7 Top Tips when Planning a South African Safari Tour

Up close and personal on our safari in Kruger National Park


The African savannah is an enchanting landscape, and the experience of a South African safari is like no other. Here at Trailblazers Travel, our South African safari tour is one of our most popular, and no wonder. Where else could you get the same wondrous mix of wild animals, amazing sunsets and sunrises, breathtaking landscapes and friendly people – South Africa has some of the friendliest people on the planet, always with a big smile and kind word to greet you! More than that, we often say that Africa changes you forever. It’s a place that, once you’ve been there, you will never be the same.

This being said, if you are planning a South African safari tour, you need to be prepared. Like any and all tourist destinations, doing your homework before you go, knowing what to expect, and knowing what you should and shouldn’t do or bring will all go a long way towards making sure that your trip is the best it can be. Here, in our opinion, are the top 7 most important things you need to know when planning a South African safari tour:

Mum & cubs

1. Know what you want from the experience

The best time to experience a South African safari tour depends on what you want from the experience. Game viewing is best during the dry winter months, while summertime (November and December) is great for calving season, which means you will get to see many newborn wildlife. This is also the time the summer migrant birds arrive.


2. Know when the peak times are

Peak travel times, and consequently peak times for the game parks and reserves, usually coincide with the school holidays. In South Africa, the school holidays take place during April, June, September, and December to February.


3. Know what paperwork you need

Did you know that travelling with children under the age of 18 to South Africa requires proper documentation? (Check our resources section for more information.) You must also have Parental Consent Affidavits for each child under the age of 18, and while we’re on the topic of travel documentation, make sure that all travelers have at least 6 months’ validity on their passports from the date of your return.


4. Know your packing essentials

Even though Kruger Park, which is where our South African safari tour takes place, is a safe travel destination, it is still a designated malaria area. When packing, make sure you’ve got your precautionary measures including mosquito/insect repellent and long sleeves/pants. Malaria prophylaxis is also recommended, however please check with your doctor for more information. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Capsule wardrobe all the way!


5. To drink or not to drink

While the water in South Africa is safe to drink in urban areas, care should be taken when going to remote or country areas. Bottled water is generally available at restaurants and convenience stores, so you will need to plan accordingly.


6. Pack layering options

If you’re going during the winter months, be aware that the weather can change substantially from morning to afternoon, so be prepared for both cool and warm weather. The easiest thing to do is to wear several layers that you can put on and take off throughout the day.


7. The essentials checklist

Finally, here’s a list of packing essentials:

As always, we at Trailblazers Travel recommend that you do not engage in cub petting or other forms of animal entertainment while on a South African safari tour, and remember not to use flash photography while taking photos of the animals. For more information, contact us or read our FAQs here.

Categories: Adventure Travel, Animals, Responsible Travel, South Africa