Safari - African Holiday, South Africa, Namibia

If you are planning a vacation, why not try something extraordinary? Nothing beats a safari holiday, and your memories will last far longer than your tan! Africa is the place of imagination, and visitors come from all over the world to marvel at the richness of the wildlife and landscape on this ancient continent.

Before you book your trip, however, there are lots of things to think about. Firstly, you will need to choose your destination country. It is easy to think of the whole of Africa as one homogeneous place, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Some destinations lend themselves best to first-time safari visitors – South Africa, for example. For the seasoned safari enthusiast on the other hand, there are certain countries and regions that offer more of a challenge or rarer species. Namibia is one such destination, only appropriate for those who are happy with a more desolate environment.

Consider also your expectations with regards to accommodation standards. Despite the common view that Africa is generally underdeveloped, the safari industry is extremely sophisticated. This means that top-class accommodation is available, and you can easily book a luxury safari that allows you the comforts of home. Botswana has cornered the market for pure luxury safaris, but extremely high standards are available in most African destinations. Both camps and lodges are common, and it is possible to find hotel-standard service at either. Consider whether you want a swimming pool, bar, restaurant and maid service when you pick your accommodation.

Obviously, the cost of your safari will be affected by the level of luxury you select. That said, there are some fantastic deals to be had if you can be flexible. All-inclusive deals, which have all safari drives, guides, food, drink and transfers packaged together, can often be more cost-effective than booking everything independently. In Africa, it is often an advantage to have your hosts look after your needs, especially for first-time safari-goers. Safari need not break the bank, but if you’re on a budget you could consider self-drives or short safari trips out of major urban centres such as Johannesburg.

But let’s not forget what it’s really all about; people go on safari to see the wildlife. So when you plan your trip, make sure you head to a location offering prime views of your favourite animals. The most sought-after animals – or the 'Big Five' as they are commonly known – are the elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino.

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