Some thoughts about being “on safari”

Being on safari is not arduous but it is fun. There are a variety of ways of going on safari; whether you wish to travel as part of a small group, or follow your own private itinerary; game viewing from in an open vehicle, or tracking game on foot with an armed guide or maybe a mixture of some of these. On some itineraries there are vast distances to cover and if you are a little short of time you may wish to take a “Fly-in Safari” moving between different areas by light aircraft. Each has its attractions and benefits which we can discuss with you.

There are also a variety of types of accommodation while on safari. Some of the more romantic are tented camps and before you run away from the idea of tents thinking it means roughing it, many of those tented camps are more luxurious than any conventional built properties. They have en suite facilities unless otherwise stated with a flush loo, wash basin, shower and hot & cold running water on demand; a normal bed with bedside table and lighting. The lighting is often from a generator or mains but in some of the smaller properties it may be solar power. Security from insects is often better too – zips around doors will tend to keep out all insects while conventional buildings have gaps around doors. The heart of a tented camp is the camp fire where you can sit in the evening and quietly chat with your fellow travellers or remember the great game viewing you had that day.

For those not enamoured with the idea of tents there are beautiful properties built in a more conventional fashion with stone or wooden walls and fixed roofs providing you with all the comforts you may require. Some of the more luxurious lodges are even built on stilts giving you a wonderful tree-house experience. They again vary in size but do tend to be larger properties and in some cases really hotels in the bush.

The daily routine on safari varies depending upon where you are staying but in general you will have at least two game activities a day – one in the morning and one in the afternoon/evening. Before you finish for the day your guide will confirm with you the following mornings activities whether you wish to go out early in the morning as the sun rises or have a more leisurely start to the day after a fulsome breakfast. Mid-day during the heat of the day tends to be siesta time – for both humans and animals, then after tea you will depart on another safari excursion in the late afternoon returning just after sunset.

You will find there are reference books available to help identify the mammals and birds as well as flowers and fauna you will see when out on a game viewing activity. Most guides carry them in their vehicle but they are normally also available in many of the properties for you to look at when in camp. Binoculars are an almost essential piece of equipment on safari to better see the mammals and birds, and though guides will I am sure, be prepared to share their binoculars it is always far better to take your own pair with you.

Do call or email to discuss any questions you may have about “Going on Safari

Safari Seasons

The weather can never be guaranteed as neither can the natural cycle of wildlife activities but this will give you an idea of what might be happening throughout the year.

January  Northern Tanzania is great now, the famous wildebeest migration starts to arrive in the southern reaches of the Serengeti Plains preparing for calving next month. Rainy season in Botswana and Zambia.

February Wildebeest migration reaches it’s climax of activity over the next few weeks with the calving starting towards the end of the month and continuing into March on the southern reaches of the Serengeti Plains. Rainy season in Botswana and Zambia

March  Wildebeest migration continues it’s high activity with tens of thousands of calves being born. The dry season starts off in Botswana and Zambia.

April A very pretty time in Botswana and Zambia with good game viewing and lush green foliage. Rainy season in East Africa and many places close for the duration.

May  Game viewing continues to improve throughout Botswana and Zambia as the land starts to dry out. Rainy season in East Africa and many places close for the duration. Wildebeest stat to head north back to Kenya

June  The small excellent bush camps in Zambia start to re-open for the dry season and walking safaris start up.

July  Wildebeest migration starts to cross into Kenya seeking out fresh green grass for grazing. The Masai Mara becomes full of animals with abundance of predator activity. Great game viewing in Botswana and Zambia.

August  Great game viewing everywhere

September   Great game viewing everywhere .  The wildebeest migration may start to leave Kenya late in the month crossing into northern Tanzania

October   Great game viewing everywhere, but it can be very hot. Wildebeest migration normally starts to leave Kenya about now crossing into northern Tanzania.

November   It can be a bit if a wet month everywhere and the game becomes more dispersed with plenty of water once more available all over.

December     East Africa is dry once again and the game viewing is good throughout the region. The rainy season is getting into full flow in Southern Africa and the game is very dispersed but the bird spotting is good.