4 Activities to enhance your safari experience

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I know I have said this before, but I LOVE going on a game drive, especially in an open vehicle. The wind blowing through my hair seems to enhance the sounds and smells of the bush and I enjoy those bumpy 4×4 routes! I realise however, that not everyone shares my enthusiasm. The open vehicles can get really uncomfortable after sitting for 3+ hours and not everyone is keen on all those bumps. Here are a few suggested activities other than game drives that will enhance your safari experience in South Africa.

Walking Safaris

A walking safari is a deeply engaging and humbling experience of the wilderness. This is a safari experience in it’s purest form. It gives you the opportunity to learn a bit more about the less glamorous but equally interesting elements of the food web such as insects, plants and birds and how everything has its purpose. Of course, there’s a good chance that you’ll encounter dangerous game like elephants or lions!  But your ranger will know how to handle the situation. What’s more is that you get to up your fitness level! These multi-day bush walks are guided by experienced and knowledgeable rangers. Most trails operate on an all-inclusive basis and offer a true glamping experience that includes luxury creature-comforts. There’s a walking safari for every budget.

A wilderness trail in KZN

Visit Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres

The goal of a wildlife rehabilitation centre is to ultimately release the sick, injured or abandoned animal back into the wild. Most of the time, we don’t interfere but when it comes to endangered or threatened species, humans have to jump in. For example the rhino poaching epidemic has resulted in many orphaned rhino calves. The rehabilitation centre then steps in to make sure the calf survives and is released back into its natural habitat. These visits won’t be interactive but very informative. You’ll walk away with a new found appreciation for wildlife vets and the team of experts who assist them!

 

Wildlife Research Assistant

Volunteering can be a wonderful way to make a difference in the world and develop as a person. However I mention this with trepidation because ethical and responsible volunteering isn’t everyone’s stance. Hands-on animal interactions is rife in Africa and while organisations convince volunteers they are saving a species from extinction, it’s often not the case. It has been shown over again that so called ”predator breeding centres” simply feed the canned hunting industry.  To avoid falling into this trap, I recommend that you contact Universities and enquire about assisting students with their field work. There are wonderful opportunities to assist students working on sea turtles, meerkats, birds and a host of other projects. You can read more about responsible volunteering here or contact us to assist you in finding a suitable research project.

Sea turtle research project South Africa
Sea turtle research project South Africa

Immersive Conservation Experiences

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a ranger? Well, a number of reserves are offering a little peak into the daily lives of game rangers and conservationists. These immersive conservation programmes allow you to get your hands dirty by literally assisting in removing alien vegetation or tracking and monitoring wildlife. There are various options – from a single activity like cheetah tracking to a weeklong ”working holiday”. How amazing to be directly involved in cheetah or rhino conservation?

Karoo cheetah tracking
Tracking wild cheetah on foot in South Africa

These are the types of experiences we include in the itineraries we design for our guests. We want you to be completely immersed in Africa and not just skim the surface. If you are interested in learning more about any of these activities get in touch with us so we can enhance your safari experience.

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