Going on a safari can be challenging for a first timer – even if you are a South African. No one wants to look misplaced or be accused of frightening the animals away with their red shirts. Here is some practical advice for your first safari experience:
What clothes do I need to wear?
Most camps encourage that guests wear clothing that fits in right with their bush environment. That includes clothes of colours of beige, khaki, green or brown. Make sure you know the temperatures of the place you are going to. In winter in the Northern Cape, one can expect anything from very cold early morning and evenings to warm weather during mid-day. Some basics one needs to have is T-shirts, a long sleeve shirt (one that can roll up preferably), vest, zip-off pants, hiking boots, warm jacket and a safari hat.
What necessities do you need to pack?
There are a few necessities that no person on safari should be without. Sun block should definitely be your number one priority. It doesn’t matter if it is in the middle of winter and icy cold, you should put sunblock on before you go out. Also, put an extra sun block in your safari bag that must never leave that bag – you cannot afford to forget it at home. Getting sunburnt and the sun sick on your first day is not something you want to report back home. A hat and sunglasses will also be valuable in the African sun.
Mosquito and insect repellent is also an absolute must. Before you go on safari, find out if you are in a malaria zone to get the appropriate medications. There are lots of reading material about what to pack in your first aid bag and always remember your travel insurance!
A common mistake on your first safari
Buying hiking boots just before you go on safari and never walking in them before can really cause uncomfortable blisters. Even if you think you are only going on a game drive, make sure that the boots you’ve got are comfortable. Remember, you are still in Africa and unexpected things can happen – An unexpected walk in the bush will definitely not be a rare occurrence in Africa.
It can become so hot over midday that most safari companies do not take their clients out over this time of day. A book and swimsuit will really come in handy during your afternoon relaxation time. Remember to rehydrate often and listen to what your guide are saying. They are really knowledgeable on factors regarding the bush and create a valuable experience for you.