For many people, the word 'safari' simply means the endless plains of Southern Africa or Kenya and Tanzania with the chance to see the famous 'Big Five'...lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and...the other one that hardly anyone remembers first time round. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this. These are some of the best places in the world for the classic safari experience. However, within this category, there are lots of different types of experience that you can have and different countries, areas and safari camps offer something unique. You can visit private game lodges with the most luxurious accommodation - you find these a lot in South Africa. You can stay in wonderful tented camps following the animal migration routes, for example, in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda; or you can encounter the vastness and incredible colours of the Namibian deserts. There are also different types of parks that are more suited for a specific animal, and particularly bird types.
Africa, is, of course, not alone in being able to offer you the 'safari experience' - if you want tigers, then we have to look to the Indian subcontinent and some of the wonderful conservation parks that are doing all they can to preserve this most majestic of animals.
Rather than simply suggesting one place, we'll find out what you really want to see and experience, and match this to the right place for you.
Obviously, we are not talking about visits to zoos or wildlife parks - even though there are many wonderful ones of these in great cities such as Sydney and Beijing, which give you a unique perspective on their particular wildlife. We encourage all our clients who are looking for a safari experience of whatever type it may be to travel responsibly, but also to recognise that you are dealing with wild animals. These can be moody and unpredictable. They can also be extremely difficult to see, especially if they don't want to be seen...a pride of lions, usually about 8 - 10 animals, will have a roaming area twice the size of the Blenheim Palace Estate lands, and in a very obvious design fault, they were made in a yellow colour, which is extremely inconsiderate, when the grasslands in which they live is a similar yellow as well. They also spend 90% of daylight hours sleeping or doing very little, and they don't put on a show especially for visitors. For any trip of this type, you may be lucky in what you see, or you may not be...and the animals aren't the slightest bit interested that you may have travelled half-way around the world just to see them. Understanding of and for the natural environment is obviously a pre-requisite if you are going to make the most out of your experience.
And, oh yes, the famous fifth of the 'Big Five' - cape buffalo !