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How To Plan An African Safari, According to the Experts

So you’re ready to take the plunge and delve into the magic of Africa? You’re en route to the journey of a lifetime – and what may well be the first of many. As author Ernest Hemingway famously said, “All I wanted to do was get back to Africa. We had not left it yet, but when I would wake in the night I would lie, listening, homesick for it already.”

From the wide open spaces of the Serengeti to the drama of the Great Migration of wildlife in Tanzania and Kenya, to the world wonder of the thunderous Victoria Falls and the call of cosmopolitan Cape Town, there’s no shortage of enticing destinations on the continent. 

An array of choices can be overwhelming though, especially if you don’t have on-the-ground knowledge of where, when and how to plan an African safari. That’s where our expert team comes in. Read on for tips on planning a dream safari, based on True Africa’s decades of experience curating only the best bespoke African adventures.

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Image credit: Oliver’s Camp (Tarangire National Park, Tanzania)

When and Where to Go in Africa

One of Africa’s greatest blessings is that it is a year-round destination with a plethora of countries and attractions to suit every travel style. However, depending on where you want to go and what you’re looking to see, some seasons may be better than others. There are two ways to go about setting a timeline for your trip:

  1. Set dates: Season dictates which destinations to visit

  2. Flexible dates: Destination dictates which season to visit

Some areas and game reserves are inaccessible at certain times of the year and some locations shine in certain months while others may get overcrowded in high season. Weather conditions are another important consideration, and for those looking for a safari sans crowds, timing is everything.

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Image: Cape Town, South Africa

Depending on your flexibility, your team of travel experts will advise you on the best destinations for your chosen time period, or advise on when to visit to tick those special items off of your bucket list. Rest assured that no matter when you visit Africa, you will be met with a host of experiences and sights unlike anywhere else.

Have a specific area on your must-do list? Enquire about ideal dates and itineraries by reaching out to a member of our team.

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Image: Victoria Falls

How to Make Your African Safari a Success

1. Define Your Goals and Budget

A safari in Africa is an investment, one that brings rewards to the traveler as well as to the local communities of the areas you visit. Consider your main hopes for your journey – are you hoping to see as much wildlife as possible, participate in giving back initiatives or looking to go on a 5-star luxurious trip that is truly ‘once-in-a-lifetime’? Once you know what you’re looking for, you can determine your ideal budget.

Feeling a little lost? Your expert safari planners can assist in ensuring you receive the best value for money by including various excursions, experiences and the best quality accommodation to fit your budget specification.

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Image credit: Lagoon Camp, Kwando Safaris (Okavango Delta, Botswana)

2. Pack Light, and Don’t Forget Travel Insurance!

Keep in mind that whatever you bring along, you’ll likely have to carry from destination to destination. Passengers are allowed only 15 kilograms each on most airlines that operate between wildlife regions. Don’t weigh yourself down with unnecessary luggage, but do ensure that you pack weather and bush appropriate clothing and footwear.

Travel insurance is highly recommended. Comprehensive cover ensures that you can have peace of mind and focus on what you’re in Africa to do – soak in the wonders of this incredible continent.

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Image credit: Ol Donyo Lodge (Chyulu Hills/Amboseli, Kenya)

3. Keep an Open Mind

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, know that Africa is a place where often the best spots, sightings, and experiences are unplanned. Expect a laid-back pace adjusted to ‘African time,’ some bumpy roads, the warmest people, and in some places, a surprisingly-welcome lack of WiFi access.

Once you arrive after months of research and planning, be prepared for an experience that will subvert and exceed those plans. That’s the beauty of Africa – it always gives you more than what you expect.

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Image credit: Giraffe Manor (Nairobi, Kenya)

Ready to embark on your African adventure alongside our expert travel team? 

Enquire about curating your dream itinerary with us.

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