Safari Travel Guide
Home to the Big Five- the lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo and leopard- Africa captivates us. This vast continent offers rich-pickings for travellers seeking a memorable safari adventure. Watch in awe as a lioness stalks her prey, spot the giraffes camouflaged in the savannah grasslands, or witness the staggering size of elephants, buffalo and rhinos. A safari is a once- in- a- lifetime experience. You will need a guide to organise the trip with you, so that you can get as close to Africa’s wildlife as possible, while having the reassurance of a local expert. Ready to start planning? Here are a few points to bear in mind:
When to go?
The best time for a wildlife- watching holiday is during the dry winter season. With less grass and foliage in the way and more animals camping around the waterholes, you will be able to see the animals for miles. The dry season for East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda) is from June to October, while Southern Africa (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, South Africa) has a longer season, from April to October.
Where to go?
Africa is such a vast continent, you will be spoilt for choice. Here are our top places for the ultimate safari adventure:
Tanzania: Known as the best game-viewing destination in East Africa, Tanzania’s varying landscapes offer a unique safari experience. The Big Five can be found in Serengeti National Park. Large buffalo, wildebeest and zebra herds congregate on the grassy plains of Lake Manyara. 400 species of birds, as well as rare black rhino and black mane lion can be spotted in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Zanzibar is also worth a visit, with sandy beaches and crystal-clear water, it is home to the red colobus monkey.
Namibia: Offering luxury safari trips, Namibia has remained unspoilt by mass tourism. The vast deserted landscapes offer a wealth of wildlife. Trips include elephant watching in Halili's waterholes, searching for leopards in Otjiwarongo and feeding cheetahs in the red-golden dunes of the Kalahari Desert.
Kenya: The national reserve Masai Mara is home to big cats, elephants, hippos, giraffe, crocs, baboons and the largest species of antelope- just to name a few. The Sand River offers perfect sightings of wildlife at the water's edge while at Lake Nakuru, a flurry of flamingos take flight! For all trekking fans, Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa, offering breath-taking views of the surrounding valleys and glaciers.
South Africa: From the wilderness of Karoo to the majestic Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa is perfect for those seeking more than the standard safari holiday. Start your journey in Oudtshoorn, the ostrich capital of the world, followed by a Lagoon Cruise. Next up, explore the vast Kruger Park in a 4x4 game drive and look out for the Big Five. After the safari, Cape Town offers a contrasting experience, with golden beaches, treks up Table Mountain and vineyard excursions.
What to wear?
Light cottons and comfortable clothing are best for the Sub-Saharan African climate. Try to avoid bright colours and stick to greens and khakis instead. Long sleeves and trousers are recommended in the evening to prevent mosquito bites. You will also need to take anti-malaria medication, before and during the visit- see your local GP for more information. Always wear sensible footwear such as trainers or lightweight walking boots. Binoculars and a camera are of course a must!