Safari Today

Interesting Safari Activities To Engage In On Every Trip

Safari activities that can interest you to partake in while you plan your trip to the wild are many that one cannot exhaust. Africa can be experienced in a myriad of exciting ways.

With this, you can be able to make a selection of the reserves and activities that offer the safari options that interests you most. I had been fantasizing about a trip to Africa for over many years, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect it to be as exhilarating as it was. The sight and sound of untamed animals in the African wilderness will live with me forever.

Safari activities

I have traveled to many parts of the world, but never have I experienced a vacation that surpassed both the promotional literature and my own expectations because of the safari activities which I engaged myself into. From the booking of my trip to the arrival back home, everything was perfect. My only worry was that my next trip might be anticlimactic.

What follows are a number of types of safari activities and the countries that each one of them might be suitable for you to partake in.

Safari Activities at their Best

Safari Vehicle: Open Vehicle usually having two rows of elevated seats behind the driver’s seat. There are no side or rear windows or permanent roof, providing obstructing views in all directions and a feeling of being part of the environment instead of on the outside looking in.

This is my favourite type of vehicle for viewing wildlife. Open vehicles are used in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, some reserves in Namibia, and private reserves in Namibia, and private reserves in South Africa.

In vehicles with roof hatches or pop-up top roofs, riders may stand up through the hatch for game viewing and photography. If the vehicle is full, riders usually must take turns using the hatches making tours with maximum guarantee window seats for every passenger (i.e., maximum of seven passengers in a nine seat minivan) all the more attractive. These vehicles are used in Kenya and Tanzania.

Wildlife viewing, and especially photography, are more difficult where closed vehicles are required. In South Africa (except private reserves) and the major parks in Namibia, closed vehicles are required.

Photo Vehicle: The term ‘photo safari’ generally means any kind of safari except hunting safaris. In its strictest sense, a photo safari is a safari escorted by a professional wildlife photographer, especially for the serious photographer. These safaris are mainly about learning wildlife photography and getting the best photos possible. These are recommended only for the serious shutter bug.

Safari activities

Walking Safari: walking safaris put one closest touch with nature. Suddenly your sense come alive – every sight, sound, sound and smell becomes intensely meaningful.

Could that flash of bronze in the dense brush ahead be a lion? I wonder how long ago these rhino tracks were made? Can that herd of elephant ahead see and smell us approaching?

Accompanied by an armed wildlife expert, walking safaris last anywhere from a few hours to several days. The bush can be examined up close and at a close and slower pace, allowing more attention to its fascinating detail than on a safari by vehicle.

Participants can often approach quite closely to game, depending on the direction of the wind and the cover available. This is experiencing the excitement and adventure of the bush at its best. Zambia and Zimbabwe are the top countries for walking safaris. Walking is also available in some parts of Botswana, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa.

Night Game Drives: Night game drives open up a new world of adventure. Nocturnal animals, seldom if ever seen by day, are viewed with the aid of the vehicle’s powerful search light. Bush babies, night apes, leopard, civet, genet and many other species can be seen.

In addition to the chart which follows, night game drives are allowed and often conducted outside of many reserves including the Masai Mara (Kenya), Hwange and Matusadona National Park (Zimbabwe).

Gorilla Safaris: Gorilla trekking is one of the most exciting adventures one can have on the dark continent and is certainly one of the most exciting experiences of my life.

Mountain gorillas are best seen in Volcano National Park (Rwanda), Djomba Gorilla Sanctuary and Rumangabo (Bukima) station (Zaire).

Lowland gorillas have been habituated in Kahuzi Biega National Park in Zaire. Permits for gorilla trekking are limited; gorilla safaris should be booked well in advance.

Balloon Safaris: at five thirty in the morning, we were awakened by steaming hot coffee and tea brought by our bedsides by a private tent keeper. We were off at six o’clock for a short game drive to where the hot air balloons were being filled. Moments later we lifted above the plains of the Masai Mara for the ride of a lifetime.

Silently viewing game from the perfect vantage point, we brushed the tops of the giant acacias for close up views of birds’ nests and baboons. Most animals took little notice, but somehow the hippos knew we were there. Maybe it was our shadow or the occasional firing of the burners necessary to keep us aloft.

Our return to earth was an event in itself. One hour and fifteen minutes after lift-off, our pilot made a perfect crash landing. By the way, all landings are crash landing, so just follow your pilot’s instructions and join in the fun.

Minutes later a champagne breakfast appeared on the open savannah within clear view of herds of wildebeests, buffalo and zebra. Our return to camp was another exciting game drive, only a little bumpier than the trip out.

Hot air balloon safaris are available in Kenya in the Masai Mara National Reserve, at Taita Hills near Tsavo West National Park, and in Serengeti National Park (Tanzania).

Boat/Kayak Safaris: Wildlife viewing by boat, canoe or kayak from rivers or lakes often allows one to approach wildlife closer than by vehicle.

Game viewing by boat is available in Chobe National Park and Okavango Delta (Botswana), Lake Kariba, and along Matusadona National Park (Zimbabwe) and the Zambezi river upstream from the Victoria falls (Zambia).

Canoe safaris from three to nine days are operated along the Zambezi River below Kariba Dam in Zimbabwe. Wildlife is best in the area along Mana Pools National Park.

This is definitely one of my favourite adventures. In Zambia, canoe safaris are offered above Victoria Falls and below Kariba Dam.

Three-day/Two-night kayak safaris are operated on the Zambezi National Park upstream from Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Horseback Safaris: Game viewing by horseback is yet another intriguing way to experience the bush. Horseback safaris up to sixteen days in length are conducted in Kenya.

Half-day horseback safaris are available in Matobo National Park and Kyle Recreational Park (Zimbabwe). Horseback riding outside of wildlife areas is offered in a number of areas, including Nyanga National Park and Victoria Falls (Zimbabwe) and Arusha (Tanzania).

Bird Watching: If you are not a bird watcher now, there is a good chance you will be converted before the end of your safari. Bird watching in Africa is almost beyond belief.

Some countries have recorded over a thousand different species and some parks over five hundred of them. The best time of the year for bird watching is November to march in most areas covered in this guide. However, bird watching is very good year round.

Keen bird watchers planning to visit Southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe) will find safaris here very interesting.

Mountain Climbing: Africa has mountains to challenge the tender foot and the expert as well. Mt. Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), 19,340 feet in altitude, is the highest mountain in Africa, followed by Mt. Kenya (in Kenya) at 17,058 feet.

The Ruwenzoris, or Mountains Of the Moon (Uganda/Zaire) are the highest mountains chain in Africa, rising to 16,794 feet.

All of these mountains lie within a few degrees of the equator yet are snowcapped year round. Hiking through fascinating and unique afro–alpine vegetation found on all of these mountains gives one feeling of being on another planet.


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