If any of you follow our Instagram Page (Follow us Here) you will see that Darren and I are nature enthusiasts and love nothing more than to get out into the heart of nature and breathe in some good old fresh air. There is no better place than to do that on a safari, or as us, South Africans like to call it – in the bush.
We are currently planning our Kgalagadi Camping Trip and thought we would put a post together with some tips for all of you wishing to have the best safari experience ever.
1. Mosquito Repellent
There isn’t one other thing that bugs us more (excuse the pun) when we go to the bush and that is mosquitoes. You think trying to sleep in 30-degree heat is hard, try sleeping with an annoying, whining insect buzzing around your head and you will wish you brought along your trusty mosquito repellent. If you don’t have the luxury of sleeping under a mosquito net then mosquito repellent is definitely needed – they even come in nifty patches and arm bands now to make it even easier to fend off the flying fiends.
2. A Good Pair of Binoculars
Darren and I are self-proclaimed professional bird watchers and so we never go very far without our binoculars. Not only are binoculars good for spotting birds they also come in very handy for looking a long mountain ridges, searching for that elusive leopard. We have a variety of binoculars but with great brands on the market such as Nikon and Bushnell – you really can’t go very wrong when choosing a pair and remember the lighter the better!
3. Copious Amounts of Water
South Africa and Africa, in general, can get extremely hot if travelling to in Summer (Over 40-degrees in most places) and water sources in rural, off-the-beaten-track areas do not have the best quality drinking water. That is why when ever we go on a camping trip we always bring our own bottled water or buy bottled water at stores a long our journey. Top Tip: Pack 5L bottles of water and refill your own water bottle, instead of adding to the already big problem of plastic waste.
4. Comfortable Clothes and Shoes
I have made the mistake of wearing warm clothes in the chilly South African morning to only regret my decision at midday in the sweltering heat, the solution? Layers! Wear some light shorts or pants and include cotton items when you pack – they will keep you cool in the heat and warm in the cold. When it comes to shoes, always make sure you have some comfortable closed shoes and ALWAYS shake them off when you want to put them back on – you never know what might have crawled into them while you were asleep!
5. Wet Wipes, Wet Wipes, and more Wet Wipes
Safari dust is mandatory and all a part of the safari experience but it can get pretty annoying when everything starts to taste like dust, even your top lip! That is why we always pack wet wipes and face wipes for our safari journey to keep clean and ultimately feel fresher than we might look.
6. Travel Guides
When ever we go somewhere new we always buy a travel book/ guide just to read up on the area and see where we would like to go in that particular area. Most of the guides usually have a nifty map in them of the area you are visiting and that helps you get a sense of just where you are and what you can expect. Buying a guide also makes for a nice memento to take back home with you after the trip!
7. A Trusty Camera
When seeing some place new for the first time, pictures are the perfect way to encapsulate moments and create life-lasting memories that you can revisit for years to come. Most of our Smart Phones come with great cameras built-in but if you are wanting something with more options a DSLR can always come in handy! We have a Sony Cybershot Point and Shoot and for now until we look to upgrade to a DSLR works just fine for us!
8. Above All Else: Absorb the Experience
One of the most amazing experiences, hands down has to be a safari experience – to really get out into nature, breathe fresh air – there’s nothing better. It can be incredibly exciting to get the opportunity to see the big stars of the show such as Lions and Elephants but don’t get sucked into that excitement that you miss out on other equally enthralling aspects of the safari – like great sunsets, hardworking dung-beetles, and baby impalas.
Absorb every aspect of your safari experience and enjoy every moment while at the same time remember that conservation is at the heart of any safari experience and that you have the responsibility to add to the conservation not take anything away from it. Take only photographs, leave only footprints.
Well, that’s it! We hope that our top safari tips will help you in some way and encourage you to go on that safari you have been dreaming about! We would love to hear about any of your safari experiences in the comments! 🙂