“Nature is not a place to visit, it is home”. These words by Gary Snyder say a lot about the human perspective in a world where most people are torn between their work and personal commitments. Being in the nature is the best thing we can experience. It provides us with peace of mind, a sense of adventure and knowledge about the planet we live in. If you are a wildlife enthusiast or want to take a break from your routine you can choose from various wildlife plans and packages that would allow you to make the most of the time you have.
Choosing the right wildlife holidays can make a huge difference to your physical, emotional and mental state of mind. Hence, you need to choose the right packages that can make a difference.
If you are planning holidays in the wild for the first time here are 9 tips that can help you make the most of your wildlife experiences.
Know Your Expectations
Even before you decide what destinations you choose for your wildlife and nature holidays you want to focus on what you want. This is essential because not all places offer similar experiences. For instance, the mokoro rides in Botswana will offer you a different experience from gorilla tracking in Uganda. When you are relatively new to wildlife experiences you would want to make a list of all activities you want to do before you decide what destinations you want to choose. Once you have made the list you can look for places where you can enjoy these activities.
Choose Beyond Obvious
When we think of wildlife and nature holidays, Kenya is one of the obvious choices that come to our mind. This is because Kenya is wildly popular with nature and wildlife enthusiasts, photographers, and even ornithologists. However, this also means that Kenya will have more tourists and that can in some way not offer you the right experiences you want. There are many reasons to visit Kenya on your next holiday trip, but if you prefer something unique you need to research and look for destinations that offer you something worthwhile. The internet today is packed with information that would provide you with offbeat destinations around the world where you can plan your first wildlife family holiday.
Check Weather Conditions
The last thing you want on your first wildlife tour is bad weather. No matter what destination you choose you need to have clarity about the dry and wet climate. This can make a huge difference and provide you with the experiences you want. For instance, if you choose to visit India for its tiger reserves you must know that the majority of the national parks and tiger reserves are closed during the monsoon season. Similarly, when you are choosing whale-watching packages you want to choose colder destinations where they migrate during the summer months. Knowing weather conditions would allow you to optimise your time and choose the right destinations.
Book the Right Accommodations
When you are heading for your first wildlife tour you also want to book accommodations in advance. This would allow you to eliminate last-minute decisions. This would also ensure that you have clarity on where you will stay and what facilities and amenities you will get. You can choose from basic camps, and lodges to opulent safari villas and homes that offer you the best views and stylish experiences. Various packages also would include food and other activities and that might offer great value for money deals. If you are going to hop to multiple destinations you must be clear about all the accommodation options beforehand.
When you are heading for your first wildlife trip over-excitement can often lead to mistakes. Overpacking is one such mistake that can only make things hard for you. Hence, you must read more about what kind of clothing you should pack, what colours you should pick and what accessories you should carry to optimise your baggage space. Knowing what to pack for your wildlife safari trip would make a huge difference. Some of the destinations in Africa are accessible only via smaller chartered flights and this means that you need to be clear about how much you can carry and what kind of bags you can bring on board.
Plan Your Itinerary
One of the important things that you need to focus on when you are planning your first wildlife trip is planning your itinerary. This would make sense because you want to optimise your time and know how you can cover more activities and local attractions. Most local tour operators would have set itineraries that you can choose from. However, you can also look for tour operators that would offer you custom itineraries based on what activities you want to cover and your budget. Having an itinerary also ensures that you can do more in limited days on your wildlife trip. If you are going to take pictures you would want to keep additional time for photography sessions as well.
Focus on Documentation and Vaccination
Various African destinations focus on vaccinations on arrival. Hence, you must be clear about your documentation and paperwork. This would allow you to focus on your wildlife trip. Having all the documents in place would also make things easier for you as you board and alight different flights.
Support Wildlife Conservation
Finding plans and packages for your wildlife and nature-based holidays is easy. However, not all tour operators focus on and support wildlife conservation. As a nature and wildlife lover, you need to look for plans and packages that support wildlife and the environment. Tour operators that do that already have information on their website for you to read. However, it is essential that you ask questions, and compare and evaluate these local tour operators to help you make the right choices. You must choose tour operators that support the local community and promote sustainable tourism.
Respect Nature and Local Culture
When you are on your first wildlife trip it is quite likely that you might get excited about seeing animals in the wild. However, you need to know that you need to respect nature. One of the reasons why animals attack human beings is because they sense fear and overexcitement. Hence, you must focus on how you should behave and not disturb or feed the animals. Also, it is not advisable to jump out of the vehicle unless told by the tour guide. In some cases, you might even go on walking tours and you must obey the instructions of your guide. Similarly, when you are interacting with the local community you must be open and focus on interactions.
You must enjoy your wildlife holiday trips the way you want. However, you also need to focus on these tips that would allow you to organise and experience your trip in the best possible way.