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Your First Safari in Africa – What You Need To Know

3 Jan 2020 | By Author Thornybush | Experiences

Heading off to a foreign country is a daunting prospect in itself, but exposing yourself to wild and dangerous animals in this strange environment is another thing entirely!

First-time safari-goers have nothing to fear however – our African animals are not partial to new taste experiences, and you will find that you spend a great deal of your time while on safari seeking them out, rather than turning tail on them.

Being well prepared however is always a good idea when traveling to a new country, especially one like Africa.


Travel to most of the game reserves in Southern Africa does come with a slight malaria risk, although incidences of guests contracting this disease are uncommon.

At Thornybush we take a preventative approach, spraying our lodges at least four times a year and you will find all the necessary mosquito-repellents in every room.

If you feel uneasy about anything health-related before you travel, consult your GP before you leave to set your mind at ease.

What to Pack


The major safari areas of South Africa can get hot – even in winter. Bring a hat, sunglasses and loads of high-factor sunblock – and wear them religiously, from sunrise to sunset.


While you needn’t splash out on all the latest safari gear, bring clothes that blend easily into the bush. You don’t want the wild animals to spot you too easily – especially when you are trying to sneak up on them.

Bringing clothes that are easy to layer is also suggested because in the winter, mornings and evenings can get cool. Pack a few smart-casual outfits for dinner time.


Light cotton fabrics are preferable in the heat, although you will need a warm cardigan or jacket for early morning and evening game drives. A good pair of walking shoes is essential for game walks.


Don’t forget your camera, charger and the lead to download images onto another device if your memory card gets full. If you have your own pair of binoculars, bring those along and if you’re a keen birder then bring your favourite birding book.

Planning Ahead

There are several kinds of safaris available in South Africa, from go-it-alone self-drive adventures to fully inclusive packages. Both have their perks, however Thornybush Game Reserve only offers all-inclusive packages because we feel this best serves our guests.

We take care of everything from three meals a day, to making sure that you get what you came for – an unforgettable wildlife experience!