Searing plains dotted with spritely gazelle, earth-shaking grey giants, and majestic lions reclining under acacia trees – embarking on an exhilarating safari excursion is a dream escape for any true wildlife & nature lover. Millions around the globe flock to Africa every year to see the “Big Five” of lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants, and Cape buffalo. With a wealth of options to witness nature’s battle for survival, choosing the best safari in Africa can be a tad difficult.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to deciding where to go on a safari in Africa. If you’re keen to see the Big Five, South Africa, and the Kruger National Park in particular, is a solid choice, with options for all budgets, good tourism infrastructure, and family-friendly properties in malaria-free areas. If you’re more seasoned or just keen to avoid the busier spots, you might be tempted to tackle thrilling walking safaris in Zambia or southern Tanzania. Timing is a factor, too — most safari areas are at their driest between June and September which allows for extraordinary up-close wildlife sightings & encounters which will undoubtedly exceed your wildest expectations. To ensure you experience the very best Africa has to offer – here are the top 5 safaris in Africa you don’t want to miss.
https://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/Top-5-Safaris-in-Africa-you-dont-want-to-miss-Etosha-National-Park-7.jpg12721920Bianca Bungehttps://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Secret-Africa-Landscape-Logo-SM-AFRICANEW.pngBianca Bunge2023-10-23 20:21:122023-10-23 20:21:46Top 5 Safaris in Africa you don’t want to miss
A luxury safari in Africa is an experience like no other – its no surprise that going on a luxury safari getaway in the vast and gloriously diverse continent of Africa has fast become one of the most highly sought-after travel experiences amongst avid travellers, tourists, globe-trotting adventurers, and wildlife enthusiasts across the globe. If you’re looking to combine adventure, romance, luxury, and exclusivity with phenomenal game viewing, vast unspoiled landscapes, the magic of the African bushveld, beautiful beaches, bucket-list worthy safari experiences, once-in-a-lifetime adventures, and so much more, Africa will undoubtedly exceed all your expectations as a luxury safari holiday destination. In a world where we can travel anywhere and do anything our heart desires, Africa steps up its game and offers us luxury we could only ever dream of.
A luxury safari isn’t just about the wildlife – it’s also about the opulent accommodations and personalised service that make your trip truly unforgettable. Here is just some of what you can expect from a luxury safari in Africa.
https://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Top-10-Reasons-to-go-on-a-Luxury-Safari-in-Africa-19.jpg7561134Bianca Bungehttps://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Secret-Africa-Landscape-Logo-SM-AFRICANEW.pngBianca Bunge2023-09-12 18:08:102023-09-12 18:17:58Top 10 Reasons to go on a Luxury Safari in Africa
Every love affair must start somewhere. For most, their love of Africa starts before they even arrive, feeling the lure and excitement whilst planning their first ever African safari. From the moment you first set foot on African soil and fully immerse yourself in your safari experience it is officially game over – you will be forever hooked, hopelessly and head-over-heels in love with the wild untamed natural beauty and enthralling magic of the African bushveld, never wanting to leave, and always yearning to return.
From unsurpassed natural wonders, astounding wildlife, and a vast diversity of contrasting landscapes, ranging from searing deserts, freshwater wetlands, dramatic coastlines, and soaring mountain peaks to thunderous waterfalls, endless stretches of open savannah plains, and lush tropical rainforests, Africa is unlike any other continent. Here are our 10 best safari destinations in Africa for first timers.
https://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/15-Best-Safari-Destinations-in-Africa-for-first-timers-Moremi-Game-Reserve.jpg12751920Bianca Bungehttps://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Secret-Africa-Landscape-Logo-SM-AFRICANEW.pngBianca Bunge2023-09-06 15:25:362023-09-06 15:57:0115 Best Safari Destinations in Africa for first timers
From the nearly 2 million hectares of unrivalled African wilderness of the renowned Kruger National Park (South Africa’s Flagship National Park), the astounding tropical bushland and coastline of KwaZulu-Natal, the star-studded skies of the arid Karoo desert, the vast Green Kalahari of the Northern Cape, and the world-famous champagne-coloured savannah teeming with incredible wildlife and birdlife species, to majestic mountains, cascading waterfalls, pristine National Parks, game reserves, conservation areas, and private safari loges, discovering, exploring, and experiencing South Africa’s amazing variety of remarkable, diverse, and one-of-a-kind landscapes and wilderness regions is truly unparalleled and should undoubtedly be right at the top of EVERYONE’S travel bucket-list.
There are few things that can compare to embarking on a remarkable, riveting, and exhilarating Big 5 Safari adventure in the vast, wild, and untamed South African wilderness, so be sure to enjoy every single second of this unbelievable experience! Here are our top 5 Big 5 safari destinations in South Africa.
https://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Top-5-Big-5-Safari-destinations-in-South-Africa-Kruger-National-Park.jpg12801920Bianca Bungehttps://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Secret-Africa-Landscape-Logo-SM-AFRICANEW.pngBianca Bunge2023-09-01 13:45:452023-09-01 13:53:16Top 5 Big 5 Safari destinations in South Africa
Regarded as a piece of unspoiled Africa, the world-renowned Timbavati Private Nature Reserve, which forms part of the Greater Kruger National Park, is a combination of the Timbavati, Klaserie and Umbabat Private Nature Reserve, forming one large expanse of pristine wilderness. Located in the heart of the Lowveld region of South Africa, Timbavati Game Reserve shares an unfenced border with the Kruger National Park (South Africa’s flagship National Park).
As there are no restricting fences between Timbavati Game Reserve and the Kruger it allows wildlife to migrate and roam freely between the reserves, ensuring high-quality, exciting, and exceptional wildlife sightings and an unforgettable and unbelievable African safari experience. Here are the top 5 reasons why you should go to Timbavati Game Reserve in South Africa.
https://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/08/Top-5-Reasons-to-go-to-Timbavati-Game-Reserve-in-South-Africa-2-1.jpg12321840Bianca Bungehttps://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Secret-Africa-Landscape-Logo-SM-AFRICANEW.pngBianca Bunge2023-08-30 12:08:502023-08-30 14:02:12Top 5 Reasons to go to Timbavati Game Reserve in South Africa
A jewel within the Greater Kruger National Park! The spectacular Sabi Sand Game Reserve is one of the most sensational must-visit safari destinations and premier private game reserves in both South Africa and all of Africa. It is also one of the oldest and most beloved wildernesses in the country.
Boasting an incredibly diverse wildlife and birdlife population (which is known to draw avid birders & eager wildlife enthusiasts from across the world), spectacular landscapes, wild & wonderful wilderness surroundings, several luxury private lodges, and an endless array of exhilarating safari adventures, the glorious Sabi Sands Game Reserve is guaranteed to exceed all your expectations – allowing for a truly unforgettable once-in-a-lifetime African safari experience. There is no denying that the Sabi Sands Game Reserve should be on every avid traveler, game-loving tourist, adventure seeker, and head-over-heels wildlife lover’s safari bucket-list. Here are the top 6 reasons to visit the Sabi Sand Game Reserve.
Are you ready to take a WALK on Africa’s wild side? If you’re eager to experience something slightly more wild, daring, and down-right thrilling going on an extraordinary, exhilarating, and adventure-filled walking safari through the untamed African bushveld should be right at the top of your African safari travel bucket-list. Exploring the African bushveld on foot encourages you to fully immerse yourself in the vast and untamed wilderness as well as gives you the unbelievable opportunity of witnessing magnificent up-close wildlife sightings and encounters you only tend to read about in books and travel magazines.
That’s not all! Walking safaris in Africa allow you to discover, explore, and experience Africa’s unapologetic natural beauty, diverse wilderness landscapes, and all of its incredible inhabitants from a whole new perspective as you witness and encounter a vast and wonderful array of wildlife, birdlife, and so much more you may not otherwise have been able to spot by going on a traditional 4×4 safari vehicle / game drive. To kick it up another notch on the thrill and adventure scale, you can even embark on a night-time guided walking safari / bush walk – Talk about an adrenalin rush like no other! Go ahead and ditch the safari vehicle and embark on an unforgettable walking safari in Africa instead! Here are the top 5 walking safaris in Africa.
https://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Top-5-Walking-Safaris-in-Africa.jpg7331100Bianca Bungehttps://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Secret-Africa-Landscape-Logo-SM-AFRICANEW.pngBianca Bunge2023-07-17 16:54:062023-07-17 17:07:10Top 5 Walking Safaris in Africa
Its officially time to discover, explore, and experience everything the widely renowned and highly sought-after South Luangwa National Park has to offer – Are you ready? You better be, because it promises to be a truly unforgettable and beyond thrilling African wildlife and safari adventure.
South Luangwa National Park is by far the greatest highlight of eastern Zambia. Known by locals as simply ‘the South Park’, this impressive National Park covers an extensive area of approximately 9050 square kilometers of the Luangwa Valley floor. With its western and northwestern edge bounded by the Muchinga Escarpment, and the southern border lined with the meandering Luangwa River, there is no shortage of dramatic and fascinating topography and landscapes to explore in this stunning game-rich park. In fact, very few destinations in Africa can offer the unique combination of South Luangwa National Park’s open, grassy plains and mature, mesmerizing woodlands, crowned with the breathtaking Luangwa River.
https://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/South-Luangwa-National-Park-in-Zambia-15.jpg12801920Bianca Bungehttps://secretafrica.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Secret-Africa-Landscape-Logo-SM-AFRICANEW.pngBianca Bunge2023-07-14 18:17:152023-07-14 18:23:29Top Things To Know about South Luangwa National Park
Declared one of the best safari destinations in the world, an authentic African safari should be at the top of every traveler, avid adventurer, and nature and wildlife enthusiast’s travel bucket list. Some of the top safari destinations in Africa include Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.
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The African Wild Dogs are oftentimes misunderstood. There are only about 5 000 left in the wild, putting them on the critically endangered list. They are very effective predators, with an 80% hunting success rate, in comparison with the 30% success rate of lions.
Here are a few interesting facts about the illusive animals.
#1 Peculiar Physique
The scientific name, Lycaon pictus, means “the painted wolf”. It refers to their multi-coloured fur, painted with yellow, brown, black and white spots. The dappled fur serves as a unique fingerprint for each dog, no two patterns are alike. The African Wild Dogs boast with a potent bite, their specialised molars evolved to give them the ability to effortlessly break bones and shear meat off a carcass.
They have a set of killer senses with excellent sight, smell and hearing. The dog’s large rounded ears can be swivelled around like radars because of the numerous muscles. Their long legs and a lean shape turns the dogs into formidable hunters. They also boast with rapid muscle recovery.
#2 Dynamic Social Hierarchy
The African Wild Dogs are truly a social pack. They operate with a very altruistic system. As with all pack animals, the dogs operate under a strict hierarchy. The alpha breeding pair rule over the other subordinate pack members. Once new pups arrive on the scene, they are prioritized, even above the alphas. When they are old enough to fend for themselves, they join the hunting party, with first choice of the spoils. This ranking system ensures that they rarely fight about food.
If a member of the pack falls ill, is injured or elderly, and is unable to be effective as a hunter – the rest of the pack takes care of it. An example of this remarkable altruistic system was seen in Botswana. An alpha female lost a foreleg during a hunt. In any other animal pack system, it would have been a death sentence. But she remained top of the pack for a few years after the incident, still breeding and raising pups. Her pack took care of her.
#3 Nomadic Animals
The African Wild Dogs can travel up to 50km in a day. This means they have huge territories that can range between 400 to 1 500 square kilometres. The only time they remain in one area, is during denning.
#4 African Wild Dogs Have Good Coordination
Their high hunting success rate is mainly attributed to their well-coordinated nature, as well as working together as a pack. Communication is very important and during a hunt they constantly update each other about their location as well as that of the prey. The excellent teamwork of the African Wild Dogs and their high intelligence give them the ability to adapt to scenario changes during their hunt.
#5 Agile Hunters
Most African predators rely on their stealth to hunt. But the African Wild Dogs have other tricks up their sleeves. They are streamlined for high stamina chases. The hunt usually starts with the pack forming a line, to better move and cover ground. When the prey has been targeted, the dogs will start to approach and test the defences, pinpointing a weak target.
When the target is secured, they will start to threaten the herd and force it to separate. Next, the chase begins, focusing on the targeted animal. The pack will enclose the animal, blocking any escape routes. They start operating like an Olympic cycling team. If the dog at the head of the chase starts tiring, it will pull back, and another dog will take its place. The prey eventually becomes too exhausted to continue, a few kilometres into the hunt. But the African Wild Dogs have excellent stamina and teamwork on their side, and the take down happens effortlessly.
Another tactic they use, is to force a herd towards a source of water, such as a river or lake. In Africa large bodies of water means lurking crocodiles, and most African wildlife are afraid of venturing into deep water. Sometimes the prey is brave and takes the chance of diving into the water. But mostly they panic and turn back towards the pursuers. Other times the African Wild Dogs use a tactic borrowed from lions, with one hunter flushing out the prey and driving it words the others awaiting ambush.
Photo by Flickr
#6 Few Natural Enemies
In the African wild, only lions are the African Wild Dogs’ main threat. A high population of lions means a low population of the dogs. Not many other predators are a threat to them. The hyenas will try to steal their kill, but won’t deliberately hunt the adult pack members.
Humans, on the other hand, are a very real threat to the African Wild Dogs. Although there are no concrete evidence to support the belief, they are seen as pests. Only in desperate times would they attack livestock. And till this day, there are no noted incidents in Africa of wild dog attacks on humans. But because farmers see them as vermin, they shoot the dogs when they see them near their livestock. And sometimes they will even track them down and poison the whole pack.
Other threats they have to deal with include diseases like rabies, which they usually contract from domestic animals. Because they are such social animals, one rabid wild dog will infect the whole pack, wiping it out entirely.
#7 The African Wild Dog Is Crepuscular
This means they are mostly active at twilight, the period before dawn and again after dusk. This is the best time for the African Wild Dogs to pursue their prey because it’s the time they are most active. And the darkness gives them the upper hand to hunt effectively, perfectly camouflaged because of their dappled fur. This has a two-fold advantage, hiding them from both their prey and predators.
#8 Strong Focus on Relationship Values
The alpha pair remains monogamous and are usually the only ones to breed within the pack. Sometimes a beta pair will also produce a litter, but then they are either adopted or killed by the alpha pair. A litter can range between 4 to 12 pups.
They have an unusual tradition of the sexually maturing males staying within the pack territory. And the mature females will travel far and wide in search of a potential mate. This is a great countermeasure against inbreeding.
Photo by African Sky
#9 Strange Genetics
Although the ancient ancestor of the African Wild Dogs is the wolf, they are no longer genetically compatible with any other canid. So unlike domesticated dogs that can be subjected to selective breeding, this is not possible with their wild counter parts.
They used to populate the whole African continent but are now limited to South and East African countries. Their population density is most in the Selous Game Reserve and Okavango Delta. The East African wild dogs are a little smaller than the South African dogs. There are five subspecies, namely the East African wild dog, the West African wild dog, the Chadian wild dog, the Somali wild dog, and the Cape wild dog.
#10 Can’t Be Domesticated
For centuries people have tried to tame the African Wild Dogs, but without luck. They remain naturally distrusting of people, or in fact of any animals outside the pack. Domesticated dogs have certain characteristics in common, including a willingness to be touched by a person. Combined with curiosity and pure luck, humans were able to domesticate dogs. But African Wild Dogs remain weary of humans, and will most likely remain undomesticated.
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