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3 Common Misconceptions

June 28, 2011

I have been thinking a lot about the misconceptions people have about being on safari, some of which my own family had prior to joining me in East Africa.  So I thought I’d address a few of them in this week’s blog.

The heat. Many westerners are ignorant about Africa, let alone Kenya and one of the most common misconceptions is that it will be hot and humid.  This is so far from the truth!  Kenya straddles the equator and sits at relatively high altitude (on average 6,500 feet above sea level).  This makes for a very temperate climate year round.  While we can have warm days most nights are quite chilly and you will definitely need to be dressed in layers for a safari as you’ll be removing layers as the sun climbs in the sky and putting them back on as it sets.

The food. I live in a household with two teenage males & a Labrador retriever and they all share one thing – they are motivated by food & lots of it!  I know it was one of the concerns of most of my family & friends about being on safari – what will the food be like?  And in some cases, they were concerns about dietary restrictions – be that lactose intolerant, vegans or kosher – we have dealt with them all and with advance notice can cater to pretty well anything.  Let me reassure everyone, I always gain weight while on safari due to the abundance of delicious, recognizable good food.  On average there are 4 meals a day when you include afternoon tea and Kenya is a former British colony so you can’t beat the cooked breakfasts!  Plus the majority of the produce, meat & dairy is local – it’s the only option when you are in the bush.  So don’t worry about the food on safari, worry about your waistline.

The wildlife. One of my favourite pictures of my husband is from his first time on safari – it shows him with a shocked expression on his face as he realized a huge bull elephant was literally right beside him as we were on a game drive.  He could have reached out and touched this magnificent creature.  How close you can get to wildlife is the last misconception I wanted to talk about.  You can get very close and have some amazing wildlife encounters on foot, horseback and in a vehicle.  However, I want to emphasize that this is based on having a good, experienced and safety conscious guide with you.  I cannot stress the importance of your safari guide as they will make or break your safari and if there is any one question that you should ask about where you are staying it should be about the quality of the guides – are they local, are they accredited, how long have they been guiding, etc.  This is one of the things we take great pride in at Bush and Beyond – the quality of our guides at all of our properties.  A good safari guide will allow you to get up close to the wildlife in a safe situation and allow you to capture a once in a lifetime image like the one of my husband.  There is nothing more magical.

So have fun planning your next your safari and I hope I have allayed some fears and made you better prepared.  We are looking forward to seeing you soon!