What Can You Expect to See When Going on a Safari?

A safari holiday is a perfect way to get up-close and personal with wildlife in their natural habitat. If you’re heading out on a safari for the first time, however, you might not know exactly what to expect from the experience. In fact, the nature of the trip means that even experienced safari-goers will occasionally run into a surprise: and that’s part of the appeal of the exercise!

Where can you go on a safari?

Though you can go on safari just about anywhere on the planet, when most people use the term, they tend to think of African safaris. The continent is home to some of the most impressive wildlife anywhere on the planet, and there’s a longstanding infrastructure in place to help us to visit these animals while limiting the impact on the environment. National parks are to be found in Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and a host of other places, too.

What animals can you expect to see?

The exact wildlife you run into will depend where you’re headed, and how knowledgeable your guides are. Bear in mind, however, that this is a wildlife holiday, and not a vast zoo – the animals aren’t there for your entertainment! Thus, you’ll need to be awake and active when they are, and have a quality pair of binoculars in tow.

What animals are within 'the big 5'?

Five animals are traditionally identified as being worth seeing. These are the lion, the rhinoceros, the elephant, the water buffalo and leopard. The term ‘big game’ was actually coined by big game hunters, to identify the most difficult animals to track down and shoot (which is why the giraffe doesn’t qualify, however spectacular it might be).

How should you act when you see the animals?

Most wild animals aren’t going to pay you any attention unless you give them a reason to. Many of the most effective precautions are also the most obvious. Don’t get out of the jeep when there’s a ferocious lion nearby. Don’t try to feed any of the animals; they aren’t pets, nor should we try to make them that way. In fact, don’t get close to them at all, and don’t go near their cubs. Don’t venture from the designated route, and turn the flash off on your camera.

What essentials should you take to enjoy your safari experience?

As well as the aforementioned set of binoculars, you’ll want to pack a camera, as well as appropriate clothing. You needn’t go head-to-toe in khaki, but something lightweight and breathable will help you to get through the day. You should also go for a fleece or warm jacket, a hat, as well (and this is essential) as a pair of comfortable walking boots. Don’t forget your sunglasses!