A typical day on safari starts with a pre-dawn wake up call, coffee or tea and biscuits. As the sun rises, you will already be heading into the bush with your guide and tracker on a wildlife viewing drive or walk, stopping for more snacks en route. Morning game drives normally last around 3 hours after which you will return to your lodge or camp for a late breakfast. The majority of lodges and camps use open sided 4x4 vehicles for game viewing as these vehicles are built to handle the rough terrain found in many game reserves and game parks.
The middle of the day is usually spent relaxing as wildlife activity decreases during the hottest hours. You can read, take a nap, relax with a cool drink, visit a hide if available or pamper yourself with a spa treatment – a treat which is now offered at many lodges and camps.
The afternoon activity starts with more drinks and snacks around 3.00 pm after which you will be off into the bush again, stopping during the late afternoon for sun-downer drinks – a welcome African tradition! After dark, you should be back in time to freshen up before dinner, which is often served outside in a traditional boma (an area with high walls but no roof) around a camp fire. After such an early start to the day, most folks are ready for bed shortly after dinner.
There are a number of accommodation options to consider when choosing your safari, including:-
These are lodges on permanent sites whose locations have been imaginatively chosen to make the most of the landscape and the movement of wildlife. We recommend small comfortable lodges in harmony with their surroundings that have minimal environmental impact. They are usually built of local materials and most have swimming pools. Not all will have air-conditioning.
Permanent Tented Camp
Sleeping under canvas maintains the atmosphere of a traditional safari, but nowadays most have modern comforts. The individual ´walk-in´ tent may be simply or more sumptuously furnished and usually each has its own bathroom, which may be open to the sky. Many en-suite bathrooms are brick-built with permanent plumbing and many permanent tents have air-conditioning. Dining is likely to be in a large tent or open boma, with folding chairs surrounding the evening camp fire.
Mobile Tented Camp
This is the most traditional style of safari. The location can be decided at the end of each day to take advantage of the seasonal movement of wildlife. You will have your own tent with private bathroom (usually with bucket showers hung from a tree), a separate dining tent and a dedicated team to look after you and set up camp at each site.
This is the simplest form of camping. You set out with your guide and small team from main camp for two or three nights with the minimum of light-weight equipment to explore remote areas on foot. You spend the night in a small tent on a camp bed or roll-up mattress, or under a mosquito net hung from the branch of a tree.
There are so many different types of safari these days that choosing the right one can be difficult. No need to be confused; just ask the experts. Ask Parkers. Our advice is free and we are happy to recommend the most suitable safari for you, your chosen destination and your budget.