Whether in India or Africa, you don’t have to be a professional naturalist to enjoy your safari like a pro. By taking a little time for planning and strategy, you can avoid common pitfalls and experience even more of the “AHA” moments that make safaris so unforgettable. Here’s our Top Five Tips for Safari Success.
1. Get The Look
Wear light colored clothing when on safari. Dark colors are known to attract pests like tsetse flies, and while camouflage might make you feel “very military chic”, remember that most animals spot movement better than they do shapes.
No safari look is complete without fragrance – preferably 30% DEET is always in style.
2. Rise & Shine
If you’re already a morning person, you’re in luck. However, if you’re not, become one for the day(s) you are on safari. There’s just no getting around it: the crack of dawn is the best time to see game. Period.
Most of the animals you’ll be seeking will come out for breakfast and a drink of water in the early morning before the day heats up, so get yourself duly caffeinated and forbid yourself from pressing the snooze button.
3. Take Notes
That flashy new DSLR might capture the moment, but will you remember the names of the animals or birds you’re watching?
Most camps offer some sort of posted list of recent game sightings, which is helpful. Still, keeping your own simple list from your game drive or safari will prove invaluable when you’re sorting through all of your photos etc.
4. Get Specific
Many guides have an almost psychic connection to the land and animals, yet they are not mind readers about what you’d like to see. If you’re interested in bird life, let them know.
If you’re interested in big cats, they’ll know where they’ve been recently spotted.
Of course you’ll see lots of other species along the way, however if you let your guide know what you’re really excited about, the greater your chances will be of coming face to face with that tiger, wildebeest, or Asiatic crane.
5. Be a Good Guest
One of the most disappointing safari phenomenon occurs when a guide spots an animal, whispers to the guests to stay seated/quiet as it approaches, only to have the guests leap to their feet aiming their cameras or proclaiming their excitement and scaring the animal away.
Remember your guide is an expert on the species and terrain. Be a good listener and you’ll have an even more amazing safari experience.