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Types of Safaris

NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO IN AFRICA AND WHAT KIND OF SAFARI YOU CHOOSE TO DO, YOU CAN BE GUARANTEED AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME. BUT WITH SO MANY OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM, WHICH IS RIGHT FOR YOU, AND WHERE CAN YOU EXPERIENCE THEM?

No matter where you go in Africa and what kind of safari you choose to do, you can be guaranteed an experience of a lifetime. But with so many options to choose from, which is right for you, and where can you experience them? 

Here is our take on the types of safaris in East and Southern Africa and where to do them: 

Group of people standing around safari vehicles on an early morning game drive

GAME DRIVES

This is the most popular safari experience, and for good reason. You can cover more ground in a game vehicle and spot more wildlife. The game vehicle hosts 6–8 guests, excluding your guide and your tracker. The best times to go are early in the morning or early evenings, and, in some cases, at night. Night game drives are incredibly special, as you see a whole different side of the wildlife. Your guide or tracker will use spotlights to reveal wildlife in trees or on land as you navigate under the postcard-perfect stars of the African night sky. 

Locations: Kruger National Park, South Africa / Masai Mara National Park, Kenya / Serengeti National Park, Tanzania / Chobe National Park, Botswana.

WALKING SAFARIS

It is not available in every national park or reserve, but it is a great activity if it is! This includes a guided walking tour of the park or reserve, where you are able to immerse yourself even further in the magnificent landscapes, flora and fauna, and habitats of the native wildlife. This provides an opportunity to see the smaller, less noticeable creatures, such as the leopard tortoise, rhino beetle, and tiny lion ant, to name a few. 

Locations: Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe / South Luangwa National Park, Zambia / Kruger National Park, South Africa / Amboseli National Park, Kenya

AERIAL SAFARIS

This can be in the form of a hot-air balloon ride, a microlight flight, or a helicopter. This is the perfect way to get an aerial view of the immense landscapes that can be found in Africa. If you are doing any sort of air transfer, you will get a taste of what an aerial safari has to offer. However, hot-air balloons are the most popular of the aerial safaris. They offer an incredibly unique experience, as they are often described as giving guests a feeling of weightlessness and tranquilly as they float over the landscape below. 

Locations: Serengeti National Park, Tanzania / Masai Mara National Park, Kenya / Okavango Delta 

A boy on a motorboat travelling along a waterway in the Okavango delta

WATER SAFARIS

Due to animals relying so heavily on water sources in Africa, water safaris make for the best way to view them, especially in the hotter summer months. Channels, rivers, and lakes reveal wildlife both next to and under the water, providing a tranquil and slow-paced exploration of various habitats and landscapes. You can experience a water safari on either a powered boat or, alternatively, on a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe) while being accompanied by an experienced guide to navigate the waterways. 

 Locations: Okavango Delta, Botswana / Chobe Game Reserve, Botswana, Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania / Lake Nakuru, Kenya

HORSEBACK SAFARIS

One of the most unique ways to experience the wilderness is on horseback. Usually only available to semi-skilled and skilled riders, you will follow your guide on trails and tracks to parts, places, and reserves where vehicles may not be allowed to go. In addition, the quietness of being on horseback provides the advantage of quietly approaching wildlife, providing an opportunity for great pictures. 

Locations: Makgadikgadi Pan, Botswana / Okavango Delta, Botswana /  Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe/ Masai Mara, Kenya

HIDES

Hideouts are a great way to view wildlife in comfort. The wildlife hideout, which is usually located near a water source to entice wildlife near the hideout, provides a comfortable viewing experience and, due to its discreteness, creates a tranquil environment to see the incredible wildlife the continent has to offer. 

Locations: Timbavati Game Reserve, South Africa / Kruger National Park, South Africa / South Luangwa, Zambia / Mana Pools, Zimbabwe