What to Expect on an African Safari

If you are considering a safari, then it is natural to have many questions about what to expect. This guide is designed to help you understand what may happen on your safari. Understand, however, that each African safari is a unique experience.

What is a Typical Safari Day Like?

A typical safari day starts around the same time the sun comes up in the morning. You will quickly love looking for animals as the sun peeks over the African Plains. After three to four hours, then you will be served breakfast either in the camp or in a secluded location before continuing with your safari. By lunchtime, you will be brought back to camp where you will eat lunch and lounge until about time for the sun to set. You will then be taken on another game drive before returning to camp for dinner and evening entertainment. Some safaris offer night drives using spotlights.

What is the Food Like on an African Safari?

Getting food to remote safari locations can pose logistical nightmares, so if you choose to go on a safari in a remote location, you can expect simpler far than those where several operators are grouped together. If you have food allergies, then make sure to let the operator know as far ahead as possible so that accommodations can be made. You can expect large buffets on most safaris with very few a la carte dining options. Many operators often support local producers allowing them to use many fresh-grown ingredients. Many world travelers remark that the food eaten on a safari outranks meals they have consumed in five-star restaurants.

What are Accommodations like on a Safari?

There are many different types of accommodations available on safaris. You may choose to stay in a top-notch lodge offering all types of modern conveniences. Alternatively, you may choose to stay in a mobile tent offering an authentic experience. Fly tents are a primitive option as they are meant to be moved each day. They usually offer chemical toilets and bucket showers. Some fly tent safaris, however, use the same location for an entire season and you can expect these to have flushing toilets and some security lighting. Tented lodges have canvas walls and usually offer ensuite plumbing. Safari lodges often offer swimming pools and may even have private plunge pools.

What are Some Types of African Safaris?

There are many different types of African safaris. Some people choose to go on an on-or-off-road jeep drive to see the animals. Others, choose to participate in a walking safari. Some last several days while others last only a few hours. Still, others choose to go mountain climbing while on safari. Elephant, camel and horse safaris are a great option for those who do not want to walk but want to enjoy a safari at a slower pace.

What Animals Might One See on a Safari?

There are several different types of safaris focusing on one specific animal or type of animal while others are more generalized. Several specialized operators take visitors to areas where they can interact with elephants along with viewing them in the wild. Seeing the mountain gorillas in Southwest Uganda and Northern Rwanda is a thrill while others choose to go on a safari to see the chimpanzees. Of course, the most popular type of safari in Africa focuses on seeing lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and Cape buffalo.

What will the Weather be Like on a Safari?

While most people think of Africa as being very hot throughout the year, that is not always the case. The seasons there are opposite than those found in the United States and other locations in the Northern Hemisphere. From May through August, morning temperatures often are in the low 40s and riding in an open four-wheel vehicle can make them seem even colder. Daily highs often rise to the upper 70s during these months. You can expect very little rain. From October to the end of February, temperatures usually stay above 55 degrees and can reach the mid-to-upper 80s during the day. Late afternoon thunderstorms are often a daily occurrence. March, April, September and October are the most unstable as they can either be wet or dry.


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