While there are differences in the wildlife concentrations and landscapes, style of rooms and lodges and outlook, there’s a certain culture to a safari - a Swahili word meaning journey. There’s a rhythm to each safari, and a whole sub-culture. Here's what you can expect...
You can usually expect at least two game drives per day – the first at dawn and the second in the evening. By getting out at dawn, you are catching the wildlife as it wakes and goes about its day. Along with the evening, this is when animals are more active, with the middle of the day proving a little hot for too much activity.
Game drives are carried out in custom-built vehicles, with most including compartments for bottles of water and valuables. By getting out in these vehicles you can cover more ground, giving a higher chance of seeing animal species like the 'big five' - lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo.
Nature walks are carried out by expert guides who know the area and wildlife like the back of their hand. By venturing into the bush by foot, you are experiencing the surroundings at a slower pace. This reveals many things that may be missed on game drives, from elusive wildlife to perfect picnic spots.
By exploring like this, you can get a bit more of a feel for the area and learn more about the flora and fauna. Some walks go on for days – a real adventure that involves moving across mobile camps and sleeping under the African night sky in a tent.
If taking two game drives a day, you will have some spare time to just chill out and soak up the atmosphere of the camp. Perhaps return from your morning drive and have a nap or read a book in your hammock. Most camps have an outdoor pool you can sink in to, to cool off, while some feature spas where you can unwind with treatments.
Food and sundowners
Most safaris are on full board – meaning breakfast, lunch and dinner are all included. This usually also includes all local drinks and African wines. Food is international style, with plenty of braai meat and great variety. Some lodges have communal dining, whilst a growing number have the option to dine on your own.
Most days end with sundowners – drinks while watching the sunset over the bush. This makes for some truly remarkable moments as you reflect on the day’s adventures and take in the views.
To see how all of this comes together, browse our African safaris which range from the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara. Our travel experts will be happy to create your perfect safari adventure.