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Have you ever wanted to be face-to-face with nature and wildlife in its native habitat? Safaris are a once-in-a-lifetime experience, each one being a surreal and unique adventure that you’ll never forget. There are many types of safaris and destinations to choose from around the world. Here’s a travel guide for choosing your ultimate safari.
There are few things that you must decide before booking your safari trip to ensure you get the experience that you want. What types of animals would you like to see? Do you want to enjoy your safari on foot, horseback, or in a vehicle? Would you prefer a guided tour in a group or something more independent?
With so much variation in wildlife around the world, consider which animals you want to see most since you can’t see them all on the same trip. If you desire to see lions, rhinos, and elephants, then you’ll have the best luck seeing them on a southern or eastern African safari. In contrast, if you’d rather see camels, ostriches, or sand foxes, you'll need to find a safari in the Sahara Desert. Hoping to see mountain gorillas, chimpanzees, and tree-climbing lions? Then you’ll want to look for a safari in Uganda or Rwanda. These are just a few of the most popular locations for safaris, but there are various other locations around the world, each offering their own unique wildlife experience.
Next, determine how you’d like to navigate the terrain while on the safari. Most common is a vehicle of some sort; there are various types of trucks and vans that are used. The most popular and affordable are overland trucks, which can seat around 40 people comfortably, and are often used for longer safari trips. A more risky but magical experience is riding horseback during your safari, allowing you and your group to travel off the beaten path and get closer to the animals in their natural state.
Lastly, consider how many people you would like to be traveling with during the safari. Guided safari tours are most common, where a large group (usually 10 or more people) travels via van or truck. These tours are planned out in advance, so there isn’t much room for spontaneity. If you'd like a private tour with a small group of family or friends, opt for a specialist safari. These allow for a more up-close experience with a dedicated tour guide. Extreme adventurers might enjoy an independent safari, where you’re given a rough itinerary and a map of where to drive, but you’ll be without a tour guide for the entirety of your trip. This gives you more freedom but less opportunity for guaranteed sightings if you aren’t a seasoned safari veteran.
Now that you’ve made your decisions on where you’re going and how you’re traveling, the next step is preparing for your trip. Depending on how long you’ll be on the safari and traveling, you may need to look into visa requirements for your chosen destination. This will likely be needed if you plan on exploring for more than three months. You’ll also want to research your destination and see if the safari company recommends any vaccines prior to your trip.
When it comes to packing, research what the weather is like in the region where you'll be traveling. In most cases, you’ll want to pack light clothing with coverage to protect your skin from the strong rays of the sun, but wear layers that can be removed in case of overheating. Prepare for cool evenings and chilly nights with sweatpants and jackets. Strong, heavy-duty, and durable shoes are a necessity if you’ll be walking or hiking. Finally, don’t forget your necessary equipment such as high-quality cameras, phones, binoculars, and portable chargers.
Last but definitely not least, look into purchasing a travel insurance plan to protect your prepaid, non-refundable travel expenses and health while abroad. When traveling outside of your country of residence, it’s crucial to have the proper medical coverage if something unexpected occurs. Our Patriot Plans are great for travelers looking for a short-term travel medical insurance, and an iTravelInsured SE or LX plan provides coverage for your health, plus your trip costs in case of cancellation, interruption, or a number of other situations. With the help from IMG, you can enjoy your trip with Global Peace of Mind®.
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