New Yorkers are now battling so much stress they are resorting to camping within the city limits in an effort to relax.
Here is another one. Only, this time the camp is in Africa… on a Safari.
There is the wake-up call at a terribly rude hour. Followed by long spells constrained to a slow-moving vehicle. In the middle of the bush it can be bitterly cold in winter and blazingly hot in summer. It is difficult to avoid other people in the relatively intimate space of African lodges. There may be dust. To add insult to injury? With those big beautiful creatures come the very teeny torturous ones.
Africa is a magical place. On balance it is quite easy to forgive and forget every one of her faults and everyone on Safari do that every year. There is little doubt that a Safari is the most wonderful, fulfilling, life-changing, trip of a lifetime you will ever take. We could never question whether it is worthwhile.
But can you RELAX on a Safari to Africa?
Here is the reality check.
Those Early Morning Wake-Up Calls Will be Horrible
Camp schedules actually work with natural light throughout the year and so your Safari will help aid the body’s circadian rhythm. If you decide to work with this rather than against it you will reap all the benefits of the diminished cortisol wreaking havoc in your body.
Plus, the wake-up call is invariably very lovely and often accompanied by your drink of choice to ease you into the day.
No Internet Access is a Living Nightmare
While you may choose to stay at Camps or Lodges that do offer a connection, chances are internet won’t be an option if you want to see some of the most remote places, or while you are out on game drives.
The good news is that even short breaks from our ‘always on’ mentality have proven benefits such as:
A better connection to the present.
Improved overall mood.
Less obsession with the past.
Diminished fear of missing out.
Fewer competitive feelings.
All very relaxing outcomes.
Sitting Still for Hours on a Game drive Sounds Awful.
Game drives are actually a combination of :
information—the guides are a neverending wealth of knowledge
meditation—your surroundings will transport all your senses
adrenaline—when you see the unexpected member of the Big 5 or some other magnificent surprise.
So, you will be stimulated but calm. The perfect mix.
All the cold. All the heat. Africa is Never Comfortable.
Africa isn’t generally set up for extreme temperatures but this has made the people of the continent rather ingenious. Again, you will be given an option of choosing to stay at properties that offer more or less temperature control… but once you step out from your lodgings, you still have to brave the elements.
The good news is you will come home to fires and hot water bottles and warm drinks in winter. Summer months might be less popular with some Safari goers but they do come with the option of taking advantage of extra Vit D and a variety of interesting swimming and adventure options.
Every season in Africa has its own version of hygge.
Other People cannot be Avoided.
It’s true. Lodges are intimate and other people are often about. But a great Travel Designer will know which properties will be the right match for your personality. Whether that means ensuring an odds-on chance of other like-minded people at dinner or the option of always dining alone.
When your trip is designed to suit you, it is perfectly possible to relax… with or without new company.
Too Much to Do. Too Little to Do.
There is a slow rhythm to Safari life. And a happy peace in surrendering to it. You won’t have to worry or hurry. Everything will happen when it needs to and all your needs will be attended to.
On the days when you do feel like you would like to dance to a different beat, your hosts are usually very accommodating!
It’s all good.
Dust and Creatures Abound
These are not myths. There will be dust and there will be creatures. You are visiting Africa after all.
And let’s be realistic for a moment. Without the dust and the pesky little critters, there would be absolutely no reason whatsoever for you to ever return home!
Many Type A personalities find a Safari one of the most relaxing holidays they have ever taken. As with many things in life, some of what you get out will depend on your attitude… but we have it on very good authority that a well designed Safari satisfies and rejuvenates every time.
Find out which Safari is the perfect one for your First Trip to Africa HERE.
Images via Simon Migaj, GREG KANTRA