Clients always ask for advice before hitting the safari track. Below you'll find a few tips I always offer to travelers before they head to South Africa.
1. Grab a copy of The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Mammals by Richard D Estes to prepare for your adventure. Taking the time to read this book beforehand will allow you to understand the behaviour of the vast array of wildlife you’ll see in Kruger National Park, a must on any South African safari. You can look up every animal you see and interpret their behavioural activities, such as courtship rituals, territorial marking, aggression and care of young. In addition, there are lots of great maps illustrating major national boundaries, vegetation zones and Game Parks like Kruger. The book includes an extensive glossary, as well as tips on wildlife photography and advice on where and when to see the animals.
2. It sounds silly, but many travelers forget to bring things like binoculars when they pack. When you have a chance to witness a mother lion with her young cubs there’s no safer way to get closer - if you are last in line to use the only pair of binoculars you miss out!
3. Be prepared to wake up early when you’re visiting South Africa. I know you’re on vacation but how often do you get to experience safari adventures? And heading to bed early is out of the question as well. On evening game drives you get the chance to witness nocturnal animals like hyenas, black rhinos, bush babies, aardvarks, leopards, jackals and jennets once the sun goes down. If this sounds exhausting don’t worry, safari goers get a chance to nap during the heat of the day just like animals do!
4. Safari attire is clearly a must for anyone traveling to South Africa and truthfully authenticates all your photos! Don’t be tempted by fashion forward bush clothes in black, navy and other dark colours as these shades act as magnet for mosquitoes and other insects. You'll obviously need to remember a wide brimmed hat and sunglasses but I recommend bringing an extra pair of each because things have a tendency to get lost in the wilds of Africa. Oh, and a standard tip - but an integral one – bring a warm hat and gloves for cool evenings – mittens make using a camera kind of difficult!
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