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Africa is on the wishlist for many, and planning an African safari is rather exciting! Being a first-time traveller to Africa, it can be daunting and find a starting point might be an obstacle all on its own.

The best would be to contact a travel consultant to assist in planning and booking your safari.  But if you would like to do a little research before deciding on when and where to travel, let me help in some details to keep in mind.

Safari Location and visiting other areas

No safari location is the same. Landscapes and climate differ; therefore, wildlife is also more prone to certain areas. Looking at witnessing the famous wildebeest migration, the best would be to visit Tanzania and/or Kenya. Wanting to meet Gorilla – Uganda or Rwanda would be the best location.

South Africa is famous for Big 5, which would include the lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard. Travelling to Botswana, you can explore the bush as well as the waterways of the Okavango Delta. Namibia, with its desert-like environment, is famous for wildlife that has adapted to the desert conditions. Never thought of seeing an elephant walking through the desert. 

Therefore determining the wildlife you would most like to see, would help determine the best area to visit. Also adding other attractions to your safari like the beach or hiking in the mountains would narrow down your choices.  

Want to combine both luxury, tranquillity and the bush? Couple that with ease of travel? One of our favourites is Safari Plains! Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Waterberg Mountain Range in the Limpopo Province. The exquisite beauty of its wide-open savannahs, free-roaming Big 5 and spectacular vistas is an idyllic melting pot for a majestic wilderness destination. Within a couple hours’ drive from Gauteng, the extravagant haven that is Safari Plains will draw everyone who has experienced it to always return. Safari Plains redefines luxury in the bush, with a magnificent high–ceiling dining room, elegant lounge, impressive bar, and relaxing spa.

Getting to your destination

Access also helps with making the best choice for your safari.  Some locations like East Africa would be best to discover with a local guide. Navigation is challenging for the first-time visitor, and it would be best to travel with a guide that knows the routes—nothing worse than getting lost and spending more time rerouting than exploring.

Southern Africa is an excellent destination for visitors that would like to explore on their own.  Once you arrive in the main cities, you can rent a 4×4 vehicle and drive through to the parks and explore. Safari Plains Lodge, for example, is only a few hours drive from Johannesburg. It is a malaria-free reserve, which also makes it ideal for families travelling.  

What to pack

Now that you have selected your ideal location for your safari, it would be best to start your packing list early.  You would not need a unique wardrobe for your safari, but some items would make your safari more enjoyable.

No matter the season you would be travelling in, it is best to pack light, natural coloured clothing for your safari.  As most wildlife does not define shapes like we do, but rather define objects, it would be best to try and blend in with nature as much as possible.  Soft shades of khaki, brown, and grey are good choices. Whites and bright colours tend to stand out in the bush and dark colours can be very hot. Also, remember some comfortable items, including your swimming costume, to wear around camp. 

Comfortable closed walking shoes or hiking boots would protect your feet from any thorns or harsh terrain – especially if you are departing on a walking safari. Just make sure you walk them in before arriving in the bush.

Packing a pair of flip flops are great for relaxing around camp or when spending time at the pool.

The African Sun can be harsh. Always pack a good SPF sunblock and lip balm with your sunhat and sunglasses. 

During game drives it can become chilly, so best to pack a light rain jacket. During the winter months remember to add a beanie, scarf and gloves as well. Also, look at bringing a thicker jacket.  Keep in mind that layering tends to be warmer than one thick item.  Also, packing more lighter items would save space than thick items.

In the evening, semi-formal clothing would be fine, and it would be best to keep your arms and legs covered not to be bothered by mosquitoes too much.

Remember to also add any medication and personal care items to the list.

Just remember that there might be some luggage restrictions when travelling, especially when booked on light aircraft flights.  So best to check with your consultant regarding this.  Nothing worse than arriving at the airport and you need to repack your luggage.

Keeping all this in mind would ensure that you have the best safari.  Still unsure, contact your Extraordinary consultant for extraordinary service!