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TIPS: What you need to know when planning a safari!

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safari lion

A safari holiday in Africa is an experience of a lifetime!

There are certain things you can’t prepare for when going on safari. But you can find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions below, as well as tips that will help you make your tour even better.

What is a safari?

Game drive

The word safari, which comes from Arabic (later Swahili), originally meant “to travel”. Since then, it has become synonymous with experiencing animals.

Types of safari

There are many different types of safari.

Depending on the destination, with TourCompass, you can go on a:

  • Game drive, which takes place in an open or closed safari car
  • Bush walk/nature walk/walking safari, which takes place on foot
  • Water safari, which takes place in a boat
  • Balloon safari, which takes place in a hot air balloon

The most common form of safari is the game drive, which forms part of all our safari holiday.

Which country should I choose?

Africa offers countless safari options.

when choosing where you want to go, you should therefore consider:

  • What is the aim of your tour?
  • What would you like to experience?
  • What animals would you like to see?
  • What is your budget?
  • How much time do you have?
  • Are you travelling with children?
  • What kind of accommodation do you want?
  • What time of year can you/do you want to travel?

Obtain an overview of all our destinations or compare our different safari destinations here.

When should I go?


There is no clear answer on when to travel. However, you should consider whether there is anything in particular you wish to experience, as you cannot experience everything all year round. If, for example, you wish to experience the Great Wildebeest Migration in Tanzania or Kenya, you will have to travel at certain times of the year.

Whatever the season, you are bound to come home a whole host of unique experiences the richer.

Feel free to contact our travel consultants, who will advise you on the right time to embark on your safari experience.

Will I definitely see animals?

Leopard in Samburu Kenya


You will see lots of animals.

Your guides know all there is to know about the bush and animal behaviour, and are experts in tracking and finding animals. Their goal is to give you the best experience, and they will do everything in their power to show you as many animals as possible.

Please do bear in mind, however, that national parks are not zoos.

It may be your goal to see the Big Five, but the animals are free to roam in the national parks, and nature does not adhere to a timetable. It will always be an unpredictable element of your tour. But part of the charm and the thrill of a safari is not knowing what the day will bring.

Is it dangerous?

Roaring lion

Not generally, no.

Your guide is trained to read the behaviour of the animals and act if the situation requires it.

If you listen to your guide, who is the expert, and respect the animals and their surroundings, your safari is in no way dangerous.

But bear in mind that the animals you see on the safari are wild animals. They react to sudden movements and sounds, typically running away if they get spooked.

Can I take photos?

Samburu Kenya


But remember to show consideration. Avoid doing anything that might scare the animals and cause them to run away. A bright flash might bother the animals, and that would be a shame if you want to experience them at close range.

Decide in advance what sort of photos you are going for. You might not need to have a very expensive camera with you. Sometimes, a mobile phone might do. It depends entirely on the result you want to show people when you get home.

What should I wear?

It is a good idea to avoid clothes in very bright and dark colours.

Bright colours can scare away some of the savannah’s animals unnecessarily, and dark colours can attract flies and insects. If you want to be on the safe side, bring light/neutral clothing (not black or white) with you to help you blend into the landscape.

Find more clothing tips here.

Will I be sleeping on the savannah?

Serengeti Wildebeest Camp

Yes and no.

There are different types of accommodation, depending on the destination you travel to. On our tours, you can stay at hotels, beach resorts (on beach holidays), lodges and wild camps. Read about the different accommodation options here.

At selected wild camps, you actually sleep on the border of, and in some cases directly inside, the national parks. It is a wonderful experience to be able to hear the animals wandering freely, right close to where you are sleeping.

In the places where the animals roam freely, there are security guards who ensure that you are safe.

Our top tips!

Game drive in Samburu

1. Be prepared

Find out what you want to see and do, and contact our travel consultants, who will ensure that your expectations are met.

Visit our practical information site to help you prepare for your tour with more information on clothing, equipment and packing lists.

2. Be patient

Part of the charm of travelling is that you do not know exactly what you are going to experience.

Nature is unpredictable. The animals living in the national parks are wild animals, and there is no guarantee that you will be able to photograph the exact animal you want to see on the day you are at the national park. But we promise that you will see lots of animals!

3. Travel with an open mind

Remember that you are travelling to a country with a culture that may be different to what you are used to. Embrace the amazing experiences that come your way. That way, your experience will be one you will never forget.

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