East Africa has diverse wildlife and is an ultimate tour destination for nature lovers. The region is blessed wildlife species from savanna’s largest mammals like Elephants, rhinos, Hippos to the smallest species.
These wild animals are evenly distributed in the various national parks and reserves East Africa has. Most outstanding include Masai Mara game reserve, Serengeti National Park, Bwindi impenetrable national park, Volcanoes National Park and Virunga National Park.
Many tourists seek to Visit East Africa especially first time travelers but end up being disappointed on their trips. Below are some of the mistakes you should avoid when planning your safari in East Africa.
Not Choosing The Right Tour Operator
Many tourists when planning their fruit safari opt to use a local tour operator but its always good to choose the right one. Tour operators are often registered with associations for example for Uganda there is The Association of Uganda Tour Operators (AUTO). They often listed on the websites and can be easily traced.
Choosing the right tour operator is important as they will help you arrange all the ground logistics and making bookings. Local tour operator packages usually come with local safari guides who help you easily connect to places.
Some tour operators can be got on trip advisor basing on reviews of their past clients. These helps in accessing the general trip and service offered by that particular tour operator.
Not Planning your Itinerary in Advance
Its important to plan your itinerary in advance because there are multiple attractions so you need to know what to Visit and when. Some activities are physically demanding like tracking and hiking so its better to know what to start in a properly planned itinerary.
There are also bucket list safari activities that every tourist wants to be apart of. In order not to miss on any of these you need to plan in advance. Planning your itinerary also helps determine how much you will be spending on your safari. This is because as you plan you get to know what you will be spending on.
Safaris in East Africa are very much affected by seasons. There are two major seasons that are the dry and wet season. Wildlife experiences here can be best enjoyed in the dry season from June to October and from December to March. You can however only make the best use of this with a properly planned itinerary.
Forgetting to Get Maps If on Self Drives
Some tourists wish to explore East Africa on their own and often hire cars to do self guided safaris. For this, its very important to get Maps of the particular country and destination that you will be visiting.
Many places are listed on google maps and can be reached following them however some are remote with poor internet connection. Here physical maps help a big deal as they can easily direct you incase the place you going has poor network.
Ensure to get maps at local bookshops ahead of your guided safari to avoid any inconveniences. To effectively use the maps on your phone or smart gadgets, remember to charge or carry power banks.
Not following rules and regulations
Wildlife activities in East Africa especially primate tracking and guided nature walks have set rules and regulations. These were put in place to ensure safety of tourists and enable them enjoy their safari to the fullest.
These regulations are given to the tourists early morning in briefings before embarking an the wildlife activities. Its very important to follow the given rules and regulations to avoid being inconvenienced while on the tour.
Common rules and regulations for gorillas and chimpanzee tracking include keeping at least a 7 meters distance away from them. This is important because when you get to close they feel you are encroaching on their space and easily charge. Some rules and regulations when it comes to the local people of the area helps you to avoid cultural clashes.
Over or Under packing
Packing is a very important aspect of a wildlife tour in East Africa. To avoid issues with packing you need to study the destination you are heading to and know what and how much to pack.
Avoid packing a lot of unnecessary items or clothing as they somehow inconvenience in transit. You should also ensure not to under pack as there essential items you will need for your tour.
Safari companies often offer a packing list that can guide you and what to bring for a particular tour you desire.