Best South African Safari Activities on a Budget

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Although there are a variety of locations you could visit on your next African safari, South Africa is the best choice if you want as much fun and excitement on your trip as possible. There are a countless things to see and do in South Africa, and whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, you’ll be able to find an activity that’s right for you.

While visiting South Africa is a great choice for anyone planning their next vacation, it’s a particularly good option for those traveling on a budget. The country is filled with great activities that you can book for a low-cost, making for the ideal vacation. Here are a few of the most exciting, cost-effective activities in South Africa that you should consider when you’re planning your next African safari vacation.

One of the World’s Highest Jumps

If you’re a thrill seeker, then there’s almost no better place to visit in South Africa, particularly if you’re looking to save money on your trip. South Africa provides many opportunities for pulse bounding fun, including some of the best bungee jumping options in the entire world.

Bloukrans Bungee is known as the highest bridge bungee jumping opportunity in the entire world, and is a can’t miss activity in this popular safari destination. Best of all, bungee jumping from this location is extremely affordable. Whether you’re an experienced bungee jumper or have always wanted to try this activity, Bloukrans Bungee is a great South African recreational opportunity.

Take an Extended Trip in Kruger Park

When your primary reason for going on safari is seeing Africa’s big five, then there’s no better place in South Africa, particularly when you visit Kruger National Park. One of the most popular spots in all of Africa, Kruger National Park is a location that you must experience for yourself, and is one of the best places in the world to your exotic animal life.

To see all that Kruger National Park has to offer, you should consider taking a five-day safari tour, which is surprisingly affordable and will provide you plenty of time to explore the park and see every member of Africa’s big five.

Ride the Orange River

Spending some time on the water is a great choice wherever you’re planning your next vacation, but if you choose to book a safari in South Africa, you’ll be able to enjoy world-class rafting on the gorgeous Orange River.

The Orange River is the longest in all of South Africa, and offers some of the most beautiful scenery anywhere in the country. While rafting down this river, you’ll be able to forget about the stresses of your everyday life while seeing some of the most beautiful sites that you’ve ever experienced. A four-day trip down the orange river is an affordable, unforgettable activity that you should be sure to book for your next South African safari.

South Africa is home to almost limitless activities, even if you’re traveling on a budget. Think about what you want out of your next vacation, and you should be able to choose a few budget friendly options that will guarantee you have the most fun-filled African safari vacation possible.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Activities to Avoid on Your Next Safari

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Any traveler looking for the most exciting vacation possible should consider going on an African safari. If you’ve never been on a safari, then you’ve been missing out on one of the most magical vacations in the world. Whether you want to see wild animals in person or are interested in learning about a new culture, an African safari is your best possible choice.

For first time safari goers, it’s important to learn about a few activities that should be skipped on these trips. While these activities may seem fun, they’re often more trouble than they’re worth. Avoid choosing these activities when you’re booking your African safari so that you can have a safe vacation that’s filled with unforgettable memories.

Interacting with Lions

As previously mentioned, being able to see exotic animals is one of the top reasons to go on safari. One of the most popular animals to see on safari is the African lion, one of the most majestic creatures in the world.

While you should definitely be sure to view lions on your safari, you should refrain from booking any activity that promises direct interaction with these creatures. Allowing travelers to cuddle lion cubs is a huge industry in Africa, but it also puts these animals at risk. If a lion cub frequently interacts with humans, it will have zero chance of surviving in the wild.

Adventures with Baboons

Another safari activity that should be avoided is feeding wild baboons. While it can be tempting to feed baboons, particularly as they are frequently found near picnic areas, you may be putting both yourself and the animal in harm’s way.

When baboons are fed by humans, it encourages them to interact with humans on a more frequent basis, fostering dependency and reducing the baboon’s ability to find food on their own. Additionally, baboons can be very aggressive, especially when they aren’t given what they want. This means that baboons that have learned to accept food from humans may attack if a traveler denies them a treat.

If you travel through an area where there are baboons, make sure that all your food is locked up. If possible, stay in your vehicle until the animal has departed. Should a baboon approach you, do not attempt to pet the animal. Despite their appearance, baboons are still wild animals that may attack when they feel threatened.

Taking an Elephant Ride

If your only experience with African safari is films and television shows, then elephant riding is an activity that you may associate with this type of vacation. While riding on an elephant may seem fun, it is actually an extremely risky activity, and is something you should avoid.

Although they are large creatures, the spine of an elephant is not designed to support weight, meaning riding on an elephant can harm the animal. In addition, elephants that respond to human commands have often undergone cruel training, and taking part in elephant rides supports this practice. Instead of going on an elephant ride, view these creatures humanely in a game park or conservation area.

Choosing the right activities, and avoiding the wrong ones, will ensure you have an exciting African safari.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya CHui

Should You Take Your Kids on Safari?

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If you’ve been thinking about taking a trip in the near future, then you want to make sure you’re choosing an option that can be enjoyed by your entire family, including your children. While researching your trip, you may become interested in going on an African safari, leaving one important question that needs to be answered: can you take your kids on safari?

Learning a little more about African safaris, including potential safety concerns, can help you decide whether visiting Africa is the right choice for your next family vacation. Here are a few tips for taking your kids on safari that will help you plan a vacation you and your family will remember for a lifetime.

Restrictions on Age

The biggest decision you’ll need to make when taking kids on safari is the activities your family wants to enjoy. While there are a variety of ways for families to have fun on safari, certain locations and activities have age restrictions.

For example, many people going on safari want to see the exotic animal life that can only be found in Africa, which is why they visit game reserves. However, some game reserves have strict rules for child visitors, with some areas preventing children under the age of 12 from entering. While planning your safari, investigate potential age restrictions to make sure your children won’t miss out on the fun.

Can Your Children Handle Long Drives?

One thing that many people aren’t prepared for when going on an African safari is just how much time they’ll need to spend traveling between destinations. If you’re visiting multiple spots in Africa, you may need to spend hours on the road. Driving for hundreds of miles can be difficult even for adults, so it’s easy to imagine how hard it might be on your children.

Similarly, if you’re planning on going on a game drive so that you can see plant and animal life, you should be aware that these drives can take upwards of three hours, which may be too much if your kids are very young. Think about how well your kids handle regular car trips, and you should be able to tell if they’re ready to go on a safari.

Other Considerations

As you may be able to tell, whether your children are capable of going on safari mostly depends on their age and maturity levels. How old your child is will determine if they’re able to safely take part in safari activities and if they’ll have a good time.

Backpacking and overlanding, for example, require a great deal of physical activity thanks to the miles of walking and the need to set-up camp. Also, very young children, such as those five years or younger, are much more vulnerable to malaria, meaning they should avoid traveling to areas where contracting this disease is a risk. You should take into account the age of your children before you decide to take them on African safari.

If they’re the right age and you choose activities you know that they’ll enjoy, taking your kids on safari can be a great choice, and will make for a family vacation they’ll never forget.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Making Your Safari a Once in a Lifetime Trip

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If you’re looking for an exciting trip to an exotic location, there is no better choice than going on an African safari. For many people, booking an African safari is a lifelong dream, and when this dream is finally fulfilled, it’s common to be overwhelmed by the experience.

There is so much to see and do on a safari that you may worry you’ll miss out on something, making your vacation much more stressful than it needs to be. Fortunately, making the most out of your safari isn’t as difficult as you might think, especially if you plan ahead. Here are a few tips to help you make your African safari a once in a lifetime vacation, and advice for easily planning your next trip.

Research and Preparation

An African safari is unlike any other vacation you’ve ever taken, which is why it’s common for travelers to be intimidated by the process of planning their safari. This means that the best way to make the most out of your safari is to search and make preparations well before your departure date.

Once you have the itinerary and pre-departure information for your safari, review this information until you know it backwards and forwards. Committing these items to memory will help you feel prepared when it’s time to leave for your trip. Next, you should be sure to research your destination. Find out the season when you will be arriving so that you can know what clothes and equipment to pack.

If you start prepping for your vacation early enough, you’ll be able to overcome any pre-trip jitters.

Plan for Optional Activities

When you’re booking your African safari, you should have the option to sign up for a variety of extra activities. If you want your trip to be as memorable and fun as possible, you should register for as many of these activities as you can. The optional activities available on safari can help you maximize your fun and ensure that you won’t miss out on excitement while on your safari.

Pack Your Technology

A mistake that many people make when going on safari is leaving their electronics behind. While it’s understandable you may want to unplug for a bit while on your trip, certain electronic devices can be invaluable.

For example, driving between locations on safari can be very time consuming, and having your electronics can help keep you entertained. Also, if your smartphone has a quality camera, it can be much easier to use your phone for photographs instead of packing bulky camera equipment.

Be Flexible

Perhaps the best way to make the most out of your African safari is to keep an open mind. Even the most well-planned vacation can run into roadblocks, so it’s very easy for a complex trip like a safari to not go as you might expect. Keeping a flexible attitude will ensure that you have a great time on your safari, regardless of the circumstances of your trip. If you expect to have fun on your trip, then you will.

With the right attitude and a little planning, you can easily book an African safari that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Make Sure to See the Little Five on Safari

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Going on a safari is a great choice for a vacation, particularly if you’re interested in seeing exotic animal life. When going on a safari, most animal lovers want to make sure they see The Big Five: buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion, and rhinoceros. While these majestic animals certainly aren’t to be missed, Africa is home to countless beautiful animal species, meaning you should try to expand your horizons a bit while sightseeing.

For example, in addition to the Big Five, Africa is also home to a group of creatures known as the Little Five. Learn more about the Little Five and why you should be certain that seeing these tiny animals is a part of your next African safari vacation.

Ant Lion

One of the most notable creatures featured in Africa’s Little Five is the Lion Ant. During the early stages of their life, the Lion Ant is as ferocious as the animal for which it’s named, setting traps so that they can capture and eat other insects. While you’re on safari, take a look at the ground and it’s likely you’ll see one of these traps, which looks like a small hole in the ground.

After their pupal stage, the Lion Ant flies and feeds on pollen.

Buffalo Weaver

Africa is home to a variety of bird species, including the Little Five member known as the Buffalo Weaver. These birds are very easy to pick out of crowd as they can be very loud. As you might expect, these birds get their name from the company they choose to keep. Buffalo Weavers will often be found near buffalo, feasting on the insects that are often left behind by the larger animals.

Depending on the area of Africa you are visiting, you’ll see either a red-billed or white-billed Buffalo Weaver.

Elephant Shrew

Perhaps the most interesting Little Five animal that you can see on your African safari vacation is the Elephant Shrew. Many people are surprised to learn that the Elephant Shrew is related to the elephant, at least genetically. In addition, Elephant Shrews can vary widely in size, with some of these animals being as long as 11 inches and as heavy as a pound.

Leopard Tortoise

As you might be able to tell, every member of the Little Five is named after a Big Five counterpart, including the Leopard Tortoises. The spots on the shell of the Leopard Tortoise are very similar to those of a regular leopard, but that’s where the similarities end. The Leopard Tortoise is the largest creature in the Little Five, and can live up to 100 years. These tortoises are also well-known for the hissing noise they make when retracting into their shell.

Rhinoceros Beetle

The final member of the Little Five that you should look out for while on safari is the Rhinoceros Beetle. Like full-size rhinos, the male Rhinoceros Beetle has a horn on its head that it uses to fight other beetles. Fortunately, despite their intimidating appearance, Rhinoceros Beetles are harmless to humans.

If you want to see every animal in the Big or Little Five, then you need to start booking your African safari vacation today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Keeping Yourself Entertained While Overlanding

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There is no vacation quite as entertaining as an African safari. While you’re on safari, you’ll be able to see exotic animals and gorgeous scenery in one of the most interesting locations in the world. However, if you’re a first-time safari goer, there may be some parts of your trip for which you’re not fully prepared, including long overlanding trips.

If you’re planning an overland safari, you’ll likely have to drive long stretches between destinations, which can be extremely dull if you’re not prepared. Fortunately, time spent driving doesn’t have to be time wasted, particularly if you have the right plan in place. Here are a few easy tips to help you stay entertained while overlanding so that you can have the most enjoyable African safari possible.

Pack Your Technology

The great thing about going on safari in modern times is being able to take along your favorite pieces of technology, making it much easier to stay entertained while overlanding than in years past. For instance, if you’re a music lover, you can build a playlist specifically for your safari adventure. Not only will this keep you occupied while you’re riding between safari destinations, it will be a great way to bring back memories of your trip when you’re back home.

Another way you can have a great time while overlanding is creating a movie of your trip. Film a bit at a time, and be sure to involve your travel mates, and by the end of your safari, you’ll have a fun video keepsake of your vacation.

However, because opportunities to charge your electronics will likely be few and far between while overlanding, you should be sure to bring a spare battery back or two to make sure you never run out of juice.

Play Some Road Games

While using your electronics while overlanding can be a fun distraction, a safari can be a great way to spend time with your friends and family or meet new people. If you want to break the overlanding boredom with human interaction, then a great activity is playing road games.

A classic road game that you could play while overlanding is 20 questions. If everyone on the bus takes a turn, you can easily take up the entire trip while having a great time. Think about a few road games that you could incorporate into your time on the road and you’ll make sure that your overlanding trip is never dull.

Catch Up on Your Reading

If you’re like many people, you may not be able to resist the charms of a good book, and if you can’t ever seem to find the time to read during your regular life, your time on the road during your overland safari can be a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself with some of your favorite authors. Pack a few books that you’ve been meaning to read, or an old favorite that you’ve been meaning to revisit, and those miles on the road will go by in the blink of an eye.

As you can see, there are easy, effective ways to stay entertained while overlanding, meaning you need to start planning your safari today!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Game Reserves and National Parks: What’s the Difference?

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When you’re planning to go on African safari, it’s likely that your main goal is to spend time in nature and see some of the most beautiful plant and animal life in the world. However, many people going on safari for the first time aren’t quite sure how to best accomplish this goal.

For instance, while researching your safari, you’ll probably see references to national parks, wilderness areas, game reserves, and conservancy, making it hard to know which you should visit for the most enjoyable safari experience possible. Here is some information to help you learn the difference between game reserves and national parks so you can easily plan an African safari.

Enjoy a National Park

If you want to enjoy nature in Africa in a more controlled environment, then your best bet is to visit a national park. As you might expect from their name, national parks are owned and operated by the government of the country where they are located, and are a great way for safari goers to safely experience wildlife in Africa.

Generally, national parks will offer a variety of activities such as guided tours and 4×4 trails, and the roads will be well-formed and easy to navigate. While there are a variety of small national parks throughout Africa, most travelers want to visit the larger, popular parks such as the Kruger National Park.

Game Reserves and Nature Reserves

Some people going on safari choose to skip the national parks and instead visit a game or nature reserve. These areas are a great place to view animals and plants in their natural environment, giving you a more authentic safari experience. However, there are some differences between the two types of reserves.

A nature reserve is designed specifically for the benefit of the animals and plants that it homes. They are intended for conservation purposes and will attempt to limit the impact that human activities have on the wildlife in the reserve. The Kogelberg Nature Reserve, which is located outside of Cape Town, is one of the most well-known nature reserves in Africa.

Game reserves, on the other hand, are focused on the preservation of animal life. In a game reserve, which is also called a game park, animals native to Africa such as giraffes and rhinoceros will be protected. Also, game parks generally allow for activities like hiking through the reserve and viewing the animals. If a game reserve specifically forbids hunting, it usually also qualifies as a nature reserve.

What About Wilderness Areas?

A wilderness area is an area that has not been tampered with by humans. In these areas, there are no roads or infrastructure of any kind, and the plants and animals are allowed to evolve without human involvement. While it is possible to visit a wilderness area while on safari, many travelers find these areas too extreme. However, if you want to experience African wildlife in its natural state, a wilderness area is the place to do so.

Now that you know the difference between national parks, game preserves, and wilderness areas, you can plan an African safari that you’ll be sure to enjoy.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui