Ten of the best places to go on safari
Once upon a time, going on safari meant hunting big game. Nowadays, visitors shoot with cameras, not guns, and enjoy – rather than destroy – the wildlife. But with so many exciting alternatives available, how do you decide where to go?
First choice for many people will always be Kenya, and in particular the Masai Mara game reserve. It was Kenya that gave us the word ‘safari’, which means ‘long journey’ in the Swahili language.
Everyone will hope to see the ‘big five’: lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and African buffalo. But those will only be the start – there are dozens of large mammals there, including giraffe, hippo and zebra, and hundreds of smaller ones.
Kenya is far from the only option, though, and lots of other countries also offer wonderful attractions. Mention Uganda and the first thing that comes to mind may well be gorillas – the greatest of the great apes. It’s certainly a superb destination for watching primates, and catching sight of a gorilla in its rainforest habitat will fill you with awe. But Uganda also has open plains and wetlands, and an abundance of creatures – including rhino, now reintroduced after being eradicated about 30 years ago.
Rhino can be found in Namibia, too, but these are desert-adapted black rhino. This is a truly untamed wilderness, with astonishing – almost alien – landscapes. Namibia isn’t for the faint-hearted, but it will reward the more adventurous traveller with sightings of elephant, cheetah, impala and more.
Those are just three countries that you might try, but there are many others. Within Africa, Botswana, Malawi or Zambia are also great choices, and all are home to a vast number of animals.
Outside of Africa
Safaris don’t have to be limited to Africa, however – they can take you around the globe. Why not go in search of giant otters on the banks of the Amazon, as it meanders through the rainforests of Peru? Or trek through the pristine cloud forests of Costa Rica, home to monkeys, sloths and tapirs? Guyana, land of the jaguar, has one of the highest levels of endemic species in the world, whilst visitors to Borneo will be entranced watching orang-utans in their natural environment.
Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Peru, Costa Rica, Guyana and Borneo: ten destinations that offer amazing and varied sights. Ultimately, a safari is a journey into the wonderland of nature, and it can be anywhere you choose. If you have trouble choosing, you can speak to companies like The Ultimate Travel Company who can advise you on the best places to go, which tours are ethical, and what you’ll see.
Take with you the right spirit of adventure and it will be a life-enhancing experience wherever you go, resulting in photographs, memories and anecdotes that will last a lifetime.
Photo credit: Dave Dyet