“I’ll never forget the way I felt the first time I saw an elephant in the wild, or the adrenaline rush I felt when a Lion brushed past our Jeep and looked me straight in the eye. The things you might see on safari are wilder than your wildest dreams. It’s surreal, it’s mesmerising and the best part is; it’s real.” This is a narration by Jess (a safari enthusiast).
Usually most travelers have no idea or sometimes they have mild expectations on what to expect. Here are some of the things that you can expect to see. Good stuff that’s likely to permanently etch in your mind.
1. The Big 5
It would be impossible to go on safari without hearing people say ‘The Big 5’. These are the top 5 animals that everyone hopes to tick off their list on any safari. The Big 5 in East Africa includes lions, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and cape buffalo. As the endangered Rhinoceros is regarded as the hardest animal to spot from The Big 5.
2. A Kill
Going on safari gives real perspective on the term ‘survival of the fittest’. If you can’t outrun or outsmart your predator, you’re dead. Anyone that gets to witness a stalk or a kill on safari is incredibly lucky, but it’s not sight that everyone wants to see. Every guide has eagle eyes and will spot any potential stalk far before you, and keep you a safe distance from the scene. Grab your binoculars and stay incredibly still so not to disturb the action.
3. The Great Migration
Dubbed ‘the greatest wildlife show on earth’, the great migration is an annual occurrence where over a million wildebeests, 200,000 zebras and thousands of gazelles graze their way from The Serengeti of Tanzania to The Masai Mara of Kenya. It’s nothing but instinct that drives the animals towards the fertile soil of the Mara to feed. I got to see The Great Migration during my time in Tanzania and to see the sheer scale of animals in transit is a phenomenal sight.
4. A pride of Lions basking
This sight is one of the most endearing things you might see on safari and fortunately; it’s quite a common one. You can encounter a pride of adult lionesses and cubs, all sprawling like the Kins & Queens of the jungle. Usually, the adults will be lazing in the sun and the ever playful cubs go about their business. Its a real-life Lion King moment everyone hopes to see on an African safari.
5. A post -kill feed
A post-kill feed is all part of the great circle of life. Animals come from far and wide to take a piece of the kill, so you can expect to see a quite a crowd developing around the kill.
Sometimes it’s not for the faint hearted. You can imagine witnessing a post-kill feed involving a baby-giraffe and Hyenas. It can be heart breaking and incredible thing to see on an african safari.
6. A mother with her young
Of all the incredible things you might see on an African safari, fortunately this one is quite common. Any safari animal with her young is an adorable and heart-warming sight. It’s important that the mothers don’t feel threatened by the safari jeeps, so the drivers will be sure to keep a safe distance from mothers and their young.
7. A heard of Elephants
Seeing just one elephant is spectacular, but seeing a whole herd of them is breathtaking. During my time in Tanzania I stayed at The Four Seasons Serengeti, which is built overlooking an elephant’s watering hole. Every morning over breakfast we would see a herd of 10-12 elephants at the watering hole including baby elephants and the matriarch of the group. It was such a special thing to watch.
8. Two animals mating
For most, mating rituals are rarely seen. But imagine witnessing this in real life? The annual rut (mating season) in Kenya/Africa takes place between May and July following the rainy season when animals have can feed on lush, healthy greens.
9. A birds eye view safari experience from a hot air balloon
Possibly the most spectacular way to see wildlife on an African safari is by gliding over everything in a hot air balloon. You’ll glide over planes, rivers and trees and got to look down on the animals without disturbing them. You can book your hot air balloon ride during the great migration and you might be lucky enough to fly over thousands of running wildebeests.
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