On Safari in Africa is always a thrilling experience. Are you going to see any animals? If so, which ones? It’s always an adventure and nothing is guaranteed. However, I do have some tips to make sure you enjoy your safari as much as possible!
1. Change seats regularly
Most safari cars have several seats. One on each side and a couple of rows. Make sure to switch position regularly. This way everyone is able to spot the animals from different perspectives. It’s only fair to change it up a bit.
Now, I’m not saying you have to switch each hour. I did several multiple-day safaris. One those we made it a “rule” to change row each day. So each day you went a row to the front until eventually, you go to the back row again.
2. Change sides of the car regularly
In extension of my first tip, you can also change side each day. Me and my sister shared a row. So each day we would switch seats. Left to right, back to left. This way, we would be able to get a tan equally on our left and right sides. Avoiding an embarrassing looking truckers-arm.
Don’t worry about which side is the best to spot animals. Animals come and go as they please.
3. Be quiet when you see an animal
Be sure your driver/guide knows you’ve spotted an animal. Usually just shouting his name does the trick, especially if the front-row people help a bit. As soon as the car has stopped, be quiet.
Don’t start shouting at each other. Whisper if you need to tell or ask something. Keep your movements to a minimum too.
4. Keep all parts of your body inside
It might be more comfortable to have your leg hanging out the side of the car, but remember animals love an easy meal. Try to keep everything inside the car. Don’t stick your head out to see what happens behind you. Sticking your camera far out the truck to make a selfie? Better not.
5. Don’t panic when something happens
Sometimes it’s scary. Elephants coming close to your car. Lions using your shade to cool down. It all happened to me too. Don’t worry. As long as your quiet and minimize your movements, nothing will happen.
Your guide is a trained professional. He keeps an eye on the behavior of the animals around you. As soon as something might be a problem, he will react appropriately. If he doesn’t do anything, just enjoy your close and genuine encounter.
6. Enjoy wildlife as much as possible
This one seems like a no-brainer, but I like to mention it too. A lot of people just want to see a lion, an elephant, a zebra, and if possible a lion hunting a zebra.
Although those are gorgeous animals, I want to ask you to not discard the rest. Impala, warthogs, and wildebeest. But also the birds and insects you see. They are nothing like the ones at home. So give them a look too.
7. Use your own window for your photos
I’ve seen it happen on safaris more than once. Everyone wants an awesome photo of a lion yawning. If it does happen: make a photo, but from your own window. Don’t hang in front of someone to take a better photo. Let them take the photo too.
In a lot of cases, I have a better camera than most of the participants. I’m a photographer, so I’m a bit blessed. However, this does not mean my photo-opportunity is worth more than someone else’s. Be respectful of each other.
8. Bring plenty of water and sunscreen
You usually won’t do a game drive during noon. All animals are lazy at that moment and not very interesting. During the morning and evening, however, the sun falls in a lower angle. Meaning that it will fall directly into your car onto your skin. Protection is key!
A lot of sunlight also means a lot of heat. Bringing plenty of water is not a luxury.
9. Take care of your camera
You will be taking a lot of photos. Make sure your camera is charged, you have a spare battery and plenty of memory cards. You don’t want to see a lion hunting and then hit a ‘memory card full’ notification.
Bonus: take all your garbage with you and dispose of it at the camp/ lodge.
Related blog posts:
- All you need to know when traveling to Botswana
- 2-week adventure in Botswana: My wildlife and camping adventure itinerary
- Photo overview of Botswana