With the advancement in technology, wildlife safari webcams bring live broadcast of safaris directly to your living room flat screen TV’s. However, no matter how updated these gizmos can be, nothing beats the visceral thrill of viewing these animals in the flesh, roaming freely on the grounds they love most. The question is where would one go for that ultimate human-animal interaction? Undoubtedly the Dark Continent – Africa!
Over the years, Africa has managed to win over even the most jaded of travelers with its extraordinary display of wild animals, moving nonchalantly before your eyes, on nature’s most magnificent playgrounds.
So if you want to feel the ground vibrate as elephant herds move under the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro or come face to face with a mighty silverback gorilla in Rwanda, this handpicked list of best safari holidays in Africa will surely help in shortlisting your options.
MIGRATION AND PREDATION, KENYA
It is no secret that the Great Wildebeest Migration in Kenya is one of nature’s most dramatic showpieces. Witnessing over two million animals moving relentlessly at the same time in search of greener pastures is a mesmerizing sight.
The river crossings over the Grumeti and Mara rivers, that occurs around July, show how thousands of these animals brave the waters, with giant crocodiles snapping at their flanks in a feeding frenzy, to get to the other side.
Serengeti and Masai Mara parks are to be visited in order to witness this biggest natural spectacle in the world. Here you can also learn about the traditions of the resident Masai tribes and go for thrilling game drives from dawn to dusk to seek out the Big Five.
GORILLA TRACKING, CONGO
While Uganda and Rwanda are known for their gorilla treks, the experience of a great ape interaction in the remote forests of Congo is said to be priceless. As you trudge several hours through dense vegetation, your senses will come alive once you hear the first grunt of a massive silverback.
Led by professional guides, a wide-eyed face to face encounter with a mountain gorilla can turn out to be a life changing experience. Whether it is the intimidating size or the gentle grace they possess, an encounter with these great apes should be on everyone’s bucket list.
SOARING OVER THE SKELETON COAST, NAMIBIA
A three-night odyssey across Namibia’s 700 km long Skeleton Coast, by air, overland and by foot, uncovers one of the most remarkable landscapes on planet earth. A flying safari, using low flying aircraft, in this region will reveal stunning rock formations and a unique variety of wildlife. This, mainly desert country, shelters desert-adapted elephants of Damaraland, the endangered black rhino, jackal and brown hyena.
A typical itinerary involves flying over Kuiseb Canyon and the famous wrecks of Eduard Boshlen at Conception Bay. An alternative is to fly from Kunene to Etosha National Park – home to lions, elands and elephants, among others. One thing is certain, that this hopping trip above the dunes will knock you sideways.
DIVING WITH THE SHARKS, SOUTH AFRICA
Numerous films have documented the presence of a large number of great white sharks along the Atlantic Coast, near Capetown. For people who like to spend more time under the water, than over it, with this voracious predator, head to Gansbaai about two and half hours drive from Cape Town.
Shark tour operators will take you up close to great whites in an underwater cage. This is the best place in the world to view these creatures safely, in their natural environment. T
he added attraction is the sight of endangered African penguins and other colonies of migrating birds as well as a large colony of thousands of Cape Fur Seals on the nearby islands.
SEEK OUT WOLVES, ETHIOPIA
Ethiopia offers a wonderful array of wildlife species. The sheer thrill and privilege of getting a glimpse of one of the most endangered animals of Africa, the Ethiopian Wolf, is not one to pass over. The Bale Mountains are the last surviving stronghold of these magnificent canines, with less than five hundred individuals left in the wild.
Their glossy coats, pointed ears and red fur has made them distinctive and most sought after. The wolves here are extremely shy, so seeing them in the wild is all the more significant, as very few people actually get to see them. Unlike other canids which can eat a number of things, the Ethiopian Wolf feeds solely on Afroalpine rodents, found only in specific habitats on the high altitude plateaus of the Bale Mountains.
CANOE DOWN THE ZAMBEZI, ZAMBIA
It is often said that once you see the mighty Zambezi river, it will get into your head and pull you relentlessly towards her. This is the reason why a canoe safari over this bewitching river will showcase the wilds of Africa from an entirely different vantage point.
This wild river passes through remote and totally uninhabited areas, teeming with big game, like hippos, elephants and crocodiles. Traveling by water does not disturb the land animals either, as such buffalo, kudu, eland and even lions can be seen along the river banks regularly.
Nights are spent under the stars on isolated islands in fully supported camps to add to the excitement. Apart from a reasonable degree of fitness, no prior experience is required, thereby making a canoe safari a refreshing experience for all ages.
WATCH LEMURS DANCING, MADAGASCAR
Madagascar is one of the top places to see some really strange animals, but none so unique as the famous lemurs. Seeing these intriguing creatures is quite different from other wildlife safaris, but are endearing just the same. There are many lemur species found here but the favourite by a long distance is the Verreaux’s Sifaka or White Sifaka.
These lemurs are normally tree dwellers but they do come down to the ground occasionally. As they move sideways across the forest floor, they raise their arms above the head for balance, thus giving an impression that they are dancing as they jump on the ground. These lemurs are only found in the south end west of the island, where they share their territory with another species – the ring- tailed lemur.
Picturesque landscapes, distinctive topography and the amazing variety of wildlife, all come in a handy all inclusive holiday destination that is – Africa. Having said that, safaris can be totally unpredictable, but the immersion in wilderness will definitely be as per expectations.
Go pack your bags and take a chance to see nature in its rawest form, by spending time in some of the best-known safari countries to be found only in this part of the world.