At Explorer Safaris, our deep love for Africa informs everything we do. Which is why our team travels far and wide across the continent in search of incredible places to stay and unforgettable activities, so that our recommendations are backed up by first-hand experience.
We can’t wait to share Africa with you, so we asked one of our Travel Planners, Lauren Maker, for her advice on booking your first safari:
What are your top 3 tips for first-time visitors to Africa / first-time safari goers?
- Be ready to be amazed! Get yourself a Bird & Mammal book so you can tick off everything you see and read up about each species.
- Bring sunblock – the African sun is harsh.
- Bring closed shoes for walking in the bush. Wear light clothing in summer, and for winter, bring gloves and a warm jacket.
What should people know about planning a safari?
Expect the unexpected. Wildlife is not a show, it’s nature. Always remember when choosing your destinations that you are prepared to experience and explore wildlife closely.
A safari is an investment. How do you choose the best safari for you, to know that you’re making the most of your money?
This depends on what you want to experience. I always say, if you are coming on safari, you must stay in a tented camp and then a lodge to have the experience of both. And book with an expert – that’s where I come in. I’ll make sure you are in the right areas where the animals are prolific, and that you can encounter everything that is fun and thrilling about being on Safari.
What are some of the most popular safaris / activities in Africa?
The most popular safari is the Great Migration in East Africa, when millions of wildebeest travel through the most beautiful place in the world. Keeping pace with them while watching nature take its course is outstanding – something everyone needs to see at least once in their lifetime.
Another popular safari activity is being on a mokoro in the Okavango Delta. It’s a treat as you not only see the elephants swim in the waters with you, you also get to see the brightly colored reed frogs, incredible birds and smaller creatures that warm your heart.
Are safaris good for family travel?
Yes, yes and yes! A safari is the best option for family travel. Your children are immersed in nature, learning about wildlife, birds and spoor. Plus, you get to rest and relax while the lodges entertain your kids with interactive learning experiences. In my experience as a child, it was simply the best holiday ever.
Are safaris good for honeymoons?
There’s nothing better than a honeymoon in the bush. It’s incredibly romantic and I highly recommend safaris for honeymooners. You have your own space, your own beautiful lodge room, plunge pool and time during the day to spend alone together after your game drives. It’s the perfect place to switch off.
What is the best part of your job?
Designing an itinerary for a couple on honeymoon or a family visiting Africa for the first time is the best thing about my job, putting them in destinations that they will love and explore and making sure everything exceeds their expectations. I’m available to them on WhatsApp throughout their trip, so I get to hear about what they’re experiencing as it happens – and then see their photographs when they return. I treasure building these relationships.
Where in Africa haven’t you been that’s always been on your bucket list?
I would love to visit Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, not only because of its amazing history, resilience and kind-natured people, but of course to be close and in the natural habitat of the greatest Silverback Gorillas. This has always been a dream of mine.
What do you love about Africa?
Africa never stops beating, each destination has its own rhythm. There are so many interesting things to see. We have sublime food, exceptional wines, and incredible museums that are important to understand our history. But the best thing about Africa is the wildlife. I live 15 minutes away from Cape Point Nature Reserve, where they have Gemsbok, Zebras, Chacma Baboons and so many other wild animals. Then you get Kruger Park, East Africa, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana, prolific in the most amazing wildlife and birdlife. Just ask David Attenborough!
If you’re not sure where to start planning your safari, our Explorer Travel Planners are ready to inspire you with great ideas! Get in touch today and let’s make your African travel dreams a reality.