Ask the Expert: How do I make my dream safari honeymoon a reality?
Published 09/12/2015 | 15:26
My fiancée and I are dreaming of a safari honeymoon. Is there much we need to sort in advance?
Forget the boring beach-hut holiday - a safari is an adventure that will leave a lifetime of memories. That said, it's not the easiest option for a honeymoon.
You haven't said where you intend to go, but that can make a world of difference. In my view, South Africa isn't real safari - it's more five-star resorts with a few animals thrown in (but standards are more western, so that might be your thing).
Somewhere like Kenya is a different story, where the accommodation is more basic (think tents and bucket showers), but the experience is straight from Out of Africa.
First up - and most important - get your shots. These need to be taken weeks in advance, and what you'll need will vary from country to country and even region to region within them. Malaria tablets are musts in most safari destinations too (I found no side effects from malarone), and yellow fever shots are an essential in many cases too.
Check out the advice for your area on the Tropical Medical Bureau website on tmb.ie - and book an appointment. Deet - which keeps the bugs at bay - is another must, but strangely I've suffered more bites in Spain or Portugal than wildest Africa.
Now for the more fun stuff.
A good camera is essential - forget about shooting a lion with your phone, even if it is an iPhone 6. The lens just won't cut it.
Some people swear by "bridge" cameras, but again I'm not convinced. Beg, borrow or buy a DSLR camera - prices have come down. I've got a Nikon, but Canon come up trumps for built-in wifi when you get to a wireless zone and want to share pictures to your phone or social media.
A zoom lens that goes up to at least 300mm (longer is better) is a must - even better, have two good cameras between you, as the animals can move fast.
If you're travelling through out of the way towns, bring loo roll, wet wipes and anti-bacterial gel: dodgy tummy is always a risk.
Lastly, remember it can get very cold at night, especially if you're in a tent, so pack some jumpers or thermals.
Above all, enjoy - it's a holiday that's totally out of the ordinary.