late at night reading Lloyd Camps’ latest page- turner” Confessions of a Safari Guide”, this handy device keeps hands free and provides light right where you need it.

  • Let your Guide be your Guide! For families traveling together, or for groups of 6 or more, please consider adding the services of one of our specialist private guides. They are, without parallel, among the best in Africa, and will enhance your Safari experience in ways too numerous to mention here.

  • Listen… and Reconnect Africa may turn out to be so much more than another destination to check -off a travel list. If you really use all your senses, you can savor every special moment you are in Africa. Listen to the sounds of wildlife and birds calling, Hear the wind and the rain and the peoples voices ; singing, talking, laughing in so many languages.

Begin In Africa

We hope these 25 Tips for your first African safari inspire you to discover your adventure in Africa!


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