When to Go
There is usually an ideal season for viewing wildlife in all locations of the world. Travel can be based around the breeding period of a species, migrations or simply when the seas thaw enough to allow you to get there.
Longer safaris are obviously better than shorter ones but if you only have a little bit of time it’s still better than not going at all.
Some of the long haul or exotic trips will be costly. There are ways of cutting costs but they can sometimes also hinder your experience. For example if you can fly to the lodges and camps this will cut down on the drive-in which can be rather tedious. Similarly if you have the choice between a minivan and a four-wheel drive, choose the latter for the comfort and access it provides. Private safaris are usually better than group affairs. Group tours can be crowded and your views in the vehicle will be obstructed.
Don’t expect the same standards of facilities and service you have at home. Although there are plenty of luxurious travel options to choose from. Think carefully about the things you need to pack that you might not be able to get away from home.
Sun and Eye Protection
Being outside in the sun all day is taxing, even in polar climates where it might actually still be cold. Always wear sunglasses with UV protection, high factor sun block and a hat. Safaris are often very dusty. Eye drops are recommended, especially if you wear contact lenses. Bring a spare pair of glasses too as it would be awful to come all this way and not see anything if a lens breaks on the way.
Food and Water
If you’re out on safari keep hydrated with clean water. Be very careful about what water you drink. Use bottled water at all times and don’t take ice in drinks. Safaris will probably take you to exotic areas with different food. Try to avoid rare meat or shellfish and steer clear of food from street vendors.
If you’re in the tropics always use insect repellent and a mosquito net in the evenings- especially in wet and/or wooded areas. Health facilities, hygiene and disease risk vary everywhere. Get health advice about any vaccinations or medicines you need to take with you for example anti-malaria tablets for certain areas of Africa and Asia. These usually require you to begin taking them prior to arrival and continue using them for several weeks after your return. Some African nations require a yellow fever certificate and you might be recommended to get other injections such as Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Meningitis, Polio or Tuberculosis. Aids and the HIV virus are major health issues everywhere, notably on the African continent and parts of Asia. Use the proper precautions to prevent contracting the virus.