An African safari is high on everyone’s bucket list, and millions of tourists descend on the continent each and every year for the vacation of a lifetime. In the past, tourists that wished to get up close and personal with lions, cheetahs, and elephants headed straight to Kenya for a guided tour of the local bush. Nowadays, many more countries are offering safari holidays, and tourists can choose from luxury packages that include a personal guide to a more rustic camping experience.
The Serengeti National Park in Tanzania is perhaps the most magnificent of all the national parks boasting around 3,000 lions, 250,000 zebra and millions of wildebeest. However, as the destination is one of the most well-known, you can expect to come across plenty of other tourist groups. If you prefer a more green landscape, then Rwanda offers miles of rainforest, grasslands and lakes complete with mountain gorillas to keep you company at night. For a wide variety of wildlife, Kruger National Park in South Africa is your best chance to spot the Big Five comprised of the lion, elephant, rhinoceros, leopard and the Cape buffalo.
If you desire a luxury vacation where all of the details are taken care of, then consider booking through a safari tour operator. A professional tour company can provide transfers between a selection of luxury lodges to help you experience the best that Africa has to offer. A personal guide can take you on excursions to places of natural beauty and even track down the local wildlife. For those that require a little more extravagance, then private tours can be arranged by yacht, plane, camel or house boat.
Going It Alone
For the brave travelers, nothing beats getting off the beaten track and exploring the hidden parts of a new country. Many tourists choose to rent their own all-terrain vehicle such as a Jeep Patriot Sport for their safari adventure and camp out under the stars each and every night. Although going it alone in Africa surrounded by wild animals may seem like a frightening prospect, it is actually quite safe as long as a few rules are observed.
Safari accommodation ranges from luxury lodges complete with Jacuzzi, spa and private balcony to a mosquito net hung from a tree. If you have never been camping before, it may be wise to stick to designated campsites rather than going it alone out in the bush. Camping gives you a far more authentic safari experience with the chance to sleep outside surrounded by animal and insect noises. If you prefer something a little more comfortable, then many safari lodges are located right inside the national parks where you can gaze out at the animals from your balcony.
Even though a safari vacation is considered to be safe, it is still advisable to take certain precautions when out in the bush. Never feed any of the animals you come across, and never take food into your tent. Africa is full of cunning thieves in the shape of marauding troops of baboons, so always keep your valuables such as cameras, wallets and passports safely stored away.
Herbert Diaz has been a travel planner for the last 15 years. He has created dream trips for countless couples and is now sharing his knowledge via article writing for travel blogs.