Packing for an African Safari-what I put into consideration
Well having come from a country with much wildlife sanctuaries and many tourist safari destinations, you would expect it to be easy for me to know what to carry or what to expect when going on a safari. It actually has never been any easy to make up my mind even when choosing a specific place to visit.
The other phrase of my decision-making is always to check on what I should carry for my stay as compared to what will be provided for me in the safari package. Sometimes I feel there should be a general planning guide for an African safari that the travel agents should put up to make it easier for their customers.
Well am very specific in how I do things and if I want to have a good time, all the requirements that I normally formulate in my head should be met. Each time I think of taking a safari vacation, there is always something that I intend to accomplish hence I put up my own rules and expectations before looking for a place to vacation.
How to choose a good safari destination
There are various activities that I always intend to partake when I am planning a safari vacation and my chosen activities are what helps me make up my mind on the exact destination.
I love walking and one of my preferred safaris would involve long treks or hiking and rock climbing. Sometimes I would prefer to go and just view what mother nature has to offer or just stare at wildlife in their natural habitat and a game drive would come into the picture.
After a busy period of work and staying indoors I would prefer to go on a beach safari which will involve hours of lying lazily in the beach and an occasional swim while getting amazing treats from the chef to just calm your mind of all the responsibility that everyday life brings to my table.
Once I narrow down on the exact activity I want to partake during a specific safari, I now go to the next step of choosing the specific place I can accomplish this.
How to make up your mind on a specific location
Well, the go-to for most people is normally the internet, asking google to help you identify a great place to vacation. The other choice could be social media or asking friends who have had experience from a previous vacation.
All these help in making up your mind on the specific location you would consider visiting, you can add in adverts you might have seen in the media selling off various vacation packages.
Once a specific location is in my mind and I am sure that I will accomplish the set activities, my next go-to place is always Trip Advisor reviews. Here I get to read on what other peoples experiences were when they vacationed in my chosen destination, if all their expectations were met or what was lucking in the place yet was promised. This brings me closer to booking my safari vacation.
Package price versus my budget
Now I know the exact place I want to go, next is check whether the package offered by my chosen travel agent meets my budget or do I need to rethink the whole process.
The good thing about safari destinations is that there are always different packages and ratings to meet your budget but offer the same experience. You can opt to either stay in 5-star hotels, use air or road for your travel or you can opt to stay in a camping site and provide your own foodstuffs.
Some packages are also determined by the number of days you intend to take or whether you are making the booking peak season or during the low season. For me, am very watchful on my budget so I would definitely choose low season but at the same time, I also like all my expectations met so I will go with fewer days but maximize on my activities.
What to carry on my chosen safari
The best thing about Africa is that the weather is always favourable, its usually sunny, rainy, cloudy or cold. So no need to pack up heavy clothes, best-recommended clothes are normally light cotton wear and maybe one jacket for the night when the temperatures get low.
A sunscreen, however, is a must-have, this is something I have learnt over and over even the fact that most of the time I’m doing domestic tourism I still need it. It is also recommended carrying a mosquito repellent especially if you intend to stay outdoors or camp out in the open.
Never forget a camera as some memories you experience out there while in a safari needs to be captured as they can at times be worth keeping.
Also Read: My Safari Bag
Due to the high temperatures, it is always advisable to carry a good supply of water and other energy drinks to avoid dehydration. You can add in some snacks of choice to just keep you busy especially when on-road or if trekking to keep your energy level up.
My safari checklist
I love domestic tourism and I realized that there are so many places in my country Kenya where one can have an awesome safari.
I normally go with three choices;
- Either a game drive where I would choose the kind of animals I want to see e.g if it’s the Big 5 the Maasai Mara would be the best choice, up-close elephant view, Amboseli would be my choice, rare endangered species the Samburu National park. For a one-day game drive, the Nairobi National Park is the place.
- When I feel like hiking or a long trek, I would consider the Aberdares mountain ranges with the many entrance gates to view caves, waterfalls and animal watering holes. For rock climbing, I would go for Hells gate national park or Tsavo West National Park.
- When I want beach activities I would prefer Diani Beach, for this I prefer to go with renting vacations villas rather than hotels as they are more pocket friendly I plan my own meals. Watamu in the North Coast is also a good choice. For beach holidays you better book early especially if you are planning to go during the peak months of November to early January.
There are so much more that this country can offer, you can check the rest of my articles for more safari options and also leave a comment below and I will get back to you.