Who of you has ever gone on safari? Or in other words, gone to the bush or on game drives. Just a heads up, I will be using those terms interchangeably throughout this blog post. You have been warned. Anyhow, if you have ever had the privilege of doing something along those lines, I’m sure you’ll agree that it is a truly unique and magical experience. If you haven’t, then I really hope you get the chance to in the future. Now going on one of these trips is absolutely fantastic, and living in a country where I can go on them quite often, I certainly take advantage of this. But, as with all trips, certain things just make it overall that much nicer, and seeing as though I am spending this weekend in the bush, I thought I’d share some tips with you. If you are looking to go to the bush, or are about to embark on a safari trip, then here are some tips for you that will help you have the best safari trip ever. I hope you enjoy it!
Go with the right people
Going on safari, or to the bush is a particular kind of experience and that means that sometimes you need to go with the right people. Of course, there are some holidays where anyone can enjoy it, but this is something where if you take the wrong people with you, it can ruin your entire trip. Go with people who you know will enjoy the safari experience, the animals, the peace and quiet and the being away from the modernity of the rest of the world. If you go with people like that who will enjoy the trip as much as you, then there is very little that can spoil the experience.
Dress for comfort
One thing you need to remember about going out into the bush is that no one cares what you are wearing. You don’t have to wear skinny jeans and shiny shoes because the animals don’t care, and there is no one else around for you to impress. This is the one kind of trip where you can get away with wearing hoodies and sweatpants the whole time because the real secret to enjoying yourself on a safari drive is being comfortable. Also, in the bush, it tends to be quite dirty or dusty, so dressing in warm, casual clothes does save you the worry that you might ruin your favourite outfit. Leave the fancy clothes at home and stick to comfy clothes – you’ll definitely enjoy yourself more when you are happy and comfortable.
No matter what time of year it is, you always need to pack warm things when you go on a safari trip. This is because the best time for the drives is usually at dawn and dusk, and the temperature at those times of day is never favourable for shirts and shorts. Remember to pack extra warm things like jackets, beanies and gloves because the air can be quite frosty when you don’t have the sun shining on you. You wouldn’t want to have a miserable experience just because you didn’t have enough layers and got freezing cold now, would you? The truth is, it is a lot better to be hot than cold because you can always take off a layer. You can’t put on what you don’t have.
Bring your camera
No matter where you go for your safari trip, you are bound to have some outstanding photo opportunities, so why miss out on them by not bringing your camera? Phones are totally acceptable, but if you do happen to have a more professional camera, I’d highly recommend bringing it along. Whether it is the nature or the wildlife that captures your attention, you are certainly going to see at least one thing that you absolutely have to take a picture of. I, for one, love taking pictures when I’m in the bush, especially of the birds, but there are plenty of other things to see and take photos of if birds are not your thing. Another great reason to pack your camera is so that you can show off your fantastic trip to everyone when you get home. Everyone will undoubtedly be impressed by what you snap a pic of, that I’m pretty confident.
Remember the essentials
There are a couple of essentials that you can’t really go to the bush without. No, these are not things like clothes or shoes (even though those are essentials). I am talking about different kinds of essentials. I’d highly recommend you bring some form of bug repellent because there are a lot of insects out there and the one souvenir I am not a fan of collecting are mosquito bites. You should also bring sunblock (because even in winter the sun can be quite harsh on your skin and no one likes having sunburn), sunglasses (because they block out the sun and also act as quite an excellent eye protector while driving along those dirt roads, and the dust starts flying up) and binoculars (for those who like to be able to see the animals that might be a bit too far for our non-eagle eyes). You can quite easily go on your trip without these things, but they do make a difference, and your trip will be a lot more pleasant if you do remember them.
Bring leisure activities
For those of you who have never gone on a bush trip or done game driving, let me tell you that you don’t spend your entire time in the back of an open buckie staring at the veld and trying to spot animals. There is actually quite a bit of time that you’ll spend at the lodge, and this is where bringing the right leisure activities with you is crucial. Don’t pack things like laptops or movies, because that defeats the whole purpose of the experience. Bring that book that you’ve been meaning to read, or board games to play with your friends. Try to bring activities that can either add to the fun experience or enhance the peacefulness of it all. For me, it would be a couple of books that I can read happily while listening to the grass rustle but you can bring whatever you want. I’d just suggest avoiding technology so that you can fully immerse yourself and enjoy your time.
Don’t forget sustenance
One of the best parts about game drives are … the snacks, of course! Yes, the animals are gorgeous and so is the peace and quiet, but nothing accompanies those two things better than having a choice beverage in one hand and a snack in the other. I’d highly recommend you bring a flask with a hot beverage for winter, but if you have other drink preferences, then don’t be shy. One thing to remember though is to avoid packing foods that have a powerful smell (like certain fresh fruits) and to be very careful if your food is from packets. Certain foods can attract unwanted attention from animals and litter is just inconsiderate and harmful no matter which way you look at it. If you follow those small rules, then you should have a delightful drive, snacking away to your heart’s content.
Game drive etiquette
This is one of the most important things you can remember, and it is crucial if you don’t want to annoy every other person on the drive with you. Game drive etiquette is quite simply societal etiquette adjusted to your situation. When on a game drive, avoid shouting and speaking too loudly and basically try to be considerate to the other people around you. Even if you like doing these safari drives one way, the other people who might be with you could be different. It’s all about just trying to make sure that you and everyone else has the most enjoyable experience possible, and game drive etiquette is a definite way to ensure that.
And there you have it! If you have these tips under your belt, then I can assure you that you will have an incredible trip. I honestly think that going to the bush is one of the most exceptional holidays you can treat yourself to, so I highly recommend that you add it to your bucket list if you’ve never been, or go again if you’ve already been. I hope that you all found this blog post interesting and useful and that it helps you out next time you go on holiday to the bush or on your bucket list safari. For my questions of the day:
– Do you have a favourite safari memory?
– What is your favourite ‘bush’ animal?
Again, I really hope that you enjoyed this blog post. Please don’t forget to like this post if you haven’t already and subscribe just so that you don’t miss out on future blog posts. You guys are all fantastic and thank you for your constant support — happy travelling future safari adventurers.
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx