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7 tips for your first African safari holiday

Whether you’re a keen wildlife photographer, a family with animal-loving kids or just looking for a new adventure, a safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed. Check out our tips to make the most of your first African safari tour.
1. Do your research

When choosing your safari holiday, do your research to make sure you’re going at the best time for what you want to see. We only run tours when it’s a good time to visit, but there may be specific wildlife you want to see and there will be better times to certain species, largely due to migrations. If you don't like really hot temperatures, find out when the weather is cooler in your safari destination.

See all our safari tours

2. Get your jabs and medication

You may need travel vaccinations well in advance of your safari holiday. Look online or ask your GP surgery or local travel clinic for a consultation to find out which vaccinations you'll need. Depending on exactly where you’re going, they may also advise that you take anti-malaria tablets.

Be sure to get travel insurance for your safari tour.

3. Protect yourself from insect bites

Whilst on safari we recommend wearing lightweight, long-sleeved clothing and full-length trousers to cover your skin and protect you from insect bites. Mosquito bites can bring risks such as malaria and dengue fever, but they’re mostly just itchy and annoying. Take plenty of insect repellent for your trip and keep replenishing it through the day and, particularly, evening.

4. What to wear for safari? Layers and neutral colours

Most people expect Africa to be hot but it can be cold at times, particularly early in the morning and late at night. Pack layers, including a warm fleece or jacket. Neutral colours like khaki and green are best when on safari, but they’re not essential. Try to avoid wearing white though, as this will catch the attention of animals the most.

Protect yourself from the sun with a hat and sunglasses. Dust can also be a problem in the dry months, so sunglasses will protect your eyes. A lightweight bandana is good to wear, as you can pull it up to protect your face when the dust flies.

5. Take your own water bottle

In the hot weather, it’s vital that you stay hydrated. The water in Africa can be risky to drink, so be sure to fill a bottle from a safe source. Don’t stock up on single-use plastic bottles though – we recommend taking a Water-to-Go reusable bottle. The bottles contain a filtration system that eliminates over 99.9% of contaminants, so are perfect for use in Africa.

Explore customers benefit from 15% off Water-to-Go.

Visit the Water-to-Go website

6. Protect your camera equipment

A huge part of your safari will obviously be taking photos of the amazing animals you see. Dust and rain risk damaging your camera equipment, so you’ll need to make sure it’s covered up as much as possible when not in use. When you’re travelling, store your camera in a bag or pouch. We’d recommend taking a waterproof cover, or even just a shower cap, to cover your camera from rain. To protect it from dust, cover it with a cloth or t-shirt in between shots when you’re in the jeep. If you’ve got a DSLR camera, a lens hood is vital to protect your lens from being scratched. And whatever equipment you use, don’t forget to insure it before your holiday.

7. Pace yourself - African sunrises and sunsets can't be missed!

Sunrises and sunsets are epic in Africa. It’s easy to get carried away and focus all your energy on getting out to see as many animals as possible, but don’t tire yourself out and miss the beautiful coloured skies at dawn and dusk. Rest as much as possible on travelling days, eat plenty and keep hydrated. The stunning sunrises will totally be worth getting out of bed for! And what’s more, dawn is the best time to get out and see the animals as it will be cooler in temperature, so you’ll not want to miss out.

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