Travel experts debunk 6 myths about safari travel

A group of travellers enjoying an evening safari game drive and spot a hyena. Picture: Unsplash

A group of travellers enjoying an evening safari game drive and spot a hyena. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jun 7, 2024


It’s getting close to the mid-mark of the year and a change of scenery is just what the doctor ordered to prevent burnout, fatigue, decreased productivity, detachment and negative emotions that you may feel.

A bush break is one of the best options as few experiences are better for the soul than a trip to the bush.

According to Profitroom’s Business Development Manager, Tricia Wood, Africa's rich biodiversity and unique wildlife experience provides travellers with the opportunity to have meaningful and responsible travel experiences.

“Many safari lodges are eco-friendly and use renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind turbines to reduce their carbon footprint,” said Wood.

One myth about safari travel is that they are harmful for animals and the environment, however, Wood highlighted that sustainable safaris aim to minimise the environmental impact of wildlife viewing while also supporting local communities.

Like many things in life, there are numerous myths and misconceptions about safaris. Here are some of the most popular myths with travel experts debunking them.

Safaris are too expensive

Some luxury safaris can cost as much as a brand-new car but that doesn't mean you can't find a reasonably priced way to escape everyday life.

According to Ntando Bhengu, Director of New Business at ResRequest, many national parks and game reserves offer a range of accommodations that suit different budgets, from basic campsites to midrange and luxury safari lodges.

She said to plan an unforgettable safari experience, it's important to have the correct information about things like accommodation and activities and book your accommodation directly.

“Technology has revolutionised the travel and tourism industry, including safaris and lodges.

“Whether you are an avid birdwatcher, a conservation enthusiast, or seeking a romantic escape, travellers can now curate and personalise their experiences based on their budget and interests.”

Safari equals game drives

Wood also highlighted that going on safari doesn’t necessarily mean you always have to hop into a cloth-clad SUV and leave tyre prints in the wilderness.

“Reserves often offer guided hikes, bush walks, boat safaris, quad bike safaris, horse riding safaris, and even hot air balloon rides, allowing visitors to experience the bundus from almost any angle,” said Wood.

Additionally, she said the safari opens the door to a world of unforgettable experiences, and a chance to embrace adventure while immersing yourself in the wonders of nature and biodiversity.

“It also provides a unique opportunity to contribute to and support local communities,” said Wood.

There is no convenience at a safari

Bhengu noted that safari lodges are situated in remote areas, but they are designed to be easily accessible and are usually located near wildlife-rich areas, making it convenient for guests to go on game drives and other safari activities.

“Lodges often offer transportation services to and from nearby airports or major cities, which makes travel logistics simpler for guests. By booking directly, guests have the option to review available add-ons that can make their trip more efficient,” said Bhengu.

Safaris are not safe

When it comes to the issue of safety, Wood said that safaris are usually safe when led by experienced guides who understand animal behaviour, know how to move through the area safely and can respond effectively to any potential risks.

“While being close to wild animals has risks, knowledgeable guides make safaris safe.When going on safaris and staying in lodges within wildlife reserves, the lodges are usually designed with safety in mind,” advised the travel expert.

She said that safety measures, such as electric fences, trained security personnel, and guidelines for minimising interactions with wildlife, are in place to ensure the safety of guests.

No connectivity to the other side of the world

Bhengu added that there is no connectivity in the bush is false as many safari lodges and camps offer Wi-Fi access in common areas like the main lounge, restaurant, or reception.

"We understand that technology can enhance the guest experience by providing access to information, interactive maps, and multimedia content that enrich their understanding of the ecosystems.

“Although safaris are a good opportunity to disconnect, there is still an option to go online if needed,“ she said.

There is no great food at safaris

And finally, the travel experts said that many safari lodges offer a variety of delicious food options, catering to different dietary preferences and requirements so this is not true.

“The dining experience may vary depending on the safari operator, location, and level of accommodation. Additionally, by booking directly, guests have the opportunity to review the available menu,” they said.