There’s no doubt that Africa is the home of safaris. Sure, there are safaris all over the world, from Australia to Siberia, but Africa and safaris are synonymous. Africa is a huge continent though, with more than 50 countries (the exact number is a little ambiguous). Where should you go for the best safaris? Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa? What about the northern countries like Morocco and Egypt, where safaris are a little different to the usual giraffes and lions? With more than 50 countries to choose from you’re spoilt for safari choice. So which countries are the best for safaris, and what do they offer?
If you would rather a journey through a sweltering desert than a drive across African plains, then the northern countries of Morocco and Egypt will give you what you want. There are several methods of travelling through the desert, including Land Rover, camel and quad bike. A desert safari could be anything from a short few hours seeing the sights to a week or more living like a local. Out of all the world safaris barrelling over the desert in Egypt or Morocco is a unique experience.
Of course, every safari is an adventure. But if you’re a thrill-seeker you’re probably looking for something a bit more exciting than driving along in a 4×4 tracking giraffes. That can be pretty exciting in itself, but it’s not quite the adrenaline rush of bungee jumping or skydiving. If you’re not quad biking through the desert in Egypt, seeing the continent by water is a great way for adventure junkies to see Africa. You can find white water rafting on the Zambezi river where it flows between Zambia and Zimbabwe. Raft and kayak in Kenya and Uganda too, on the Athi river, and see monkeys, crocodiles and elephants.
Do you want all of the wildlife and culture, but none of the discomfort? Then a luxury safari is for you. They’re obviously not ideal if you’re backpacking on a budget. But if you have the cash then there are several countries that do luxury safaris extremely well. When you’re ready to splash some cash, choose Botswana for an indulgent safari. Their government has a policy on focusing on small luxury lodges to attract high-paying guests.
Safaris on the cheap? That’s more like it. People most often visit South Africa for a cheap safari, with Kruger National Park being an excellent location. But East African countries are often great for bagging a safari on a budget too. Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya are popular choices. Tanzania safaris are personally my favourite! Don’t go with unusual destinations for a cheaper experience, because they usually cost more. Getting a good exchange rate can make a big difference to the cost of your safari too. Luckily, flights are often great value. You won’t get the pampering treatment on a budget safari. But you’ll get a roof (or tent) over your head, food in your belly and all the adventure you could ask for.
Image from Flickr