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Safari Travel Information

What to expect: Part of the excitement and challenge of a safari involves adjusting to the rhythms and ways of a different way of life. A typical day on safari starts before dawn! Most likely, you will be woken with tea or coffee before setting off with your guide, tracker and driver for a game drive to catch the last of the nocturnal predators on the prowl or at a kill.

Returning to camp at around 0900, you have a cooked breakfast in the open air, then either go for a short morning game drive (returning around noon, when animals look for shade during the hottest part of the day) or have the rest of the day free until the late afternoon game drive, which often ends with pre-sunset drinks at about 1800.

Back at the camp again, there is dinner and, sometimes, the special spectacle of a night game drive - the most exciting game drive of all. Using torches and halogen lamps to spot animal eye shine you often witness far more activity than during the day and have the best chance of catching predators hunting; you may even witness a kill.        
What should we wear? Subdued sandy and neutral colours - tan, beige, navy, cream, black or white – are the order of the day. And it makes sense, given the goal of blending in to the landscape in order to view the animals. New clothing, too, is not quite the thing, leaving “battered and neutral” as the best choice - with lots of pockets.

However, there are some new safari ranges made from ultra-light, man-made fabric that raise the bar in comfort and the ability to blend in. You will need long-sleeved shirts or cotton sweaters and long trousers to wear with socks and shoes in the evenings, to protect against malarial mosquitoes. A thick sweater and warm jacket for dawn game drives are necessary when temperatures can be low. You also need a wide-brimmed hat to protect against the sun by day and, if you are going to be flying in a light aircraft, a small, soft hold-all that will meet the usual maximum 10kg luggage allowance.

What should we take? First things first – you are there to view and probably to take photographs, so binoculars, camera equipment (with long lenses) plus all the film and batteries you will need for the duration. A wildlife and birding book is an aid to identifying what you see.

Take a dustproof bag for your camera, sunglasses (and spare), sunblock, insect repellent, malaria prophylactic if you are going to or through a malarial area, good walking shoes and a torch or a Petzl Zipka headlight, which you wear on your forehead to read or find your way around a camp at night.

Remember a needle and thread for emergency stitching-up of holed mosquito netting and plenty to read.: guidebooks - Hilary Bradt's are a favourite among the cognoscenti, while the Lonely Planet Watching Wildlife guides to Southern Africa and East Africa are excellent.

As Hilary Bradt says: travel light, keep and open mind and respect the needs of the local people, especially when bargaining for goods or services.

Safari Travel Information

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