Wildlife viewing is the ‘bread and butter’ of any safari. Getting up close and personal on a game drive is about as intimate as you can get with some of the most amazing wildlife and stunning natural beauty on the planet.
It’s one of my favorite things to do in Africa, and it never gets old.
Following game on foot is one of the most thrilling experiences you can have. Unlike being in a vehicle, you get a full sensory experience of the environment around you: the buzz of the bush, the smell of wild herbs, seeing the tracks of the animals.
Walking past a herd of elephant, giraffe, or buffalo really sharpens your appreciation for these magnificent creatures and offers a nice change of pace from sitting in a vehicle.
The world moves at a different speed when you’re gliding through the water. Motor boat safaris are common in Southern Africa and can function much like a game drive. This is the perfect way to explore seasonal floodplains.
You might also enjoy a canoe trip (paddling optional!) or a mokoro ride. Glide silently past wildlife looking for a drink, and keep an eye out for rare birds!
Interacting with the local people is critical to getting a true sense of Africa.
The thing is, there are a lot of ‘canned’ cultural experiences out there. These cheap shots at authenticity are designed for tourists. They’re artificial, often uncomfortable (believe me, they make us squirm in our seats, too), and sometimes downright exploitative.
We respect your conscience (and our own!) and simply won’t stoop to that level.
At Extraordinary Journeys, we have made it part of our mission to find real communities that are open for authentic cultural exchange, like the Samburu of Kenya and the Himba people of Namibia, the semi-nomadic pastoralists of the Namib Desert.
Great Wildebeest Migration
This is one of the most sought-after safari experiences in Africa. Every year, the plains of East Africa play host to one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles: the migration of 1.4 million wildebeest and hundreds of thousands of zebra and gazelle, tracked by Africa’s great predators.
The Migration moves throughout the year from the nutrient-rich soils of the Southern Serengeti during calving season, up the Serengeti and into Kenya’s Masai Mara and back down south.
Timing your journey correctly with the wildebeest’s location is essential for experiencing this breathtaking natural event. If seeing the Migration is on your bucket list, we’ll make sure you don’t miss any of the action.
Chimp and Gorilla Trekking
Leaving aside what you may have seen on TV or in movies, coming face-to-face with a live gorilla or chimpanzee family is always a truly unique experience.
To encounter these fascinating creatures, you will need to secure a permit in advance (note: there are a limited number available each day). Alongside a park guide, you will track the gorillas or chimps from their last known location—and will be rewarded with an hour to spend observing them once you do.
Some of our favorite places to do this are in Mahale Mountains National Park (Tanzania), Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda), Nyungwe National Park (Rwanda), Bwindi Impenetrable Forest (Uganda), Kibale National Park (Uganda), and Virunga National Park (DRC).
Cape Town and the Cape Winelands
South Africa offers world-class experiences that add variety to a safari, so if you aren’t sold on 10 straight nights in the bush, have no fear. Cape Town is a bustling, beautiful city that boasts amazing landscapes, active touring, fantastic beaches, great accommodation, and world-class dining.
Just down the road is the scenic Winelands region. And make no mistake—it’s as great for families as it is for wine-lovers.
Remember, these are just some of the experiences available to you. (Every one of our safaris is unique and customized to each client’s needs.) If you’re looking for something a little different, here are a few ideas:
- 7 Must-Do’s For the Active Explorer
- How to Meet the Community & Make a Difference on Safari
- Why You Need to Fly-Camp on Safari
Game drives are the baseline of any great safari, but where I will help you as a safari expert is in integrating your travel style and preferences into these major safari experiences.
Plan Your Safari Today!
Ready to start planning your own incredible African adventure? We make the process stress-free and enjoyable. Call or email us today to explore your best options for a safari holiday you’ll never forget!
Then, start packing that suitcase because we’ve got all the details covered.