What’s your safari type?
There are so many safaris available, understanding what you want from the safari is important.
Walking across the open savannah with nothing between you and Africa’s big game but your ranger is a dream come true for many, but not so much for others. Maybe you just want to escape reality and head off in your own vehicle or maybe even glide along the waterways at a gentle pace just taking in the beauty of your surroundings.
What are looking for from your African safari?
By far the most common safari activity throughout Africa, and in our opinion the ideal introduction to safari.
The safaris are conducted in open 4×4 vehicles under the guidance of a qualified ranger. This allows you to really feel like you are part of the wilderness, but all the time safely in the hands of a professional guide. It also allows you to cover large areas in a short time, to maximise your chances of seeing more of the wildlife you have come to see. Pic: 4×4 safari at Thornybush Game Reserve
To really feel immersed in the wild, nothing beats a walking safari.
Walking safaris range from lodges offering short walks in addition to the 4×4 safaris, to multi-day overland walking trails.
Although it is an amazing experience, for many people a full scale walking safari can be daunting. This can be out of fear of being so exposed to some of the continents biggest game (remember, you will always have an experienced ranger with you!), or just too much of a physical ask, walking over rough terrain under the African sun.
You are closer to the action on a walking safari. However, the animals are more aware of you when you are on foot. The result is you are less likely to see the variety of animals that you will on a 4×4 safari. Pic: Walking Safari in South Luangwa, Zamibia
Water based safari
Water based safaris offer a very different take on safari, but are restricted to areas with a large water source.
The “boats” can take many forms. From small traditional style “mokoros” (canoe style) in the Okavango to larger double decker boats on the Chobe River.
Water based safaris are often seasonal as well, with some lodges only offering them when the water is high enough. In other areas seasonality can mean the difference between seeing a lot of game coming to the river as a source of water, or seeing very little in the way of large game because water is abundant elsewhere. Don’t let that put you off though. The waterways are filled with life, some of which you will see no where else! Pic: Mokoro safari in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Self drive safaris are a wonderful way to experience Africa’s wildlife if you want to be able to go at your own pace. Often these can be the least expensive way of enjoying a safari, and offers you privacy, as only your party will be in the car.
The options for self-drive are limited to certain parks and reserves, many areas are only accessible if you have 4-wheel drive vehicles, you are generally restricted to daylight drives and if you are new to safari you miss out on so much information that a ranger would be able to impart. Pic: Self-driving, Kruger National Park, South Africa