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Six Tips for Planning an African Safari 

In this article we spoke to an expert and ex-guide about the 6 tips for planning an African Safari

Top Safari Tips from Shaun Stanley of Stanley Safaris

With South Africa receiving a 48.9% increase in international visitors last year, tourism is projected to continue to grow throughout 2024 as travelers are seeking more transformative experiences and immersive adventures in remote regions.

Specializing in crafting itineraries across Southern and Eastern Africa, Stanley Safaris introduces travelers to “Our Africa” – an untamed land brimming with unique landscapes, wildlife, and cultures. A former safari guide and the founder of Stanley Safaris, Shaun Stanley has carefully mastered how to execute the experience perfectly, ensuring safari goers get the most out of their adventures.

Here are his top tips for planning the Africa trip of a lifetime this year:

Stay at a camp that takes guiding seriously:

As an ex-guide and having been on hundreds of safaris across Africa, I know the difference a guide makes to a safari. Having an exceptional guide means having an exceptional safari. I have spoken to many clients who perhaps did not see a lot of wildlife but were entirely blown away by how their guide really brought Africa’s wilderness to life. Unfortunately, the opposite can also be true, where travelers see phenomenal sightings, but a subpar guide puts a damper on their experience.

Try a walking safari:

It might sound scary, but at Stanley Safaris, we love a walking safari because it is such a unique and educational experience. Walking the same earth as big game is exhilarating, but what is extra special is the chance to witness the smaller plants and animals one would usually miss in a vehicle. It’s also a great way to connect with the guides and their knowledge on another level, providing safari-goers with a deeper understanding of the environment.

Don’t cram in too many destinations:

Although it’s nice to get to know different game reserves and countries, don’t rush around trying to tick boxes. A large part of Africa’s charm is slowing down, immersing oneself in the wild, and getting to know the amazing animals and people encountered along the way.

Visit more than just the Big Five:

The Big Five is synonymous with Africa and safaris, but travelers should not limit themselves to thinking it is all that Africa has to offer. The continent is filled with jaw-dropping landscapes, a myriad of fascinating plants, animals, and birds, and of course, wonderful people with vibrant, kind, and hospitable cultures. Engaging with these aspects enriches the safari experience and makes it much more meaningful.

Plan ahead:

It is essential to know that Africa is not a last-minute destination. During peak season, the most desirable camps and lodges are often fully booked over a year in advance. Planning in advance offers the advantage of securing preferred accommodations, rather than being restricted by last-minute availability.

Speak to a safari expert:

A safari is unlike any other vacation due to the multitude of factors to consider. Choosing the right location and knowing where to go at what time of year will mean the difference between seeing an abundance of wildlife or none at all. At Stanley Safaris, we will never send out an itinerary unless we have spent considerable time getting to know our travelers and what is important to them.