Choosing your first safari : Going on a safari is an amazing safari experience. Most people remember childhood story books featuring a ‘classic’ safari picture – so a wide open grassy savannah, dotted with zebra, giraffe, lions and elephants. A good safari will leave you with lifelong memories, and it is incredibly special to be able to make this a reality. Nothing compares to your first-ever sighting of a lion ambling through the African bush, a leopard perched a tree, or a herd of elephants gathering at a watering hole.
Choosing a safari, however, can be a mind-scrambling affair, with a jeep-load of options available across a wealth of wildlife destinations. Choosing the ideal safari can be challenging, as Africa offers a plethora of options, ranging from endless savannah plains to sun-burned deserts and winding deltas. Since we have experienced it ourselves, we are fully aware of the amount of head scratching that can occur.
The great news is that there’s a safari in Africa for everyone, no matter how deep your pockets or how tight your timeframe. You may choose a safari that makes your heart race and your emotions soar, whether your goals are to spend a week watching elephants jump around a waterhole, check off sightings of Africa’s renowned Big Five, or simply stroll between safari camps and spend the night beneath the African sky. That is Africa’s magic.
For many people, an African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience, making it all the more important to get it, à la Goldilocks, just right. When you’re first planning to book a safari, you’ll need to understand the distinctions between the different safari styles and destinations, as well as where you have the best chance of seeing the specific animal that represents the safari experience for you.
So here’s a handy guide to set you off on the right foot. With any luck, this will get you one step closer to the safari in Africa you’ve always dreamed of. This may all seem a little overwhelming to first-time safari visitors, but don’t worry our knowledgeable tour consultants are available to assist and offer guidance on the ideal safari experience at Focus east Africa Tours.
Choosing your first safari : Big Five First timers.
The traditional “Big Five” of the African bush the lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, and buffalo are unquestionably among the most popular species for most travelers to view on their first safari.
For those who are new to the Big Five, the most popular locations, Kenya, and Tanzania. These safari hotspots ensure an unforgettable safari experience. These are regions with free-ranging fauna, undulating grasslands where lions and leopards hunt, and natural watering holes where giraffes, elephants, and zebras congregate at twilight or dawn.
An open-topped vehicle safari here will take you on close-up experiences with the Big Five and instill in you a newfound appreciation for Africa’s immense size. The safari departs at sunrise and sunset.
Travel to Kenya or Tanzania during the yearly Great Migration, when 1.5 million wildebeest, 200,000 zebras, and 350,000 gazelles sprint across the plains in search of greener grazing pasture, if you want to heighten the “wow” value of your wildlife encounter.
Off the beaten track and far from the crowd.
Though these are well-known safari sites, the Masai Mara, Ngorongoro Crater, and even the Serengeti may not be the best choices if you like to avoid the crowds. There may be up to thirty or more vehicles present during a single animal sighting in these areas.
The majority of South Africa’s private reserves strictly prohibit more than two or three vehicles at a time during a sighting, which enhances the quality of wildlife viewing and lessens the animals’ sense of intrusion.
One of the most prestigious safari locations in Africa is the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Whether you are chasing wild dogs in an open 4×4 game watching vehicle or exploring the waterways in a dug-out canoe, you are unlikely to encounter many other tourists because many lodges and camps are only reachable by light aircraft.
Last but not least, Tanzania’s Southern Safari Circuit is less frequented than its more well-known Northern Circuit cousin. As a result, you can visit the distant Katavi National Park or experience a breathtakingly remote safari in Selous and Ruaha.
Balancing bush with beach.
It’s very simple to become overly focused on the animals when organizing an African safari and lose sight of what you actually NEED from your trip. It is crucial to incorporate some well-earned rest and relaxation into your itinerary, especially if you have been working hard leading up to your trip.
A safari is an incredible safari experience that you will undoubtedly cherish for the rest of your life, but after a few days you’ll be itching for a nap and a change of scenery. After a run of breathtaking safari sunrises, fatigue may start to catch up with you on game drives, which depart early each morning. The amazing thing is that Africa is surrounded by some of the most stunning tropical beaches on earth, making it easy to combine a safari with a few days in the sun.
A few days of safari in the African wilderness combined with some time spent on the beach “blissing out” strikes the ideal mix between rest and nonstop excitement. You have the makings of the trip of a lifetime when you add a couple sunset cocktails while gazing out over the Indian Ocean.
Choosing your first safari : Self-Drive Safaris.
A self-drive safari may be ideal for you if you value independence much because it allows you to search the wilderness for wildlife using your own four wheels. Many national parks allow tourists to drive themselves through their network of roads, learning about the animals along the way.
It’s an amazing safari experience, and nothing compares to being in the driver’s seat and seeing a herd of elephants cross the road right in front of you. For those on a low budget, a self-drive safari is also the ideal choice.
I really want to see.
If witnessing herds of elephants is “your thing,” you should definitely go to Botswana’s Chobe National Park, home to an estimated 100,000 elephants, thought to be the biggest concentration of elephants worldwide. Your desires of seeing elephants will also be fulfilled by the Amboseli National Park in Kenya, the Tsavo National Park in Tanzania, Tarangire in Northern Tanzania, or even the Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa, as these parks are renowned for having a sizable elephant population.
One of the largest concentrations of wild dogs may be found in the Selous National Park in southern Tanzania.
If you’re hoping to see the amazing yearly migration of wildebeest across the plains of Africa especially if you want to see up close the somewhat violent river crossings that have been made popular by countless wildlife documentaries you should plan a safari itinerary that includes the Serengeti or the Masai Mara. However, be sure to confirm the exact location of the Migration you don’t want to get to the Masai Mara and discover that it hasn’t reached the plains yet. For huge herds of just zebra, or even giraffe, the vast Etosha Plains get our vote every time.
For solo and group travelers who want to see a lot of Africa without having to handle driving, an escorted safari is a fantastic choice. Small groups travel on prearranged safaris that leave on predetermined dates with prearranged accommodations and defined routes.
Particularly in Kenya and Tanzania, where self-driving vacations are rare, they are very well-liked. A really tranquil safari can be had by just sitting back and watching Africa unfold before you, as there’s no need to explore.
You will see the safari experience from a completely new angle if you choose to walk through the African bush and fulfil your childhood fantasy of becoming an adventurous safari explorer rather than the typical viewpoint that most people get from a game vehicle. Discover more about the bush and experience it with your own eyes, hands, and smells. Observe the earth and look for signs of nocturnal animals. Indeed, walking will get you very near to the nature.
Alternative safari experiences.
If you want to deviate from the “traditional” safari experience, try an uncommon specialty activity; Africa offers some quirky beauty. Why not try a hot air balloon safari, a horseback safari, or even a gorilla trek if an open-topped vehicle isn’t your thing.
As an alternative, aspiring photographers can reserve specialized courses to learn how to capture the ideal moments in time. Whatever your love, Africa undoubtedly has something excellent up its sleeve.