A safari can be an exciting vacation for nature lovers and those who enjoy being in the great outdoors. One of the most important factors when planning a safari vacation is choosing the right location. The location you choose to visit and the time of year when you travel will determine what types of animals you are likely to encounter. Most people on safari hope to see elephants, leopards, rhinos, lions and buffalo, or the big five, as they are known, but there are also a lot of other interesting creatures to see, including giraffes, zebra, hippos, crocodiles, hyenas, birds, and monkeys. It is usually best to avoid the wet season, but you should consider visiting during the great migration, if possible since this can be a spectacular sight. If you are hoping to see a particular type of animal, you should make sure that you choose a lodge where you will be able to find them at the time when you will be visiting. South Africa, Zambia, Namibia, Kenya, and Botswana are popular choices for safaris, although there are also other African countries that offer the chance to go on safari.
You should expect to start early when you are on safari since most safaris take place around dawn and dusk since this is when the animals are most active. The activities you can enjoy during the middle of the day will depend on your lodge. Some will have swimming pools, spas and other activities for their guests, but the smaller and more remote lodges may simply allow guests to rest in the shade, eat lunch and entertain themselves.
Safari operators and lodges vary a great deal, so you should choose one that matches your taste and budget. Some offer very basic facilities, or even involve camping, while others are luxurious hotels. Some travelers like to combine a safari trip with a visit to a nearby beach or city, for example spending the week in a safari lodge and then moving to a hotel for the weekend. Some safari operators will only accept children over a certain age, and it is usually best to wait until your children are older in order to try a safari. Younger children can be bored, overwhelmed or even frightened by the animals.
Make sure you have a good guide. Choosing a lodge which has well-informed guides who know the local area and wildlife well will make your safari more enjoyable. Most safaris will involve driving through the bush with a tracker locating the animals and a ranger interacting with the guests. The ranger should be able to tell you about the animals that you see and answer any of your questions. In addition to driven safaris, some lodges also offer walking safaris, horseback safaris or kayaking safaris.
As well as making sure you will have an informative guide, it can also be a good idea to invest in a good guidebook so that you can learn more about the animals you will see, or so that you can identify some of the rarer or less familiar animals.
You will probably also want to bring a camera or video camera, but you should make sure that you don\'t spend your whole vacation watching the wildlife through your camera. A safari is not just about coming home with some good photos or footage, it is also about enjoying the experience. It is very easy to miss something interesting if you are too busy framing the perfect shot of something else.
You should pack light clothing and comfortable shoes, but remember that it can cool down at night so you will need a warm sweater for the evenings. You should protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a hat. Try to avoid wearing bright colors or white clothing as this may scare away some of the wildlife. Many people wear shorts and short-sleeved tops on safari, but you should make sure you pack some options that offer more protection against the sun and bugs, particularly if you have sensitive skin.
Bring a good book. Many safari resorts have plenty of interesting additional amenities and activities to enjoy between safaris, but if you are staying in a smaller lodge or if you will be spending the night out in the wilderness you will probably need something to entertain you while you are waiting for your next excursion.
Africa is the classic choice for a safari holiday, but ecotourism and wildlife spotting vacations are also an option elsewhere around the world. You can spend your vacation trekking through the jungle in the Amazon, searching for tigers on the back of an elephant in India or even watching penguins and whales on an Antarctic cruise. If you are considering your options for an adventure vacation, then you should spend some time exploring the adventuresinliving.org website, as it will give you some good ideas and useful tips on where to go and what to do.