We know what it's like - You wake up early and help yourself to toast and coffee before your game drive, enjoy more coffee and biscuits on the morning drive break stop, return for lunch and a snooze before waking to more coffee and cake in the afternoon, snacks on the evening drive with a gin and tonic and tucking into dinner with wine before a heavy nights sleep.
So between driving and eating, what can you do to maintain an active lifestyle whilst on safari?
If you're an active person, maintaining your activity levels over holidays can be hard to do, from traveling to over indulging in all the glorious food you don't get at home and adjusting your sleep schedule from your normal routine.
Ensuring you get to enjoy your holiday to the maximum without making it hard to get back to reality when you're home - keeping a routine can be vital.
Wildlife Safaris tend to be a set program throughout the day, an early morning wake up call from 5am comes with teas, coffees and a light continental breakfast before your game drive at 6am. You stop half way through your 4 hour drive for tea and coffee and morning snacks and then return to the lodge for 10/10:30. 12 usually a two course lunch is served and it's down time until Tea, coffee and cake at 3pm. 4pm the afternoon game drive heads back out where you stop again for sundowners two hours later for drinks and afternoon snacks, retuning back to the lodge by 8pm for an extravagant 3 course meal. So when do you have time to slot in exercise, and what on earth can you do to beat that Holiday slump?
Firstly, consider swapping a game drive for a walking safari! A walking safari is the perfect way to get out and explore Africa in detail - a wonderful experience that allows you to take in the sights, smells and sounds of the African Bush with getting a little bit of a sweat on.
Secondly, take advantage of that swimming pool! Most lodges have them and when it's hot outside and you're looking at still getting some exercise on, swimming is the perfect remedy - Lengths or splashing around with the children allows you to indulge in the luxury of a pool without the guilt of having seconds of that decadent chocolate cake earlier.
Being in a game reserve, unless your lodge is fenced means it's not a good idea to take up running during your stay (We say here, if you run, something will chase you) - But that doesn't mean you can't adapt your workout to make it higher cardio while staying in the same spot.
We've seen during Covid times the great variety of home workouts that are available.
Many of these home workouts don't require all the gear - You won't want to be carting a mat, weights and dumbbells' on your holiday.
Many lodges have wifi, so make sure you have headphones, a pair of trainers and something to sweat in and get your home workout in during snoozing hours with enough time for a shower before the next game drive! Youtube is your friend - and even following home workout trainers on Instagram can give you some great tips and inspiration.
Take advantage of what's around you - Lodge staff are used to a whole range of people that visit so you wont look out of place by using a set of steps to run up and down on or do step ups with or lunging your way to the game drive vehicle. I'm sure they'll even lend you some tinned baked beans if you want light weights to work with!
Get others involved. It can be hard to muster up the energy to hold yourself accountable. Maybe there are other guests staying at the lodge who'd be keen to join in an online class with you!
South Luangwa is a great example of other activities available in the area, ask your lodge what's available to keep you active, some lodges do town cycle tours, some lodges even have their own outdoor gyms available. Or if you just want to step it out, head into town for a shopping trip to make it less of a workout and more about being on your feet.
I wont be one of those downers who suggest you hold back on all the glorious foods - It's a holiday! Enjoy it!
But if you're looking to maintain your protein levels and reduce temptation, pack some snacks for your safari that you enjoy from home.
Top choices being almonds, protein bars and peanuts (There's a whole range but these are mine). Swapping out a mini sausage roll for some almonds instead can help reduce the carb overload!
Maybe you're only on safari for a short while? Why not add an extension on to your trip to somewhere a little more active? Lake Malawi is a great option with activities such as kayaking, swimming and hiking that will help you reset your exercise goals!
Whatever you choose to do - Try it all! Eat the cake and enjoy it, snooze in the afternoon and revel in it.
Treat yourself, because tomorrow comes too soon!