African Safari

Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya. Each safari is different. Awe-inspiring landscapes, impressive wildlife, sunsets in the bush, nights by the campfire, evenings under canvas hearing the roar of lions and the cackling of hyenas. Africa is a world apart; it envelops visitors with its magic and touches their souls.

 

Favorite Experiences

Taking a hot air balloon flight over the Masai Mara in Kenya. Witnessing the vastness of the plains while floating above it all is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. While not inexpensive, I would have regretted not doing it.

Losing my sense of time and witnessing a cheetah stalk for five hours, and ultimately, attack a gazelle. While morbid, it was intense watching the nature games first-hand, just like on National Geographic.

Taking a leisurely nap outside in the savannah sun one afternoon, awakening to a warthog nuzzling my toes. Maybe not a favorite experience, but one of my most memorable.

Dining over candlelight in a village home with our guide and his family. The people are so friendly and I learned that it’s not all about the wildlife, it’s about culture and society too.

Spending a day whitewater rafting down the Zambezi River at the foot of Victoria Falls. Our guides instructed us to stay put in the river’s middle if we flipped (which occurred several times) so that we wouldn’t encounter the crocodiles on the river bank.

My Tips

Even if photography isn’t your passion, invest in a decent camera and learn how to operate it before departing. You’ll never regret all of the beautiful photos you bring home.

Learn several key phrases in your destination country’s native tongue. From your guide to the children you see along the roadways, an attempt to interact with a few words will bring smiles to their faces.

Not all safaris are the same so research options and consult an experienced travel consultant. There are many types of safaris: private, group, overland, luxury, self-drive, photography, walking, camping, tenting, cultural and the list goes on. A good safari operator will get to know you and cater to your wants.

Consult a travel doctor at least several months in advance. Some of the shots require boosters and waiting until the last minute won’t allow the full effectiveness.

Definitely buy travel insurance. The medical evacuation benefit is worth every penny. Odds are you won’t need it but it can be a literal lifesaver if you do.

Dining

The Carnivore in Nairobi is considered one of the top 50 restaurants in the world according to international dining sources. I’ve never seen so many meats that I hadn’t heard of being passed in front of me. Even my vegetarian companion managed to enjoy the ambiance and theme.

The menu on safari varies widely depending on your location. Basically the more remote you are, the simpler the food and menu. The better access to sea and farmland, such as South Africa, the wider the range. This is also the case with wine selection.

The dining schedule is based around the safari activities. Typically a light pastry and coffee at 5:30, a full buffet breakfast after a game drive at 9, a lunch buffet at 1, tea and snacks during or before safari mid afternoon, and a several course meal at 8pm. The late dinner was hard getting used to, especially with early morning wake-ups, but was typical on most safaris.
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