Next adventure: Safari

Words by Caryn Parker, Travelcheck Head of Sales and Product
Follow Caryn on Instagram on @CPT_TRAVEL_GIRL
Cover photo by David Clode on Unsplash

Imagine waking up to the sound of birds singing, while the sun gently streams through the windows, the smell of fresh rain fills the air and as you step outside onto your deck you are greeted by the sight of warthogs, wildebeest and giraffe casually strolling past, as they gather at a watering hole on your doorstep. It sounds like an incredible dream, right? But this is what a safari trip is truly like in this beautiful country that we are lucky enough to call home. 

The Swahili word safari appropriately means journey, originally from the Arabic adjective (safar) meaning a journey, travelling, touring or voyaging. 

An authentic safari refers to an adventure tour or expedition into the wilds of Africa, this kind of travel offers so much more than just a holiday; in that, funding from reservations and tourism often provides revenue for local conservation projects and game parks, supporting the protection of wildlife and habitats, which makes me think of this travel quote that I truly love “why just see the world, when you can change it.” 

How to get there

South Africa is dotted with great quality safari lodges and game parks, making it very easy for one to travel to, there are literally authentic game reserves just on the outskirts of each major city.

As we know there are daily commercial flights that link all major cities, while chartered airplanes can get you to the Kruger National Park and safari lodges that have their own private airstrips. If you prefer to take the scenic route, many of these lodges will arrange for a private transfer to transport you to and from the airport, however if you are feeling adventurous and enjoy the open road, a self-drive would be a great option to consider.

Why select game reserves in South Africa?

No other country in Africa, and few anywhere else in the world, offer a diversity of attractions to rival South Africa.

South Africa is one of the continent’s finest Big Five destinations. The likes of the Kruger National Park and Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve have all the amenities and attractions one would come to expect from world-class wildlife destinations. While adjoining private reserves such as Sabi Sand and Phinda rank among the world’s most luxurious venues for all-inclusive guided safaris. 

Which type of travellers are best suited for a safari holiday?

A safari is one of the few trip options that is suited to just about any traveller, whether it be a solo traveller seeking adventure, a couple wanting a romantic getaway or a family in need of a holiday, there is something for everyone.

Importantly, when it comes to families with young children, South Africa is unique in that several of its most alluring Big Five reserves – for instance Madikwe, Pilanesberg and Addo Elephant National Park – lie within regions that are 100% free of malaria.

When is the best time to go on a Safari?

The best time to visit the South African Parks would be from May through to October, these tend to be the drier months of the year, hence offering excellent game viewing. The best wildlife viewing is when the herds of game graze on the dry Savannah and gather at the watering holes and riverbeds during the day, making it a lot easier to spot these animals.

Staff pick: the best Big Five game viewing

Just about everyone going on safari has a bucket list that includes seeing the iconic Big Five (elephant, rhino, lion, leopard and buffalo) in their natural habitat, in the wild. South Africa is one of the very few places on earth where you’d be able to tick off seeing all five in one day. The country is one of the world’s finest Big Five safari destinations thanks to its outstanding conservation areas and national parks such as:

  • Kruger National Park and its adjoining private reserves like Sabi Sands, Thornybush, Londolozi, Mala Mala, Lion Sands and Dulini.
  • Madikwe Game Reserve
  • Phinda Game Reserve
  • Pilanesberg National Park
  • Addo Elephant National Park
  • Lapala Wilderness Reserve

Each year foreigners flock to our shores to be able to explore the plains of magnificent Africa, the hope is that more of us locals will get to experience the beauty and magic that is within our very own borders.  

The next time you do happen to think of places to visit, don’t forget the wonderful safari lodges and parks that are right on our doorstep, it’s an incredible adventure, that should be experienced at least once in your lifetime.

Check out our website or contact us for more details if you consider going on a safari post travel bans. We are here for you when you are ready to travel again.

4 thoughts on “Next adventure: Safari

  • It is just a pity that the high prices charged by lodges makes it almost impossible for most South Africans to visit these places.It is
    clear that this privilege is reserved for foreigners only.

    • We agree that this was the case for a lot of private game reserves – however, we do anticipate that this will change after travel bans have been lifted as domestic tourism will pick up before international tourism. Also keep an eye out for SANPark offers, they have great accommodation for really good value for money and usually cheaper than private game reserves.

  • It seems as this corona virus will make it impossible to get there? How do you plan to get around our restriction on movement?

    • Hi Frederika, thanks for your feedback. There is no way to get around it. Also, parks and accommodation will only be allowed to open in level 2 or 1 – we are still awaiting confirmation. So, no travelling until then, unfortunately:-)

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