Not always high on the priority list of safari adventure essentials, getting a good night sleep during a tour is nevertheless a crucial element to getting the best out of your trip. As a company who have taken this to heart and understand the value sleep plays in creating the “perfect getaway adventure”, we spoke with Joris Smit, founder of the prominent safari company JorAfrica.
A Netherlands based business, offering tours in Africa and working with European and international clients, JorAfrica have set themselves apart as offering the highest possible standards for their clients. Which include thinking about the smallest details.
Joris Smit, who founded JorAfrica in 2011, believes that the secret to offering a great safari experience is understanding how clients react to being taken out of their comfort zones. He explains that wildlife tours take a toll on guests, so time has to be planned into every trip for a break and a recharge, be it with lunch, with water breaks or just a chance to stretch their legs and have a sit down.
“One of the most important things is to find that balance between the high excitement and thrill of a safari and the time to process it and appreciate it,” he adds, “Our team all have a great passion for their work and understanding the needs of clients, who may never have been on a safari before, is an important part of creating that unforgettable experience.”
Depending on the guest’s preference and of course budget, the safaris can range from half day trips to month long adventures. Some trips have lasted even longer and still have not managed to cover everything that can be seen or experienced in this unique part of the world.
“Being asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow is a sign of a good safari,” Joris Smit.
Tailored to the budget and dreams of their guests, JorAfrica create luxury private safaris in Eastern and Southern Africa. As specialised travel connoisseurs they understand that every experience is a personal one that affects each client differently.
“We are deeply passionate about Africa, her cultures and her wildlife,” Joris explains, “We prefer to take our guests off the beaten track and introduce them to the remote corners where the “real” Africa can be found.”
To balance out the adventure, the unexpected thrills, the marvellous range of smells, sounds, sights and other sensations that a guest will feel during a safari, the accommodation has to be specific and suitable to the clients.
“If you can avoid it you should never be tired on a safari,” Joris says, “Ideally, after a day of safaris and excitement guests should have the chance to wind down with some entertainment, company and good food. Then this should be followed by a deep and wholesome sleep. Being asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow is a sign of a good safari.”
FROM SAFARI TO SLEEP
It starts with the evening’s activities post safaris and many of the accommodations that JorAfrica use include plunge or natural pools, leisurely bushwalks, firepits and rivers. Evening entertainment includes Maasai story telling by a Bush TV (AKA the firepit), music performances, campfire songs and sundowners.
Accommodation comes in many different styles and flavours. For some people the chance to sleep in a safari tent is just too authentic to turn down, and for them, falling asleep to the sound of all the night creatures awakening at the departure of the sun is a lullaby.
For others, lodges and hotels are what they want. Seeking the comforts of four solid walls and windows between them and the outside world. While guests’ tastes may differ all of the places where JorAfrica clients lay their heads have a few things in common.
“At the end of a day, we have found most guests want hot showers and spacious rooms,” Joris reflects, “Comfortable beds and privacy. They want to know that the wildlife is nearby but that they are safe and secure.”
Of course, there are always exceptions and some guests go in for the real bush experience, wanting to camp out in tents and sleep on the ground in sleeping bags. For them and for those who might venture out at night, walkie talkies, whistles and flashlights are made available to make it a little easier to find the outside showers in the middle of the night.
“What is important is that the guest wakes up feeling refreshed,” Joris says, “Activities are always better enjoyed when a person is full of energy and well rested.”
“There is no reason why safety shouldn’t be beautiful,’ Joris Smit.
There is documented evidence that suggests that when travelling the quality of our sleep deeply affects our overall memory. Also, it affects us cognitively and has been linked to poor judgement and slow reflexes. Safaris are by their nature; adventures and it does take a certain toll on the body and mind which is why leading safari providers always make good sleeping arrangements a priority.
Another priority is managing expectations and concerns regarding health and safety. Joris explains that their guides have to test negative for COVID 19 prior to safaris, and during them the guides and guests wear masks, temperatures are taken at camps and lodges, washing stations are available in common areas and hand sanitiser is available in all vehicles. Dining tables are separated for social distancing and there are no buffet meals.
“We also offer lovely African style mask prints to our guests,” he adds, “There is no reason why safety shouldn’t be beautiful.”
LOOKING AFTER THE CUSTOMER
Joris explains that their clients quickly become their friends. They listen to their wishes and offer their honest opinions based on their extensive knowledge even if sometimes it’s not always in the business’ best interest.
“We always meet our guests before safaris for coffee and sometimes even after their trips if we happen to be visiting their towns,” he adds, “We take them out for dinner and drinks and become friends. We follow each other on social media and interact with each other digitally. Relationships are forever.”
NEW 2021 PRODUCTS
Development and change, adaptation and creative thinking are hallmarks with JorAfrica. In 2021, they have a new exclusive luxury mobile camp that will be available for private parties only, which will allow guests to have a 100% private experience. The camp will move together with the guests from one national park/location to another along with a private chef, supplies and luggage.
“Completely private, completely exclusive,” Joris says, “A genuine old style safari trek.”
PRICE: 450$/person/night including private guide & vehicle, park fees, 5 star accommodation, food & beverage
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +255 786 697 591