Big Five of the Sea


If you’ve ever done any research about going on an African safari, then you’ve likely learned about the Big Five, which are five of the most famous animals you could see on your vacation. However, what few people know is that the sea possesses its own Big Five, and if you prefer spending time on the water to being on solid ground, you need to be sure your safari includes these interesting marine creatures.

Here’s some information about the Big Five of the sea and advice for seeing these interesting creatures the next time you take an African safari.

Spend Time with the Cape Fur Seal

The most playful member of the marine Big Five is the Cape Fur Seal. These fun-loving mammals can be found up and down the west coast of South Africa, but are especially numerous in the Cape Town area.

Unlike some other animals on this list, you can actually interact with the Cape Fur seal up close and in personal, both on land and while snorkeling.

See the African Penguin

If you prefer your animals to be cute and cuddly, then you’re going to love the African Penguin, the smallest member of the Big Five of the sea. These small birds can be found in a variety of South Africa locations, including gorgeous Boulders Beach

When you visit Boulders Beach, you’ll be able to swim with these adorable creatures, which is an experience you’ll always remember fondly.

Do Some Whale Watching

Whales are some of the most majestic animals in the world, and if you’ve always wanted to go on a whale watching adventure, your African safari will provide the perfect opportunity.

Between the months of June and December, you can see Southern Right Whales off the coast of South Africa. Because these whales are endangered, there are several nurseries in the area where you can get a great view while the whales swim and play. Be sure to bring your camera, because you’ll definitely want to commemorate seeing this member of the Big Five of the sea.

Swim with the Dolphins

If you’re like many people with a fondness for the ocean, you probably dream of seeing dolphins while you’re out on the water. Fortunately, the waters off the coast of South Africa are home to multiple dolphin species, including the well-known bottlenose dolphin

During the period between May and July, the sardine population in near Africa explodes, drawing dolphins to the area. If you want to see dolphins on your trip, make sure your safari takes place during this time of year.

Beware of Great White Sharks

Just like the normal Big Five, the Big Five of the sea features a deadly predator: The great white shark. One of the deadliest creatures on the planet, seeing a great white shark swimming in the African ocean is a unique thrill that shouldn’t be missed. While you’ll definitely want to keep your distance, you’ll always remember seeing a great white shark in the wild.

If you love seeing marine animals in their natural habitat, then you should be sure to watch out for the Big Five of the sea on your next African safari.

Advice for Tipping on Your African Safari


If you’re planning on going on an African safari for the very first time, it’s likely that you have a lot of questions that you want answered. In addition to wanting to know about what to pack and how to have the best time on your trip, you may also wonder what’s the best way to handle tipping.

While you’ll spend most of your safari exploring nature, there will be occasions where you might need to tip someone, which can be intimidating if you don’t know the process. Here’s a little advice for tipping on an African safari that will make sure you’re able to show gratitude to those who’ve made your trip special.

Make Sure to Have Physical Money

One of the biggest obstacles that people encounter when it comes time to leave a tip on safari is not having any physical currency. Because everything on your safari is booked well in advance, including meals, it’s very easy to pack only your debit or credit card and forget to bring any cash along.

If you want to be certain that you can tip on your safari, you should be sure to make sure you have at least a little bit of cash. Make sure you have enough US currency with you that you can exchange some for the local equivalent in every country that you visit. When you exchange your currency, make sure to visit a reputable location instead of using exchanging currency on the street.

How You Should Tip

Although it won’t be common, there are a few circumstances where you’ll want to tip while on safari, which is why you need to make sure that your tipping the right way.

In some places that you visit on your trip, there will be a communal tip jar where you can leave your tip. However, if you want to tip someone directly, place it in an envelope and then give it to them personally. This will ensure that the person you wish to tip will be the one that receives the money.

If you choose an overlanding tour, there will usually be a group fund to which you can contribute. This fund will be used to tip all the guides that you encounter on your overland tour. Remember, however, that if you eat at a restaurant, you will need to leave an individual tip.

Gifts Instead of Tips

Some travelers want to express gratitude to their guide by giving them a gift instead of a tip. If you want to give a gift instead of tipping on an African safari, there are a few suggestions you could choose. While you could choose an item that will be personalized to your tour guide, which will be a great way to show them that you’ve enjoyed your trip and that you appreciate their service.

Unlike some other places you could visit, tipping is as important in Africa as it is in the United States. Fortunately, by following this advice, tipping on an African safari should be easy and stress-free.  Make sure to include tipping in your budget when you plan your African safari so that you can express your gratitude on your trip.

Types of Accommodations in African Safaris


When you embark on an African Safari, you need a place to stay. Since the safari industry has grown over the past several decades, you have more options than you might think for your lodgings. Take a look at this list of options for your accommodations when you book an exciting African safari.

Full Size Lodges

For a luxurious safari experience, book yourself a full size African safari lodge. These safari lodges all the comforts of home and then some while situating you in the gorgeous savannah of Africa. There are many different sizes you can choose from including facilities that mimic western hotels to full size resorts. These lodges are permanent locations, so you can expect a brilliant design that mixes flawlessly with the natural landscape.

If you want delicious cuisine in between your safari outings, lodges are the choice for you. The service is typically excellent, allowing you to be pampered when you’re not out exploring. Don’t worry about the hotel being too separated from the landscape, as you can still enjoy gorgeous views of the African countryside from virtually every room in the lodge.

Tented Lodges

While windows and balconies go a long way to offer scenic views of the African landscape, tented lodges take it a step further. These are still permanent structures, but the walls are canvas tent sides which allow the smells and sounds of nature to pour through. You get to enjoy the intimate and secluded atmosphere of a tent, but you still have access to the services of a typical lodge.

In fact, tented lodges tend to be the more expensive option when it comes to accommodations. You get the best of both worlds. With the canvas sides, you get to feel like you’re roughing it in the wilderness while still enjoying all the luxuries of a premium hotel. Some tented lodges even include air conditioning and fast internet access.

Mobile Tents

If you’re trying to really enjoy the African landscape, mobile tents and seasonal camps are the way to go. These aren’t permanent structures, so you have a limited time to book one. These tents are put up for three to six months in strategic locations after major wildlife movements to expose you to as much wildlife as possible. When you stay at a mobile tent or seasonal camp, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll see more wildlife than guests at a lodge.

You won’t have to rough it in the desert either as you can still enjoy some useful amenities. There’s running water and flushing toilets, so you don’t have to worry about your hygiene going bad. There’s also a separate dining tent, and often a lounge area as well. These seasonal camps are set up away from popular tourist areas, so you don’t have to worry about crowds.

Fly Camping

For the truly adventurous seeking an outdoors adventure, you can set up camp in the savanna at the place of your choosing. If you like the idea of hippos and leopards being within feet of you with only a thin mosquito net and canvas tent in between, there’s no better choice. If the thought of nearby dangerous animals doesn’t keep you up at night, the noises might. The wildlife gets quite loud after sunset and can be too much for some to sleep through.

When you’ve determined which accommodation type is right for you, it’s time to book your African safari. Prepare yourself to embark on an adventure like nothing you’ve ever experienced before.