A safari trip is a one-of-a-kind experience, but just like any other vacation, proper preparations are necessary. In a previous post we’ve shared some travel advice regarding passports, visas, health advisories and much more. This time, however, we’ll talk about other basics such as clothing and gear.
Clothing and Footwear
A blog post from G Adventures suggested light, highly-breathable fabrics, with occasional layering based on the time of year during your visit. Long-sleeves are also advised as they also provide some protection against bugs.
Regarding colours, neutrals are the way to go. Olive, tan, khakis and stone are great as they allow you to blend in with the surroundings. Animals may be spooked upon seeing people dressed in black or white as these two extreme hues stand out too much.
Bring footwear depending on the type of your safari. Walking or trekking shoes will mostly do the job, although the type should be considered. For instance, high-cut shoes and boots are suited for safaris that include walks through bushes. Flip-flops should be completely avoided.
Among the necessities for a safari is a camera for capturing all your wildlife moments. Given that smartphones now have powerful cameras, you can just use your own if your goal is to take simple pictures.
If you want really memorable shots, however, consider bringing more advanced cameras. Digital Photography School recommends bringing two cameras if you can. One is for far shots and the other is for nearer snaps.
Normally, tourists are not allowed to leave the safari vehicle for safety purposes so you won’t have the luxury of moving closer or farther from the subject of your photo. When you’re at a safari, you never know what will turn up and where. Having two gadgets will give you flexibility so you won’t have to fumble around, tweaking settings or replacing lens just to take a great photo. Be sure your memory cards have enough storage space and you have protective covers for your gear when not in use.
Bring a refillable drinking bottle as well. It’s a fact that temperatures in African safaris can get very hot so it’s better to have drinking water ready in case you need to rehydrate.
Some simple extra tips
Of course, preparation starts at home, so when coming from faraway countries such as from the west in the US or far up north in the UK, consider what you’ll be leaving behind as well. It’s not advised to leave your home unattended so instead get a relative or close friend to watch the house for you. If there’s no other choice, be sure to secure everything and ask a trusted neighbour to look at the property every once in a while.
Leaving your car at the airport may be the only option if you have no one to drop you off and public transport is too much hassle when considering the baggage you’ll be carrying. If this is the case, be sure to leave your vehicle in a secured parking area. And when you’re from a distant country like aforementioned, chances are you’ll be gone for quite a while so seek the right parking option for you. In the UK for instance, most airports have long stay parking which Parking4Less details as well-suited for vacationers who will be gone for 5 days or more, so exploring your options thoroughly will not only save you trouble, but money as well.
Lastly, upon arriving at your destination, it’s always recommended to practice common courtesy by learning at least a few phrases or words in the local language like “Thank you”, “Hello” and “Goodbye”. Respect the local culture and everything else within the foreign land, whether living or otherwise.