Going on a safari? You need to do due preparation so that you can enjoy fully and get the most out of your money. A car safari to faraway place say like Africa will be very rewarding and it will be a good way to bond as a family. Do not make the same mistakes that other people make. Someone once said that it is only a fool who learns from his own mistakes. Smart people learn from other people’s mistakes. That is why we will look at the mistakes that other people make so that you can avoid such.
Mistake number 1: Poor car choice
Believe me, I have been there … a car safari is more about the car than about you! If you think hiring that 4WD is very expensive, just think of how expensive it will be if you get stuck in some trail in the Masai Mara with jumbos trumpeting your eardrums to damnation and hyenas drooling and laughing at you. If you need a vehicle that you can rent out on self-drive basis, a car that can carry all of your items including camping toilet, be keen to select a 4WD and make sure it is in great condition. You only live once, enjoy!
Going for very cheap travel packages
You go to a travel agent and you get a travel package for very little money and then when you get to your destination you want to be treated like royalty. Please … it does not work that way. Forget the sweet tongued traveling salesman, he is dangerous and whether you buy a cheap or expensive package, he is going to make his commission. Be smart, read the fine print, ask questions, compare the package with others from different travel agents and demand to know why its cheaper and so on. Most of the “cheap” packages are sold cheaply to appeal to your sense of greed! Remember, you get what you pay for.
No preparation – just up and go
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail … definitely! When you are going on a car safari, a hiking or a camping holiday, if you do not due ample preparations, you will have a lot of trouble.
Find information about the place that you are visiting. For example, do they have cases of Bali Belly, Montezuma’s Revenge or any other kind of travelers’ diarrhea? Have there been any travel advisories issued lately by any western nation? Do they have good hotels that can make you feel at home away from home?
Learn about the culture to avoid too much culture shock.
Water and filtration/purification
Most people are always too excited about taking a car safari in a foreign land such that they do not remember to ask information about the quality of the water that they will find there. It is ok to pack your car with bottles of drinking water, but that is not a guarantee that you have clean water.
Do you know about portable water filters? It is important to have such when traveling to the developing nations or third world countries. That way, you can always filter your water before drinking it. In any case, when you are taking a drive in the jungle, you may run out of water and may have to drink from the springs or rivers. With a good water filter, say for example, one from GoFreshWater, you can filter water from any source and drink it safely.
You obviously want to see everything meant for your eyes. Many animals you are dying to see are hard to spot during the middle of the day because they take refuge in the bushes and grassland. Viewing time is best during early morning and late afternoon and you must avoid midday.
Driving alone in the car
A car safari in your country or in another country is exciting. However, it is doubly exciting if you have company. Don’t be selfish! Take your spouse or a friend so that you can drive in turns.
Not knowing when to catch game
Picture this … the lion is lazy. He will sleep most of the day when he is not hunting or making love. It could be hard to see him. However, just like human beings, animals are best spotted during sunrise and sunset. Those are the best times for game viewing! In the morning and evening, temperatures are lower and animals are very active then. Rise early, maybe you can nap at midday to make up for the lost sleep.
Not bringing enough supplies
This happens many times, even with people who think they are well prepared. You need to bring enough water, food, memory cards, spare batteries and so on. In the bush, you may find a few shops, but they may not have what you need and if they do, then it will be sold at ridiculously low prices.
People make many more mistakes when they are going away on a car safari. However, if you take care of these few, you will be alright. Enjoy, good luck.