Page 4 - The Best African Safari
P. 4

Safari is the Swahili word for long journey. In the past it evoked images of
big game hunting - Stalking prey all day and then returning in the evening
for a formal dinner and telling stories over gin and tonics around a fire.
Today it can mean a variety of styles of trips but all revolve around
searching wildlife by vehicle – this time with cameras instead of guns.
There is nothing like viewing wildlife in a natural habitat that can’t be
seen anywhere else in the world. As in Hemingway’s day, a day on safari
might end with sitting around a fire and telling stories under the stars,
but this time returning to a luxurious tent with real beds, flush toilets and
hot showers.

I hear it all the time when I mention my own trips — Going on an African
Safari today is on most travelers’ bucket list. Getting to Africa is much
easier today than it has ever been. But where in Africa should you go?
What time of year should you go? What do you want to see and do?
Who should you choose to go on safari with? What is the food like? Can
you drink the water? Where will you stay? What shots and medicines do
you need? What should you pack? What kind of camera equipment do
you need? What diseases do you need to worry about? What animals will
you see? How close will they be? Is it safe?

Planning a Safari can be an overwhelming experience. This is especially
true today because unlike in Hemingway or Teddy Roosevelt’s time there
is easy access to an abundance of information that is just an internet
search and a few clicks away. Just like too many Facebook postings about
a 4-year old’s dance recital and what they ate for dinner, there can be
“TMI” (too much information) when it comes to figuring out a safari. It is
not like picking a hotel in Hawaii and renting a car or finding a hotel in
Paris and looking at a guidebook at the sites you should visit. This is a trip
to a different continent, taking you out into the bush, over sometimes
rough roads and if you are not happy you can’t just hail a cab and move
somewhere else.

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