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African Safari


  • Zebras in Africa

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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Safaris Worldwide

  • Malawi and Zambia Getaway

    Escape to central Africa to search for wildlife in South Luangwa National Park and enjoy the pristine waters of Lake Malawi. Staying at game lodges in Zambia and a chic island lodge in Malawi, you’ll spend your days tracking leopards and lions and engaging with the incredible environments of this African region.
    Duration:
    8 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 6,902
    Trip Type:
    Safaris Worldwide, Tailor-made Travel Ideas
    Zambia See Trip Details
  • Marataba Safari Lodge

    The Marataba private concession covers 23,000 hectares in the heart of Limpopo's Marakele National Park in South Africa. This area is characterized by a dramatic landscape encompassing vast plains, dense bushveld, winding rivers, deep gorges and majestic mountains.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,132
    Trip Type:
    Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Masai Mara: Cottar's 1920 Camp: Stay of Distinction

    Enjoy the charms of a bygone era with a stay at Cottar’s 1920 Camp on the edge of Masai Mara. Stay in luxury accommodations in a classical atmosphere while heading on full-day game drives into the park to search for rhinos, elephants, and majestic lions.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 5,264
    Trip Type:
    Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide, Stays of Distinction
    Kenya See Trip Details
  • Masai Mara: 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 Masai Mara National Park. This Kenya vacation at Mara Bushtops offers world-class accommodations and impeccable services in one of the world’s best nature reserves.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 4,060
    Trip Type:
    Safaris Worldwide, Stays of Distinction
    Kenya See Trip Details
  • Mountain Gorilla Encounter Uganda

    African safari tours come in many forms, but few are as revealing or special as an encounter with Uganda’s Mountain Gorillas. Taken on its own or as an add-on to an African safari, it’s a life-changing experience.
    Duration:
    4-5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,617
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Escorted Coach Touring, Safaris Worldwide
    Uganda See Trip Details
  • Mountain Gorilla Encounter: Singita Kwitonda

    Drive through Rwanda, one of the most picturesque countries in Africa, to Volcanoes National Park, the area made famous by Dian Fossey... the home of the world's last surviving mountain gorilla population.
    Duration:
    4-5 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 7,555
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Safaris Worldwide
    Rwanda See Trip Details
  • Murchison Falls National Park

    Embark on a safari vacation to Murchison Falls National Park in Uganda. Staying at Baker’s Lodge, you’ll head on wildlife excursions to see hippos and elephants and sail up the Nile to the base of Murchison Falls, which pours over a 45-meter-high valley wall into the river below.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,499
    Trip Type:
    Escorted Coach Touring, Family Vacations, Safaris Worldwide
    Uganda See Trip Details
  • Nkomazi Game Reserve

    An untamed South African adventure awaits you at Nkomazi Game Reserve. Staying at a luxury bush lodge surrounded by towering mountains, broad river valleys, and golden grasslands, you’ll head on game drives to see lions, elephants, and rhinos and experience the majesty of the African savannah.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,308
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Northern Experience

    Embark on an epic journey across Southern Africa from South Africa to Zimbabwe. On this comprehensive vacation, you’ll visit the Mother City of Cape Town, venture into the deserts of Namibia, explore the Okavango Delta, head on safari game drives in Botswana, and end your trip at mighty Victoria Falls.
    Duration:
    24 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 4,885
    Trip Type:
    Safaris Worldwide
    Namibia See Trip Details
  • One&Only Nyungwe House

    Head to the verdant landscapes of Rwanda and the edges of Nyungwe Forest on this safari vacation. Staying at the luxurious One&Only Nyungwe House, you’ll enjoy premium accommodations and world-class service as you learn about Rwandan history and trek through the jungle in search of chimpanzees.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 4,788
    Trip Type:
    Active & Adventurous, Safaris Worldwide, Stays of Distinction
    Rwanda See Trip Details
  • Pafuri Camp

    Experience the beauty of Northern Kruger. Spot lions, elephants, and cheetahs in the wild while staying at 4-star Pafuri Camp, a first-class accommodation on the banks of the Luvuvhu River. Head on daily game drives and enjoy the unmatched natural atmosphere of a South African safari.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,734
    Trip Type:
    Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Phinda Forest Lodge

    Phinda Private Game Reserve encompasses 23000 hectares of prime wilderness in KwaZulu-Natal and features Africa’s Big Five, endangered black rhino, and 415 bird species. Forest Lodge enjoys the dappled shade deep in the heart of a rare, dry sand forest.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,324
    Trip Type:
    Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Phinda Vlei Lodge

    Carefully tucked away in one of six secluded suites perfectly integrated into the African bush, at Phinda Vlei Lodge you are virtually guaranteed to see more animals than people during your stay - and that’s not counting the game drives!
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,804
    Trip Type:
    Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge

    Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge is the only private lodge situated inside the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. In addition to driving on their private concession within the park they also have unlimited access to the greater Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park where you have the opportunity to spot the Big 5.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,103
    Trip Type:
    Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Sabi Sabi Bush Game Lodge

    Bush Lodge is a luxurious safari escape set in the heart of the Sabi Sabi bushveld overlooking a waterhole and an African plain. Bush Lodge's charm is evident from the outset. Here you will savour uncompromising high standards of service, efficiency and personalized attention.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,341
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Sabi Sabi Earth Game Lodge

    Sabi Sabi Earth Lodge is a sanctuary symbolizing a new era in luxury South African safari lodges. Sculpted into a slope of the earth, almost invisible in the landscape, the lodge uses texture, light and space to present a lodge like no other. It has been described as the most environmentally sensitive lodge in Africa.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 4,699
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Sabi Sabi Little Bush Game Lodge

    Hidden in the shade of indigenous riverine trees, on the banks of the Msulthlu River, lies Little Bush Camp, the smallest and most secluded of Sabi Sabi’s 5-star lodges. The lodge offers six stunning suites, featuring private decks overlooking the riverbed and surrounding natural bush.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,713
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Sabi Sabi Selati

    Imagine the Africa of the great safari era, when blazing sunsets melted into lantern lit romance and service was an effortless whisper. This is the Africa you will experience at Sabi Sabi's Selati Camp, an award winning luxury game lodge in South Africa.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 3,761
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Samara Private Game Reserve: Karoo Lodge

    Escape on safari to award winning Samara Private Game Reserve. Offering a Big 5 safari in an intimate setting, Samara is a family-run passion project with conservation at its heart. Cheetahs are the star, and you'll have the unique chance to track them on foot, but don't miss the other wildlife as you explore.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,492
    Trip Type:
    Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Sanbona Wildlife Reserve Gondwana Family Lodge

    Just three hours away from Cape Town, nestled in the heart of Little Karoo is the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve. The Gondwana Family Lodge is one of three luxury lodges on the reserve overlooking Bellair Dam.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,825
    Trip Type:
    Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Savanna Private Game Reserve

    Savanna Private Game Reserve is an exclusive 5-star lodge situated in the internationally famous Sabi Sand Reserve. It offers outstanding game viewing, personalised service and luxurious accommodation to a limited number of discerning guests.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 2,446
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Shamwari Bayethe Tented Lodge

    Bayethe Tented Lodge, located in Shamwari Game Reserve, offers the ultimate in luxury tented accommodation. It is a splendid stone walled and thatch roofed lodge with a large deck area overlooking a waterhole.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,958
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Shamwari Eagles Crag Lodge

    Ultimate Luxury personified in a contemporary African design, Eagles Crag is nestled in a valley and provides the ultimate luxury for the most discerning of travellers. The luxury spa offers a wide variety of personalized treatments.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,499
    Trip Type:
    Luxury and Beyond, Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Shamwari Riverdene Lodge

    Riverdene Lodge is a colonial African experience in an elegantly restored frontier homestead. Located in Shamwari Game Reserve, which lies amidst verdant bush along the Bushmans River, its 25,000 hectares features 5 quite different eco-systems rich in bio-diversity.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,609
    Trip Type:
    Romance & Honeymoon, Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
  • Shepherd's Tree Game Lodge

    Go on safari to a lush modern game lodge in the north of South Africa. Track the Big Five on safari game drives and practice your aim at the archery range before dining in the five-star restaurant and enjoying the incredible modern design of Shepherd’s Tree Game Lodge.
    Duration:
    4 Days
    Prices From:
    US$ 1,597
    Trip Type:
    Safaris Worldwide
    South Africa See Trip Details
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