A safari is the ultimate travel dream isn't it? The destination is a long way off; the sights, sounds and smells of seemingly imaginary animals are found only on one far-away continent - you don't get to safari just any old anywhere in the world. Besides, only characters in movies and the actors who play them get to safari.
Well, one of those of those statements is untrue. Yes, you have to travel a fairly long distance; the African continent is HUUUUGE, larger than three times the size of the contiguous United States, and in a sense you can almost safari any old anywhere as long as you're in Africa. Now about the movie character/movie star part...that's where you come in.
You get to be the star of your own safari adventure. If last week's 'Glamping' newsletter didn't convince you that you need to and can get out into the wild while retaining comfort, safety, and luxury, surely this will. An African safari is at or near the top of most traveller’s wish list, but the ins and outs of actually going on safari may seem quite daunting. I work with travel partners who specialize in safaris, and more importantly, first-time safari-ites (no, not a real word). They take great pride in creating safari experiences focused on conserving and protecting the places we visit, and are active partners and supporters of various not-for-profit organizations involved in wildlife and habitat preservation.
So what can you expect on your trip?
Incredible wildlife is the central reason to go on safari, of course. Incredible, because after a lifetime of exposure to images of African animals, most of us can barely believe the "thrilling immediacy and newness" of seeing these charismatic animals up close, wandering freely in their beautiful, ancient homeland. "Thrilling immediacy and newness"...I say it a little less eloquently on my website, but those words describe perfectly why I love to travel...to see things I've only seen in books or on screens. Doesn't a safari embody that perfectly?
Your classic safari will be designed for variety and richness of the unique game viewing experience to make sure you get at least the fabled African Big Five: lion, leopard, Cape buffalo, rhino, and elephants. There will be so many more. Typically you'll have a morning and afternoon game drive in comfortable, well-provisioned and expertly guided safari vehicles. Private flights take you from one camp to another for maximum time-saving and sight-seeing. Depending on the camp or lodge, there will be a wide range of activities, from classic game drives, mountain biking, swimming, bush picnics, cultural exchanges, bush walks, candlelight dinners balloon rides, spa treatments, wine tasting, and, that rare luxury in modern life: deep, quiet, untroubled sleep.
You'll see the dramatic landscapes: snowy mountains, vast, acacia-dotted plains, lush inland deltas like the incredible Okavango, the sparkling white beaches of Zanzibar, the bonsai-like kopjes of the Serengeti, gargantuan Victoria Falls. If you have a sight you’d like to see and savor, there's a safari for you, where you are a VIP everywhere you go. It is a blend of excitement and elegance, a place of delightful surprises and uncommon luxury.
What about a special-interest safari - fly fishing on the slopes of Mount Kenya anyone? No problem. Whale watching by boat, plane or from the shore; photography and video safaris; joining a member of the famed Leakey family on an archeological dig in Northern Kenya; mountain biking, You and your family can construct a safari around just about any special interest or fancy.
Whether you’re looking for a classic safari, a private off-the-beaten path journey, or a personal exploration of Africa’s tribal cultures and rituals, there is simply no experience like a safari. If you choose a private trip for just you and your friends, you’ll travel on your own and at your own pace with dedicated vehicles, drivers, and Safari Director all to yourselves. That sounds like an unbelievable dream and would make a fabulous milestone celebration trip. Do you have and anniversary, retirement, or birthday coming up?
Let's explore which safari is right for you, and get a sense of the experiences that await you. Add to your safari a few days at any one of the world's very finest beaches on the continent's coast, and definitely take advantage of a shopping trip for wonderful handmade art work for coveted souvenirs and gifts. My dining room wall is decorated with a very colorful painting on muslin, and garnished with a spear purchased directly from the Masai herdsman carrying it. Priceless.
'til next week.