Every time I visit Africa I experience more magic, more special moments and more surprises. The continent is so grand and diverse that you can visit time and again and never duplicate your experiences. My most recent trip to South Africa brought me much needed relaxation, an appreciation for slowing down, impressive wildlife sightings, rare experiences with nature and the opportunity to be a part of conserving this fantastic corner of the world.
Regardless of where you stay, and which destinations you visit, here are my Top Tips for your First Trip to Africa:
- Safety: Tourism is a key income generator for Africa, therefore the guides and locals take interest in tourists having a positive and safe experience. We will always recommend locations we have been to and will go to ourselves. Regardless of your location, respecting your guide’s instructions will ensure the best outcome.
- Food: What will I eat and drink in Africa? In my experience, a bit of everything! The water is purified, the bread is baked fresh, the ice cream made by hand and the wine carefully curated to your spread. Eating fresh, local food is a source of pride in Africa and the chefs are eager to share their delicacies with you. If you have any preferences or allergies, giving us advanced notice is of importance.
- Plan accordingly: Take the time to read through the information your Travel Designer sends you. You will find details such as what to pack (or not pack), weather, local customs and more. When you are in the bush, there is no ATM or Pharmacy, so bringing sufficient supplies will create a smooth and comfortable experience. If you have specific questions, just ask!
- Get to know your guides: Guiding requires determination, strict studies and a multitude of skills. The men and women living and working in remote Africa, have countless stories and knowledge and love to share! Was I interested in flowers or birds when I went to Africa? Not necessarily, but having the knowledge I do now, they are inherently more intriguing. It is not often as adults that we have the opportunity to fully engage in a new and interesting topic.
- Take part in activities: There is so much beyond the vehicle! Take the opportunity to walk, learn a new photography trick, jump in a mokoro (canoe) or try a new food. This is often when the most memorable moments occur.
- Disconnect: One of the many advantages to Africa is the opportunity to truly disconnect. When you are in the bush, you often won’t have signal. The lodges wifi all varies, so don’t expect it to be found everywhere or at the speeds we are accustomed to. Instead, I take the opportunity for a swim, to read a book, take a nap or simply watch the animals that pass by.
- Expect the unexpected: Travel is an adventure. The wildlife won’t r.s.v.p. to your safari, but you can learn to track them, learn about dung beetles, how to search for honey in trees, learn about what it is like to grow up in the African Bush and so much more. Your trip is what you make of it!
I just returned from a trip to South Africa. Give me a call or email me at email@example.com if you want to do your first trip to South Africa.