How to prepare a safari in Africa: our advice

The African savannah is fascinating with its abundant fauna and magnificent landscapes. The safari adventure calls you? These few tips will help you plan your trip in the wilderness.

Specify your dream

To say that the safari supply is abundant is a euphemism, to the point where your search engine gets carried away when you type "best safari in Africa". This is why it is important, before going on a hunt for agencies, to draw up a list of your desires. First, establish your expectations in terms of comfort. Everything is possible, from the rustic tent with floor mattresses to the five-star lodge with a soft bed and all the amenities. On the food side, some packages range from a basic and nutritious offer, while others use the services of attentive chefs. It is also necessary to check if the proposed activities correspond to your physical capacity. Some trips require more walking time or bumpy transportation than others. Also think about the desired formula: group, solo, couple or family travel? Keep in mind that these variables will necessarily influence the total invoice. Another detail not to be overlooked: make an inventory of the animals you absolutely want to see and communicate this list to your agency. Indeed, if the animals are essentially the same from one country to another, the routes and the season can reserve you beautiful surprises... or great disappointments.

The importance of a good agency

A safari is not cheap, so you expect a certain standard of quality - and rightly so. Before you untie your purse strings with an agency, find out about its reputation and reliability, as well as those of its African partners. Travel advisory sites can help you find out if what companies are saying is true. Wondering if it is better to do business with a Canadian company or a local agency? It is generally more risky to buy your trip from an African agency, unless you already know it and it has an excellent reputation. The main advantage with Canadian companies is that they are subject to Canadian consumer protection standards, even if the service is offered abroad and the intermediaries are located in another country. For example, in the event that a mechanical problem prevents your trip, you will have some recourse - which may be more complicated in Africa, or even impossible. Moreover, not all agencies are subject to the same ethical standards regarding respect for animal life and the environment. If you are concerned, ask questions. You can also turn to ecotourism.

Delimit your hunting territory (in pictures)

On which corner of the world will you plant your next flag? Several African countries contain wealth to make you dream. Safari classics, Kenya and Tanzania have a lot to offer. The animals are many and varied, the cultures we meet there are warm and colourful. Botswana has a very good reputation for the management of its parks and the quality of its accommodation. Turning towards luxury tourism, Botswana convinces adventurers eager for thrills and breath-taking landscapes. South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and Namibia are also worth looking into. Depending on your preferences for green or desert landscapes, more accessible or isolated parks - and your tolerance for change of scenery, you will certainly find the adventure you are looking for. Whatever your choice, take the time to learn about the weather, but also about politics. You wouldn't want to cross a river by jeep in the middle of the rainy season - or find yourself in a tense zone on your way to the steppe. The Government of Canada's Travel Recommendations are an excellent source of up-to-date information in this regard - a must consult.

Think about the practical details

In addition to the visa, which must be valid for at least six months after arrival at your destination, you must find out about the vaccinations required (often yellow fever) or recommended in the country where you will be on safari. Due to tropical diseases that may sometimes require emergency hospitalization or repatriation and organizational and transportation contingencies that can disrupt your adventure, it is recommended to have good travel insurance. All that's left is to pack your suitcase!
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