Luxury African Safari

By: Justine Richards

A safari into unspoilt African landscapesto view the Big Five animals - elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and buffalo -is about more than just big-game spotting. It is an opportunity to spend timeunder the stars with big skies and endless horizons, it can be a luxuriousretreat from everyday reality, a time to reconnect with yourself and nature. Itis also an invaluable part of the conservation of the fragile natural resourcesof the real Africa, which are perennially threatened by the economic and politicalinstability of some of the African countries that are the natural habitats ofso much wonderful wildlife. A luxury safari, as well as being an incrediblyfulfilling experience, supports the conservation efforts of the game reservesand is part of the sustainable tourism trend that savvy travellers aresupporting more and more.

A luxury African safari takes you right tothe heart of what sets this continent apart from the rest of the world. Simplyput, there's no land similar. There's something about Africa and its wild beauty thatenchants while inspiring respect. It could be the untouched wilderness, thegorgeous wild life, the dramatic landscapes that range from snow cappedmountains to stunning deserts, the spectacular sunsets, and unlimited space.

If you are unacquainted with the continentit can seem as mythical as Xanadu, and just as enigmatic. But you would have tobe living on the fourth rock or beyond to not have heard of the Masai Mara in Kenya, the Serengetiin Tanzania or the Victoria Falls and Kilimanjaro. These are but a few threads of Africa's tapestry ofextravagant colours, vibrant cultures, majestic wild life, and unimaginableexperiences that all go to make up the luxury African safari experience.

Wildlife anywhere in the world is nothingbut achingly beautiful. But in their natural habitats in the wilderness of Africa, they take on a handsomeruggedness that has no parallel. African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa each have their own unique angle on conserving as well asshowcasing this invaluable treasure. A luxury African safari is one where allthese efforts gel and bring you, the visitor, into the equation, creating aperfect balance that speaks well for sustainable tourism.

The term safari means journey. Here, it's ajourney undertaken by people in the hope of seeing elephants, lions, leopards,zebras, giraffes, rhinos, and buffaloes among others in their natural surroundsdoing what comes naturally to them. This can be achieved on foot, by vehicle,or even by hot air balloon. So game drives led by experienced rangers, who knowwhere to find the animals and how to view them safely, are the main feature ofearly mornings and late afternoons on safari. The middle of the day is spent inleisurely lunching and siestas, which is the time when you really appreciatethe difference a luxury safari can make to the experience; the indulgence ofair conditioning and even the swimming pools boasted by some of the luxury gamelodges, the attentive service and top class food turn a safari from a ruggedexperience of nature to an opportunity for pampering and relaxation..

It takes a huge shift in perspective toassociate luxury with the interiors of a canvas tent in the wilderness. Nevertheless,it's a fact that all the luxuries associated with five-star accommodations canbe found under canvas too. The Governor's Camp in the Masai Mara in Kenya isone such where the luxury is inescapable as in the Ritz, and the wild life isall around. Hippos and elephants visit the unfenced campgrounds as a matter ofroutine. Perhaps what's even more admirable is the fact that the managementfirmly believes that the local community should benefit from the fruits oftourism and divert a good deal of their earnings into responsible tourismprojects such as schools and health clinics. There are plenty of luxury tentedsafaris to be found with stunning tent accommodations that change thedefinition of tent for ever.

In the Etosha National Park in Namibia,a luxury African safari takes you to Namutoni, a camping site which is anerstwhile German fortress. What more could you ask for in terms of safety andluxury. A good view of the wildlife, perhaps? That's taken care of just outsideof camp at the lighted watering hole where the big cats come for a drink beforesneaking back into the darkness of the bush.

Conservation Corporation Africa, a leaderin sustainable tourism and veterans at luxury Africa safaris, have come up withthe fabulous idea of luxury private safari homesteads that can be leased forlong periods. If you have the time, they have the place from where you can takein the dazzling beauty of the world's best sunsets, listen to the awesome roarof a lion, and the flapping of flamingo wingsArticle Search, with a cool frosted drink inyour hand and a placid smile on your face. Rest assured you've contributed yourmite to the cause of sustainable tourism and conservation simply by being partof a luxury African safari. ??

Africa Destinations
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