For many it is the ultimate “off the beaten track” untouched wilderness, Botswana is an exquisite destination for safari holidays. Its low impact policy means that the numbers of visitors are strictly monitored, which gives a sense of real privilege to those who venture in to this remote territory. Miraculously in the heart of the Kalahari - one of the most inhospitable, vast and arid deserts on the planet - is one of the richest wetland habitats: the Okavango Delta. This sophisticated system of intricate canals, waterways, lagoons and grasslands is home to some outstanding wildlife and can be explored by 4WD, canoe or even from a house boat! Tanzania and Kenya are the iconic destinations where the thrill of going on safari was first discovered. Featuring an impressive surface of almost 15,000sq km, it’s no surprise that Serengeti means “endless plains”. Arguably one of the most famous ecosystems in the world, its immense grasslands dotted with characteristic acacia trees extend as far as the eye can see, making it an ideal setting in which to observe some exceptional wildlife action, during or outside the migration. The Serengeti and the neighbouring Masai Mara have also a very developed infrastructure, which makes it an ideal destination for those who are looking for a good balance between adventure and comfort.
Despite being even bigger than Serengeti National Park, Selous and Ruaha are still largely unknown to the masses, mainly because they are more difficult to access. Because of the limited accommodation available this area can still be considered an untouched gem, only visited by a handful of visitors every year. However, the few safari lovers who make it there are in for a treat: huge herds of buffaloes and elephants, countless species of birds and big cats provide just some of the regular encounters.
Discovering the closest species related to humans by trekking through dense forest and thick jungle is often described as the ultimate wildlife experience. In Uganda, a thrilling gorilla trek can be combined with an exciting safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park where tree-climbing lions, antelopes and herds of elephants are only some of the possible sightings.
Famous for its deserts, canyons, enormous sand dunes and dramatic coastline, Namibia also features an enormous wildlife sanctuary, Etosha National Park. Waterholes and huge salt pans are the main landmarks in the park and form an excellent backdrop for its prolific wildlife: zebra, antelopes, giraffe, rhino and of course the big cats.
In South Africa the iconic park of Kruger has enabled generations of travellers to observe the “big five” from close-up, while the Western Cape is the best place to see humpback whales and even penguins!
Madagascar, an enormous island in the Indian Ocean where Africa meets Asia, features species found nowhere else on the planet thanks to its isolation. Walking through the rainforest while spotting lemurs, chameleons and colourful birds is no doubt a remarkable and unique destination for wildlife holidays and safari holidays.
What to expect on a Game Drive
On a safari with Explore you will generally wake up early and be on a game drive as soon as the African sun rises. This is the best time to be out on safari in Africa as the animals are still active before the heat of the day sets in. As it gets hot, you will return to camp to have brunch and can take time to discuss the morning's wildlife sightings and like the animals, have a snooze. In the late afternoon as the heat subsides our groups usually get back in our vehicles to head out for a few more hours of safari.
Vehicles for game drives are built for off road conditions and provide great viewing opportunities for visitors hoping to see some of the exotic animals that can be found in Africa. On a safari to Africa you should expect some rugged roads and wild conditions; it is in these real wilderness settings that we experience the best wildlife sightings. Your vehicles will normally have 4x4, roof hatches and a cool box for late afternoon sundowners.