Saturday, January 2, 2016

Factors To Consider When Planning An African Safari

By Dorothy Stone

Africa is home to many wild animals, beautiful vegetation and scenery. For many centuries, visitors have come to the continent for a number of reasons. Early visitors, in the thirteenth century, came on hunting expeditions and took home trophies of their kills. Today, visitors come to marvel at the beauty of nature and end up taking home videos and photos of their visits. African safari is a truly memorable adventure where one can see all of the big five members in their natural habitats.

Visiting animals in the wild is nothing like visiting the zoo. It requires more planning because one has to leave home for a period and visit anew country. You may require a visa, passports and money to spend. It is important to read relevant materials like guidebooks and online reviews on travel sites.

There are different packages available. It is thus relevant to do a little research to find out issues like cost and which services are offered under each. Cost is affected by luxury accommodations and length of stay. Also, look at double as well as single packages available. The most expensive one is a luxury package with an all expenses paid policy. Here one is put in a luxurious tent and treated to a five star service delivery. Mobile safaris are cheap because of pooling of resources while there is another option where one can drive themselves while on tour.

It is important to have a clue on where exactly you want to go. This decision is based on what game you want to see. Different countries have different animals. Popular destinations on the continent are East African countries of Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and Southern African countries like South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. Kenya and Tanzania are famous for the Wildebeests migrations while Uganda is famous for its primates. The south is known for its impressive elephant population.

Timing of the trip is everything. This is especially so if you plan to see a specific event like the wildebeest migration. Animal behavior is affected by weather, climate and other natural phenomena. It is generally better to visit during the dry season.

Since the continent is prone to diseases, make sure to get vaccinated at home before the trip. Make an appointment with a specialist in this field and get all the relevant shots. These include typhoid, yellow fever and hepatitis. Malaria is given a treatment and protected against by nets and repellent sprays.

Beware of scams and conmen especially when selecting a package. Research the prospective provider, ask for references and look for any relevant reviews online on sites like TripAdvisor. Also, ask for cancellation and refund policies if any.

Always stay safe throughout the trip and stay in constant communication with people at home. Stay in contact with the State Department and check travel advisories. Also, get a medical cover and travel insurance.

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