Why Walking Tours Exclude the Big Five

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Going on an African safari is an outstanding choice for your next vacation, especially if you love seeing exotic animals in the wild. While it’s common to expect to see Africa’s Big Five on your safari, you may end up disappointed if you choose a walking safari.

The Big Five will always be excluded from a walking safari for some very good reasons, and examining these reasons is the best way to decide if a walking safari is the right choice for you. Here are a few of the reasons that you won’t see the Big Five on your walking safari and advice for booking a safari where you can see these animals.

More Scared of You

If you’re like most people, then you’ve likely heard the old adage that wild animals are more scared of you than you are of them, and this is the main reason that you usually won’t see the Big Five while on your walking safari.

Despite their size, the Big Give are intimidated by humans, and will almost always prefer running away to encountering you face to face. Most of the creatures in the Big Five have highly attuned senses, meaning they can detect people approaching from a good distance away. As soon as these animals catch your scent or hear you walking, they will flee. Although this might be disappointing for travelers dreaming of a close encounter with the Big Five on their safari, it’s actually for the best, as these animals can be dangerous when cornered.

Big Five on a Game Drive

If you’re desperate to see the Big Five on your African safari, then your best bet is booking a game drive. While this does mean you’ll be in the confines of a vehicle, it will also make it more likely that you’ll be able to see every member of the Big Five.

While on a game drive, you’ll be accompanied by a safari guide that will know when and where to find the Big Five. By approaching from a distance in the game vehicle, you’ll be able to see these animals without scaring them off. To get a good view, make sure to pack a pair of quality binoculars or a camera with a long-distance lens.

Staying Safe on a Walking Tour

Even if you may not be able to see the Big Five, going on a walking safari is still a great choice, particularly if you follow a few easy safety tips.

The first and most important tips for staying safe on a walking safari is to never venture out without a guide. Your guide will be able to steer you away from dangerous areas so that you have an enjoyable trip free from harm. Always walk in single file, and if you do encounter a wild animal, remain calm and never run. Make sure that your clothes aren’t brightly colored so that you can blend into your surroundings. Finally, refrain from eating, drinking or smoking while on your walking safari.

If you want to experience the beautiful natural beauty of Africa, a walking safari is an excellent choice, even if it means you may not see the Big Five.

Where to Find the Best National Parks on African Safari

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For the majority of people thinking about going on an African safari, the main thing that they want out of their trip is being able to see wild animals and exotic plant life in person, and the best way to achieve this goal is to visit one of the many beautiful national parks on this continent.

Before you book your safari vacation, it’s a good idea to learn about some of the best national parks in Africa and in what countries they can be found. Here are some of the best national parks to visit on African safari and information about some of the sights you can see at these parks.

Serengeti National Park

If you want the opportunity to see as many wild animals as possible on your African safari, then one of the top places you should visit is the Serengeti National Park, which can be found in Tanzania.

Serengeti National Park is one of the most cherished safari destinations in the world and is home to a very large wildlife population that every traveler will appreciate. If you visit this national park, you should try to plan your trip to coincide with the wildebeest migration that takes place every year between December and July.

Kruger National Park

For travelers looking for the best national parks to visit on an African safari, there is nearly no better choice than Kruger National Park. Located in South Africa, Kruger is one of the best places on the entire content when it comes to animal watching, and is a particularly excellent destination if your goal is seeing Africa’s Big Five.

Besides the Big Five, Kruger National Park is home to exotic species such as cheetahs and crocodiles, meaning you’ll easily be able to see interesting animals that you won’t find anywhere else. Best of all, Kruger is very easy to access, making it a great choice for travelers that want to see wild animals without difficulty.

Masai Mara National Reserve

If your African safari includes a stop in Kenya, then you need to be certain that you’ve set aside enough time to fully explore the Masai Mara National Reserve. Visiting the Masai Mara National Reserve will provide you with the ideal safari experience, and provides one of the largest animal populations in Africa.

Every year, there is an event known as the Great Migration, which includes species such as zebras, wildebeests, and gazelles. There is also a very large predator population at this reserve, which is why it’s such a popular destination for tourists that want to see big cats such as leopards and lions. Finally, this area is home to hundreds of exotic bird species, meaning you might need to visit more than once in order to see them all.

Plan a trip to the Masai Mara National Reserve, and you’ll see animal life that will be impossible to forget.

There are countless reasons to make your next vacation an African safari, including being able to visit some of the world’s most beautiful national parks. Touring the best national parks to visit on African safari is a great way to connect with nature and make vacation memories that you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

The Best Reasons to Take a Safari

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Planning your next vacation is a truly exciting time, particularly if it’s been awhile since you’ve had the chance to get away. While there are several different types of vacations that you could choose, one of the most interesting ideas is booking an African safari.

No vacation you could take lives up to the excitement you’ll find on an African safari, especially if you’re interested in traveling to a gorgeous location filled with sights and sounds that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Here are some of the top reasons to go on an African safari and advice to help you pick the best activities and locations for your vacation.

Travel to Another World

Ask someone who’s had to pleasure of going on safari before about what they remember most from their trip, and they’ll likely tell you that it was traveling to a location unlike anywhere else they’ve ever seen.

Nowhere in the world possesses the natural beauty that you’ll find in Africa, and if you’re tired of seeing the same places every day, visiting Africa can be a world changing experience. Experiencing the beauty of Africa can make your hometown seem somewhat plain, meaning you’ll want to go on safaris again and again.

Surprisingly Affordable

A concern of many people considering going on a safari is that this sort of trip will be very expensive. Luckily, even if you don’t have a great deal of money to spend, taking a safari is actually very affordable.

The great thing about booking a safari is that everything you need for your trip will be provided, including your food, activities, and even lodging. This means that for one price, you’ll be able to have the world-class vacation that you deserve. You can even save money on your trip if you book during one of the low travel seasons, which can be a great choice if you don’t want to deal with a large number of other travelers.

Enjoy Safe Adventures

Out of all the different reasons to go on an African safari, the most attractive is being able to go on an adventure while staying safe. Contrary to what many people believe, an African safari is one of the safest vacations that you can take. They are so safe, in fact, that many people are choosing to take their children on safari with them.

During your trip, you’ll be able to see Africa with the help of a safari guide who will be able to keep you safe while showing you the best spots for adventure. This means you can enjoy the breathtaking African scenery without concern.

Booking an African safari is a great way to add a little excitement to your life while being completely secure.

As you can now see, there are a variety of great reasons to go on an African safari. Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery, want a trip that’s affordable, or have the desire to go on a once in a lifetime adventure, booking an African safari is one of the best choices that you could make. Start planning your safari today so that you can experience a vacation that you will never forget.

Cats You’ll Find at Kruger National Park

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When you go on safari, there are a variety of sights and sounds that you should be sure to experience. However, if you’re like most people, your main safari goal is seeing big cats that you can only find in Africa, and if seeing these exotic creatures is your top reason for traveling to Africa, you should be sure that your safari includes a stop in Kruger National Park.

One of Africa’s most famous wildlife areas, Kruger is home to several interesting cat species and is the top spot to visit if you want to see gorgeous animal life on your trip. Here are some of the cats that you can see at Kruger National Park that will guarantee you’ll have an exciting African safari vacation.

Experience Lions

Although there are several cats you can see while visiting Kruger, lions are the most possible. Both graceful and deadly, lions are a sight to behold in any scenario but are particularly breathtaking when viewed in person.

The great thing about visiting Kruger is that you’ll be able to see a whole pride of lions, including lion cubs, allowing you to get your fill of these majestic creatures. In Kruger, as in other parts of Africa, lions will usually be found near where they hunt, meaning you should also be able to see game herds while viewing lions.

See Leopards in Person

While they may not be as popular as lions, you should be sure that your trip to Kruger includes some time watching leopards. Despite being the second largest cat you can see in Africa, leopards are very shy, meaning they can be easy to miss if you don’t know where to look.

Unlike lions, which travel in groups, leopards prefer to be on their own, and can usually be found slinking through the bush. If you want to see leopards while you’re trekking through Kruger, you should look near rocky outcrops or wooded areas near rivers.

Look Quick for Cheetahs

Another cat that you can see while you’re visiting Kruger National Park is the Cheetah. World-famous for their speed, cheetahs are lithe creatures that save most of their energy for hunting. The rest of the time, they can usually be found around water. In Kruger, you should be easily able to see cheetahs by taking a trip to the crocodile river.

While you’re on your African safari vacation, you may see a cheetah without even realizing. Because they’re both spotted, it can be extremely easy to confuse leopards and cheetahs. However, once you know a few differences between these cats, it should be easy to tell which is which.

The primary difference between cheetahs and leopards is that leopards are much large, with defined muscles. Cheetahs are much skinner, built for speed and not power. You can also tell which cat you’re seeing by where they’re located. Where leopards prefer to stay hidden, you will usually find cheetahs out in the open. So, if you see a spotted cat lying about without regard to who sees it, you’re dealing with a cheetah.

Make sure that your African safari vacation includes a stop at Kruger National Park and you can see some of the world’s most interesting big cats.

Big Five of the Sea

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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.

The Most Effective Safari Safety Tips

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As most experienced travelers will tell you, there is no more exciting vacation than going on African safari. On a safari, you’ll be able to meet new friends, sample delicious cuisine, and experience some of the most exotic sights and sounds in the entire world.

While a safari is a once in a lifetime experience, it is also a much different vacation than any trip on which you’ve ever been, which is why it’s a good idea to get a few tips so that you can have the safest, most enjoyable holiday possible. Here are a few easy safari safety tips that you can use on your next holiday to make sure that you have an exciting trip free from harm.

Getting Ready Before Your Trip

If you want to make sure that you enjoy the safest African safari possible, then you need to start preparing before you even book your flight. With a little preparation, you can avoid many of the risks of safari before your trip even begins, giving you total peace of mind.

As many people know, malaria is a risk in many locations in Africa, so it’s important that you take malaria pills on your trip. While you’re on safari, you should be sure to sleep under mosquito nets to reduce your risk any further.

You will also need to make sure you are up to date on your vaccinations before you leave on your trip. In particular, you need to make sure you’re vaccinated for hepatitis and Yellow Fever, both of which are a threat on safari.

Finally, it’s a good idea to purchase medical travel insurance prior to your trip. Extra coverage will help you more quickly receive medical treatment if you’re injured on your vacation.

Safely Viewing Game

For most people, the biggest benefit of going on African safari is being able to see wild animals in their natural habitat. Because most people are accustomed to seeing these animals in a zoo, it’s common to forget that these creatures can be threatened by humans, sometimes resulting in attacks that can put your health in serious jeopardy. By following a few simple rules, you can safely enjoy exotic animal life while on Safari.

When you’re on a game drive, you should remain as quiet as possible, as human activity is likely to agitate the animals. You should also keep your arms and legs inside of your safari vehicle at all times. Although the animals are sometimes used to vehicles, they are not as accustomed to the presence of humans. Try to avoid eating on your game drive, and always make sure you’re properly attired. Bring along warm clothing, sunscreen, and hats so that you’re prepared for every weather situation.

If you plan on taking a walking safari, you should never go without a guide, as they are trained how to safely navigate the bush. Walk in single file, never run, and be sure to wear subdued clothing, as animals will be attracted to bright colors.

Follow these safari safety tips while you’re on your next African safari tour, and you’ll have a safe trip that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

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