“A wildlife tourism is one of the most thrilling experiences that you can have. It introduces you to that aspect of nature that remains hidden behind the boundaries of wildlife sanctuaries, national parks, and reserved forests. A wildlife safari is a trip you take through the wilderness with the prime purpose of enjoying the beauty of nature first hand. It does not involve any hunting. It is one of the most enthusiastic nature tours that you will ever get to go on because from hiking, sightseeing to driving in the middle of raw natural surroundings, a safari involves a lot of activities.
If done accurately then a wildlife safari provides you a never had before experience. However, there are two basic requirements that you must be willing to fulfill before you set out on a safari trip to fully enjoy it:
Our planet, Earth is blessed with a humongous diversity of plants and animals. There are a lot of countries that abound in the wildlife and, therefore, offer amazing wildlife safari tours. Africa is known to be the richest continent on earth when it comes to experiencing the rarest and most indigenous wildlife. From African elephants, florescent flamingoes, a seemingly ceaseless herd of zebras making their way across the grasslands to a fierce lion walking past your jeep, wild buffaloes, rhinoceros and leopards, an African Safari is living an adventure at the highest possible level. India is another amazing place to visit with the purpose of going on wildlife or a jungle safari. It has plenty of wildlife sanctuaries and national parks spread all across the country.
There are two types of safari trips that you can go on. One is a short stay safari in which you go to a national park or a wildlife sanctuary. From there you are taken on a two to three day long trip to the park accompanied by a professional guide. It can be done in one of the following ways:
- Jeep Safari: Going through the wild in a jeep is one of the best ways of undertaking a safari because jeep rides maximize your chances of seeing wildlife. A jeep also helps you cover most parts of the area in much lesser time thus giving you more time to enjoy.
- Elephant Safari: Elephant safari is also one of the most common ways of undertaking a safari. It has an advantage over the jeep safari because an elephant is the part of the forest, and it doesn’t let the animals think that there is an outsider in the forest which can lead some animals to go in a hideout. Also, an elephant safari is experiencing wildlife while sitting on an animal without causing any pollution and noise. The lack of noise helps you in tracing the sounds of many animals thereby adding a cherry on the top of your amazing wildlife experience.
- Water Safari: Water based safaris are also offered in places that are covered, for the most part, in water. You are given a ride on the boat giving you a trip throughout the area. It is one of the calmest, relaxing and pleasant ways to go on a safari.
The second type of safari is a long safari that is mostly pursued in open forests and jungles and lasts for a few days. Going on a long jungle safari usually involves a lot of preparation when compared to the short safaris in government aided natural surroundings. They are strenuous and tiring because you keep driving all day. In places with dense forestry where you cannot take your car further you have to hike around for the most part. This is where survival factor comes into play. Therefore, there is a certain level of preparation that you must attain before your safari trip. Jungle safaris are very adventurous. There are a lot of private safari companies that offer a jungle safari.
Here is a list of things that you must equip yourself with when setting out on any safari trip.
- Clothing: Wear a comfortable cotton fabric outfit during the safari. The clothes made of vinyl and synthetic fabrics should not be worn at any cost because the material of these clothes reflects ultraviolet light. This light is highly visible to the wild animals, especially during the night. Similarly, you must wash your clothes using a detergent that does not contain brighteners, for the same reason.
Apart from the clothing you wear you must carry the following with you.
- Neutrally colored clothing
- 2 to 3 short sleeve t-shirts
- 2 to 3 long sleeved t- shirts
- 2 – 3 pairs of shorts
- A convertible cargo pant for areas that has dense forestry on the ground
- A fleece jacket
- Waterproof pants
- Lightweight rain jacket
- Fleece jacket
- Walking shoes
- Lightweight shoes
- Warm sleeping outfit for camping safaris
- Wide-brimmed hat
- Flight: If you are on a long safari trip, and you will be commuting to different game parks through small charter aircrafts then you have to take care of the weight of your luggage. There are stringent rules regarding the weight of the luggage you are allowed to carry on these aircrafts so make sure that you pack only the most necessary items.
- Power Plugs: An important part of the safari experience is being able to capture your memories while living it. You will, therefore, take your camera and even your mobile phones and iPads with you. All these items need to be charged, so it is important that you carry a cigarette lighter charger. Although the lodges and safari camps you get to stay in may have charging facilities but there’s nothing bad in having a backup that you can use anytime.
- Footwear: Footwear forms an important part of the safari, especially if you will be hiking and trailing through the wild forests. Sometimes the damp forest floors or the rain from up above may get inside your shoes irrespective of how waterproof they are. The better option is to carry flip flops and wear them anytime your shoes betray you.
- Camera: Needless to say, no safari trip is complete without you capturing the wildlife into your lens. Prefer caring a camera with a high-resolution lens that is powerful because most of the times you cannot get close enough to a wild animal to get a good look at it, and you have to use your camera to zoom in.
If you have an SLR, then you need to shop for a powerful telephoto lens for it. The main aim is to have a camera that you don’t need to point at the target and has a powerful zoom in quality.
- Baggage: It’s important to have the right baggage when going out on a safari trip.
- First of all, it must only be large enough for you to stuff all your essentials in it and small enough for you to carry it around easily
- It must be waterproof so that not only will it keep the insides all dry but will also protect them from the dust of the dry grasslands.
- A day bag will prove to be handy if you have to leave your car behind and go out hiking for the rest of the day. You can transfer the things you need instead of carrying the entire backpack with you.
- First Aid Kit: First aid kit is the most important thing that you should not forget at any costs while preparing for your wildlife or jungle safari. Roaming out in the wild with nothing but small shrubs and bushes that are flourishing with all kinds of insects, mosquitoes, bugs and small creatures puts you into a lot of risks. Here is a list of things you must have in your first aid box.
- Sunscreen: Carry a sunscreen that is not greasy and doesn’t smell. It is necessary to moisturize your arms and face. Also, it must be SPF 30 or above.
- Insect repellant
- Mosquito net
- Skin cream
- Malaria Tablets
- Citronella or other body soap
- Small scissors
- Q-tips and cotton balls
- Sanitary Requirements
- Contact lens and an extra set of disposable lenses
- Band-Aids and moleskin
- Antiseptic Cream
- Motion sickness tablets
- Heartburn remedy
- Re-hydration salts
- Anti- diarrhea medicine
- Cold/ flu tablets
- Allergy remedy
- Sterile needles
- Prescribes medicine
- Safari Equipment: Safari equipment involves all the things that you will need to have a good safari experience. Here is a list of safari equipment that you definitely must have on you for your safari:
- Flashlights: Needed, especially in dense forests or during the evenings as its starts to get dark, a flashlight will save you a lot of troubles.
- Binoculars: During a safari you’ll witness some animals that are far out in the open, and you can’t get close to them to have a look because common, they’re wild animals. Sometimes you won’t be allowed to go beyond certain boundaries because some parts of the forest are off the safari limits. So you have to have a good pair of binoculars that offer a good zoom- in.
- iPad/ Tablet: If you have one at your place, prefer taking it with you because you can get access to some knowledgeable reference material and can also review and transfer the pictures you have taken during the day trip to make way for more space for the next day.
- Hat: Sometimes the sun is shining so bright that the sunscreen is not enough. So get a hat with a chin tie to keep yourself guarded against the sun during the peak mid-day hours.
- Extras: Carry an extra pair of fresh batteries, extra memory cards, and lens cleaner
- Sleeping Bag: This is important especially if you are going on a camping safari.
- Travel Pillow: A travel pillow is a must on those long safari trip nights.
- Waterproof matches
- A small unbreakable mirror
- Wet wipes and hand sanitizer
- Pocket Knife
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Lip balm
- Razor and shaving cream
- Food: Food comes to play a prime role in preparing for a safari. Though safari lodges offer food, it’s always good to have a backup of your own. Safari is tiring because you are out there in the open, sometimes in a jeep, other times on foot. You need to stay hydrated and energized at all times. Also, you cannot afford to load your backpack with canned foods that will look like something else when you open them because you need to store them in cool temperatures, and you also need to heat them before consuming.
MRE or meals, ready to eat packets designed especially for a trip just like this. They are light in weight, packed with nutrition. Hermetically sealed and offer a large variety of foods. They do not need any heating before consumption because they come with an automatic self-heating system. Also, they are made to last for 5 years. Also, you don’t have to worry about carrying extra water bottles because they have water packets in them.
- A Sense of Adventure: This is perhaps the most important reason that you have planned for a safari trip. Don’t let the fatigue take over and make sure that you keep this spirit alive in you, throughout your trip.