To enhance your chances of viewing wildlife, you may need to take many game drives at different times of the day
To enhance your chances of viewing wildlife, you may need to take many game drives at different times of the dayShuttterstock

Into The Wild: What Not To Do On An African Safari

Contrary to popular belief, an African safari is not all daisies and roses. There are things one must avoid and take care of

An African safari is a dream vacation for many travellers, who want to witness the wildlife and landscapes of this continent. However, planning a safari can be a hard task, especially if you are not familiar with the different options, destinations, and requirements. To help you avoid some common pitfalls and make the most of your safari experience, here are some mistakes to avoid when planning an African safari.

Being Extra Adventurous

If you're not in the mood to get mauled by a leopard or robbed by a baboon, it is better to focus on a few destinations that suit your interests
If you're not in the mood to get mauled by a leopard or robbed by a baboon, it is better to focus on a few destinations that suit your interestsShutterstock

Africa is a vast and diverse continent, with more than fifty countries, hundreds of national parks, and thousands of animal species. It is impossible to see everything in one trip, and trying to do so will only result in a rushed and stressful itinerary.

If you're not in the mood to get eaten by a leopard or get robbed by a baboon, Instead of hopping from one place to another, it is better to focus on a few destinations that suit your interests, budget, and time frame. You will have a deeper and more meaningful experience, and enjoy the quality rather than the sheer number of safari encounters. 

Expecting To See Everything In One Safari

Another common mistake is to expect to see all the animals you want on one game drive. While some safaris may offer guaranteed sightings of certain species, such as the Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo), most sightings depend on luck, weather, season, and animal behaviour.

You may have to go on several game drives, at different times of the day, to increase your chances of spotting the wildlife you are looking for. Moreover, you should not overlook the smaller and less famous animals, such as birds, reptiles, insects, and plants, which are also part of the rich and diverse ecosystem of Africa. So sit back and enjoy the experience rather than ticking off a checklist of animals. 

All Of Africa’s National Parks Are Different

Each of Africa’s national parks has its unique features, attractions, and challenges. Some parks are famous for their large and varied wildlife populations, such as the Serengeti in Tanzania, the Kruger in South Africa, and the Nyerere in Tanzania. Other parks are known for their scenic beauty, such as Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, and the Sossusvlei in Namibia.

Some parks are more accessible and affordable, while others are more remote and exclusive. Some parks are more suitable for self-drive safaris, while others require guided tours. Before choosing a park, conduct some research, compare the pros and cons of each option, and find the one that matches your preferences and expectations.

Being Too Tight On Budget

A safari is not a cheap vacation, and you should be prepared to spend a significant amount of money on it. You should not try to cut corners and save money at the expense of your safety, comfort, and enjoyment. A safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one must plan it keeping in mind the expenses involved. 

Look for reputable and reliable operators, guides, and accommodations which will ensure your well-being and satisfaction. This is not the area for penny-pinching as it can make or break your holiday. You should also consider the hidden costs of a safari, such as visas, vaccinations, insurance, tips, and souvenirs, and budget accordingly. Look for ways to save money without compromising on quality, such as travelling off-season, choosing less popular destinations, or joining a group tour.

Leaving Booking To The Last Minute

A safari is not something you can plan and book on a whim. A safari requires a lot of preparation and coordination. Planning your trip at least six months in advance will give you enough time to research your options, compare prices, secure your flights, arrange your visas, get your vaccinations, and pack your essentials.

Booking early will also give you more choices and flexibility, and you may be able to get some discounts and deals. Booking late, on the other hand, will limit your options and increase your costs, and you may end up missing out on some opportunities and experiences.

Planning Your African Safari Yourself

While planning your own safari may seem like a fun and adventurous idea, it is not recommended for most travellers. Planning a safari is a complex and challenging process, and is best left to experts. As a lay traveller one may not have the necessary knowledge, experience, and contacts to plan a successful and safe safari.

It is quite likely that you will miss out some important details and information, such as the best time to visit, the best places to stay, the best activities to do, and the best ways to avoid scams and dangers. Therefore, it is advisable to seek the help of a professional safari planner, who will take care of all the aspects of your trip and tailor it to your needs and desires.

A safari planner will also provide you with valuable advice, support, and assistance and make your safari a hassle-free and memorable experience.

Best Time To Visit Africa

Each of Africa’s national parks has its unique features, attractions, and challenges
Each of Africa’s national parks has its unique features, attractions, and challengesShutterstock

In general, the best time to visit Africa is from October to May. 

Visa Requirements For Indian Nationals

Indians require a visa to enter South Africa and can apply for one. The South Africa visa is a tourist visa that may be obtained via a visa application facility.

The Indian visa for South Africa requires  you to present your passport at the Embassy. Once your visa has been accepted, you may collect it  from the application centre.

You must apply for a South Africa visa at least 60 days before your trip.

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