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January 4, 2011

An African safari is a true adventure JESS Kalinowsky Friends Travel LLP

Filed under: Africa,Safari — africafriendstravel @ 7:12 pm
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elephant africa african safariAn African safari is a true adventure — a journey crafted in the tradition of wealthy 13th-century traders who first hunted the plains of Africa for wild game trophies to hang on their walls. Today, travelers hunt for photo opportunities instead of occasions to kill, but they encounter the same scenes that have fascinated explorers throughout history: thousands of zebras migrating across emerald grasslands, flocks of florescent flamingos creating a field of color across a shining soda lake, lions feasting on a hard-earned kill.

Many travelers trek to Africa in search of the “big five”: buffalo, lions, leopards, elephants and rhinoceroses. The chance to get close to these animals in their natural habitats is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but your trip to the Africa is anything but a trip to the zoo. Safaris can be physically taxing and strenuous, and you may not see all the animals you expected. Since most safari destinations are in developing sub-Saharan nations, travelers must take certain safety and health precautions. If you’re planning a safari (or just dreaming about it), be as prepared as possible. Get some good guidebooks, talk to friends who’ve been to Africa and research, research, research. We’ve outlined some important safari basics, from choosing a destination to getting vaccinated, to help you start planning a successful African adventure.

Types of Safaris
For the most part, safaris are a costly kind of vacation. But as with any other type of travel, you can tailor your safari to suit your personal budget. The length of your safari will affect its cost — although you may want to cut your trip short to save cash, the longer you stay, the less you will probably pay on a per-night basis. If you’re looking for luxury digs on your safari (or even just hot water and a comfy bed), prepare to pay more. Budget-minded adventurers should seek self-drive or overland safaris (see below) as opposed to all-inclusive package tours — but be prepared to camp in tents or navigate a 4×4 through the African bush. If you’re traveling alone, you will probably have to pay a single supplement, as most package pricing is based on double occupancy.

Luxury Safaris
luxury safari lodge africaA luxury safari offered by a well-known tour operator typically costs thousands of dollars per person, per week, with all-inclusive prices covering tours, food, drinks and excursions. Fully catered luxury packages offer travelers the comforts of home in wild Africa. Accommodations range from air-conditioned suites to stylish tents (you’ll feel almost like you’re camping — aside from the hot running water, rich linens and first-rate service). Ultra-luxurious safari lodges can cost over $1,000 a night.

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