This Is How You Can Actually Take An Amazing African Safari
By now, you've probably seen Taylor Swift's new music video "Wildest Dreams" that she premiered at the VMAs on Sunday.
Which means that you probably also want to go on an African safari ASAP.
Thing is, African safaris are not cheap.
But if you want to chill with lions and leopards and zebras oh my, it's worth it. Here's what you need to know before you book.
1. All-inclusive tours are the easiest option, and one of the most popular — but they're also the most expensive.
2. But, with a bit of careful planning, it's totally possible to plan your own safari, too. Start by choosing the right time of year to go.
3. And the park that has the wildlife you want to see most.
4. If you have a few extra days, wait until you arrive to plan your detailed itinerary.
5. Embrace the hostel scene.
"They're often the best sources for budget safari trips. They likely have the best prices and are also a great way to meet like-minded travelers in your demographic," says van Son.
6. And rent a 4x4.
Just be sure to follow the rules.
7. Camp in the parks whenever you can ...
8. ... but consider splurging on accommodation for a night or two, too.
"Isibindi Africa Lodges offer dream accommodations in beautiful settings of Zululand at very reasonable prices," recommends Garcia. Another option: Stay with the locals, in lodges like !Xaus Lodge in the South African Kalahari. "When locals receive income from wildlife tourism, they are far more likely to preserve the animals in their own area and develop pride in their natural heritage."
9. Invest in an SLR camera with a long lens — or rent one.
Although you can get some beautiful landscapes with your iPhone, and cool videos with a GoPro, these cameras aren't the best because the animals won't get right in your face. So consider bringing an SLR camera and a longer lens (300-500mm range), advises Garcia. "Long lenses are expensive, but you can always rent one from a place like BorrowLenses."