An African Safari is a bucket-list experience for almost everyone. African wildlife includes some of the most iconic species in the world. When traveling to new places, it’s important to research and find out what to expect when you get there. A big question that a lot of people ask when they are planning their vacation to Africa is: are African Safaris safe?
Choosing a Safe Location
Africa is a continent made up of 54 countries, but not every African country is a safari destination. Those that are frequently visited for their wildlife safaris each have pros and cons, so we’ll narrow down to some of the safest options to choose for your safari vacation.
Tanzania is a safe and politically stable country in eastern Africa. Travelers often feel very welcome in Tanzania because the people are some of the most friendly you will ever meet. Tanzania is one of the least crowded places to go on safari, which gives it a less “touristy” feel than some of the more popular destinations like, say, South Africa. The national parks, such as Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater are often quieter and more remote than some of the other common safari destinations.
Rwanda is another safe country to visit on safari, in part due to the work that the government and the people of Rwanda have put in to help their country recover after the Rwandan Genocide. Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is home to the critically endangered mountain gorillas and seeing the gorillas in person is an incredible safari experience!
Other safe countries to visit in Africa for safaris include Namibia, Botswana, and Zambia. They all rank highly on the Global Peace Index Report and Botswana is consistently ranked as one of Africa’s safest countries.
Staying Safe In Cities
Choosing safe countries to travel to for your African safari is important, but you also need to practice safe behaviors while you’re there. Travelers can be targets for scams and pickpockets anywhere in the world, so it’s always important to be vigilant. We recommend carrying traveler’s insurance to cover potential losses, and for extra peace of mind, traveling with an established safari company (like Gondwana) can help you stay safe in unknown places.
Staying Safe On Safari
The key to staying safe while you are out on safari in national parks is to always listen to your guides. Particularly if you are traveling with an established safari company, like Gondwana Ecotours, your guides are local experts with a vast amount of knowledge, such as the Conservationist Gorilla Trackers we work with on our Gorilla Trekking Safari in Rwanda and Uganda.
It’s important to always stay in the vehicle, and to wear colors that blend in with the landscape like dark green, brown and khaki. We always strive to disturb the magnificent wildlife as little as possible, so you’ll want to keep your voice down even if you see something exciting unfold in front of you.
If you are camping in the bush, like on our Camping Safari, make sure to zip up your tent at night, and don‘t take food to your tent or leave anything outside your tent. However, even if you are on a Lodge Safari, it’s important not to walk around at night.
It is absolutely possible to have an incredible African Safari experience while staying safe. Choose your location based on these tips, and travel with an experienced safari outfitter to make sure you can relax and have the best time possible!