At Safari Club, we’re dedicated to helping people learn more about safaris, and potentially embark on their own adventures to explore Africa. However, a lot of people seem to have pre-conceived notions about safari trips, and Africa in general. We’re here to try and break down some of these common myths, and help shed some light on the subject of safaris and Africa as a whole.
- Safaris aren’t safe
It isn’t uncommon to hear or read about violent crime or dangerous parts of Africa in the media, but in fact, most safari parks or nature reserves are far away from the most dangerous corners of the continent. Staying in a reserve also means that you will often have guides with you, who keep watch or take preventative measures to make sure animals keep their distance, although most are actually very wary of humans in general!
- It’s very expensive to go on safari
While it certainly isn’t cheap to go on safari compared to other destinations, they do offer incredible value. Most trips will cover food and drink, tours, guided walks, park entry fees, airport transfers, and more. Often the only ‘extra costs’ come from if tipping your guides or trackers.
- Safaris are strenuous
A lot of people seem to think that being on safari involves running around chasing after animals to see them, or hiking up mountains for better views. While you may want to book a holiday that involves hiking, or guided walks, the game viewing from the comfort of your safari camp can be excellent and a lot of safari tours are carried out in jeeps.
- You have to rough it
While you can certainly choose to camp on a safari, you could also stay in lavish accommodation with top-notch facilities and fine dining. The choice is yours!
- You need to see the ‘Big Five.’
The so-called ‘big five’, consisting of the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard and rhinoceros, are the animals that people immediately think of when imagining going on safari. However, there is so much more to African wildlife than these creatures, and the experience of seeing any animal in its natural habitat is amazing. And besides, you can always come back again…
- You need a fortnight to do it right
Like any holiday, if you decide what you want to do beforehand and make a detailed itinerary, you can do it in less than two weeks, perhaps even a week. However, most experts agree that eight days is the ideal amount of time for a safari.
- All your time is spent wildlife spotting
Like most of the other misconceptions, this one is entirely up to you. If you want to tailor your safari around going out trying to see animals buy zovirax cream (acyclovir every day, you can! But Africa has plenty of other activities on offer if that’s not your cup of tea, these include horseback rides, camel trekking, fishing or boating.
- The food is awful
This can vary by individual case, but most safari trips offer a wide selection of food types and quantities to suit most appetites and will happily cater for any special dietary requirements. Some reserves even have on-site restaurants that offer fine dining! If you’re worried about this, make sure to ask your travel agent about it.
- Wildlife roams the streets
Africa does have an incredible array of wildlife, but in general avoid contact with humans! The whole point of the safari is to go out and find them yourself, and a lot of animals are to be found in protected areas, like national parks.
- Africa is a country
Africa is a continent! It is, in fact, the second largest continent in the world, and features 54 different countries.
- All African culture is the same
There is a massive diversity of different cultures across Africa, who follow different religions and traditions. It can be an amazing experience to witness some of these traditions first hand.
- You can plan your safari yourself
Most safari experts, like ourselves, have been in the safari business for a long time, and this expertise allows us to recommend the perfect safari trip, tailored specifically to what you want. Planning it yourself means that you lose out on a whole wealth of knowledge surrounding areas, activities and local guides. It is also unlikely to save you any money by doing it yourself.
- You’re guaranteed to see all the animals
Safaris are not like the zoo, the animals are wild and aren’t cooped up in enclosures, you may not be lucky enough to see every animal but you will certainly see plenty in their natural environment
- South African safaris are for beginners
Veteran safari-goers may turn their noses up at South Africa, implying that it is ‘too tame’ or ‘too choreographed’, but don’t listen to them! There is a reason that South Africa is one of the most popular safari countries on the continent. The animal density is fantastic there, the camps are stunning, and some of the best guides on the continent work there. If you’d like to find out more about South Africa, we have a whole host of information on our website where you can find out more!
If this article has made you think twice about safaris, we’d love to help you learn even more about these wonderful adventures. You can contact us, and have an informal chat with one of our specialist consultants, who will be more than happy to help.
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