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How Disabled Travelers
Can Enjoy Most of Their African Safari

African safari guidelines for travelers with disabilities

African safari trips are not just meant for the fittest. Believe it or not, disabled travelers can also enjoy the best travel experience in the heart of the African continent. Travels for people with limited mobility are becoming a rapidly growing market, and increasingly more travelers with disabilities are choosing thrilling destinations over relaxing resorts and beach locations around the world.

In case you're planning to venture into wild and explore the ins and outs of Africa in spite of having limited mobility, you should know that there are ways to enjoy the best vacation without risking your health. Check out some guidelines to help you enjoy the perks of a great safari.

African savanna tree

Assessing special needs

Travelers who are disabled have special needs, and it is fundamental to fully understand your situation before departing. Make plans in advance and look for accommodation and activities that can cater to your special requirements. Note that those who are physically impaired have different requirements than travelers with a vision or hearing deficit.

Check the web for travel companies and operators that cater to disabled travelers, settle on a package tailored after your own special needs whether it's private departure, special accommodation, dietary food, etc. Among some of the best tour operators in Africa for the disabled, we should mention Access Africa, Compi Tours, Endeavour Safaris, and Green Leopard.

African rhino is native to Africa

Helping gear

Travelers experiencing limited mobility might require helping gear throughout a safari expedition like wheelchairs, canes, or walkers. Search for a tour operator that can provide caregiving services before booking a trip, just to be sure you're not missing out on Africa's great wonders. When planning a safari trip, it is important to make sure that the guide is also a certified practitioner or nurse; in case you need assistance, someone will be there to help you out.

Furthermore, the vehicles need to be fully equipped, as well as adapted to your needs throughout the safari expedition. Many operators offer vehicles equipped with hydraulic lifts meant for travelers will mobility issues, and not just wheelchairs. They should also have a wheelchair locking system to ensure that the tourist is safe and comfortable throughout the trip. Look for operators that provide personal caretakers in case medical assistance is required.

African elephants are the largest land animals

Extra care for severely disabled travelers

Severely disabled travelers have special needs concerning sleeping, sitting and hygiene. When booking a room or villa in Africa, make sure to look for bathrooms with easy access. Additional room adjustments may be required. If you want to enjoy the best safari experience, you must adapt and become comfortable with someone who can be with you 24/7. Extra cushions, inflatable mattresses, daily visits from the hotel's appointed physiotherapist or nurse may also be required; impaired tourists should be willing to accept help in order to enjoy a pleasurable, relaxing safari trip.

Enjoyable safaris for the visually impaired

Considering that safari trips are visual, travelers who are visually impaired have specific needs. In this case, you might want to look for operators that are specialized in this field. First of all, it has to be someone who can speak the language of the tourist. He or she must recreate images, or explain the sights for those with deficits. In order to satisfy the needs of a disabled traveler, the guide must attempt to interpret the scenery as best as possible, using detailed, descriptive and appealing explanations of the surrounding area.

Disabled on a beach holiday
Disabled people have special needs and require additional arrangements
for their
travel and holiday stay, including safaris in Africa.

Making hearing impaired travelers enjoy a safari

Those with hearing deficits or deaf might require someone who can speak the language. A sign language interpreter is the best at explaining the sights. However, since hiring an interpreter can be rather expensive, it might be a good idea to travel with a relative or friend to save money.

Just because you’re not in shape it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Africa. Dare to take a chance and you’ll have the time of a lifetime! Whether you’re aiming to see Kenya and Tanzania or you’d rather stick to South Africa and its surrounding areas, there’s no doubt you’ll have fun. All you need to do is choose a travel agency or tour operator that can cater to your needs.

By Jason Phillips and!

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