First time on East African safari – first timer’s guide and tips
First time on East African safari – For most of safari goers, going on safari in Africa is on almost on every one’s wish list. Safari dreams conjure up images of never ending grassland, herds of migrating wildebeest, peaceful forest giants the mountain gorillas, Canvas tents, prowling predators, circling birds of prey and sipping cocktail as you look out to the horizon watching the sun slinking away and giving way to a night in Africa.
You may not be sure of what a safari in Africa actually encompasses but in this blog post, Great Adventure Safaris brings you a comprehensive guide to your first ever safari in East Africa.
What to expect of safari in East Africa
You need to first have in mind that safari is a journey and you will be in a pretty unusual environment, so safety is highly a concern of most first-time safari-goers but by simply following your tour operator and guides’ guidelines and not doing anything stupid like wandering without the guide’s consent, your safety should not be in jeopardy at all on safari in East Africa. As mentioned above, you need to remember that when on safari, you are going to be away from your home which is your comfort, so expect dust, insect bites, noisy animals, beautiful bird calls, bumpy game drives, and early mornings however, this is just initiating you to a once-in-a lifetime experience of seeing a lion taking down prey or a baby mountain gorilla playing around the tree branches in a natural setting. The absolute serenity of sitting around camp fire enjoying a drink as you stare up at the clear sky littered with stars and hearing sound from other nocturnal wildlife and that’s the love of Africa.
How to travel to East Africa for Safari (travel insurance)
You can easily access East Africa from the US and Europe as well as the Middle East. Taking travel insurance is the first thing you should consider even before booking your international flight and ticket, as this will help cover you from anything unexpected especially for things that may happen before you travel, you will need to select a policy that does not protect you while away but also if you have to cancel the safari for any reason. You will also have to read before head regarding what vaccines or medical precautions you will need to take prior to traveling to East Africa.
Once you get into East Africa, you will most likely have to take connecting flights and possibly even small plane flights. Boat trips or long car drive to get to your final destination in National parks or national reserve lodges and camps, Internet access is not as wide spread as mobile phone connectivity in East Africa, this is because of the remoteness of the destinations. So prepare yourself beforehand that you will not be able to access internet all of the time while on safari but you can get internet connection in some places especially in towns.
Types of safaris in East Africa
The type of safari that you can go on in East Africa varies according to the park or reserve and the location of the lodge or camp, and of course the season you are traveling in. Options include mobile tents that are normally seasonal, open upon your booking and through to large permanent structures or lodges with many rooms. Depending on the terrain and animals in the National park or National reserve, game viewing can be done on foot, vehicle, and bikes and even on horseback.
Where the park or reserves are in close proximity to rivers and any other water body, safaris by boat are also an option in East Africa. The dry season is the most popular option for safaris and the wet season commonly known as the green season, you can get an idea of what a low season is like in East Africa.
Safaris in the dry season generally see animals congregating at waterholes and less dense bush make them easy to spot, if you are interested in gorilla trekking in the dry season, the trails are dry and the terrain enables you trek to meet the forest giants mountain gorillas in the natural setting. Great Adventure Safaris offers a variety of safari selection in East Africa, ranging from family and romantic safaris to private and gorilla trekking safaris and you have a journey designed by you or tailor made safaris.
What to pack for your first time East African safari?
I can agree that you have seen photos of travellers on safari in East Africa, all dressed in Khaki and nature colours, for your information, that is not a chic style of dress, but actually the most suitable colours to dress while in bush. Brighter colours are proven to attract insects while the tan range of colours show dirt les and do not absorb heat as much as darker colours. Foot wear is also vital – you will be outdoors all the time and possibly even move out for a walking safari, so it is worth venturing into a good pair of boots or walking shoes that will keep your toes and feet warm and protect you from any harm. If you intend to book a safari during the wet season, you are more likely to encounter much water and more insect that during the dry season, so insect repellant is so important and all the lodges and camps provide mosquito nets on beds.
You will obviously want to capture every moment of your safari on a video or photos. So be sure to bring a good quality camera and accessories, remember a nice camera is nice without charged batteries, and so bring spare batteries and many memory cards with enough storage space. Essential equipment is a pair of binocular, as much as you will like to get close to the amazing wildlife on East Africa, they aren’t going to be close enough for you to touch therefore a pair of binocular is actually a very handy tool for you to be with.
If it you to intend to book a fist time safari to East Africa, you can contact Great Adventure safaris and you talk to one of our safari expert to help you organize a lifetime safari holiday.