There are certainly a lot of things that experienced Safari-goers know about the place they’re going to and about safaris. But it doesn’t mean that you have to go on 20 safaris before you know what they know. Especially not if we can help it. If you are thinking about going on a safari while on holiday in Cape Town, you should definitely consider a Cape Town Safari. Whether it’s the flora and fauna, the various geographical formations or simply the vastness of it all that appeals to you, a Cape Town Safari is a must. This article is designed to assist you with helpful tips and equip you with all the knowledge you need before going on a Cape Town Safari, ensuring your experience is as memorable as possible.
1. No shouting
When visiting animals on a safari, it is important to keep in mind that we are just guests in their homes. They are not domesticated but rather free. Wildlife is inquisitive by nature and will naturally approach when curious. Being loud, waving your arms, or yelling is upsetting the animal and could throw him off his natural behaviour.
2. Dress the part
Safari clothes aren’t just for fun; they actually serve a real purpose in the African bush. Safari clothing should be comfortable, blend in with the environment and hold up to the elements of Africa. For an authentic-looking African safari, bring along khaki clothing, which is what many professional hunters wear on their hunts.
3. Wake up early on your Safari
If you want to capture that perfect picture of the animals, then you need to be out there early, observing and taking pictures as they wake from their slumber. It might seem daunting but once you get up and conquer your first morning you will gain the benefits that come with it. Not only will you be out there capturing those perfect moments, but you’ll also gain respect for the animals that will have one of them staring back at you from your game vehicle.
4. Become familiar with sundowners
A safari day is never short of its fair share of excitement, but nothing beats the thrill of the sunset moment. The sundowner ritual is a South African custom, and we’re guessing you’ve had to wait for your chance to participate in the ritual during your safari days. Sundowners are drinks that are had while watching the slow sunset.
5. Bring binoculars with you on your Safari
Binoculars can be used for a variety of activities, but the most common use for binoculars is bird watching. If you are going on safari, you’ll want to invest in some great binoculars to see what kind of animals you might encounter while also being able to pick out details so that you can remember them later without having to carry a camera with you all the time.
6. You can never ask too many questions on a Cape Town Safari
Have you ever travelled somewhere and been afraid to ask questions because you thought that no one there would understand your accent? Or perhaps, you are afraid to say the wrong thing? The best way to get the most out of your safari is to ask questions. You can’t be a good safari guest if you don’t have questions, and your guide will surely appreciate your interest.
7. Tip your guide on your Cape Town Safari
Safari guides are a wealth of knowledge that they enjoy sharing with the guests. A good guide is always on duty and ready to help with any questions. A safari guide can usually be found with binoculars or spotting scope in hand. Indoors, or at night, a guide is never without a book that contains descriptions of the animals and plants that live in his/her environment. They work very hard to make sure that you are always safe and as close as possible to the wild animals to take photos and ask questions.
(A standard guideline for tipping is $10-$15 per person, per day for your guide)
Now for the long-awaited list that will reveal common myths people speak about on safaris…
Animals play a vital role in our lives. They are our company, our entertainment and most of all, they are our friends. No matter the age, everybody has heard a rumour or myth about different animals. Safari myths are a popular subject amongst safari-goers and everyone has their own favourites. But, just the same as the tale of the tortoise and the hare, some myths will outlive others. These are perhaps tested over time until they pass through the ‘test of time’ and become widely accepted as fact. The point is not to be sceptical when you hear about them, but rather to do your research so you can separate myth from reality when going on a Cape Town Safari.
Safari myth 1 : Giraffes normally perform romantic ‘necking’ displays
This is actually a spectacle of young males mock fighting. They strike each other using their horns followed by a little jump. It is not unusual for animals to have different ways of communicating with each other. The communication of one species can often be very different from another species, but it all makes sense when we learn what they are trying to say. The communication methods used by animals range from scent to vocalisation and physical displays, like the posturing of a young giraffe that wants to show off his ‘horns’.
Safari myth 2: Hyenas are only scavengers
Hyenas hunt in packs. They are efficient and relentless hunters and are a formidable force when they work together. The only times when hyenas scavenge the leftovers from other prey is when there aren’t many animals or game around to hunt.
Safari myth 3: Male lions don’t hunt on
Although male lions make up a large part of the numbers of pride, they are far from being just ‘numbers’. Males have several important roles within a pride. They will work with the females to defend the pride against intruders and do play an important role in hunting. But, despite their strength and ability to bring down prey as big as giraffes, male lions are not as suited to hunting as females and it is normally the lionesses that do most of the hunting. But when things get tough, the male lion will always step in.
Safari myth 4: Hippos kill more people than any other animal in Africa
When we think of hippos what usually comes to mind is the famous image of a huge ‘man-eating’ monster charging through the water with its mouth wide open and its enormous teeth on full display. This is what most documentary makers would have us believe. However, hippos will actually only attack when startled or trying to escape back into the water. Otherwise, the “fact” that these animals kill more people than any other animals in Africa is false.
Safari myth 5: Porcupines shoot their quills
The porcupine’s quills don’t really shoot out, but when threatened, they raise and spread to show their enemies how big and dangerous they are.
Safari myth 6: Crocodiles store their prey underwater
Crocodiles are known for diving underwater to capture their prey. While many interesting facts are known about the predators, murkier and less known details surface from time to time. One such fact is the fact that crocodiles don’t store their prey underwater like most of us think.
Safari myth 7: Ostriches bury their heads in the sand
The statement that ostriches bury their heads in the sand, to hide from their enemies, is one of those widespread “facts” that everyone believes, but which has almost no basis in actual observation. Ostriches do not bury their heads in the sand. They merely pick up stones and chew them to aid digestion.
Now with regards to what you should pack for your Cape Town Safari, we’ve comprised a list for you.
Let’s say you’re heading to Cape Town for an exciting safari in one of the most diverse cities in the world. You’ve packed your swimsuits, camera gear and sunscreen, but how should you dress? What is appropriate clothing for a Cape Town Safari? How does a first-time safari-goer dress? It’s only natural to want your first experience at a safari destination to be perfect. New travellers often worry about what to wear on their Cape Town Safari, and what equipment to bring. While researching the “right stuff,” it’s easy to become intimidated by insider terms (does anyone know what a “buffalo bar” is?) and cryptic misinformation (don’t believe everything you read about camouflage). To keep you from looking foolish in front of those who know better, here are some quick pointers for dressing for a safari.
So, while it’s true that there are four seasons in Cape Town, you should dress up for a safari just like any other adventurer. In this blog post, we are going to talk about what you should wear on a Cape Town Safari.
DO: Pack clothes that can be worn multiple ways during a safari
Packing light on a safari is almost a must because of the space you want to leave for souvenirs. This means that you should pack base-layer clothing as well as pants that zip off at the knees so that you don’t waste space on long pants as well as shorts for when it gets warmer. Try to pack clothes that can be worn multiple times, day after day at camp. Most camps do have laundry service but dryers aren’t so common, so try to pack light and thin fabrics that dry quickly.
DON’T: Pack jeans or delicate materials
If you’re planning a trip to South Africa, your time in the country will be much more comfortable if you take a few precautions. Good jeans are difficult to dry when you’re in transit and flannel shirts tend to attract pesky tsetse flies. A lightweight solid-coloured fleece is a much better option for cool weather.
DO: Pack light-coloured clothing during a Safari
There are several factors to consider when deciding what you’re going to wear on your cape town safari. While most important considerations lie in the weather pattern and temperature, you’ll want to be prepared for those elements in a comfortable manner. For your safari clothing, you’ll want to bring clothes designed for the hot climate of Cape Town, so try to pack lightweight, light-coloured clothes (Avoiding white). Also, try your best not to pack dark blue and black shirts because both of these colours attract tsetse flies.
DON’T: Wear animal prints on your Safari
Because you want to take photos of real animals and not look like them, avoid wearing animal prints! If you prefer to wear your heart on your sleeve, then you might want to rethink your love of animal print. Why? There could be a good reason why every zoo and wildlife refuge has banned clothing with stripes, dots, and other loud prints.
DO: Leave expensive items and electronics at home during your Cape Town Safari
Safari is the heart and soul of every trip to Africa. As you might imagine, there are many important precautions to keep in mind when packing for a Cape Town safari or a wild game drive. Many of the greatest safari tours are located close to South Africa’s underdeveloped communities, meaning that your electronics might just be safer at home. It would also be better to leave these items at home if you’re going to be advocating for an eco-friendly safari.
Here’s another list of a few things to consider before going on a Cape Town Safari.
Have you ever thought about going on a Safari in Cape Town before? Well, let us tell you the reasons why you should go. You’ll be amazed to know about the beautiful wildlife that hangs around there, and how enjoyable your safari can be if you just follow one or two rules. We’ve made it a point to help you out with some of the things that you should be aware of before going on a safari in Cape Town. Imagine sitting inside your car and going through a lot of animals around you while having fun with your friends and family. Just imagine how beautiful it could be! But there are some things that you should consider before going on your safari and that’s why we’ve put this blog together for you.
1. How many guests are in a vehicle during a Safari
The only way you can enjoy the safari is if you are there. However, if you have a wife or husband, children or an elderly family member, then ask for vehicle considerations based on your situation. Many safari lodges will consider those factors and then talk to their driver to see if they can accommodate. The last thing you want to do is end up being in the middle seat on each safari drive without being able to see the animals properly.
2. Don’t think that the Kruger is always the best for your safari
It’s a cliche but it’s true that “bigger isn’t always better”. Kruger national park is the most famous wildlife reserve in South Africa and a lot of people would say that you should head to this park for the experience of a lifetime. But true safari experiences can often be found at the smaller reserves. If you are a backpacker, then you will know that it isn’t always about the bigger, the better when it comes to travel. When it comes to adventure travel, actively search for the safari experience that provides the most authentic encounters in the smallest land areas and closest to nature.
3. Budget or luxury on a Cape Town Safari
We’re not sure if it’s ever crossed your mind, but whatever happened to the good old-fashioned days of ‘African safaris” when the destination was not artificial, too overcrowded or likely to be packed out? Today, I think an increasing number of travellers have lost a sense of discovery on these once magical safaris. Sometimes the most precious safaris will be budget-friendly safaris, those that are smaller and less crowded.
4. Choose your guide wisely
What’s worse than being assigned a guide that isn’t really into their job? A guide who doesn’t take the time to make sure you have what you need, or to point out the best places to hike when exploring the area. A guide that doesn’t know much about the trails, yet insists on describing the entire trip? The magic lies in choosing a good and knowledgeable guide.
5. Tipping on a Safari in Cape Town
Probably the biggest chunk of change in your budget should be devoted to tips. Many nationalities, particularly Europeans, don’t have tipping ingrained in them. They’ll pay very close attention to the bill that guides or drivers present, deducting everything from the final amount before they fork over the cash to make sure their bill is accurate. Then, once on safari, they might not budget extra for tipping their driver and guide.
Resorts normally make use of laundry to earn money. They’ll often ask for money when wanting to iron your clothes too, so be sure to check out what kind of laundry facilities each resort has before you book your trip.
Now that you know what to expect and what to think about when preparing for your Safari in Cape Town, why not book one with us by following this link: https://africantraveldesk.com/tours/cape-town-safari/ for a full day safari in Cape Town, or book a 2 day Cape Town Safari by following this link: https://africantraveldesk.com/tours/cape-town-safari-2-days/