Common Safari Questions, Answered!

Most people have many questions before setting off on that eagerly awaited adventure - their first African safari! If this applies to you as well, we’ve answered several of the most frequently asked questions below.  

kruger national park

How long should a safari be?

This is very much up to your personal preferences, the time you have, and your budget, of course. With so many great options available, you should be able to find a safari break that suits you perfectly.  

We do, however, recommend no less than a week, preferably more, as this allows you to get the most out of this unique and rejuvenating experience. The favorable climate in Africa also allows you to pick any time of the year to suit you.

But aren’t safaris dangerous? 

No, they are not - provided you are sensible and follow the directions of your guide at all times! All the African game reserves take great care to ensure their guests’ safety during game viewing activities. You will at all times be looked after by skilled and highly experienced rangers.

Don’t forget, though, that you are in a wild environment with wild and unpredictable animals around you. If you follow the instructions of your guide and the dictates of common sense, however, you will have a safe and memorable wildlife experience. 

Will I be expected to ‘rough it’ when I go on safari?

No, certainly not! The comfort level of your wildlife experience will depend on your budget and the type of safari you choose, however. Most tour operators ensure that even fairly basic camping safaris are well-run, properly organized, and comfortable. 

And be assured that all the upscale lodges offer you the best in sumptuous accommodation, impeccable service, and world-class cuisine - all located in the most beautiful wildlife settings. Many Americans enjoy luxury safaris in the Kruger National Park where they are cosseted and cared for in stylish luxury and comfort!  

Can I arrange my own safari? 

Indeed you can. There is, in fact, a growing trend for people to do so in order to cut down on costs and accommodate their own itinerary and time schedule. 

We must point out, however, that arranging a safari properly is not a simple matter. Without the insight of experienced tour planners, you could miss out on many of the less well-known experiences – so if you’d like to visit more than one reserve, going through a travel agency is a good idea.  

Won’t I get malaria in Africa? 

In a nutshell - it is unlikely! For a start, not all mosquitoes carry malaria, and many of Africa’s best safari destinations are located in regions that are classified as having low or no risk of malaria. 

However, if you are going to be visiting an area where malaria exists, your tour operator will advise you to get preventative malaria prophylactics from your doctor. 

Also make a point of using insect repellent on any exposed skin, particularly at night. You might also prefer to travel during the drier months when there are virtually no mosquitoes. 

Will I be allowed to take my kids on safari?

In most instances, yes, although some lodges will have age restrictions in place for children under the age of 8. For the most part, safari lodges welcome families, and will even have kids’ entertainment and supervised activities as part of their standard program. 

That said, young children are normally not allowed on game drives or walks for their own safety, but excellent childminding and babysitting services are common. Going on safari can be an incredible opportunity for children to learn about nature, so it’s well worth finding a lodge that offers educational and adventure activities just for the little ones. 

Must I be in good physical shape to go on safari?

This will depend on the type of safari you opt for. If you choose a safari that entails a great deal of walking, you will need a fairly good level of fitness. You will have to be able to manage between 3 - 5 miles during a walk and hike for several hours at a time.

However, if you select a safari that mostly focuses on game drives or boat cruises, and relaxing in the restful surroundings of a luxury lodge, you really don't need to be very fit at all. 

Perhaps most important of all - where should I go on safari? 

Africa offers wildlife travelers an amazing range of wonderful and richly diverse safari destinations. Talk about being spoilt for choice!

Here are just a handful of the many fantastic safari destinations on offer:

● Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, and Lake Manyara National Park (complete with tree-climbing lions!) in Tanzania

● Kruger National Park in South Africa 

● Etosha National Park in Namibia

● Victoria Falls and Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe 

● Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta, and the Moremi Game Reserve in Botswana  

● Lower Zambezi National Park, and Luangwa National Park in Zambia

● Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park, the Rift Valley, Tsavo National Park, and Lake Nakuru in Kenya

Has this answered some of your questions? We certainly hope it has - and that you are now even more determined to set off on that long-anticipated safari in Africa very soon!

Also Read:

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