The words “African safari” conjure up different images in people’s minds. Some imagine slicing through the jungle with machetes in search of big game, while others envision tranquil drives in air–conditioned 4x4s. Safaris do, in fact, come in all shapes and sizes. Here is a rundown so that you–with the assistance of your safari–savvy travel agent–can find the perfect fit.
Luxury Lodge Safari – Safaris that combine the best qualities of a 5-star hotel with a relaxing drive into the wilderness to capture wild animals with your telephoto lens.
Bush Camp Safari – Similar to luxury lodges except your hotel is a semi-permanent tent set up in nature for a more up-close and personal experience, creating some unique and unforgettable moments, such as an elephant roar waking you up.
Walking Safari – While following a trained guide, you hike through the countryside where the 4x4s can’t go, tracking the animals you want to find while avoiding the ones that want to find you.
Self-Drive Safari – A few places in Africa, namely Namibia and South Africa, have areas set up for you to drive and explore without a guide, trusting your instincts to find wild game.
Specific Game Viewing – Some outfits feature safaris designed to find specific animals, such as gorillas, elephants or even exotic birds.
Elephant Back Safaris – Elephants provide both a unique and protected way to traverse the wilds.
By Air – You can either fly to a remote area to increase your chances of spotting the best beasts, or you can take a hot air balloon ride over the savannah to increase your chances of getting vertigo.
Whichever you choose, choose to consult your travel agent first. Agents like us know which countries are the safest to travel in, which guides have the best reputation, and which end of a warthog is best to photograph (they’re better looking from the backside).