Take a walk on the ‘wildlife safari’ side

By Sergio González | 10:15

Wouldn't you go on safari to see this cutie?

 I remeber the moment I fell in love with Africa.

Sat at the cinema, I was an expectant kid who barely could touch the floor with his feet. Lights finally went out and Elton John started singing to a grand African sunrise as all the animals of the jungle gathered around a new born cub.

The Lion King was a huge success worldwide in 1994 and its seems -according to the number of hits its opening song Circle of Life is still getting on Youtube- I’m not the only who remembers.

I guess prior generations felt the same way when they read Verne’s Five Weeks in a Balloon or Out of Africa but Simba, Timon and Pumbaa made me realize I had to go on a wildlife safari at least once in my life.

Next spring -it’s recommended travelling between April and October- I’m going to see the open spaces of the savannah, full of elephant herds and lion prides in their own environment, where they belong. I’m not a zoo fan for the same reason I don’t like watching Dali’s paintings on printed paper. I want to feel the real thing.

To see some works of the Surrealism master, hit the Tate Modern in London. To experience your own dawn in Africa, come help me find out which are the best safari options.

Firstly, we should know the mean of transportation we want for our wildlife safari. Maybe some shifting along the way would be nice.

We can sail the River Zambezi in the heart of Africa to enjoy a magical deep jungle while watching hippos, buffalos, elephants and other water-loving animals, whether on a canoe or a on a fancy river boat.

We can also fly on a light aircraft over Hwange and the Victoria Falls or a romantic hot air balloon above Masai Mara reserve in Kenya.  Other possibilities are ride an elephant or a horse or simply take a walking safari around the Kruger National Park in South Africa, one of the largest protected eco-systems in the continent.

We should address the issue of accommodation. Wildlife safaris are an adventure meant to be enjoyed by everybody who loves nature and freedom. From renting an extremely simple room in a local community to tented camps or luxury lodges run by tour operators, the options fit every budget.

Ngorongoro sanctuary is a popular safari destination

Rhinos, lions, elephants, buffalos and leopards -known as the big five by 19th century hunters- but also giraffes can be found covering their territories in the whole African savannah from Kenya to South Africa. Expect millions of colorful birds as well.

Worldwide photographers meet each year at Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Northern Tanzania where the world’s largest crater has been protecting wildlife. Its high density of life and the promise to see some rare species -like the black rhino- make Ngorongoro a great safari to keep in mind.

If you’re looking for sea animals, Plettenberg Bay in South Africa is the perfect spot to watch several species of seals, dolphins and killer whales. The nearby Robberg Natural Reserve offers scenic hikes over the changing blue waters of the Indian Ocean and a fascinating floral kingdom of 8600 endemic species.

Along the famous Garden Route, NH Plettenberg Bay offers the chance to practice golf, polo and scuba diving while enjoying the most winsome views.

I would love to see gorillas and other higher primates. They’re so close to ourselves I guess it will be a truly shocking experience. Among the top safari destinations Bwindi Impenetrable Forest -the name sounds very appealing- in Uganda is a UNESCO World Heritage park famous for being a sanctuary for chimpanzees and mountain gorillas.

The Great Migration of wildbeest, zebras and antelopes -around 2 million animals- starts at Serengeti Plains in Tanzania when the dry season shortens food. From July till September, at Grumeti and Mara river crossings, we can witness the same fierce footage we’ve seen on documentaries. Many safari destinations are located in this area.

Moving incredibly fast, crocodriles hunt the weakest and youngest mammals to feed their own offspring. The herd is followed by many predators as they cross 1800 miles of African plains in their way to Kenya; by the time they reach Masai Mara, hundreds of thousands will have been lost along the harsh way.

Have you gone on a safari yet? Will your share your experience or some tips with us?

 

Photo Credit: wwarby

Photo Credit: David Berkowitz

 

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