Is there a person in this world that does not have an East African safari on their travel bucket list? It is one of the most sought after travel experiences ever, and for a good reason to. An East African safari is the one travel experience that changes your life forever. All the things you get to see and do are giving you a picture of how huge and wonderful this world actually is. Still, an East African safari can quickly turn from a dream to a nightmare if you are not well prepared. To avoid such a scenario, here are a few tips on how to plan and prepare for a safari in East Africa.
Planning an East African Safari
Are You a Package Safari Person?
First, ask yourself one question: Can I do it? Can you plan and organize everything on your own or would you rather leave all that complications to someone more experienced? If your answer is “no”, then you should explore package safari offers. Here, your only mission will be to pack your bags and get going, since the tourist agencies will do all the work for you. However, there is a downside of these East African Safari packages – they can be incredibly expensive. In fact, your costs could turn up to be $200–$400 per day.
If Your Answer Is “Yes”…
If you have decided to save some money and turn your African trip into an adventure as it supposed to be – challenging and life changing – than you have a lot of work to do. The do-it-yourself version of an East African Safari will require planning everything on your own – from renting a vehicle to the specific route. Note that it is highly important to be well informed and to check each thing twice.
Health comes first, so before you do anything else, check which immunizations are necessary for the country/countries you are visiting. Some countries are asking for a proof of yellow fever vaccination upon entering their territory. For everything else you should check with your embassy and doctor, before going, but other recommended immunizations are MMR, tetanus, hepatitis and typhoid fever.
Renting a Vehicle
Renting your own vehicle will provide you with a much more flexibility than you would have in a previously arranged itinerary. You can decide where to go, when to go, when to get up in the morning, when to take a break, etc. Renting will cost you around $75–$200 per day, and if you want to hire a driver the price will be $20 to $30 higher. It can even be a cheaper option to buy and then resell a car once you are done. You can find many affordable used cars in Tanzania and other East African countries.
Because many accommodation options have to be booked ahead, you will have to consider this issue before starting your East African safari experience. You can choose from tented camps, hotels and lodges. Should you decide for a campsite, do your research and decide where is best to stay on your route. Both Tanzania and Kenya have great camping locations, and many of the national parks offer great deals for campers. This is actually the best way to have the Out of Africa experience.
Choosing a Guide
Choosing a good guide is arguably the most important endeavor in your safari planning. An experience guide can show you places and animals you could never find on your own. It is important to select a guide with an official tour guide license.
First of all, make sure you pack light. The weather may be changeable so bring some rain clothes, just in case. Choose cotton clothing pieces, because it is easier to bear the heat. Other things you should bring are camera, medications, bug sprays, etc.
As for choosing the route, make arrangements with your guide. After all, he will know best where to go and when. Have a safe East African Safari trip.