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safari tips

Make the Most of Your African Adventures While on Safari

Whether this is the one and only safari you ever plan to take or this is just one of many, we know you want to have an amazing African adventure. No matter what, this isn’t a small trip, and you deserve to get everything you want out of it. So, to make sure you have a fabulous experience, here are our tips and tricks for making the most of your safari.

GET OUT ON SAFARI GAME DRIVES

Yes, your camp will be set up in the middle of a park and animals could walk by your tent at any time, but if you want to see the animals and experience them as much as possible, you need to be out on safari game drives. That’s why we offer all-day safari game drives, so you get the best chance possible of seeing animals.

This also means that early mornings and late evenings are a MUST. The animals are most active right around dawn and dusk when the weather is cooler. So, if you’re looking to sleep in, a safari focused on incredible African adventures is not the right activity for you. We’ll be waking up before dawn and staying out all day, and believe us, it’s worth it.

TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES

You can always delete extra pictures when you get back to camp, so go a little crazy and take as many pictures as you want. You never know when an animal will turn just the right way or behave in a brand new way and you want to catch it on camera.

And since you’ll be taking so many pictures, make sure you have the batteries and memory space you need to handle all those pictures. The absolute worst thing that could happen is if your camera dies in the middle of the day and there’s still more to see.

It’s also why we recommend bringing more than one camera. Bring your fancy camera equipment and a point-and-shoot camera. Sometimes, you’re going to have seconds to snap the shot and you’ll want a quick-response camera to capture the picture before it’s too late.

PUT THE CAMERA DOWN

We know you want AMAZING pictures from your safari, and we promise that you’ll get some. There will be plenty of opportunities to take picture after picture. Just don’t get so caught up on getting the perfect shot that you miss the entire safari from behind your camera lens. Don’t be afraid to put down the camera and just enjoy your African adventures. There’s so much to see, smell, and enjoy. Get into it.

DON’T FORGET BINOCULARS

Yes, we get up close and personal with many animals, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t want a pair of good binoculars. Every time the car stops there will probably be some incredible bird watching nearby where binoculars would come in handy. Also, sometimes we’re in open areas where you might think you see something exciting off in the distance. Binoculars will help you see what’s out there and then your guide can get you close as needed.

BRING A DAY BAG

When you’re out on a safari game drive, heading back to camp because you forgot something isn’t possible. Instead, you’ll want to bring everything you could possibly need for a day out in the bush with you in a daypack. You’ll be in a car, so feel free to stuff your bag as full as possible with everything you can think of.

Some things to include in your daypack are:

  • Extra batteries
  • USB chargers
  • Extra memory sticks
  • Clothing layers (it’s cold in the morning and evening and hot in the afternoon)
  • Binoculars
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lotion
  • Eye drops
  • Medication
  • Sunscreen
  • Wet wipes
  • Plastic baggies (for trash)

DISCONNECT

When you choose Brave Africa for your safari experience, we force you to disconnect. There’s no Wi-Fi or cellphone service in the Botswana bush, and that’s how it should be. Put the phone and computer away and just enjoy the safari experience. Make friends with the other guests in camp. Spend your evenings reminiscing about the day around the fire and looking forward to the day ahead. Instead of checking messages or worrying about what’s going on back in “civilization,” enjoy every moment you can on your African adventures and let civilization worry about itself.

ASK! ASK! ASK!

Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can, and not just about the animals and wilderness. If you’re at all concerned about any part of your safari experience or you want to know more about how something works, ASK! That’s what we’re here for. Our staff will be happy to answer any questions you might have, no matter how crazy they are.

The same goes for asking what you want. Whether you want to have an all-day safari or you want to head back to camp, we don’t know what you want unless you ask. It’s the same out on a drive. If you want the car to stop because you see a cool bird or viewpoint that you want to snap a picture of, ask your guide to stop. We’ll always do our best to accommodate every request.

TALK AND LISTEN TO YOUR GUIDE

Your safari guide is your greatest resource for all things Botswana. He’ll be your eyes and ears in the bush, pointing out the animals, finding tracks, and telling you about various animal behaviors you might witness. Your guide is a wealth of information. He has years of experience guiding safaris and learning all there is to know about the animals, plants, weather, and more. The more you communicate with your guide, the better your safari experience will be.

Also, our guides are amazing and we know you’ll love getting to know them!

BE OPEN TO ANYTHING

So, you want to see a kill? That’s great! We do too. However, we cannot control what happens on any game drive. Sometimes, you’ll see everything on your bucket list and sometimes you won’t. That’s nature. And while it’s great to head out on safari with animals and items you want to see, don’t hold onto those ideas so tightly that you miss everything else that’s incredible.

For example, on our first safari, we desperately wanted to see a kill. It didn’t happen. Instead, we got to see two lions mating, which was completely unexpected and incredible. On our second safari, we were woken up in the middle of the night because a pack of wild dogs killed an impala just outside of our guide’s tent. The next morning, the dogs were still hanging out fat and bloody from their dinner.

The key is that you might have dreams of seeing a cheetah but see 23 lions instead. Or you could be dying to hang out with a pack of wild dogs and instead find yourself in the midst of a baboon mating ritual where the males are fighting to the death for the female. You just never know what could happen—that’s what our African adventures are all about. So, come with your dreams but be open to anything.

ENJOY THE MOMENT

Don’t get so anxious to see the next thing that you miss whatever you’re currently looking at. Botswana is incredible. There’s always something to see, experience, smell, and listen to. You can find beauty in everything. Take time to enjoy the fact that you’re in the middle of nowhere, in a place that’s unlike anything you’ve experienced before. You might be seeing your 100th elephant, but that elephant could be the first elephant to trumpet at you or get on its hind legs while eating from a tree. You just never know, so enjoy the moment.

BE CURIOUS

Be curious about everything out on safari. Ask about trees, flowers, insects, snakes, and more. If you hear an interesting sound, ask about it? If you think you see a footprint in the sand. Ask what it could be. You’ll be amazed about how many interesting things there are out in the African bush that your guide can shed a light on. Every curiosity will enrich your experience and enhance your memories.

DON'T COMPARE

Every safari experience is different, and comparing your trip to someone else’s is the best way to lose your joy in the experience. This is even true when comparing this safari trip to a previous trip.

It’s incredibly difficult to do, but try to just enjoy the experience that you’re having and don’t compare what you’ve seen, experienced, and felt with someone else. Your African adventures are yours and yours alone and everything you experience is a gift. Don’t let anyone take away how amazing your experience is because they had a different gift.

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