03 May 2013 Written by 

How to have a worthwhile safari

One of the most beautiful sights Mother Nature has to offer can be experienced in an expedition to observe animals in their natural habitat. It's called a safari. Safari is a Kiswahili word that means journey or travel. The word has been adopted into the English language to mean an excursion in the wild especially in the East Africa Savannah grasslands.

What makes a safari worthwhile?

Well, one of the things that tourists look for keenly is a close-up encounter with wild animals. This can be achieved by selecting a suitable camping or lodging area. There are pictures taken in reserves like the Mara of lions eating their prey a mere 100 meters from the campers. Seeing a carnivore in its element, in its habitat makes a safari experience indelible.

A safari is also made worthwhile by the number of animals one can see. If you create a checklist, you will find your safari more fulfilling, the more the list was accomplished. Write down a list of animals you would like to see. Some tourists are bent on seeing only one animal such as the lion and their curiosity is assuaged. Knowing what you want to see will help plan what parks to visit as not all animals are located everywhere. This will also help plan your itinerary.

Balloon Safaris in Masai Mara courtesy of Out of Africa Collection

To make your expedition worthwhile, explore an opportunity to witness the food chain in progress. Seek to see a leopard or cheetah in action. See the elands, zebras and antelopes run for their lives and watch them outwit the carnivores. Watch the vultures and hyenas scramble for the leftovers after the lions have eaten to their fill. This can be achieved through game rides in Land Rovers or Toyota land-cruisers in the national parks. Some of the animals are bold enough to walk up to the vehicles. It is not uncommon to hear that a cheetah walked up and sat on the bonnet of a car.

Engaging with the locals courtesy of Out of Africa Collection

Choose a variety of vantage points to explore the wild. When driving around seems to cumbersome and the animals keep running away because of the roaring sound of the car engines, hire a hot-air balloon and fly over the wild. The close-up is not only easier but the view of the terrain is also magnificent. See the African sun lick the golden grasslands in the evening. You can take a mini plane as well as watch a sight as beautiful as the wildebeest migration as a large black mass traverse the land.

And finally, engage a local expert. The locals are not only cognizant of the local languages and culture but they also know a lot more about having a beautiful safari than a blogger could write. Happy traveling and do have a splendid safari!



Ernest Wamboye Wakhusama

Ernest Wamboye is a writer and editor working in Nairobi, Kenya. He is also a volunteer Brand Ambassador at AfricaTalentbank.com and an origami artist and storyteller at Arts & OAK, a company that he founded. Ernest is married to Waturi and they both live in Nairobi, Kenya.
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