An African safari is a priority in most people’s bucket list. However, most people believe it is an activity of able-bodied outdoor enthusiasts. Nevertheless, there is a growing market and increased options of safari for disabled people and those with limited mobility. The decision to go on a safari, however, remains the biggest challenge in the process of planning for a safari. If you are a special need person or you have a family member who has special needs, there are a few tips that you need to consider before and when planning for a holiday safari.
People have different physical challenges. Be mindful of your unique challenge as you plan for your safari. The needs for travelers with limited mobility are different from those of individuals with visual or hearing impairment. Most travel companies offer a variety of trips to different destinations for people with different disabilities. The services provided benefits, different people, differently.
There are many safari tours catering to the various needs of people with disabilities. When planning your trip, you need to accommodate every step of the way. You need to be able to access all the essential amenities with ease. Most companies offering safaris for the disabled offer safari vehicles fitted with hydraulic lifts which are useful for people with mobility disabilities. Besides, the companies have wheelchair locking systems which help travelers to remain in their chairs. Some companies provide a person to help people with disabilities enjoy their safari.
For people with extreme mobility problems, it is important to have easy access to all your needs. Access to bathrooms is often a major challenge. Therefore, flexibility is essential to make the most out of your trip. Bathing is the biggest challenge adjustment for people on safari. You should consider traveling with a person to assist you around. Besides, it is likely to have issues with pressure wounds. You should consider the type of accommodations available and plan accordingly in case you need any cushions or inflated mattresses.
Another important aspects safari for the disabled relates to people who are visually impaired. African safaris are visually oriented and therefore, operators try to use other feelings to create the experience for visually impaired travelers. These safaris for the disabled differ significantly from a standard safari. Operators attempt to recreate the experience accurately by using descriptive, detailed explanations to paint a picture of the surroundings. Besides, the travelers get an opportunity to exit the vehicle to touch and smell things to enhance the experience. To some extent, visually impaired individuals may get a holistic experience than those who rely solely on vision.
The use of guide dogs is also is a contentious issue in safaris for the disabled. Game reserves regulations do not allow animals in the parks including guide dogs to prevent the spread of diseases. Besides, animals pose a great risk of attracting predators. Other people are against putting animals through a long international flight. Nevertheless, listening to the guides helps to enhance the safety of travelers.
Safari for the impaired also includes the deaf. In some cases, the operator can help organize for a sign language interpreter. However, this is an expensive option since such services. One of the family member or friend traveling with you can act as an interpreter. Besides, most operators who offer a safari for the disabled have special accommodation facilities such as people who need an oxygen tank.
Most people with disabilities would prefer to have in-country assistance even when they are traveling with friends and family. It can be helpful to have a person to help you with travel arrangements in the country. Besides, you might need an interpreter in case the locals do not have a good command of the English language. Be sure to make such arrangements in advance to avoid any delays and inconveniences. Ensure you provide as many details as possible to the operators so that you may know what to expect. In some cases, tour operators are willing to provide additional support for people with disabilities.
Provision of information is another essential aspect of safari for the disabled. It is essential to ensure the tour operator is aware of your condition. This is specifically important for people with impaired mobility. Besides, be sure to bring any equipment that will make your travel and safari more comfortable. Label your medications with your name and relevant information. You should also bring a copy of your prescriptions just in case.
Health assessment is a must in safaris for the disabled. Check out some of the common concerns raised by people with the same disability. Most concerns revolve around the lack of wheelchair accessible airport transfers, vehicles, and lodgings. Other concerns include the lack of properly trained staff to handle people with disabilities.
Safari for the disabled can be a challenging endeavor for both the traveler and the operator. At shrike safaris, we endeavor to provide the ultimate experience for all our clients. Contact us today for a lifetime experience.