SAFARI TIPS FOR SELF-GUIDED TOURS ACROSS SOUTH AFRICA
For all adventurous travellers, NOMADSofORIGIN offers five tips that could benefit your self-guided safari tour in the Southern Hemisphere
Words: Aleksandra Georgieva
Photography: Isabella Juskova, Sutirta Budiman, Johan Mouchet, Wade Lambert, Yassine Khalfalli
23 August 2019
To most people a safari sounds like an exotic dream vacation that requires a lifetime of savings and a ton of planning. We are here to say, hold on tight, fasten your seat belt and keep on reading because this is how you can self-guide an affordable and unforgettable safari through the majestic South Africa.
Spending a holiday in the Southern Hemisphere often means sunny days and warm evenings. For a great safari experience, make sure to visit both the KwaZulu-Natal Province and the Kruger National Park. In addition, the best place to see rhinoceros in the wild is the Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park. The former hunting grounds of the Zulu kings is not incredibly popular among tourists, but it is the home of around 1,800 rhinos, alongside monkeys, zebras, snakes and nearly every other forest and savanna-friendly species.
South Africa has one of the best bio diverse scenery in the world. A simple highway drive could offer visitors magnificent views from hill landscapes to sugarcane fields and the African savanna. If you plan on booking your trip without a safari guide, here are five advice that you may find useful.
Tip number one: think like a local, travel like a local.
The best way to see the safari gems of Africa is to rent a cheap car and drive around yourself. You don’t need an expensive tour of mother nature to experience a proper adventure and see the “big five” in their natural habitat. The African lion, leopard, elephant, black rhinoceros and the Cape buffalo can all be seen in Kruger National Park.
Tip number two: don’t drive at night.
Spontaneous travel sometimes brings the best stories, yet South Africa experiences issues with crime. However, if you make sure to reach your place to stay for the night by sunset, you will be fine.
Tip number three: know when to retreat and how to adapt.
The safari tour should run without any troubles, if you keep a safe distance from the big animals. If you encounter a close meeting with an elephant, for example, remember to keep calm and back away slowly. When it comes to rhinos, note that they feel challenged easily and have poor eyesight. To avoid provocation, do not stop your car near them.
Tip number four: accommodation.
If you have already looked for places to stay in South Africa, you might have found quite the diversity of options. From bungalows to family-friendly cottages and luxurious resorts, many accommodations get booked months in advance. Make sure to plan your visit a while prior to heading for your adventurous safari. You can make reservations is places such as the Lower Sabie Rest Camp in Kruger, the Hluhluwei-Mfolozi Park or Hilltop Camp, but make sure to have a restaurant on site, because often that may be the only place to get food during your safari experience.
Tip number five: plan early park visits.
The early morning hours is when animals look for breakfast and a variety of species can be spotted. From leopards, giraffes, lions, wild dogs and elephants to the crocodiles and hippos near the rivers, South Africa brings every adventurer’s wildest dreams to life.
We advise you to plan your safari visit to South Africa either in June-August when the drought allows for easy spotting of otherwise reclusive species or go in September-October when spring populates the animal kingdom with new-born animals of a diversity of species.
NOMADSofORIGIN is an independent annual publication with a focus on sustainable travelling and global cultural values. Each issue features interviews, engaging articles and photo guides, which take our nomadic readers through different destinations and introduce them to local people's perspectives.
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