A safari in Africa can come in many forms – anything from an adventurous escape in a bush camp to a luxurious vacation. There are safaris for every kind of budget and person. The idea is to know how to choose the best trip for you.
What is the best month to go on a safari?
First, one needs to know when to go on a Safari trip. To see wildlife in South Africa, it’s better if you go there in the winter, which is between June and September. The reason for this is that many shrubs and trees don’t have leaves, and this will help you spot the animals easier.
In the summertime, many animals will be out in the open foraging searching for water when it’s limited. Expect to find lush vegetation in the summer months in South Africa – December and February. Although the sight can be beautiful, the chances of spotting an animal are minimal.
If you are unsure when to go, you can discuss it with a travel agency and see what they have to say. The New York Times has a few recommendations on that.
Wild park or reserve?
There are many national parks in Africa, and it seems like each of them can give you a unique experience. From rich savannah full of life to desolate areas, it’s hard choosing where to go on a safari trip in Africa
In wild parks, you get a wide range of prices. They are a good thing for those that can’t afford the most beautiful places but still want that feel of Africa.
There are also private reserves, but these tend to be more expensive. But they are the choice to make if you can afford it. Prices for trips in these reserves can reach thousands of dollars per day for each person. Yet, they can honestly give you the ultimate safari experience. BBC made a short guide on how to choose an excellent national park in South Africa.
Remember all the cute videos of giraffes entering houses in Africa with their heads? When staying in a private reserve, you have a lodge where you can get close to wildlife. The closeness to the animals gives an intense sensation.
Even at night, when there are sounds you have never heard before, it is a thrilling experience. When a dangerous animal gets close, you need to hold your nerve.
When it comes to private reserves, tour guides can take the Safari group directly to sighting locations in the bushes. From here, you will be able to see the animals up-close. You can expect the private tour guides working in these reserves to be professional and to know what they are doing.
Such a guide can read an animal’s footprints and track it in the next few hours, allowing a group to see it. Given the nature of their work, these guides can only work with relatively small groups of up to six people. That is a good thing, as the guide can spread his or her time and attention better for each member of the group.
The importance of Safari tour guides
As already mentioned, having a guide is probably the most critical aspect when going on a safari. They are trained professionals that can make the difference between life and death in dangerous situations.
When going on the trails with them and you see how they follow or avoid the footsteps of individual animals. You will be glad you didn’t go there by yourself.
Although in reserves, you don’t have to pay extra for a Safari tour guide, that is not usually the case in national parks. That is why some tourists are tempted to go by themselves, which is a bad idea.
You might get lucky and avoid dangerous encounters with animals. But even if you do that, you will miss a lot of fun stuff. A useful tour guide will be able to show you hard to find animals or plants. The expedition guide can describe them fascinatingl, and provide fantastic opportunities for photos.
What animals do you see on safari in South Africa?
Many people will be attracted to only look for big animals – lions, elephants, rhinos. But, don’t forget that there are other wild animals there that can be interesting, like the Pygmy shrew or Cape Dwarf Chameleons. You can read about the animals that you might encounter in the place you are going.
Zebras and giraffes are always fun to find, and they are also astonishing to look at, especially in large packs. Your Safari guide can tell you some things about each species.
Don’t forget to bring your gear with you and have some binoculars at hand to see everything better. If you can afford one of these, you should be able to see all the animals clearly and miss nothing.
Having A Successful Safari Trip In South Africa – Bottom Line
With realistic expectations and a well-planned trip, you can have a blast in South Africa. Knowing the best month to visit and what animals you can see will spare you any disappointments.
So, make sure to go over this guide carefully and take notes. With our help, you’re bound to have a great time on your next African safari trip – regardless of what country you settle on.