You have booked your Kenya safari! After months of preparation, starting with browsing a range of luxury African safari lodges and operators, talking to friends and family, reading numerous articles and even perhaps going to a travel agent, you can finally relax and look forward to the day you fly out. Well, this might not be the case. To get the most out of your Kenya safari, booking the trip is just the start. There are then a range of things to do in preparation to ensure that your luxury African safari is the trip of a lifetime. Here are five top tips to start with.

Join up on social media – Whether you decide to start a blog, want to share photos on Facebook or gain insider tips and knowledge from strangers on a variety of forums and micro-blogging sites such as Twitter – there is a wealth of knowledge on social media that you can tap into. Use Facebook to make your friends jealous and post photos afterwards, check out pictures of the Kenya safari lodge you are staying in or read forums about other guests’ stays. Why not join Twitter and ask people for their tips on what to take with you. It is always nice to hear from real people, rather than blind reference to a standard preparation list from your operator (if you get one).

Practice using your camera – One of the joys of a luxury African safari is the opportunity to take photographs. If you decide that for your holiday you will buy a new camera duty free, try to purchase it before you leave so that in the weeks leading up to your trip, you can practice. Every camera is different, and sitting in the back of a jeep in front of a pride of lions is not the time to pull out a camera manual. So practice in your back yard – and if you want to take photos of animals whilst away, then practice taking shots of animals before you go – even if it is birds, garden squirrels or your pet dog.

Take mutely coloured clothing – Even if your favourite shirt is bright red, resist the urge to take this on a Kenya safari. Mutely coloured clothing is best on safari as it helps you to blend with surroundings and doesn’t frighten the animals.

Pack lightly – The chances are that you will be travelling by small aircraft to your safari lodge and so a light suitcase or backpack is preferred – indeed there are often weight restrictions. In many luxury African safari lodges, there will be a daily laundry service. In many, such as Sanctuary Olonana, this service is actually included in your rate, so take advantage of this – you do not need a full week’s worth of outfits.

Buy a guidebook – Whilst much information is available online these days, having a guidebook is still an invaluable resource. For reading before you go, and browsing over breakfast during your holiday. You can never have too much information about your destination and the images will help build excitement.

If you follow these tips, you will be well prepared for your Kenya safari and that little bit of background knowledge and the right clothing and equipment will make your experience in Africa even more enjoyable.