A safari tour is a guided wildlife excursion in which visitors observe animals in their natural habitat, usually in a national park or wildlife reserve.
There are many great places to go on a safari in Africa, but some of the most popular destinations include Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia.
Depending on the location of your safari, you can expect to see a variety of animals, including lions, elephants, zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, rhinoceroses, hippos, and many more.
The best time to go on a safari in Africa depends on the specific location and the type of animals you want to see. Generally, the dry season (June-October) is the best time to see wildlife, as animals tend to congregate around water sources.
Some essential items to bring on a safari tour include sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable and breathable clothing, a hat, binoculars, a camera, and a sturdy pair of walking shoes.
Safari tours are generally safe, but it’s important to follow the guidance of your tour guide and take necessary precautions to avoid dangerous situations. Always listen to your guide’s instructions and avoid approaching wild animals on foot.
Safari tours can last anywhere from a few hours to several days or even weeks, depending on the itinerary and the location.
Many safari tours are suitable for children, but it’s important to check with the tour operator to ensure that the itinerary is appropriate for your child’s age and ability level.
The cost of a safari tour in Africa varies widely depending on the location, the duration of the tour, the level of luxury, and the activities included. Safari tours can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars per person.
Perhaps one of the biggest and most pleasant surprises awaiting the traveler to Southern Africa is the level of technological development and basic infrastructure in the region. Despite being in some of the remotest places on Earth, most camps, lodges, and hotels have facilities for accepting payment by credit card. On safari, almost all major expenses (all meals, activities, and often drinks) are covered in the costs of accommodation such that any extras tend to be very limited, and can generally be paid by credit card. In urban centers, particularly in South Africa, ATMs are to be found in most shopping malls and banks and will accept U.S. cash cards using the Cirrus and Plus systems, as well as Visa, Mastercard, or American Express credit cards (provided your credit account has a cash withdrawal facility). Both major international airports (Johannesburg and Cape Town) also have ATMs, and you can withdraw money as soon as you land (generally at a better exchange rate than if you were to exchange cash or traveler’s checks at a bank). In a word, no, you will not have to carry lots of cash as any expenses which cannot be charged to a credit card (departure taxes, curio purchases, tips) will amount to very little.
Unlike many other parts of the world, tap water in Southern Africa is, for the most part, safe to drink. Camps, lodges, and hotels will make it clear to their guests whether they should or should not drink tap water and, in most cases, will provide bottled water free of charge if tap water is unsafe. There is no need to travel in fear of contracting some exotic and unpleasant illness from drinking the water or eating fresh produce. FAQ
English is an official language in all five countries of the region and is the de facto language of politics and economics. It is taught at school and is widely spoken in all urban centers. Even in rural areas, many local villagers (especially younger ones who have received schooling) will be able to converse in English. When staying at a private camp or lodge, your guide will very often be able to introduce you to his or her friends and family and will act as an interpreter if necessary. Yes, some amazing interaction with local people is possible, and more than likely to occur while on your trip to Southern Africa.
Again, the relatively sophisticated infrastructure of the region will surprise many guests. All urban centers are well served by terrestrial telecommunications systems, and cellular networks are well-developed (cellular phones can be rented in South Africa, or your cell phone provider may offer the option of international roaming). Calling cards from most U.S. carriers (e.g. AT&T, MCI, etc.) offer toll-free numbers which can be dialed from South African phones for long-distance calls, while local calls can be made with telephone cards from Telkom (the local carrier). Almost all hotels have telephone and fax services, often Internet as well. The same holds true for safari lodges in South Africa. While out on safari in countries to the north of South Africa (Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, and Zimbabwe), you will be able to escape from modern technology and will be out of reach to the outside world (a rare luxury!). All camps do, however, have radio communications in case of emergencies. FAQ
Africa is the world’s second-largest continent and is four times the size of the USA. In the area, Africa is larger than the USA, Europe, China, India, Argentina, and New Zealand combined. It is therefore extremely unfortunate that the media often treats Africa as a single cohesive entity. There certainly are parts of Africa (particularly central and northern Africa) that are not at all safe for travel, but it is very misleading to think of this as representative of the entire continent. Southern Africa is by far the most peaceful, democratic, and economically stable part of the continent, and is increasingly considered to be one of the safest destinations in the world for Western travelers by virtue of the region’s geographic dislocation from global “hotspots”, and the absence of religious fundamentalism. All five countries in the region are multi-party democracies with stable governments and strong economies.
You can expect hot, wet summers and cooler, dry winters in Namibia. Generally, the days can be quite hot and the evenings and early mornings can be remarkably cool. Comfortable, lightweight clothing for the daytime and a sweater or jacket for early mornings and evenings. Comfortable walking shoes and sandals. Protection against the sun – sunblock, hat, sunglasses, lip balm, and moisturizing lotion. Flashlight (headlamp), binoculars, and a good camera with extra film or memory card. For small electrical appliances or chargers a conversion plug to a three-pin type outlet. Swimsuits as most lodges and hotels have swimming pools. Insect repellent, rehydrating solutions or concentrates, diarrhea medication, malaria prophylaxis (if traveling in malaria areas), bandages, etc. Warm jersey or fleece plus anorak or parka, Scarf, gloves, and beanies/woolen hats for the cold winter months. Headlamp – Especially when going on camping safaris Some flip flops that can be used when showering at Campsites Pillow – Although we provide comfortable camping mattresses and sleeping bags at extra costs, we do not provide pillows on our camping safaris. We advise bringing along a small traveling pillow to make your sleeping even more comfortable. A 2 Litre Water Bottle. – Namibia is quite dry and during the hot summer months, we recommend drinking a lot of water to prevent dehydration. Therefore always keep water with you and make sure you stay hydrated.
The currency used in Namibia is The Namibian Dollar, South Africa is Rand and Botswana is Pula The Namibian Dollar (NAD or N$) is linked permanently (with a ratio of 1:1) to the South African Rand (ZAR), and South African Rand notes and coins are also legal tender in Namibia. FAQ As of 2015, NAD 100.00 is very roughly 5 GBP (£), 8 USD ($), or 7 EUR (€). Of course, values fluctuate and different businesses will offer different exchange rates so please do make thorough checks before committing to any purchases!
Credit cards are usually accepted by large hotels, modern shops, and Western-style restaurants but not by smaller vendors. Ensure you have adequate cash to cover purchases not able to be made on credit.
It’s considered polite to tip service workers in Namibia, as most receive a small wage. As a general rule, add 10-15% to bills at cafes, bars, and restaurants (if it hasn’t already been added). Tour guides, drivers, valets, and porters also should be tipped.