What You Should Know Before Taking Your First African Safari

Ivana Ivanovic
3 min readJun 24, 2021


Nothing can ever quite prepare you for a trip abroad. You are bound to encounter a new way of living and cultural differences any time you leave your home country. Especially if you’re embarking on an African safari, you will surely learn to embrace an entirely new way of life. Read below to learn what you should know before taking your first African safari.

Wildlife Isn’t Always Guaranteed

Yes, the whole point of your safari is to encounter wildlife outside of a zoo setting. While your tour leader will try their best to bring you on a route with animals, keep in mind that the wildlife is free to roam wherever they please. They are not always guaranteed to be near your route. Out in the grand fields of Africa, the animals do not have a fence to keep them contained. This is not to discourage you from taking a safari. You will most likely come across wildlife at some point; just keep in mind that it is not as guaranteed as a zoo would be.

No Two Drives Are the Same

Expect to start each day not knowing what you will encounter. Because of the non-controlled environment that you’ll be in, you will surely experience something new on each drive. Depending on the time of day, you might see entirely different scenes. This is the beauty of a safari — each day presents entirely new possibilities. You might see a herd of elephants one day, while you could see a newborn giraffe the next. Never say no to a game drive during your trip. While in Africa, you have to take all the opportunities you have to see the wildlife.

Get Used to Early Mornings

An African safari is not a super restful vacation. To get the most out of the money you spent on the trip, you’ll have to embrace all the activities. This means you’ll most likely begin each day at the crack of dawn, taking early-morning excursions before you’ve even had breakfast. Why such an early start? In most cases, the animals are very active in the wee hours of the morning. Even if you’re not a morning person, you won’t regret waking up early for these excursions, as you’ll most likely encounter some of the best wildlife scenes Africa has to offer. On top of that, you’ll witness some amazing sunrises.

Bring a Good Zoom Lens

If you’re hoping to capture some stunning photos, you’ll want to bring a quality camera with you. Smartphones make excellent cameras nowadays, but they don’t yet have the same zoom quality as DSLR cameras. If taking photos is a large part of your travels, it would be in your best interest to invest in a good zoom lens to bring with you so you can capture far-off wildlife and trick everyone into thinking you stood up close to each animal.



Ivana Ivanovic

Ivana Ivanovic lives in Vienna, Austria, where she serves as a Management Consultant. She has a large passion for travel. Visit IvanaIvanovic.net to learn more.