Safaris and Safari Types - A wildlife African safari is an amazing adventure for all ages and budgets. We can offer all types of safaris eg. canoeing, walking, photographic etc
What is a wildlife African safari? The word 'Safari' means an overland journey for the purpose of viewing or hunting animals in their natural environment. A typical African safari can be anything from 2 days upwards.
The draw to Africa for a safari is the wildlife. Africa is home to the 'Big Five' - Elephant, Lion, Buffalo, Leopard, Rhino plus all the other wildlife and the many species of birds.
Bird watching is very popular with many different species found in Africa. Africa A-Z can design a Specialised Birding Safari package for all ornithologists / bird lovers.
The main safari destinations in Africa which are recognized for their abundance of wildlife are Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
There are many Safari Parks/Game Reserves in Africa, the most well known include Serengeti, Okavango Delta, Chobe, Masai Mara, Kruger National Park, Hluhluwe, Addo Elephant National Park and Shamwari Game Reserve, Etosha National Park etc.
You can choose to do an organized safari at any of the reserves or drive yourselves to many of these magnificent sites.
A safari conjures up images of khaki clothing and belted bush jackets. But this is not really necessary and the main thing is clothing on safari should be practical and comfortable - casual/smart casual 'wash & wear' clothing. Neutral clothing is recommended so you can 'blend' into the environment. Depending on the type of safari you choose to do, luggage can be restricted to 12kgs in soft bags (ie. not suitcases) and we will explain any of the requirements to you when we send you your suggested African Safari Itinerary.
It is a good idea to pack clothing that can be worn in layers so you can remove layers as the temperatures rise. Differences in temperatures can be as much as 20 degrees celius in a day.
The recommended items of clothing to take on safari are:
A canoeing safari is a safari with a difference. Get up close and personal with the animals in the river and on the river banks.
It is the quietest form of game viewing and this enables you to silently drift up to the animals and see them from a different angle while taking in the beautiful scenery.
On a canoeing safari, you will also get to see numerous birds so it is a great trip for ornithologists.
A canoe safari is a fantastic company incentive and team building activity as it focuses on using your wit and problem solving skills (plus stress management and various other factors) to enable the teams to navigate the lakes and rivers.
Most of all it is fun and adventurous and one of the most incredible experiences.
The Zambezi River is the most well known canoeing safari destinations and it began here in the early 1980's.
There are different 'comfort' levels on canoeing safaris, from full-participation canoeing safaris to luxury backed up canoeing safaris.
Elephant Back Safaris were originally pioneered in Botswana and this amazing safari activity has now spread throughout Africa as it offers you a completely different experience.
Not only do you get to interact with these mighty giants, you are able to get up close to the wildlife as they are not disturbed while you are perched on the back of a 6 ton elephant (the scent of the elephant is greater than humans so you go almost unnoticed).
The elephant back safaris are offered as either a day tour or overnight tours are also a wonderful safari experience. The elephants have a padded 'saddle' that seats 2 people.
There are also walking with elephants tours which can be quite humbling as they tower over you.
For an example of the tours that are on offer, see our Knysna Elephant Back Safaris page - similar tours are available in Zimbabwe and Botswana.
What could be more thrilling that a Hot-Air Balloon Safari in Africa!! Hot-Air Ballooning safaris are currently available in Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
Hot Air Balloon Safaris typically leave just before sunrise (As the day heats up thermals and wind generally get stronger) and the actual flight lasts between 45 minutes to 1 hour. It is usually followed by a gorgeous champagne breakfast.
All Hot Air Ballooning Safaris are weather dependent and due to their popularity, it is advisable to book at least 2 weeks in advance.
Some of the best places for Hot-Air Ballooning in Africa are:
- Sossusvlei Dunes in Namibia,
- Masai Mara Game Reserve in Kenya,
- Serengeti Plains in Tanzania,
- Kafue National Park in Zambia,
- Okavango Delta in Botswana
- Cape Winelands in South Africa,
- Oudtshoorn in South Africa,
- Pilanesberg in South Africa,
- Magalies River Valley (70km's north of Johannesburg, South Africa) which, incidentally, boasts some of the safest and most reliable ballooning weather in the world.
Please note that we do not only book the Hot Air Balloon on its own and will need to book the accommodation too.
A Mobile Safari provides you with the ultimate and most authentic type of safari specifically designed for your requirements.
Mobile Safaris can be done in most of the National Parks in Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa and Tanzania.
Photographic Safari: Professional photographers are flocking to Africa for the amazing opportunities to capture wildlife in its natural habitat. Amateur photographers are now also being catered for with a number of lodges offering professional tuition/advice to all skill levels.
Whether you are a professional or amateur photographer, we will find the most suitable Photographic safari for you.
There are scheduled (set departure dates) and customized photographic safaris available.
Being able to share good quality pictures with your friends and family back home is an amazing feeling that evokes all the emotions from your memorable safari experience.
A Safari Lodge Vacation/Holiday is probably the most requested form of safari, and ranges from fairly basic to the ultimate five star luxury safari lodges.
This is obviously determined by your budget. Most people have a dream to visit a particular safari lodge (that you have heard about either through family or friends that may have visited it or through a television program you have watched at home). If you have no special requests, we will make recommendations based on your budget and interests.
A day in the life of most safari lodges:
Early morning (sunrise) game drives or bush walks returning to the lodge in time for breakfast.
Relaxation during the hottest part of the day, lazing at the pool if you wish.
Sundowner game drive.
There are vast differences in prices of safari lodges and it is important to take into account the type of accommodation offered and what is included in the price. Many of the lower priced lodges don't include all your meals or game drives so there will be extra costs you will need to take into account.The luxury safari lodges usually include all your meals and game activities and some of them even include your drinks.
You can choose if you only want to stay at one safari lodge at one national game park or a combination of lodges and game parks. You can also choose if you would like to self-drive or go on a safari package (as a couple or family or with group of other nationalities etc).
Africa Self-Drive holidays give you the flexibility to enjoy your holiday at your own pace and allows you to 'go off the beaten track'.
There is so much to do and see that it is good to have someone who knows the country and can understand your needs to help you have an unforgettable customized Africa Self-Drive experience.
You tell us what you would like to see and do and we we will make suggestions based on your time and budget available. We customize self-drive itineraries using any type of vehicle, even motorcycles or caravans.
It is always best to have a route planned with accommodation booked prior to your travel. This means if you do run into difficulties, someone will be expecting you and alert the relevant people to try to locate you between your departure point and destination.
Self drive safaris are possible in most of the big African safari countries but a 4x4 vehicle is needed/recommended in all of them due to the condition of the roads which are mostly gravel (except in South Africa where normal vehicles can usually be used).
There are several budget options for self-drive safaris and you choose which is best suited to you.
The best option would be lodge to lodge self drive safaris meaning you drive yourselves between lodges. African Safari Lodges vary in price and therefore inclusions such as meals and game drives. So, depending on your budget, you will either do your own game drives and meals or have your every need catered for by the lodges.
In some African countries it is better to do a guided self drive which usually entails a small convoy with a number of independent travelers driving their vehicles with a professional guide leading the way. This is quite well established in Namibia.
South Africa is a perfect self-drive destination as the roads are good and there is extensive mobile phone coverage throughout the country. Car hire companies used are reputable and vehicles are all in good condition (usually 1-2 years old).
Walking Safaris are an adventurous and safe way to experience the African wildlife areas. The benefits of a walking safari are endless as you can get to see a lot more of the 'small' wonders of the eco-system.
You will be accompanied by an armed and highly trained safari guide and safety is the main priority. These guides have an incredible knowledge on the big and small wonders of the eco-system and will enthusiastically share facts and interesting information along the way.
For many a Walking Safari is the ultimate safari experience. Your day is dictated by you and what interests you, so if you are fascinated by the small wonders of the eco-system such as insects and plants, you focus on that. Or feel your heart pounding as you track a herd of elephants or a pride of lions!
There are different types of walking safaris depending of your level of fitness and the length of time you would like to spend on a walking safari. There are a wide range of Walking Safaris available from the basic to luxury.