Picking the perfect destination for your African Safari vacation can feel very daunting as the African continent boasts a vast variety of different safari experiences, namely Big Five safaris, walking safaris, river safaris in traditional canoes, hot air ballooning, and marine safaris. The possibilities are endless and can be overwhelming as you try to determine what kind of safari is right for you.A safari is an incredible experience (one that you’ve seen in books and on television), but to actually bring this experience to life is truly something special and a good safari experience will leave a lasting impression and even inspire you to return. In the hope that every safari journey you embark on is the right one for you, we put together a handy guide to unscramble your mind when it comes to picking what wildlife destination is the right one for you.The great news is that Africa is for everyone, no matter how tight your time frame, how deep your pockets or how high your sense of adventure, safari gets your pulse raising and your spirits soaring. Hopefully, this will bring you one inch closer to knowing where you want to be and how you would like your adventure to unfold.
Big Five Safari - First Timers
The Big Five (Lion, Elephant, Leopard, Rhino, and buffalo) are high on most safari bucket lists, with travelers seeking a classic safari experience in the African bush. South Africa and Tanzania are the most popular destinations for Big Five Safaris as they never disappoint.Setting off in an open-topped land rover at sunrise or sunset presents up-close encounters with the Big Five and promotes a new found respect for Africa and those who live there. A truly humbling experience, a Big Five safari allows you to connect with your roots and enjoy nature at its best with primitive animals roaming the grassy plains of Africa. If this is high on your African bucket list and you want to add a ‘wow’ factor to your bush experience, we suggest heading to Kenya or Tanzania during the annual Mammal Migration. Witness one of the world’s most phenomenal natural wonders, when one of nature’s oldest pilgrimages plays out on the Serengeti and Masai Mara reserves annually, with over a million wildebeest, gazelle, and Zebra traveling towards healthier grazing pastures. It is the most significant movement of land mammals in the world, with animals crossing plains and rivers as the seasons change. This wonder also attracts some of the continents most infamous predators; big cats, hyenas and even crocodiles who are never too far behind waiting with awe and intent.
Ready to go on a Big Five Safari but want to know how to book?
Does the thought of taking an adventure with other safari enthusiasts excite you? If you enjoy an experience better when it is shared with friends and strangers alike, or prefer to be only with a select chosen few, then you might want to steer clear of the iconic safari destinations that bustle with tourists from all around the world. Opting for a private safari will ensure a more intimate wildlife viewing experience with some reserves enforcing a strict policy that limits the number of vehicles at a sighting. This guarantees unobstructed game viewing and is less intrusive for the animals.The Okavango Delta in Botswana is one of Africa’s most exclusive safari destinations as many camps and lodges are only accessible by light aircraft. Zambia is also one of Africa’s most remote safari gems with its prolific game and true wilderness feel. Crowds are hard to escape when safaris are Africa’s most iconic tourist attraction and a popular vacation choice amongst many foreigners.
The Balance Of Bush And Beach
It’s easy to get overexcited about all the possibilities Africa has to offer and one can tend to miss what is actually need from a vacation; some well deserved R&R. Going on a vacation takes up most of your time with several google searches, planning of budgets, and ultimately selecting an itinerary that would tick all the boxes and be 100% glitch free. You will wrestle with ideas of what to pack, decide on flight plans and whether you will travel by car, train, or possibly even busses. As you head off on your vacation, you may be confronted with layovers, delays and long lines at immigration before actually arriving at your destination. You’ve been working hard so it’s really important to schedule some well-deserved rest and relaxation into your travel plans. Now we are not saying it’s beach or bush but rather bush and beach. A safari is an experience you’ll treasure forever, but after a few days of being spoilt for choice you’re going to want to change the pace – every good vacation incorporates the best of both worlds. Africa is fringed with some of the world’s most beautiful coastlines and is the perfect destination to chill out the beach, visit the penguins in Cape Town, or travel to some remote balmy resorts in Tanzania. Traveling can take its toll on the body and mind, so after an epic week in the bush, you will welcome the opportunity to unwind on a white sandy beach with crystal blue seas.
Luxury Or Adventure
No budget? No problem. Although a safari is an inherently expensive holiday, what you may not know is that Africa is also known for its wide range of safari options to suit most budgets. From luxury lodges and villas to camping and self-drive safaris, there are several options to look at that won’t require you having to remortgage your home. Self-drives and camping safaris not only save you a substantial amount of money but allow for you to be more independent and adventurous, as you hold the ability to create your own itinerary. Pack up, fly in, collect your pre-booked vehicle, load up and take off on the adventure of a lifetime.
I Really Want To See
When planning your travels you should make a list of attractions that you really want to see. This is crucial when traveling through Africa as it is one of the few continents that truly offer it all. Perhaps you aspire to see an elephant or the endangered wild dog, or seek an adrenaline packed vacation with the option of white water rafting, mountain hikes, swimming with seals or hot air balloon safaris. It’s important to take note of your expectations and what your budget and time constraints are. With a little pre-planning, you should be able to tick off all your bucket list African adventures.