Travel & Global — 14 January 2003
I Dreamed Of Africa – Going On Safari

I Dreamed of Africa
January 14, 2003

Going on Safari!

A safari is the perfect adventure to share with your children or grandchildren. It is an incredible experience that will stay with them throughout their lives. You should see the excitement in a child’s eyes when they see their first safari animal up close and personal. Children are absolutely fascinated with the sights and sounds of East Africa’s abundant wildlife. Such an adventure is a great opportunity to share with young family members how their peers live halfway around the world and to see how different they are, yet how similar. A very special way to spend time together as a family – safari adventures create unforgettable memories for the whole family.

What a great safari is supposed to be:


swinging monkey

Total immersion in a few select areas where the most interesting and exciting things are going on – experiencing the wildlife and surroundings in the most natural and unobtrusive way. becoming a part of the ebb and flow so you feel you are interacting and learning about Africa and it’s wildlife on a level of intimacy.

There is more to consider than just a simple choice between something mobile (i.e. tents) and something more stationary (i.e. lodges/permanent camps). Critical Factors such as caliber of guides, type of vehicles, menus and accommodations, itineraries, and degree of personalized attention set a deluxe, mobile-tented safari on a level far beyond that of any standardized offering.

Factors when looking for a safari guide:

The knowledge and imagination of superior GUIDES, combined with mobility, which allow them to have you where things are happening as well as to do the unusual, i.e. do things that others don’t know to do or aren’t equipped to do. Make sure they use rugged, extremely comfortable FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE SAFARI LAND CRUISERS custom-built for the African bush, with long-range fuel tanks, emergency spares, cool boxes for cold drinks and picnic lunches that allow you to stay out from camp all day (if desired) as well as communication radios. There should be no more than 4 passengers per vehicle, except when small children are along. Large roof hatches and windows should be available to give you varied options for the best viewing and photographic opportunities.

Factors when looking for lodging

In Africa, like everywhere else, the greatest of all luxuries is privacy. A customized, deluxe tented safari adds up to a level of comfort, service, and civility which you cannot experience by visiting lodges or permanent camps on many of the packaged safari tours. Look for “mobile camps” which are designed to facilitate this intense, intimate experience. They provide all the amenities, comfort, and service without being intrusive or pretentious. Very large Tents should be equipped with private dressing area, shower and latrine. Look for those who use wood frame beds and not the metal cots. Make sure they have generators for lights, batteries, etc..


Look for quality European/African cuisine which should be served in a separate, spacious and comfortable dining tent. Food preparation must be closely monitored, and the greatest care should be taken with regard to personal cleanliness and health. Remember – you are in the wild! A must have is refrigeration, which enables the proper storage of fish and other perishables.


Every safari should have a complete staff. This includes mechanics, chef, dining stewards, tent stewards, etc. Staff should do laundry daily and assist with your typical daily needs.

Final thoughts

Spontaneity and variety are the key. Although you will know exactly where you will camp and the sequence of the moves, the staff should strive to make practically everything that you see and do be decided upon when you are actually out in the bush. This includes going on all-day game drives, spending the day pursuing a particular species, visiting a remote tribal village, walking and exploring, or just relaxing in camp. A good guide who is accustomed to working with families will allow you to set the pace.

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