A safari can be compared to an open air theatre that changes on a daily basis. Wildlife, like the weather, is unpredictable so careful planning of an itinerary is crucial. Certain areas are better known for specific animals and or specific animal behavior. A guide is crucial for a safe, enhanced, informative and exciting time in the bush and can have a hugely positive impact on your entire experience.
Safety is my number one priority – there are obviously potential risks inherent to a vacation in a wildlife reserve and my most important role as your private guide would be to minimize these risks and ensure your wellbeing. I’m 100% committed to making sure that you experience everything the African bush has to offer but only within the boundaries of safety.
A typical day will include game drives in the morning and evening and into the night as these are the times when wildlife is most active. Daytime activities in between drives vary from lodge to lodge and might include bush walks, fishing, community visits, or simply spending time at a water hole where action is almost certainly guaranteed. You will likely also find that many of the lodges offer spa and shopping opportunities, and you may choose to spend some time relaxing in camp too.
By communicating in advance, I could offer balanced advice as to which reserves and parks would be most likely to meet your expectations. Every country has something different to offer and the diversity of destinations and wildlife in Africa means you are spoilt for choice. I would ask various questions and determine which areas, based on your interests, and would be best suited to your safari. The time of year when you plan to travel would also play a key role in determining your itinerary.
Dress appropriately when mosquitoes are most active, especially at night and the early hours of the morning. Long sleeve shirts and long trousers during these times are recommended, and mosquito repellent should be applied to any exposed areas. Remember to always keep windows (without mosquito gauze) closed after sunset. Lodge bedrooms, almost without exception, feature mosquito nets and these should always be used. Certain areas present a risk of malaria and in these cases you’re advised to seek advice regarding the use of prophylactics from your medical practitioner before traveling.
Absolutely! A safari holiday is a wonderful experience for children, particularly kids aged about 8 and older who are better able to appreciate the bush and animals. Please take a look at Khaki Kids for more information on activities for kids on safari with me – Khaki Kids will leave Africa with lots of new information about the animals and other things they’ve seen, bush craft tips and – hopefully – a real love for the bush and an appreciation of conservation and how critically important it is for all of our futures.
The Great Migration traditionally follows the rain as animals migrate towards richer pastures. It’s therefore difficult to determine exactly where and when are the best times to view the action. On the assumption of a “normal” year, calving takes place in December and January in the southern sections of the Serengeti at Ndutu where the Wildebeest concentrate in their masses. The migration generally begins in early April, when the calves are strong enough, and they commence the journey north. From mid-May through June the wildebeest gather in the Western Corridor of the Serengeti National Park and between August and October can be found in the northern sections of the Serengeti where Mara River crossings and the famed wildebeest-crocodile interaction can sometimes be viewed. They finally reach the Maasai Mara in Kenya and feed on its rich grasses before slowly moving back south into the Serengeti from November onwards.
At some point on your safari you will likely have to travel by light aircraft. For safety regulations these aircraft have luggage restrictions ranging between 10 – 20 kgs (20 – 40lbs) per person. For game drives a camera is a must and binoculars would be an advantage (some lodges will offer these for use during your stay). If you are a serious photographer it would be advantageous to bring a mono or tripod, or alternatively I could arrange for each lodge to have a beanbag available. Neutral coloured clothing, a hat, high protection sunscreen and closed shoes suitable for walking are highly recommended. I carry wildlife reference material with me at all times which you would be most welcome to use.