Looking for a bit of adventure with your next getaway? A safari could be for you. Luxury travel blogger Rhiannon Taylor from In Bed With lets us know what to expect.
Going on safari is not for the faint hearted. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you overwhelmed with emotion for the people, land and animals of Africa.
If it’s your first time, I recommend starting in South Africa for it’s easy accessibility to the national parks and abundance of lodges to suit all budgets. The great Kruger National Park can seem daunting and whilst you can self-drive, if your time on safari is short I recommend staying in a lodge and leaving your experience to the experts such as world-renowned operator &Beyond.
A typical day on safari goes a bit like this:
5:30am – Wake up to see the sun peaking over the horizon with a quick morning snack prepared by the lodge. Game drives start early to see the animals when they are most relaxed.
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6:00am – The first drive of the day sets off in to the national park in search of wildlife. The roads are mostly gravel, traveling at a max speed of 30km/ph and you’re typically in an open air safari wagon. Most lodges will place you with the same driver and spotter for the duration of your stay so you get to know them well and they have an understanding of what you have or haven’t seen.
Bumping down the road, we come across a group of giraffes casually eating. It’s quiet, so our driver pulls over the car and guides us on a walk through an open field to get up close to a mother and it’s baby. The giraffes observe us for a few minutes before walking off in to the bushes.
Not long after, we’re passing endless amounts of antelope, in various varieties. They’re incredibly beautiful and curious.
7:30am – We pause for morning tea and the highlight is coffee spiked with local liquor Amarula – made from the fruit of the African Marula tree (a favourite with the elephants). You’re soon back on the road spotting birds such as the European Roller and Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill. If you’re not a bird nerd now, you will be after visiting Africa.
9:00am – You’re back at the lodge for breakfast, followed by some free time for spa treatments, lazing by the pool or nature walks.
12:00pm – Lunch is served which is usually followed by a much-needed nap or conversing with fellow guests and guides.
4:00pm – An afternoon tea is waiting before you board the safari wagon again to go on your afternoon drive. The afternoon drive will often have you seeing lions, rhinos and elephants out and about. As the sun goes down more unusual creatures come out such as leopard, hyenas, wild dogs, chameleons and buffalo. It’s spectacular to hear birds fly overhead chirping to warn other animals about predators in the area.
7:30pm Once the sun has gone down completely, you make your way back to the lodge for dinner. This might be dining under a star-filled sky in the bush or on the dining terrace overlooking the nearby river with hippos bellowing. Then it’s off to bed to wake up early to find new things you haven’t seen before.
Tip: Pack lots of light layers. The days can start off cool, then become suddenly hot, then cool again at night.