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6 Things You Need to Know before Your South African Safari

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We have to be honest here - when we first heard South Africa, we're not sure whether we can pull this one off the free and easy way. But there's a first time for everything.

It took a month of non-stop research online and a few emails to safari experts before we booked a flight to South Africa. The African continent is on the list of adventure travellers and honeymooners, all hoping to experience either the thrill of seeing a lion a few inches away or the romance of being in the untouched wild. South Africa is one of the most accessible safari locations in Africa, where Kruger National Park resides. If you're still unsure about booking a South Africa trip, these tips will get you all set for that adventure of a lifetime.

 

Book Early 

We're so not kidding about this. Most lodges range from family-owned lodges with as little as just four rooms to luxury lodges with slightly over 40 rooms. Capacity is limited. Booking a safari lodge can be extremely competitive, with travellers booking as early as a year in advance, especially during the peak season of June to September. So if you want to stay in the popular lodges during your choice period, get ready to plan ahead. 

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Credit: Rex Features

 

Know the Big Five 

You might have seen the term 'Big Five' pop up when you're doing your casual research of Africa trips. The Big Five refers to a group of animals that's hard to find - African elephant, African lion, African leopard, cape buffalo and black rhinoceros. Kruger National Park is one of the many national parks in Africa that contains this elusive animal group, and safari game drives can be highly exhilarating when you're on the lookout for these creatures. When choosing a safari company, it helps to get with the experts. Not just experts in driving, but experts in South African wildlife. Your safari guide's knowledge would add an extra dimension to your game drive. 

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Credit: Oasis Africa

 

Be Adventurous with Food

When in South Africa, psych yourself up to try the traditional foods that's unique to Africa. Eating game meat such as kudu and springbok is common there, and some popular dishes include impala steak, springbok carpaccio and guinea fowl pot. But if you're unable to stomach it, be sure to highlight it to your accommodation to avoid having a meal you can't eat. 

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Credit: Cooking with Affal

 

Get Acquainted with Safari Lodges

Safari lodges are either fenced or unfenced. The wild ones would pick the latter. You can be surprised by an elephant standing outside your window in an unfenced lodge, and you'll usually be accompanied by a staff after hours if you need to walk within the outdoor compounds of the lodge. As a rule of thumb, most lodges serve a minimum of breakfast and dinner which is included in the price of the room. Some luxury lodges would do the full works with breakfast, lunch and dinner. This means you don't have to go out for food when night falls. 

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Credit: Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge

 

Let Tripadvisor Be Your Best Friend 

We're all concerned about safety when choosing the right accommodation or tour company, but reviews never lie, especially when they are in large numbers. Tripadvisor is the perfect source for honest reviews. Steer clear of accommodations that have complaints of thefts and safety. Always think safety over price - you won't go wrong there. 

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Credit: 500px

 

Dress in Khaki Colours 

Don't run out just yet to get that all khaki outfit you saw in Jurassic Park. Neutral colours like browns, greens and blues are recommended, especially if you're going on a bush walk. Don't bother wearing white - dust accumulates after a day out in the savannah and you'll regret packing an LWD. 

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Credit: Vogue

 

Guide to Kruger National Park

Transfers 

Ashtons Tours

Accommodation

Mbizi Bush Lodge

Naledi Bushcamp and Enkoveni Camp

Toro Yaka Bush Lodge

Elephant Plains Game Lodge

Kapama River Lodge

Safari Game Drives

The Other Animals Safaris

Nhongo Safaris