There are many types of African safaris. I always thought of a safari as something you did with John Wayne and chased big rhinos, or hunted elephants and lions. Not so.
Certainly, there are hunting safaris, but there are many other types, too. If you are planning on going on an African safari, you will want to familiarize yourself with your options so that you may have a more enjoyable experience.
East African and Central African drive safaris are usually done in a mini-van, while drive safaris in South Africa are mostly done in open 4 x 4 vehicles, which help you to better see the scenery and wildlife. South Africa also offers self-drive safaris which allow you to use their well-developed road systems to go off on your own tour.
Some African countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Kenya, and Tanzania, offer walking safaris. On these, you will generally hike 5 to 8 miles per day, with plenty of breaks to admire the wildlife and landscape. Being on foot allows you to access more remote and untouched areas that hold plenty of wildlife such as elephant, lion, buffalo, and rhino.
Mobile Tent and Camping Safaris
This would be a combination of the drive and walking safaris. Usually, in a mobile tent trip, you will stay at a lodge or similar accommodation each night. In a true camping safari, also called cross-country safari, you are roughing it with tents and normal camping chores and activities. These trips can last for several days.
Paddle your way down one of the great rivers in Africa, such as the Zambezi River which divides Zimbabwe and Zambia. This will give you a whole different perspective of plant and animal life.
Elephant, Horseback, and Camelback Safari
Elephant back, horseback, and camelback safaris bring you into being one with nature. There are tours that offer the use of these well-trained animals which can really enhance your experience. Imagine spending the day with an elephant, enjoying its company, feeding and eating with it, and becoming good friends!
In Southern Africa, you can take the tour by train. This kind of safari might be more enjoyed by those who enjoy a little more comfort and class on their trip.
Sailing and Houseboat Safaris
Do you really want to go in style? Enjoy your safari from a yacht! This is a great way to see some of the wildlife to stay closer to the water like hippos and crocodiles. Choose the houseboat safari and do little fishing while you are enjoying the view.
Tracking safaris are a great way to see amazing animals that are rare and hard to find and enjoy them in their own natural habitat. There are African safaris that track gorillas, chimpanzees, and tree-climbing lions.
Bird Watching Safari
Big game, not your thing? Bird watchers can still get their thrills on a bird-watching safari. But, pay attention, you will probably still see plenty of big games.
So, remember. Safaris: they’re not just for John Wayne anymore!