are popular in most of the Eastern and Southern African countries including , , Zimbabwe, , and . They really started in Kenya in the 1920’s when they were all about trophy hunting, nowadays the rifle has been replaced by a zoom lens and ecotourism is the buzz word. The thing that hasn’t changed though is the African landscape, the animals or the sunrise, it’s this intoxicating combination that gets under your skin and will make it a holiday like no other.
The colours of the sunrise and sunset, the dusty smells of the savannah, the breath-taking views, the vast skies must all be experienced – and of course coming face to face with African’s incredible animals that roam freely in abundance. If you’re lucky, you might hear the lions roar at dawn – now that is quite incredible isn’t it?
So where should you go for this trip of a lifetime? Kenya is still a favourite, it’s easy to get to, there’s a vast range of camps and lodges to suit all budgets, and it has perhaps the most animals easily visible in the great national parks of the Serengeti and Masai Mara. However, South Africa is also very popular as it’s easy to combine a safari with a stay in Cape Town and a trip along the Garden Route or beach time on the coast. Botswana has the wonderful Okavango Delta, one of the world’s largest deltas with its excellent wildlife viewing and stunning scenery and Zimbabwe has the incredible Victoria Falls and Hwange National Park home to the big five.
Wherever you choose you’ll be able to come face to face with Africa’s storybook animals. The best time to see game is first thing in the morning before it gets too hot so you’ll get up early for dawn game drives. In the middle of the day you can enjoy relaxing by a pool or reading in the shade before heading out for another game drive in the late afternoon. In the big National parks you’ll be back to your lodge by sunset, but in the private reserves you can stay out for sundowners and then return back to your camp whilst continuing to search for game by spotlight.
Accommodation on game reserves is available in lodges or a camps. Lodges usually have swimming pools and more facilities, yet camps give you the full-on Safari experience being out with the wildlife under the stars. Don’t worry, you’ll be safely zipped up and the tents are rather like 5 star hotels with rugs, showers and proper beds!
It was the trophy hunters who called Africa’s most dangerous game ‘The Big Five’ and today the elephant, Cape buffalo, rhino, lion and leopard are still the top of the must-see list. However, whilst you’re searching for the elusive big cats there are also abundant antelopes, zebras, giraffes and not forgetting the stunning birds to look out for. You’ll have such awe-inspiring days that you’ll be planning your next safari before you know it.