Safaris are common along the African Continent and viewing a variety of wild animals in their natural environment is what drives thousands of tourists to experience the different kinds of safaris.
What is a Safari?
The word safari is originated from an Arabic word, ‘safar’ which means a journey into the wilderness.
A safari is a trip to sight or to hunt wild animals, mostly in Africa. Safaris are commonly used words when you set off in the forest in search of wild species.
It is a thrilling experience to get acquainted with the natural habitat of the wildlife that resides there. A safari tour can be made in various ways be it walking, driving in 4×4 wheelers or on an aircraft.
On a safari, you get a chance to explore the picturesque landscape and scenery along with a herd of various animals.
Why go on a Safari?
- To see the wildlife in their true form.
- To experience the natural wooded beauty of the world.
- Safaris are adventurous trips to the wilderness.
- To experience the diverse cultures and traditions.
6 Different Kinds of Safaris
1. Walking Safaris
Trips to the wilderness of Africa is one thrilling experience. There are different kinds of Safaris but the one that makes your excursion adventurous is the walking safari.
Walking safari is the oldest and the purest form of safaris. These safaris bring in a new way of experiencing the wild in its true sense.
Your senses are heightened as you take a long stroll past the grasses and twigs making the experience authentic.
Walking safaris traces back to our ancestors who walked the paths of the wilderness hunting and domesticating.
Sighting the animals from a close vicinity is quite exciting. The best part of walking safaris is that you get to see the footprints of wild animals such as leopards, tigers, lions, and many others. It gives you the sight of the smallest of small creatures in the wastelands.
On this peaceful safari, your guide might throw in some interesting facts and details about the ecosystem.
Walking safaris are safe as they are accompanied by armed and trained safari guides.
2. Guided Safaris
Amongst all the different kinds of safaris, a guided safari gives you a carefree experience that would look after your interests and preferences of the expedition.
Guided safaris are most appropriate for people who are enthusiastic about engaging in a variety of adventures.
On this safari, a guide is assigned to you from the very beginning till you complete your whole tour. These guides will fill you on with minute details of the wildlife and the bush.
These safaris work on your time schedules and your likes, and hence you can sight your favorite attraction in the wilds. The group size and budget will define the type of guide.
Guided safaris are best suited for families and groups of friends, and most importantly photographers. The guide knows every move the animal is going to make next. With the assistant of a guide, a photographer can capture the once-in-a-while best moments which would have been missed otherwise.
The years of experience deepens his contact with the bush and the wildlife making him the expert of wilderness. Private guided safaris can be arranged as well.
3. Mobile Safaris
There are different kinds of safaris but none like Mobile safari which gives you the real and thrilling experience of wilderness.
Mobile safari means the same as the word states, it is to relocate the safari campsite from one wilderness area to another. You get to stay at one campsite for few days and then move to another to take in the uniqueness of the area. It gives you a perfect chance to explore the national parks and the game reserves.
This discovery excursion is accompanied by professional guides, staff, and chefs. All the visitors stay in tented camps. The accommodations vary as per your comfort and choices.
Operations and entry is allowed for a specific period and all individuals, couples, and small groups are permitted in.
Items that cause hindrance to the nature cell phone, alarm clock, etc, are to be avoided on such safaris.
Mobile safaris elevate your experience as you can gaze at the twinkling stars in the night sky and listen to the tune of the animals in the bush.
4. Balloon Safaris
Till now you have seen different kinds of safaris that you are well familiar with. The extraordinary safari from which you can view the beautiful landscapes and fly as well as see strolling animals is the Air Balloon Safari.
Hot Air Balloon departs the earth’s ground at sunrise. While you munch on your breakfast you can view the movements of early risers below – you can spot a lion chase its prey!
A balloon safari is well-known for bird watching. As the balloon floats over the tree crown and amongst the flock of flying feathers it displays a picturesque morning view.
A balloon safari is rare because they depend on weather conditions. Since they are quite famous the booking of this safari needs to be done well in advance.
Famous Destinations: If you are interested in balloon safari the best destinations are – Masai Mara of Kenya and Serengeti of Tanzania which will give you an amazing view of the Great Migration from July to November.
4. Drive Safaris
Amongst the different kinds of safaris, drive safaris give you a chance to enjoy your travel hunt at your leisure.
If you want to travel alone or with your families, a self-drive safari is best suited for you. Such safaris are quite affordable and you get to decide where you want to go and what you want to see.
You are allowed to take your private vehicle but it’s strongly suggested to take a 4×4 vehicle because of the uneven roads in the wilderness. Thrilling self-drive safaris give you enough freedom to spot and view any wild animal at your pace.
If you are not sure about driving through the bush all by yourself it is better to hire a professional driver-guide and a private vehicle. This stands to the perfect option because your driver will not only be your chauffer but also a guide.
They will share all the secrets of the wilderness. Driver-guided safaris are preferred by small groups as the cost gets split up among the travelers.
6. Fly-in Safaris
Fly-in safaris use light aircraft to transfer you from one destination to another to save time. It displays a marvellous sight of the wild bushes below.
Travellers who are not a fan of bumpy gravel roads of the jungle tend to opt for this type of safari. If you do not have enough time to explore the wilds this is a well-suited safari for you.
Fly-in safaris depart from the international airport and land into the bush where you’d be greeted cordially.
It is more convenient if you are going on a safari to a faraway place or an isolated area. The breath-taking landscape, the wandering wild species and let’s not forget the flapping feathers of the birds along with the wind, is the most catchy view you’d see from the light aircraft.
Between the different kinds of safaris, fly-in safaris save time giving you enough time to savour the splendour of flora and fauna.
Explore other safari adventures of the area during your stay before you set off to another destination.
Destination: In east Africa, Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a good place for fly-in safaris.
Best places to go on a Safari
1. Masai Mara, Kenya
The northern extension of Tanzania’s Serengeti is called Masai Mara and it is where the herds of wildlife reside. It provides a clear view of the cat family that comes out to hunt for prey.
Elephants, giraffe, and black rhinos are the special attractions of Masai Mara. The perfect time to enjoy this safari experience is during the cool and dry season which is from May to October.
2. Etosha National Park, Namibia
The unique Etosha National Park of Africa is characterized by its salt pan. Game sighting is a common phenomenon with numerous wild animals crowding the waterholes.
The rarest species of wildlife can be spotted in this park. Elephants, leopards, and black rhinos are sheltered in the thick vegetation. The lions blend in with golden grass and giraffes rise above the dry vegetation.
It homes more than 340 species of birds. The right time to explore this African safari on different kinds of safaris is from June to November.
3. Kruger National Park, South Africa
Kruger National Park is one of the finest destinations that offer different kinds of safaris in Africa.
The Big Five of Africa – elephant, rhino, buffalo and the top hierarchy of the cat family, lion and leopard can be spotted in the bushes.
Kruger National Park comes with a variety of adventures such as elephant safari or the hot air balloon safari followed by many others. This national park is an eye attraction all year round.
4. South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
The grassy plains and pristine Luangwa river of South Luangwa National Park highlight the safari along with the abounding wildlife species.
This park of Zambia has made different kinds of safaris accessible that invites visitors to every crook and nook. Walking safari is an excellent safari to discover the hidden species in the bush.
Night drive offers an exciting view of prowling big cats. June to October is the time of the game-viewing season.