AFRICA IS HAVING A MOMENT. Well, let’s be honest, it has been having a moment for quite a while. So there was no surprise when International Traveller magazine named “go on an epic African safari” as their number one ultimate travel experience of a lifetime. Number one out of 100 ah-mazing experiences, destinations, monuments, natural wonders, journeys….you get the idea.
It isn’t hard to pin point where the fascination of an Africa safari has stemmed from; The Lion King undoubtedly acting as the perfect introduction for Gen Y all those years ago. Or maybe it is the risk factor; the Big Five title does mean the five most dangerous animals to track on foot; or just maybe, it is because deep down we are all suckers for animals – no matter how big, small or scary.
For some, however, the reasons stated above are exactly why the idea of an African holiday is daunting. Why travel all that way when you can just as easily enjoy mouth-watering pizza in Italy without the risk of being eaten by a lion. Not to mention the amount of vaccinations westerners need before stepping foot on the continent.
But that is what makes the difference between city-hopping Europe and disembarking in Johannesburg and catching a light plane to Kruger. It doesn’t get more real, dirty and mesmerising than going on safari.
For me, Africa is pure magic. To see those wild animals so close and in their natural environment is another level all together. Here are my five reasons why your next holiday needs to be an African safari – from someone who has ticked it off the list but would do it all again.
- Elephants. Nothing compares to the size of an African elephant, not even the ones in Asia.
- The Drive. You don’t get more of an authentic African experience than driving through a national park and trying to spot these majestic animals.
- Rhinos. The poaching crisis has placed rhinos under serious threat; laying your eyes on them fills you with a beautiful sadness, as well as hope the conservation effort will save them for future generations.
- The local guides. It is something to behold when a guide can pick out an animal from hundreds of metres away – without binoculars – and can tell what it is and what sex.
- Lions. In the end, everyone just wants to see Simba and his pride.