We’ve tried to provide some traveling tips when on safari such as the amount you should allow for tipping, clothing to wear on a game drive, number of passenger in a safari vehicle and related.
Traveling tips when On Safari
Are wild animals dangerous?
Yes, absolutely so. Most of the regions visited in Southern Africa are in areas where you are within the natural habitat of the wildlife.
In South Africa you will find that most of the private reserves are fenced, but within the confines the animals roam freely and you still need to be cautious. In most of the other countries there are no fences surrounding the camps.
The best advice is to listen to your guide’s instruction while in camp. They are trained to handle any situation, should it arise. At almost all the private camps the guides walk you to and from your tents.
Keep in mind that animals do wander through the camps during the day and at night, so at all times just be aware of your surroundings and you will be fine. Having wild animals in such close proximity is one of the main reasons people visit the area – enjoying them in their natural habitat is what makes the experience all the more special.
Can I feed the wild animals?
No, such a practice is not allowed in any game reserve nor is feeding wild animals is a desirable way to conserve wildlife. If you try to feed the wild animals, you place your own life and other people’s lives at risk.
What type of vehicle is used?
On private safaris, you will be traveling in on open Landrover or similar 4×4 vehicle, which offers excellent visibility and outstanding photo opportunities. Landrovers usually have 3 rows of tiered seating, and carry six to eight passengers.
On overland tours from mini-bus to larger Unimog-type vehicles are used whilst game viewing is generally done by 4×4 vehicle.
In public reserves larger custom made vehicles carrying up to 22 people are generally used.
What clothing should I wear on a game drive?
In winter, you’ll need warm clothes, a fleece and scarf and maybe even gloves and a hat (during the day). Most safari lodges have blankets available on the vehicles for the early morning and night drives – but do not rely on it.
In summer, take a jumper, a waterproof jacket, and a cap or safari hat (and sunglasses) to keep the sun out of your eyes and protect your head. Remember even in summer you need some warm clothing as early-morning and night game drives can sometimes be chilly.
What amount should I allow for tipping?
Tipping in Africa isn’t obligatory, although it is customary. Often, staff members rely on tips from guests, whether you tip directly or make use of the staff tip-box.
In South Africa tips are preferred in South African Rand, but in the rest of the continent tips are usually given in American dollars or Euro. Most camps in South Africa allow tipping by credit card if you prefer not to carry cash, but it is necessary to check this in advance.
As a general guideline rangers are tipped $10 per guest per day in a shared vehicle. At least double that amount per guest in a private vehicle. Trackers, butlers and valets are tipped at $5 per guest per day and you can contribute to the general staff fund (for cleaners, cooks, waiters, etc) at $5 per guest per day.
Please remember the amount you tip is entirely up to you and does of course depend on the service you have received.
All tips are normally given at the end of your stay.
If you’re in any doubt, the lodge managers are usually able to provide some advice.