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Embarking on a safari in Africa is high on many people’s travel bucket list. Ever since we’re children, we are exposed to stories and cartoons of wild animals roaming freely through the plains of Africa, from hungry lions to majestic giraffes and wise old elephants.
If you’re about to make your Discovery Channel viewing a reality, then you will want to come make sure you go in knowing the important things to know before going on a safari in Africa.
We’ve been really lucky to have experienced several safaris in Africa, from the Masai Mara in Kenya, the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa, and even the vast expanse of the Serengeti in Kenya.
There is nothing more wide-eye inducing than watching as a cheetah, in a 70mph predator run, chase and bring down a small springbok, or watching lions eat their freshly caught breakfast, or see baby zebras learn to walk.
But not everyone is lucky on a safari when it comes to wildlife viewing, especially if you plan to self drive, so we’ve put together this list of tips and important things to know before a safari.
Things To Know Before Going On A Safari
1. Plan Your Safari Destination & Dates in Advance
Before any game drive, careful planning is essential for making the most of the safari experience. You need to choose your destination wisely, and you also need to choose the right time of year.
Typically, the best time of year for wildlife viewing in Africa is late June to October, which is Africa’s winter season.
This time of year the wildlife are on the move as the weather is not too hot. If you have opted for a safari in Kenya or Tanzania, then time your safari for July through November, when the Great Migration takes place.
This is when hundreds of thousands of wildebeest migrate thousands of miles across the savannah, which attracts predators such as lions and cheetah.
In the dry season, the grass is short making it easier to spot wildlife, but it does also mean the choice of drinking water sources for the animals will be fewer.
This may increase your chances of watching them socialise at flood lit waterholes opposite your campsite, with an ice cold beer.
We learned this safari tip the hard way.
We visited Etosha NP in Namibia during the wet season. Etosha is notorious for brilliant water hole animal viewing, except…