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Types Of Safaris

Jan 29, 2008
There are several types of safaris. These include Game drives, Canoe Safaris, Horse back safaris, Elephant safaris and walking safaris.

The type of safari you take depends on your preference and your location.

Canoe safaris for example are not that popular in east Africa mainly Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda but there are quite popular in other parts of Africa including Southern Africa.

By far the most exciting way to see wildlife is either on a vehicle which may be a lodge jeep or a tour van or by Walking Safaris.

The great thing about walking safaris is that you get to see much more and any big animals you do see are likely to provide heart-stopping moments as they emerge suddenly from the bush. You're also likely to catch all the little details that are impossible to see from a vehicle, especially considering that while on a vehicles you are expected to stick to the road. The sticky secretions of dik-diks and other small antelopes left on grass stems to mark out territory, the broken twigs left by leopard, bones from recent kills, weird and wonderful bugs and butterflies galore, and - with luck - chameleon, of which there are some real beauties (the Jackson's chameleon, for one, and tiny little critters half the length of your little finger). And of course, being outside the confines of a vehicle imparts a sense of freedom and also a little danger if you enjoy the adrenaline rush that's impossible to get any other way.

Game walks usually last just few hours, but longer trips are possible, making long-distance hiking safaris very exciting possibilities. Hiking is most likely to be allowed in mountainous or heavily forested parks, where in fact "footing" (as they say in East Africa) is often the only way around. Here are just some of Africa's great places for walking safaris:

The crater Highlands of Tanzania. Explore this region by grabbing an experienced guide and escaping the crowds by walking from the lush Ngorongoro Crater to the desert Lake Natron.

Dja Faunal Reserve in Cameroon. A huge tract of virgin rainforest, best explored with an experienced guide.

The Eastern Arc Mountains in Tanzania. Face to Face encounters with primates, bugs and butterflies in Tanzania's ancient rainforest.

The Ethiopian Highlands perfect for walking are the Simien Mountains and National Park. Apart from birds, look for Gelada baboons, Simien foxes and the Walia ibex.

Fish River Canyon in Namibia. A mostly dry, 161 - kilometer-long cleft near the South Africa border, with surreal desert landscapes (and flora), and an outside chance of seeing leopards and mountain zebras.

Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe Abutting the Zambezi River, the waterholes here attract a ton of plains game, including elephants and rhinos.

Mokolodi Nature Reserve in Botswana. A privately run reserve stocked with all the "Big Five", plus lots of antelopes.

Mosi-Oa-Tunya National Park in Zambia. A good selection of wildlife beside the Zambezi including rhinos.

Namib-Naukluft Park in Namimbia. Explore the Namib Desert and meet its inhabitants springboks, zebra, and ostriches are common enough and flamingoes are special treat.

Nyika Plateau in Malawi. A botanical paradise 2500m above sea level, of particular interest to orchid-lovers and with unusually good odds on seeing leopards.

Parc National des Volcans in Rwanda. Seeing gorillas is the big thing here, but Virunga's primeval rainforest will also drown your sense in sights and sounds.
About the Author
Christopher Kamuna is editor of Cheltiftours. You can find more information about Tanzania Safari, Uganda gorilla treks and Kenya safaris, as well as hotels and lodge bookings, on the website.
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