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1. Game Drive
A game drive safari is by far the most popular way of exploring the African bush. Game viewing is typically conducted early in the morning (6-8:30 AM) and late in the afternoon (4-6:30 PM) when animals are most active. Vehicle types range from open 4 x 4’s to minibuses with sunroofs.
2. Night Drive
Night drives are especially great to spot nocturnal animals such as leopard, porcupine, bushbaby, wild cat, African civet or spotted hyena. Also be on the look out for bird species like nightjars and owls that haunt the area.
NB: If you get a chance to use the spotlight, make sure you don’t shine the light directly into animal eyes as this may blind them!
3. Walking Safari
Safari walks give you the opportunity to “feel” nature in a totally different fashion than safari activities like game drives. Learn about various aspects of the bush like bird spotting (and the calls they make), tree identification and animal tracking. Walking safaris also give you a chance to approach animals from close distance, although in the majority of cases they will flee as soon as they sense you.
Advice: Try to wear neutral colours (dark colours, e.g. Khaki). Bright colours tend to scare animals away.
4. Boat Cruise
The most relaxing way to enjoy nature! Boat cruises enable you to encounter aquatic species at close range: hippos, crocs, and a variety of bird life (pied kingfisher, fish eagle, goliath heron, etc.). Some safari operators even offer sundowners where you can enjoy refreshing drinks whilst admiring stunning scenery.
Alternatives: Canoeing down the Zambezi River, or exploring the Okavango Delta in a “makoro” (also spelt mokoro/mekoro; traditional dugout canoe; see below).
5. Camping/Sleep Out in the Bush
Camping can be an adventure in itself, especially when your tent is set in the middle of nowhere. The most exciting part of the experience is night time, when wild animals are out and about doing their business. They can be rather “loud”, and their midnight “concerts” are entertaining. 😉 Most common “intruders” include hungry hippos, noisy elephants and sneaky hyenas.
NB: Do not leave any food leftovers (or any personal items for that matter) outside your tent, as you will most likely not find anything left the next morning. Monkeys (vervet monkeys and baboons especially) are regular “thieves” during the day, while hyenas become highly active after sunset.
Other Safari Activities Worth Checking Out
– Gorilla safaris