There’s no doubt that an African safari can be quite costly, when one takes into account flights, accommodation and spending money. However, for a once in a lifetime experience, a safari in Africa is certainly a worthy investment. Here we look at some of the best locations for a trip like this.
Masai Mara and Selous Game Reserves:
Masai Mara Game Reserve, located in Kenya, derives its title from the Masai tribe that still resides there. This park, known as simply ‘the Mara’ to the locals, is a good option for those looking into a Kenya safari holidays, as it is famed for being home to the ‘big five’ – elephants, rhinos, buffalos, leopards and lions. However, you’re also likely to spot zebras, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs and antelope during a stay here. Together, these creatures inhabit the reserve, against the backdrop of savannah, scrub and trees. The easiest way to ensure that a trip to Mara is affordable is by opting for camping and travelling here during the off-season.
Selous Game Reserve is located in the south of Tanzania and was declared to be a UNESCO World Heritage site thirty years ago. Neither permanent buildings nor permanent human habitation are permitted within the limits of the reserve. The animals that the park is most well known for include crocodiles, cape buffalos, African wild dogs, hippos and elephants. Visitors can take a boat safari here along the river Rufiji, where they can see storks, the famous Goliath Heron and African skimmers.
Okavango Delta and Hlane National Park:
The Okavango Delta is the largest inland delta in the entire world. An incredibly peaceful place, this is great for visitors who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life for a week or two. The wildlife in the delta can be found amongst the savannah landscape and the wetlands. Some of the animals to look out for include the Red Lechwe, sables and kudus. In the waters, you’ll see crocodiles, hippos and waterbucks.
Hlane Royal National Park, given its named by King Sobhuza III, stretches over 30,000 hectares and is home to white rhinos, elephants and lions, who roam the land freely. The terrain is mostly flat, with little vegetation. Visitors who enjoy birdwatching will love this park, as it is home to a diverse range of exotic birds.
When it comes to planning your safari days out, it’s worth mapping out a route before you set off. However, be realistic and don’t attempt to cover too much ground in one day. Remember than an African safari holiday isn’t about trying to drive or walk over as much land as possible, it’s about seeing animals living in their natural habitats. Give yourself enough time to enjoy the scenery.
It’s best to wake up early (around 5am) if you wish to see nocturnal animals before they go to sleep. At this time, you’ll also get to see other animals as they wake up. If you’re having difficulty spotting animals on your own, there are always plenty of guides available in African reserves. It’s best to book a day or two with a guide in advance, as their schedules tend to be packed during the high season.
Shannen Doherty writes regularly on Kenya Safari holidays for a wide selection of travel blogs and websites. As a frequent traveller herself, Shannen is an expert on African safari holiday adventures.