When we speak to tourists in the national parks we are amazed at what some of them have been told! There is normally a hint of truth mixed in with the nonsense so that the stories are more believable. Read more about uk49s
My wife and I were born in Africa, have lived here for all our lives and have visited most national parks, from Kruger to Kalahari to Kilimanjaro.
We want to present to you the top ten African safari myths that we have heard, but demystified with our experiences, so that you can make your decisions based on facts.
Myth #1: Africa is hot, humid and hazardous!
Fact: More people get bitten by spiders and snakes in their homes than while on safaris. Most safaris happen on open savanna not in jungles and the best time for safaris tends to be the cooler winter months when mosquitoes and snakes lie dormant.
Myth #2: Africa isn’t safe for tourists due to political unrest.
Fact: The Kruger National Park alone gets about 1.5 million visitors every year, of which over 60% are foreign visitors. The USA can fit into Africa about three times – Africa is a big continent with many countries – some have problems but generally the Southern African parks in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are safe and peaceful.
Myth #3: An African Safari is an adventure holiday.
Fact: A traditional safari is a relaxed event that takes place in a vehicle. You drive around the park on a self drive safari or are driven around on a guided tour looking for wildlife to watch or photograph. Your only exertion will be to lift up your camera or your sun-downers!
Myth #4: To truly experience Africa’s wildlife you must “rough it.”
Fact: You have the option of doing self drive and roughing it but you also have the option of doing self-drive and staying in comfortable en-suite bungalows or doing guided safaris with luxury accommodation and gourmet meals. We have done all three and, for a true wilderness experience, prefer the en-suite bungalows in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park wilderness camps.
Myth #5: An African safari is very expensive!
Fact: We stay in very nice accommodation from self-contained safari tents to family cottages costing on average about US$150,00 per night (for 2 people). If you are a foreign tourist then your most expensive item would be your airfare and if you used your frequent flyer miles your overall safari cost would be dramatically reduced.
Myth #6: The more Parks you visit on your African safari the greater your wildlife experience.
Fact: Rather stay at one park for the full duration – the Kruger Park is over 300 kilometers from north to south – you could spend 10 days just in the south of the park and not see everything there is to see. An African safari should provide you with quality of game viewing instead of just a tick-list of parks visited.
Myth #7: Seeing the Wildebeest Migration and/or the Big-Five is like finding the Holy Grail – a safari isn’t a safari without them!
Fact: Some people get their timing wrong and they miss the migration while others do not tick off the big-five animals. Our advice is not to fret – a safari is so much more than just these two sights. You have the big-six birds, the small-five animals, and the elusive-eleven that are a challenge to find and that make great photographic subjects! We have won a few photo contests and most of our winning images have been of insects, reptiles and plants – these less-seen animals.