African Safari

by : Alison Cole

Safari means "journey" in Swahili and is mainly undertaken for exploring or hunting. However, in today's world the word safari is being associated with adventure and discovery of the wildlife and habitats of the African continent. One can undertake an African safari in many ways, either by driving through the wilderness or through fly-in African safaris. There are three basic categories of safaris one can undertake: lodge safaris, permanent tented safaris and mobile safaris, as well as journeys based on themes like honeymoon, canoeing, elephant-back and horseback safaris. A safari through the regions of Southern Africa and East Africa takes around 10-21 days.

While planning for an African safari, it is advisable to choose an experienced safari specialist or a local African tour operator who is familiar with local etiquette and conditions. One must also ensure that essential things associated with the tour are also included in the package, like ground transportation, accommodation, meals, excursions, guide/driver service and transfers.

Some of the top destinations in Africa are Kruger Park and Sabi-Sands, Cape Town and Winelands, Okavango Delta, Chobe Park, Victoria Falls, Namib Desert, Etosha Park,

Bazaruto Archipelago, Mount Kenya, Ngorongoro Crater, Kilimanjaro and Forest Gorilla Treks. Although the weather is good throughout the year on the continent, autumn and winter months are the best for safaris.

An African safari can be undertaken in various ways, ranging from elephant and horse-back safaris to ballooning, walking, flying, or driving through the African terrain. All make for a truly unforgettable experience. However, it is imperative to select a tour operator who has experience, thorough knowledge of the local language and excellent contacts in Africa.