Photo: Chloé Potier
BY: Lindi Hutchinson
You are super excited to embark on your first safari game drive in Africa and also an eager beaver to get a bit of a tan while the opportunity is there. Keep in mind that the African sun, though inviting, can be harsh and without you realizing it in time, you’ll soon look and feel like a crisp instead of a surfer dude or a babe. Rather catch some sun next to the pool and not on a safari. Remember to apply an adequate amount of SUNBLOCK and put it in your bag to frequently reapply.
Secondly, while on the sunny subject, remember to take a HAT! Do not try to be brave! I have seen guests get sunstroke before and it ruined their stay. No need for a proper, heavy, English safari hat, unless you are Jane visiting Tarzan. A cap will do just fine.
Thirdly, remember to drink WATER. Most lodges and guides supply water bottles. This is to prevent dehydration and headaches. Take a sip every couple of minutes.
Fourthly, BUG SPRAY. In your room, there will be two types of bug spray; Doom and Peaceful Sleep. I have seen multiple people not reading the labels on these cans and then covering themselves and their kids in the harmful room spray, Doom (green/orange tin). This is bad for your lungs, bad for your skin and the mozzies will feast on you later. Make sure you use peaceful sleep (blue tin) on your skin. Avoid your eyes, you need them to see animals. Rather spray a bit on your hand and rub it over your cheeks.
Lastly, a waterproof JACKET. The weather in Africa can be very unpredictable due to the warm Agulhas and cold Benguela currents. A cell might become unstable and cause a cloud break leaving you drenched and grumpy on safari It might also happen that a cold front blows over from the Cape to the Lowveld during your stay which can turn a delightful afternoon drive into a chilly evening get-me-home rush.
There you have it, the absolute bare necessities for a safari! Of course taking things such as cameras, binoculars and closed shoes are important but they won’t affect your health and potentially impact the rest of your travels. Rather be safe than sorry.