• Josh Beaton

Making the most of your African Safari.


People from all around the world dream of coming on safari in Africa. Africa still has a magical charm to it, which can go by many names such as beautiful, awe inspiring, savage, dark, exciting, adventurous and many more. This all forms an integral part of the African dream.

If wanting to go on safari, where is better than the world renowned Kruger National Park? The Kruger National Park is one of the largest National Parks in the world. The park itself is home to many different species of fauna and flora. Kruger covers a massive distance and therefore you will encounter diversity like no other whether it be vegetation types, landscapes, birds or wildlife in general.

Here are a few tips on how to make the most of your safari experience.

Listed below are a few important tips to keep in mind before venturing out into the unknown:

Firstly, there are many companies that do guided safaris into the Kruger National Park, take your time and choose wisely, as you do not want bad service to impact on a once in a lifetime experience. Most safari companies will have reviews on travel and tourism websites, such as TripAdvisor, which is an excellent tool to use when choosing your safari company.

Before setting out you need to level your expectations. Remember that the animals in the Kruger are 110 percent wild. I often relate a safari experience to fishing, some days you catch a lot and other days you don’t but, you are still sitting beside the ocean, that in itself should bring joy to a person’s heart. And, it is the same with a safari; a lot depends on luck and being in the right place at the right time. Some days you see a lot and other days not so much but, enjoy the moment, enjoy the search, enjoy the scenery and if you listen to your guide, you will learn a lot and you will still enjoy and cherish the experience of being out in the wild surrounded by nature and her secrets.

Listen to your guide. If you are lucky enough to have a quality guide with you he/she can teach you so much about your surroundings and the wildlife you encounter. Remember that although your guide will never know everything there is a fair to good chance they know more than you. Have faith in your guide and remember they are doing their level best to show you as much as possible.

PATIENCE. Whether we like it or not, one of the most important abilities to have in the bush is the ability to be patient. As mentioned above, animals move to their own clocks and do not do it when it suites us. Therefore we must always be patient, whether it be waiting for a snoozing lion to stand up, waiting for a herd of Elephant to drink at a water hole or looking in a certain area for a certain animal. Patience is the key. Yes, sometime we are disappointed and it didn’t work out as we planned but, sometimes and pretty often patience pays off.Cut your guide some slack. We all get excited; we all have expectations but, remember your guide is doing their best to basically find you a needle in a haystack. The guide is already under pressure as they are aware you have spent a lot of money to see wildlife. Don’t add to their pressure. Enjoy what they have to say and relax and I am sure they will give you plenty to smile about. And if not, it was probably one of those days when the animals were just somewhere else.

Put your camera down and enjoy the moment. Majority of the time, sightings start and end very quickly. The animal is there one minute and gone the next. Don’t make the mistake of spending the entire time worrying about your photos as, it detracts from the experience. Take a few snaps, put your camera down, sit quietly and observe and enjoy the moment with the animal you are watching.

Observe. Yes, you are there to learn from your guide also but, there is nothing worse than spending 15 min talking to your guide while there is a Leopard feeding on an Impala 10m away. There is a time for questions and I am sure your guide will chat to you about what you are seeing and answer your questions in time. For now though put your camera down, sit quietly and enjoy what you are seeing. There will be an opportunity to talk after.


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