Safari holidays: discovering the joy of wildlife
The joy of going on a safari is being enjoyed by travellers of all ages who are looking for encounters that put them back in touch with the natural world.
Whatever your age a luxury safari retreat can be a life changing experience. But where exactly is the best place to go on a safari – and what can you expect when you get there?
The world’s best safari destinations
Although wildlife tours are commonplace throughout the world, the term ‘safari’ is usually used to refer to wildlife expeditions in Africa. One of the most historically popular safari destinations is Kenya in East Africa. During the colonial era, safari holidays in Kenya were particularly popular amongst British officials, but today’s safaris have a more universal appeal. Visitors can expect chances to see the Big 5 – lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and leopards – as well as zebras, giraffes and cheetahs.
Another great safari destination is South Africa, at the continent’s southern tip. South Africa may take a little longer to get to than Kenya but it offers visitors a wide variety of attractions that can combine with safari days out. Luxurious lodges mean that you’ll have optimal conditions for relaxing after a day of wildlife spotting, and the huge range of local wines and fantastic food will certainly help you unwind. Some tour operators also offer coastal safaris in South Africa, so you have a chance to see the best of its wildlife on land and at sea.
Nearby Botswana is sometimes overlooked as a safari destination, but has plenty to offer intrepid travellers, including the opportunity to see hippos, elephants and take a boat trip along the famous Okavango Delta. And Tanzania is not to be missed either: visit the spectacular Serengeti national park in the north for iconic safari sightings, or relax on the picturesque beaches of Zanzibar to rest and recharge.
What to expect from a safari holiday
Safety is paramount on a safari holiday, so it’s important to book your trip with reputable travel operators like Luxury Safaris or www.kuoni.co.uk. These experts can help you prepare for your holiday and guide your expectations before you set off. If you’ve seen your fair share of David Attenborough documentaries and know exactly which animals you’d like to lay eyes on, contact a well-established tour operator before booking your holiday. They’ll be able to tell you exactly where to go and what to do to fulfil your wildlife dreams.
If you’ve never been on a safari holiday before and you’re not sure what to take with you, Condé Nast Traveller has some great tips on what to pack for a safari. Most importantly, you should pack light if you’ll be travelling by charter airline within a country as baggage restrictions may apply. Find out what the climate will be like before you get to your destination too, and don’t simply assume that Africa is always hot and dry. In the wet season, for instance, you’ll need plenty of waterproof clothing and a waterproof cover for your bag, as well as obligatory sunscreen and sunglasses.
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