The Hide Guide: Quick Safari Tips for Using a Game Hide

The Hide Guide: Quick Safari Tips for Using a Game Hide

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Patience is rewarded in game hides

Many self-drive game reserves in Africa will have hides along their game drive routes. These are often camouflaged shelters (usually overlooking waterholes) where visitors can get out of their vehicles to view wildlife from a unique and exciting vantage point. Here are some Africa travel tips around how to make your hide experience more enjoyable and successful.

1.Ssssssh. The purpose of a hide is to be as inconspicuous as possible. This gives you the chance to view wild animals going about their way as if nobody is watching. Keep your voice down - and try not to drop your lens cap on the wooden floor.

2. Snap away. With potentially very busy wildlife traffic passing by, a hide is an exciting location for photographers. Hides are the perfect places to whip out that big lens that is normally too heavy to cart around. Hides normally have a wooden shelf to rest your lens and which can also act as a tripod.

3. Go birding. Hides are normally situated next to waterholes, which means they are great birding spots. Binoculars are the number one safari essential for both birding and game-viewing – and you and your optics will be inseparable during your time in hides. Use a leading bird book to make identification of species that little bit easier as you grow your bird list on safari. Shop Southern African bird books and East African bird books.

Africa travel tip: Pack a pair of binoculars, camera and insect repellent for visiting a bird hide

4. Don't rush. Patience is rewarded in game hides. It is recommended that you spend a good few hours at one hide. Make yourself comfortable with water and snacks and wait for the animals. Before planning a day at a hide, make sure there are ablutions as not all of them have toilets.

5. Respect others. The hide is for all visitors, so make sure you don't take over by leaving your belongings scattered around. Don’t leave litter behind either.

6. Don’t forget the bug spray. Often located close to water and with nooks and crannies for insects, you may find you have some crawling, buzzing companions during your time in the hide. Don’t let this exciting time get cut short by bugs. Shop for Bushman Insect Repellent to avoid getting bitten and deter insects.

What you pack for a safari can make a very big difference to your experience. Shop made-for-purpose safari clothing, safari luggage, and safari accessories. Not sure what to pack? Generate a tailormade, comprehensive safari packing list or read our safari packing advice

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Safari travel self-drive bird hide overlooking a dam

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