Things To Consider On Your First African Safari

This is a guest post by Jo from Wander With Jo. Jo writes about her love of travel over on her blog.

There are a host of things to consider before you venture out on your first trip to explore the wildlife of the most exciting continent. A safari anywhere in the world is expensive and time-consuming. For most, it is a once in a lifetime experience. To offset all the disadvantages, it is advisable to carefully plan your trip in advance. After consulting our people in the trade, we suggest how to make most of your valued trip and save time and money as well.


Consult an expert who can steer you to the experience you are looking for. Just a Google search on its own would not be enough. 

Check the altitude of the locations you plan to visit. They may not suit certain individuals. 


This is a crucial factor on all safaris. For example, on a gorilla safari in Rwanda, avoid the months of April, May, and November as it tends to get very slippery. 

Disconnect with the world 

Put your phone and watch away and don't even think of WiFi. Immerse yourself in nature with your camera and take as many pictures as you can. These memories will last you a lifetime, while all others will be still around when you reach home.

Bring the right attitude 

People who take in whatever they can see, big or small, end up in having a more enjoyable safari.


Spare pair of glasses, an all purpose charger, a waterproof bag for your camera, pens, pencils and notebooks to jot down interesting things like names of places, birds, animals etc. 


Pack a pair before anything else. They will greatly enhance your game viewing experience. 


Even if you are a first timer, stay at one place for at least three nights to absorb the real experience of the area. This will also cut the cost of transportation and reduce your overall budget. Choose a camp that offers communal dining. This will give you more intimate experiences. 

Special interests 

Tell the lodge in advance what your interests are, for example – game watching, birding, photography etc. This will help them to plan your arrival. 


If you are travelling with young children, mix your jungle safaris with village visits, fishing etc as it will be difficult to keep them quiet on a vehicle for four hours, twice a day. 


One of the best ways to get value for money is to travel outside the high season. This will not only greatly reduce the cost but will enhance exclusivity and high quality guiding. A specialist tour operator can easily help you with this. Game viewing, anytime, is less predictable, hence you can technically enjoy a safari at the wrong time of the year. 


This is the most important aspect of your safari. You will be spending the most memorable moments of your trip during your game drive. You might tend to sleep longer when the early morning call comes, but remember it is in the bush where the magic is happening, and not in your bed. Save your sleep for the heat of the day, like the wild animals itself. 

Safari guide

He is the one who will make it all happen. Choose one carefully, through your operator, who will provide one for your specific needs.

Have you been on a safari? If you love wildlife, check out the Waking Up Wild website.


  1. Bringing the right attitude does help you have a good time.

  2. Such a useful post. We are looking to ideally do a safari next year but I'm not sure if we will be able to afford it then.

  3. This has made me want to pack my bags. I would love to see anything a bit exotic in its natural environment. Not nasty things like creepy crawlies though!

    1. I feel you may have to deal with the creepy crawlies too

  4. I would love to do a safari sometime. It would be an amazing experience. But for now will have to make do with farm visits

  5. Fab post and very useful, I would love to go on safari for my 40th so that gives me 9 years to save x

    1. They do seem quite expensive but you are paying for a guide as well as accommodation and flights

  6. I would absolutely love to go on a safari! Such a useful list, most of them, I honestly wouldn't even have thought of. I think the most important thing for me would be a safari guide who knew the area inside out.... and also knew the safest places... where I wouldn't get eaten by a hungry lion lol!

    Laura x x x

    1. I think you need to get the best guide you can afford.

  7. A safari is definitely on my bucket list, and these are some great tips - thanks for sharing x

  8. Amazing photos! I bet that it is truly amazing seeing animals in the wild, I don't think I would go on a safari myself but I can see the appeal x

  9. I'd love to go on safari one day! Great tips x

  10. Great post. I'd love to go on a safari. I'd have to save up and get some better dslr lenses first.

    1. A good zoom lens would be invaluable I would think.

  11. I've never been on a safari. It does look amazing and one of those things i would love to do x

  12. I would love to do this! I think I'd combine in with a beach stay to get over all the early mornings.