Having had the most amazing experience when I did it, I urge every girl to put an African safari on her bucket list. Whether you choose to do it Kenya, Botswana, or South Africa, or elsewhere, doesn’t matter. It’s a trip of a lifetime and here’s why:
Even if you are an experienced traveler, you’ve never witnessed anything like Africa. It’s a photographer’s dream. Not only are there cultures and wildlife like no others on earth, but the natural beauty is equally as diverse. Safaris are usually centered around Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Zambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Each is replete with its own ecological wonderland, which could include anything from grasslands and mountains to stunning beaches and waterways.
If there were one overriding and compelling reason to go on a safari, it would be that some of the animals you’ll see may not be around for very long. We may take these animals for granted because we can normally see them any time we want in confined circumstances like zoos or animal parks. A safari allows you to see these magnificent animals in their natural habitat. While seeing them in the zoo is nice, there’s nothing that compares to seeing them running free.
The cultures you encounter in Africa may be thousands of years old. While full of vibrant and modern cities, Africa is also home to many native tribes that live much the same way as they have for hundreds of years. There is a deep connection with nature and tradition that few of us understand. The experience of being with so many different kinds of people (locals and fellow tourists alike) if often life-changing, giving us a greater appreciation of our own lives and a deeper connection with all humankind.
If you look for all-inclusive package deals, you can usually get some surprising savings. Using package deals usually allows you to avoid some of the unpleasant surprises that may await the inexperienced traveler as well. It’s much easier to manage your budget more closely if many of the items on your list of needs are taken care of before the trip. Packages usually include accommodations, meals, game viewing and sightseeing. With the flights and most of your other needs taken care of, the only things you have to worry about are souvenirs or side trips not included in the package deal.
You may be able to go on an African Safari by volunteering. Leave a positive impact behind as you take on activities such as working at a land preserve helping the animals, for example. Many other activities, such as building and gardening, for example, may give you a chance to make a difference in Africa. Even if you don’t volunteer, many African safari proceeds go towards conservation and wildlife rehabilitation all across Africa.
There are several safaris that specialize in luxury tours. Granted, you will pay more, but you don’t have to sacrifice luxury and it can be a true vacation with all the perks. Most specialty tour companies will design the right amount of luxury vs. adventure that you desire. Some will revise your itinerary as many times as you want until they have it just right for you.
True, many parts of Africa are wild. But it’s perfectly safe as long as you obey certain rules. Commercial safaris are generally not conducted in countries considered unsafe, such as Rwanda and the Congo. Most people you’d encounter in Africa are friendly and interested in foreigners. The key is to work with a company that has an intimate knowledge of Africa-not just the wildlife and people but the economy and government issues.
I used to love going to zoos and safari parks when I was a kid (I still love animal parks) but they simply don’t compare to seeing animals in the wild. Is a safari one of your dream trips?
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