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African Safari


Africa is an amazing continent in which to view animals as it lends itself to being the natural home for many exceptional creatures. The word Safari is a Swahili word meaning journey. Today’s safari is an occasion to see but not harm the local wildlife. This can be experienced on an African safari by staying in upscale lodges as well as less expensive communal accommodation sharing very basic dormitory accommodation. It all depends on one’s travel style and budget.

In Africa, there are 1100 different species of animals and 2600 different bird species.  These numbers obviously are not going to be viewed in any one specific game park but there definitely will be a large enough number to thrill anyone on African vacations. By the way, Africa has the fastest, largest and strangest animals anywhere in the world. This also includes sadly, a number of endangered species.

Wherever you stay, most of your game viewing is pretty certain to be in a small vehicle with open sides and possibly an open top. You will usually share it with several other safari-going participants. The average size of a safari vehicle can vary but the average is anywhere from 6 to 10 passenger vehicles.  Animals being dangerous might make you wonder if it is safe on an African safari surrounded by wild, sometimes ferocious and unpredictable creatures. In a safari vehicle, you are in the hands of a professional experienced driver/guide and will not experience any problems. Just don’t stand up or lean out of the vehicle. The professionalism and experience of the guide will be yours to benefit from as they will be not only knowledgeable but are trained to have almost a sixth sense as to where the animals are located or hiding.  Animals do not run away or hide from safari vehicles as they are so accustomed to the constant game drive vehicles in their territory following them around and not harming them in any way. They have no interest or concern in your safari vehicle. 

As a rule, there are three types of game drives on an African safari. There are morning, afternoon and night drives. The morning game drive is usually taken early before the sun gets too hot as many of the animals tend to want to hibernate as the day gets hotter.  You will head off before breakfast which will be waiting on your return from the drive. You will not only have an enjoyable time but will really be ready for your first meal. The afternoon game drive is usually taken later in the day when the sun is not so hot. This is the time to enjoy a pleasant experience called the Sundowner. This is set up by your driver/guide right in the middle of the bush or plain.  Your vehicle stops and he puts up a table laden with drinks and snacks. Jump down from your vehicle to enjoy a beverage while watching the sun go down over the spectacular and glorious African scenery. And what a perfect end to a day of a safari drive with game viewing. A night drive is an “animal of a different colour” as the dark brings out the nocturnal animals. It is also a time when the predators are on the prowl looking for their next meal. Because it is completely dark, you are equipped with a powerful torch and if necessary, your driver/guide will shine his headlights into the bush when he spots an animal. There is nothing like the excitement of seeing a pair of eyes gleaming at you out of the pitch black. And once again, the animals will completely ignore you.

Something totally different is a walking safari which can be taken at most lodges with an experienced guide. A walking safari is exactly what it says. You walk instead of drive into the bush. Nothing can bring you closer to an African adventure quite like a walking safari. You will walk with an experienced guide with the aim being to learn and appreciate the intricate details of the nature that surround you. The guide carries a rifle, but nothing bad has ever happened during one of these. You will learn how to tell which animals are or have been in the vicinity by studying their tracks and footprints. You will come close to some animals such as the giraffe as they snack on the leaves of a very tall tree. 

The ultimate Africa safari is through staying at a private lodge. You, more often than not, will be staying in your own building with exquisite furnishings and with close proximity to the main lodge building. You could well experience the opportunity to look out from your room, possibly with a verandah, and observe all kinds of animals (at a safe distance) while taking in the idyllic scene of the Africa countryside unfolding in front of you. Enjoy dinner in the evenings with fellow guests comparing notes of what has been seen and experienced during the day, possibly also in the company of the guides. 

Something different on an African safari again is sleeping in a tent for accommodation – a totally special experience. You are at one with the bush as you listen to the thrilling sounds of animals echoing in the African night. But don’t think you will be roughing it. Far from it - you will have all the luxuries with a tent with a comfortable bed and a complete bathroom more often than not.  Again, is it safe? Absolutely! The tented camp is cordoned off from the animal kingdom and there are guards watching to make sure no animal gets too close.

To avoid long road transfers or roads, especially in Kenya and Tanzania, which are not always in the best of condition, a fly-in safari could be a convenient way to enjoy an Africa safari.  You land on a private airstrip close to your accommodation from the nearest major airport and immediately, you are involved in your safari.  

In Southern Africa, the best times to visit on an African safari are from May to September as this is the dry season. However, the period from October to April, although the wet season, is a still a time to enjoy animal viewing. It is when the landscapes turn green and also there are fewer visitors. It is also a time when the animals congregate at waterholes and rivers. If bird watching is of interest, this is when the migratory birds are present. The rain consists of short, usually afternoon showers which will not interfere with your safari. 

In East Africa, safaris are fine all year round. The dry season is from late June to October and is also the time of the great wildebeest migration starting in the Masai Mara in Kenya in June and which lasts when they return from Serengeti in Tanzania in October.  It is also when it is easier to spot the animals with plenty of sunshine prevailing. The low season consists of two rainy seasons - March to June inclusive when the rains are longer and October to December inclusive when the rains are shorter. Once again, these are the periods when the scenery is more lush and greener and the animals gather at waterholes.  Migratory birds are around between September and April.  

An African safari is like no other experience and will never be dull. There are many countries to choose from that offer exceptional game viewing. These include South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. And it should be noted that animals know no borders and are free to roam wherever they want (within reason).  

 

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  • Cape Highlights & Safari

    Take in the wonders of the Cape region of South Africa, from the mother city of Cape Town and winelands, along the wonders of the Garden Route to Port Elizabeth and ending with an African safari in a private game reserve.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,556
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • City Lights & Safari Sights

    Visit Cape Town and the spectacular peninsula. Then journey to Ivory Tree Lodge in the Pilanesberg. This African safari is an opportunity to have close encounters with a wide variety of big game, including the Big 5, cheetahs, and wild dogs.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,364
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • East Africa Safari

    Experience the many highlights of East Africa with this family friendly African safari. Visit some of Africa’s most famous national parks, uncovering unique wildlife and cultural opportunities.
    Duration:
    14 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 6,233
    Trip Type:
    Locally Escorted Tours, Safaris
    Kenya See Trip Details
  • Migration Safari

    This African safari is the experience of a lifetime. Follow the Great Migration, a natural phenomenon where over a million wildebeests and hundreds of thousands of zebras and gazelles migrate north each year.
    Duration:
    7 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,771
    Trip Type:
    Safaris, Small Group Tours
    Tanzania See Trip Details
  • Mara Bushtops: Stay of Distinction

    Embark on daily safaris in search of the world’s most incredible wildlife before retiring to a luxury safari camp on the edges of Maasai Mara National Park. This Kenya vacation at Mara Bushtops offers world-class accommodations and impeccable service in one of the world’s best nature reserves.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,466
    Trip Type:
    Game Lodges, Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    Kenya See Trip Details
  • Africa On Foot

    A true wildlife experience in the Klaserie Private Nature Reserve combining walking and vehicle safaris through Big Five territory in one of the largest privately owned game reserves in South Africa.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,019
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Safaris, Single Friendly
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • African Sampler

    South Africa or Kenya for your African safari? With this unique itinerary, there’s no need to choose. Enjoy the culture and wildlife of the Masai Mara before flying on to Victoria Falls and Cape Town.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,077
    Trip Type:
    Classic Itineraries, Game Lodges, Independent Travel Modules, Safaris, VIP Luxury Touring
    Kenya See Trip Details
  • African Trilogy: Kruger to Chobe

    Head on a safari adventure that includes three countries on one itinerary! Experience the wonders of South Africa, Zambia, and Botswana such as Chobe National Park, the Okavango Delta, and Victoria Falls, while enjoying the comforts of four premium safari lodges.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 5,261
    Trip Type:
    Game Lodges, Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Arathusa Safari Lodge

    Arathusa is located within the world renowned Sabi Sand Private reserve adjacent to the un-fenced Kruger National Park. It is perfect for the nature enthusiast who seeks an affordable intimate environment and warm hospitality on their African Safari.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,722
    Trip Type:
    Game Lodges, Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris, VIP Luxury Touring
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Authentic Cape & Wildlife

    Focusing on two of the country’s most popular regions, this South Africa vacation is perfect for first-timers or those Globetrotters looking for a return visit to see favourite spots like Cape Town and the game reserves of the northeast.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,421
    Trip Type:
    Game Lodges, Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Best of Uganda

    Head on safari to Uganda to spend your days alongside gorillas and chimpanzees in majestic national parks. Get acquainted with Ugandan rhythms in Entebbe before heading to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park to see mountain gorillas in one of their few remaining habitats and exploring the diverse bushlands, marshes, and savannahs of Queen Elizabeth National Park.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 4,445
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Safaris
    Uganda See Trip Details
  • Bisate Lodge

    Venture into the jungles of Volcanoes National Park to see Mountain Gorilla families up close and personal on this Rwanda vacation. When you're not trekking through the jungle, you'll stay at the exclusive and luxurious Bisate Lodge, which sits on the edge of an eroded volcano and offers incredible views of the mountain range.
    Duration:
    3 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 5,572
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Safaris
    Rwanda See Trip Details
  • Botswana and Zimbabwe Family Adventure

    Not only does an African safari experience provide educational value for children, but rather it allows for families to bond in the most remote and wild areas of these two beautiful countries, sharing life-lasting memories and stories along the way.
    Duration:
    13 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 6,403
    Trip Type:
    Family Vacations, Safaris
    Botswana See Trip Details
  • Botswana Explorer

    Find out why Botswana is such a superb safari destination by visiting 4 different game reserves with equal time spent at each. This is the opportunity to come close to the animal kingdom on game drives and boat cruises.
    Duration:
    9 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 5,273
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    Botswana See Trip Details
  • Botswana Express

    What makes Botswana such a popular African safari destination? Three of the world’s best wildlife regions, plus year round excellent game viewing are the main draws. Discover Chobe, the Kalahari, and the beautiful wetlands of the Okavango Delta.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 5,560
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    Botswana See Trip Details
  • Campfire Adventures in Kenya

    Experience an African safari under the stars on this comfortable and highly flexible camping adventure in Kenya. Stay at Alex Walker’s Serian Original Camp and enjoy the best of the Masai Mara.
    Duration:
    5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,284
    Trip Type:
    Family Vacations, Locally Escorted Tours, Safaris
    Kenya See Trip Details
  • Campfire Adventures in Tanzania

    What caps the perfect day on an Africa safari? Swapping stories around the campfire in your luxury camp, of course. Enjoy the ideal balance of comfort and nature on this Tanzania safari.
    Duration:
    5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 5,207
    Trip Type:
    Family Vacations, Safaris
    Tanzania See Trip Details
  • Cape & Kruger Escape

    Explore the most beautiful regions of South Africa on this adventure. Explore the Western Cape before embarking on an African safari through a private game reserve in Kruger National Park.
    Duration:
    9 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,767
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Cape & Kruger Escape incl. Air

    Explore the most beautiful regions of South Africa on this adventure. Explore the Western Cape before embarking on an African safari through a private game reserve in Kruger National Park.
    Duration:
    11 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,399
    Trip Type:
    Air & Land Inclusive Getaways, Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Cape & Safari Dynasty

    This South Africa vacation emphasises the natural beauty of this incredibly diverse country, from African safari opportunities in the northwest, to the unrivalled environments and wildlife of the Western Cape.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,092
    Trip Type:
    Family Vacations, Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Chiawa Camp

    On the banks of the Zambezi, Chiawa is a luxury safari camp offering the utmost comfort amid the wild 'real Africa' that is Zambia.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,295
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    Zambia See Trip Details
  • Chobe Chilwero: Stay of Distinction

    Deep in the heart of Botswana’s wilderness is Chobe Chilwero, one of the most enchanting places on earth. This intimate lodge offers luxurious accommodations, service and stunning sunsets.
    Duration:
    3 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,394
    Trip Type:
    Safaris, Stays of Distinction
    Botswana See Trip Details
  • Chobe Elephants & Livingstone

    Travel from Livingstone to the Falls and enjoy a tour before a sunset cruise on the Zambezi. Next, visit Chobe National Park, home to the largest elephant concentration in Africa.
    Duration:
    5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,867
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    Botswana See Trip Details
  • Chobe Elephants & Victoria Falls

    Chobe’s wildlife is very diverse. Only an hour from Victoria Falls, it is home to the largest concentration of elephant in Africa who assemble along the Chobe River during the dry season.
    Duration:
    5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,855
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    Botswana See Trip Details
  • Damaraland

    Join expert rangers in Damaraland, tracking desert elephant or black rhino and see the rock engravings at Twyfelfontein, a heritage site considered to be the largest open-air museum in Southern Africa. Other highlights include:“Brandburg” Namibia’s highest mountain; the million year-old Petrified Forest; and “Vingerklip” a limestone finger rising 35 meters.
    Duration:
    3 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 983
    Trip Type:
    Independent Travel Modules, Safaris
    Namibia See Trip Details
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