Bucket List Worthy
By Cailin O’Neil
South Africa is a popular destination for many things including Table Mountain which overlooks the second largest city Cape Town, delicious wines, adventure sports, and of course, wild animals. It would be a shame to visit South Africa without seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
In the attached video, “South African Safari in a Minute,” you will see some of the highlights of a safari and several of the magnificent animals at home. Hit play to take a virtual safari, and then continue reading for tips and details about planning your own South African Safari.
Caption: Take an Airplane to Your Safari Adventure | Photo credit: Cailin O’Neil
Once you land in Johannesburg or Cape Town, the nature reserves are not far away, so you can begin your safari experience without delay. There are various options available for getting to the nature reserves, whether you choose to book a rental car and drive through Kruger National Park or get shuttled to a game reserve or even fly.
Caption: A Room at the Ngala Game Reserve Lodge | Photo credit: Cailin O’Neil
Advance research on what game drives are available to fit your budget is well advised. I was fortunate in that the property where I stayed for three nights included all my food, accommodations and six game drives. Investing extra money in something like this is definitely worth it for the experience. It also seems safer to have a guide and tracker with you instead of just driving by yourself without protection from the animals. With your own guide you can go off-roading and use their expertise to track the specific animals you want to see.
Caption: Cailin Models a Proper Safari Outfit | Photo credit: Cailin O’Neil
When on a safari you really want to try and blend in with the surroundings and vegetation. Wear neutral colours like khaki, beige and grey and avoid wearing anything white. Bring a warm jacket for chilly early morning game drives, sunglasses for the sun, but also for wind, as most vehicles will be open air for the best viewing. Do not forget lip-gloss. You would be amazed at how fast your lips can get chapped from the wind. The most important piece of clothing aside from a fancy safari hat would be to have proper hiking boots for bushwalking, ones that snakes and scorpions can not get through.
The Big Five in South Africa are the animals said to be the hardest to hunt on foot and for that reason are also the most sought of all the animals in South Africa. The Big Five include the lion, elephant, cape buffalo, leopard and rhinoceros. Find these guys and your entire safari dreams will have come true.
About the Author: Cailin O’Neil
Cailin O’Neil is a travel, video, and food blogger and has been the host of the travel web series “Travel Yourself” since early 2009. When not traveling and writing for her own sites www.TravelYourself.ca and www.TheTasteOfTravel.com she is a fulltime freelance writer and videographer. To follow her adventures find her on twitter, Facebook and Google +.