Get back to nature on a breathtaking African safari tour
African safari tours have increased in popularity in recent years, and are an absolute must for wildlife and nature lovers, particularly those interested in conservation and responsible tourism. So what can an African safari holiday offer?
It’s the perfect opportunity to get back to nature and away from the hustle and bustle of city and town life to recharge your batteries. Although relaxing, safaris are also uniquely unpredictable and exciting – you don’t know what’s just around the corner when you’re on a game drive or bush walk!
See the Big Five
No safari tour would be complete without the opportunity to glimpse the iconic Big Five (lions, elephants, buffalos, leopards and rhinos).
These have become of great concern to conservationists as they are all decreasing in population, particularly lions - there are half as many lions in Africa than there were 25 years ago.
The Maasai Mara - a stunning savannah wilderness in Kenya - has it all: breathtaking scenery and the wildlife you’ve always dreamt of seeing. Think prides of lion, hunting cheetah and hippos keeping themselves cool in the river under the hot sun. From July-October, there’s also the chance to see the Great Migration- a migration of nearly two million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles as they cross the Maasai Mara in search for food and water. Be prepared to gasp as you’ll feel like you’re in a David Attenborough documentary.
Stunning natural beauty
Thomson Falls in Lake Nakuru National Park is widely regarded as Kenya’s most majestic waterfall. At 74 metres tall, seeing this thundering waterfall is a magical experience, made even more so, by the abundance of wildlife, including cheeky baboons and exotic birds. At the National Park, you can also find the endangered Rothchild’s giraffe,which has distinctive colouring and markings, and is one of the tallest of its kind - growing up to six metres tall.
Travel to Uganda to see some rare species of monkeys in their natural habitat. At Kibale National Park you’ll glimpse endangered chimpanzees and the threatened red colubus monkey. This is the only species that doesn’t have thumbs - allowing them to wrap their long, thin fingers around branches as they swing through the lush forest canopy.
The National Park is also home to the rare L’Hoest’s monkey- these are distinctive by their dark coat, white beard, deep orange eyes, and long slender tail with a hook shape at the end.
If you enjoy a trek, then make your way through the trails of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda, in search of the endangered mountain gorillas. One of the largest living primates, they weigh up to 440 pounds. Due to conservation efforts, the number of mountain gorillas has increased in recent years, but there are still only thought to be just over 1000 across Africa.
Keen photographers will have endless opportunities to take images of stunning landscapes and snapshots of wild animals in their natural habitat. Expect to take hundreds, even thousands of images on a wildlife holiday – you’ll want to make sure you bring a spare battery pack and extra memory cards for your camera. As the famous saying goes, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” An Africa safari holiday will leave you with memories to cherish for years to come, and delightful stories to share with family and friends.
The opportunity to support wildlife tourism
There are several ways that tourists can support conversation and the local economy whilst on a safari holiday:
By being on an African safari holiday means you’re already directly supporting rare wildlife by providing much-needed income for conservation, national parks and game reserves.
Water is scarce in many African safari destinations. Taking short showers and reusing towels allows you to do your bit. Similarly, using organic or biodegradable products is kinder to the local environment and helps preserve the destination you visit, as shower water often drains directly into the soil.
Obey all rules on the reserve and observe wildlife as quietly as possible (even though it might be hard to contain your excitement when seeing amazing species for the very first time!).
Do some reading up on your destination before your trip to find out about its history and culture, so you can try to adhere to local customs.
If you’re feeling brave, learn a few phrases from the local language so you can impress the locals! Help the local economy by purchasing your souvenirs from local traders (but not souvenirs made from any animal products).
Browse our huge range of wildlife tours which offers amazing wildlife across Africa and Asia.
Heather loves exploring European islands, her favourites being the Greek islands, particularly Kefalonia. When she's finished exploring for the day, she enjoys nothing more than taking in the sea views in a Greek taverna. Heather is also a great fan of a UK staycation, whether that's a snowy getaway in the Scottish Highlands, exploring the rolling Welsh countryside, or camping in the Lake District.
Heather | About the author
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