It was june the 5th 2012, we woke up very early as usual when you are in a safari, had a quick breakfast and we all left for the first game drive of the day. Considering the experience we had two nights before with the lions surrounding our camp, we all went after lions, and following spoors we end up finding something very special and I would say something quite difficult to see it, a male leopard hunting; definitely I have no words again to express the feeling to see such a nice scene. We got the whole thing… we saw when he jumped from a tree and start walking towards the steenboks, we could count as easy as 50 of them, all very careful and paying a lot of attention to their predator, the male leopard.
The movements were like a dance, where predator and prey were very careful and trying to do their best, one to kill and others to scape.
We stayed as much as we could till the moment when our guide decided not to bother them anymore and we left. I have no doubt that it did work for the leopard, and we were luck to see at least the preparation and strategy of his hunting skills.
It was June 5, 2012 when we woke up very early (as you usually do when you’re on safari). We had a quick breakfast and then left for the first game drive of the day. Considering the experience we had two nights before with the lions surrounding our camp, we all went out in hope of spotting lions. While following animal tracks we ended up finding something very special. At first it was very difficult to see. We’d come across a male leopard in the process of hunting. I have no words to express the beautiful scene.
Above: A leopard in the process of hunting
We were fortunate enough to capture the whole thing on camera from when we first saw the leopard jump from a tree and start walking towards the steenbok. We could easily count fifty of them, all very cautiously paying attention to their predator – the male leopard.
Above: The steenbok keeping their eyes on the leopard
The movements of the leopard and the steenbok were like a dance, where predator and prey were very carefully trying to do their best; one to kill and the other to escape.
Above: The leopard and steenbok dancing
We stayed as long as we could until our guide decided to not bother predator and prey anymore and we left. I have no doubt that the leopard succeeded. At least we were lucky enough to see the preparation and strategy of his hunting.
After a quite long drive into the Central Kalahari, we finally arrived in our wild camping area. When I say wild, is really wild, and I mean it.
Right on our arrival, our guide advised us not to leave the perimeter, and for toilettes during the night, we should use the head lights before coming out of our tent, he finalise saying that the place we were camping was full of wild animals, in special lions.
After setting down our tents and stuff, we had dinner and stayed seated around the fire, having south african red wine and talking, all very relaxed till the guide asked for silence and started to point out the noise coming from inside the bush, it was lions roaring and believe me, they were so close that I though it would be my last night in life. They stayed roaring to each other for quite a log time, at least time enough for us to go sleep and hear the roaring from inside the tents, which I tell you, it is even worse. It was a great experience and for sure a very excited night we all had, only five of us surrounded by lions and other species, all very wild in the middle of Central Kalahari. Apart of the excitement, that night was for sure when I started to feel respect, real respect for the wildlife, it was clear that we are nothing comparing to the wild, nothing!
The day after, we found this lioness on her own and her kill, a male ostrich just couple of meters from our camp. Wild, isn’t it?
While on my Kalahari and Okavango Delta safari we ventured off on a long drive into the Central Kalahari, and finally arrived at our wild camping area. When I say wild, I mean really wild.
Right on our arrival, our guide advised us not to leave the perimeter because where we were camping was full of wild animals, especially lions. He also said that if we wanted to use the toilets during the night that we should use one of the spotlights before coming out of our tent.
After setting up our tents and stuff, we had dinner and stayed sitting around the fire. We were all very relaxed, drinking South African red wine and talking, until our guide pointed to the bushes and signaled us to lower our voices. There was a noise coming from inside the bushes – the noise was roaring lions. The lions were so close that I thought it could possibly be the last night of my life.
They continued roaring for quite a long time. While we drifted off to sleep we could still hear them roaring from inside our tents.
It was a great experience and definitely a very exciting night that we shared – only five of us surrounded by lions and other species (all very wild) in the middle of Central Kalahari. Besides the excitement, that night was definitely when I started to respect wildlife – it was clear to me that we are nothing compared to the wild, nothing!
The next day we found this lioness with her kill; a male ostrich, just a couple metres from our camp. Wild, isn’t it?
Above: A successful ostrich kill leaves traces of blood lingering on the lioness’ fur.
The best African safaris include all the elements that make Africa so great… so appealing. Wildlife! What would an African safari trip be without wildlife? Culture! Africa is well known for its rich and diverse cultural heritage, it would have to offer a glimpse into culture of past or present. Adventure! On a continent with such diverse landscapes, there are thousands of opportunities to discover Africa – in both relaxed or adrenaline coaxing ways. Which ever way you want it, the best African safaris have wildlife, culture and adventure. Bam.
Wildlife on a safari trip
It’s not one of the top African safaris if it doesn’t showcase wildlife
An African safari trip needs its fair share of wildlife. Viewing a host of unusual looking animals that trundle, crouch, roar and stalk is an African safari at its best. Ever heard of Africa’s big five? The lion, the leopard, the buffalo, the elephant and the rhino; all wildlife highly sought after and absolutely golden when wishing to go on an ultimate African safari.
Culture on an African trip
A glimpse of a past culture shows signs of a great African safari
Museums are great for offering a glimpse into the lives of those who lived in a culture foreign to our own. Original artifacts, replicas, tours and insight can be enjoyed when stepping into a museum offering knowledge about those who lived, worked and loved the area you’re exploring. Some of the best safaris not only include a trip to a museum where the past can be re-lived through relics, but rather experienced first hand through physically visiting a tribe and cultural group who still practice the beliefs and rituals of their ancestors.
Adventure on top Africa safaris
The best African safaris are an adventure
From the way you get around, to the things you get a chance to see and do, top Africa safaris trip will offer you a variety of ways to experience a certain area. Our biased mode of transport is of course, overland truck. Seeing the passing vistas through the enormous windows of the custom truck, packed with your newly appointed nomadic holiday family from all over the world. Hopping off together, hiking, skydiving, exploring an ancient island on a moped. Laughing around the campfire, making the campfire. Experiencing new things with a bunch of people as awesome as you are.
So what are the best African safari trips? The top safari trips aren’t picked by us, they’re picked by you! The amount of bookings received for these trips rank them as the best. Why? Because they bring opportunity for travellers to explore Africa’s wildlife, culture and adventure. Check out which three African safaris are ranked best:
This trip takes one on a safari adventure where an exploration of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe sees cross-cultural interaction and wildlife interaction on an epic adventure one is not likely to forget.
This overland safari is a short trip taking travellers through the highlights of the Okavango Delta and Chobe National Park. The journey takes you on a cultural discovery of South Africa’s apartheid history, their struggle and success fighting for freedom. Ride an elephant in Victoria Falls, walk with lions or go white water rafting. Culture, wildlife, adventure!
This 10 day adventure takes you on a journey through Tanzania, exploring the country’s intriguing culture and diverse wildlife. Ride a camel, snorkel, take a tour of Prison Island. The route leads you through a world of rich discoveries in Eastern Africa, bringing you to the tropical and historical haven of Zanzibar, before the trip glides to an end.
Ready to book your seat on one of the best African safaris around? Grab your sense of adventure, will for cultural discovery and interest in wildlife and spoil yourself to one of the top African safaris around!
This online video campaign by US activists aims at capturing an alleged Ugandan warlord, Joseph Kony and his Rebel Group the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). The video has gone viral with over 15 million views on YouTube.
This campaign will expire on 31 December 2012, dedicating 2012 to stopping Joseph Kony.
Watch this amazingly well produced Kony YouTube Video and reveal the horrifying truth about what is happening in Uganda. When a tourist’s life changing safari in Uganda comes to an end, a real life of terror soldiers on for those left behind…
Share this post and let’s make Kony known globally so that we can capture the man who has abducted over 30 000 innocent children and made their lives a living hell. Do it for the 30 000 children who will be next…
When you’re on a safari in Uganda enjoying the wildlife, the happy smiles of the local people and the absolute beauty of the country, we don’t stop to think about what happens when the overland truck leaves.
We’ve all head the saying “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.” When enjoying safaris in Africa, loads of tourists around the globe have done their best to conserve nature and celebrate Africa’s beautiful destination.
“This massive Black Mamba was spotted close to some graves near a sugarcane plantation in Richards Bay in South Africa. Its estimated to be about 6 and half meters long and 45 years old, born around 1960! This snake has enough venom to kill 400 men!” – Facebook User
Thanks go to Mark E Willis for sharing this photo on Facebook.
Seeing as this photo and information is sourced by content shared on Facebook, additional facts and verification that this Black Mamba exists would be much appreciated. Below are a few more pictures of Black Mambas big enough to make your skin crawl.
Weather in Africa is a mysterious thing, making the question “What is the best time to visit Africa?” a tough one to answer. African climates range from hot dry deserts to cold, windy and wet coasts. It is safe to say that weather in Africais as diverse as the continent itself.
If you’re going to pay good money to go on a safari, you’re going to want to go during the best season. Because you’re clever like that. So, what is the best time to visit Africa?
East Africa is best visited during the dry seasons: July through to October and December through to March.
Just before the wet season is usually the best weather to experience game viewing in Africa. This time of year the grass is at its lowest and wildlife don’t wander too far from permanent water holes.
Malaria is also at its lowest level just before the rains. The rainy seasons move northbound in a band across continental Africa, so travelling in a southbound direction means you will only be within the rain band for just over a week.
Southern Africa is best visited from April through to October for the same reasons as East Africa: low grass, better game viewing and a lower malaria risk.
During May, June and July you will experience relatively cool temperatures during the day and in the evenings, temperatures drop during winter, but you will only need a jersey or jacket at most to keep comfortable and warm. Its Africa, not Alaska.
Some say that November through to March is not a good time to travel in Southern Africa. Ask anybody who lives in Southern Africa whether they agree with this fact and you’ll be pressed to find someone who agrees! This time of year is Southern Africa’s summer… the weather is gorgeous!
Sure, January in the Namib desert can be a scorcher, but November to March include many pleasant months to travel throughout most of Southern Africa! Those are the months that we Capetonians enjoy our precious city most in. Apart from the gaggles of tourists which swarm the Mother City streets in December and the winds that blow in October around the Peninsula, a slice of Southern Africa between November and March is utter bliss.
There is no such thing as a good or a bad time to travel in Africa. Period. If you travel in the wet season, everything is fresh and green. Nature is at its best, making for stunning photos, however its tougher to spot wildlife because the bush is so thick.
If you travel to Africa in the dry season, its dusty and nature is dry, but it is much easier to spot wildlife. Traveling in the rainy season does affect your travel, rains in most areas in East and Southern Africa come fast and furious. This means that you experience intense downpours, but then the sun comes out again and all is well. You don’t have to worry about spending 3 weeks on an overland safari and not seeing the sun once. The sun will come out, but if all else fails, a spray-on suntan seems to work wonders too.
There are only 7 northern white rhino left in the world and conservationists are worried about the future reproduction of the world’s rarest large mammal.
Decline in the Northern White Rhino Population
The reason for the decline in the population is attributed to hunting, poaching, and loss of habitat.
Graph Above: In 1960 the northern rhino population was over 2000. In the 1970s and 1980s the population dropped from 500 to 15 because of poaching. Managing to recover slightly, the population climbed to 25 in 1997 and went on to reach a peak of 32 in 2003. After 2003, poaching shot up and in 2009 the population dwindled to 8 northern white rhinos left in the world. 2011 has seen the population reach an all-time low when one of the 8 last northern white rhino’s left, died of old age.
Northern White Rhino Moved From Czech to Kenya
Until 2009, the last eight northern white rhinos lived in two zoos in Europe and the USA. On December 20, 2009, four of the last eight were moved from Dvur Králové Zoo in the Czech Republic to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, Kenya.
“They are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and are thought to be extinct in the wild. Moving them now is a last bid effort to save them and their gene pool from total extinction.” Said Dr Rob Brett, Africa Regional Director at Fauna & Flora International, and member of the IUCN African Rhino Specialist group.
Above: The northern white rhino is categorised as ‘critically endangered’ by IUCN Red List.
Reproduction of Northern White Rhino
While in captivity, the survival rate of northern white rhinos are good, but reproduction rates are extremely low. The four rhinos were relocated back into the wild in hope of bringing about successful mating. Many said that the operation would put the animals at risk because they had spent so long in protected conditions and they would not be used to the harsh African environment.
Members of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria stated that they didn’t think that “any significant conservation benefits will happen,” from the placement of the rhino back in the wild and in March 2011, they were almost correct. Just over 15 months of being released into the central Kenyan highlands and the northern white rhino’s began ‘mating’ activities. This behavioral change served to confirm that the four rhino had shed their non-procreational coexistence that they adopted while living in captivity and had now returned to the way nature intended it. Although the rhinos have been mating since in Africa, there have not been any offspring which have resulted from intercourse.
With reproduction of northern white rhinos coming to a halt, inter-crossing of the northern and southern species is planned by conservationists in order to ensure that the genes of the northern white rhino do not die with the last of their species.
Northern White Rhino Stem Cell Development
However, with recent technology, it seems that all hope is not dead in losing the rare strain of the rhino’s gene. With the use of stem cell development it may be possible to produce the northern white rhino from a test tube.
Director of Genetics at San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, Dr. Oliver Ryder says: “The greatest contribution this technology might make is to prevent extinction by using stem cells to assist with rescuing the genetic variation in increasing the reproduction of a critically endangered species.”
The video below outlines the possibility of using science effectively to save the northern white rhino:
The following organisations have invested time, money, effort and have proved highly dedicated to restoring the northern white rhino:
Although taking lions and tigers to Gabon from South Africa is not on everyone’s holiday to do list, someone had to do it and that someone was me. Bright eyed and bushy tailed I arrived at the client, ready to start darting at 23:00. I needed to finish at 00:30 with 6 animals loaded and on the road to O.R Tambo International, leaving on a charter for Gabon at the crack of dawn.
Everything was going according to plan. The last to be loaded was a big Bengal tiger with a fierce attitude in his night quarters.
Lift-off was at 06:00 the next morning. The exhausting flight of 10.5 hours in one of the smaller Antonov 32b went fairly well. Anyone who tours in Africa will know, it gets super hot in most parts. The cats behaved themselves but seemed to be overheating in their crates so we turned the air temperature way down.
With the final touch-down in Libreville, we were met by some friendly Gabonese folks. After examining the holding enclosures available, I decided I wasn’t happy with them, and we would have to construct new ones from scratch. Seeing that the cats overheated in the crates, 30 degrees with 70% humidity that day in Gabon was far from ideal. They needed to get out ASAP.
I had four days, which eventually turned into seven, to construct holding pens we were happy with for one of Africa’s top predator and an angry Bengal. Their crates are not suitable for staying in more than 24 to 48 hours but we simply could not let them loose while we built the new holding pens.
I decided that we needed three big containers to put these cats in to give us time to build bigger and more permanent pens. Construction started and the Gabonese seemed to be very resourceful with the little they had. By midnight three containers arrived and were being reconstructed into what was called “short term holding facilities”. A plan was drawn up and a civil engineer did the final calculations, making sure all material was sourceable.
In the next few days the permanent structure was being built by the local people working in two 12 hour shifts and completed on day six. The local vet and I darted and moved the cats to their permanent enclosures. They were all happy and calm except big old Bengal that wanted to kill anyone just peaking from a distance. This was a dead giveaway that the poor soul had some serious stage fright.
I decided to take the first available flight back to SA. There was another flight two days later which was only four hours long, but no, I needed to get back as I missed my wife terribly. So 18 hours (Ethiopia, then Kenya and finally SA) with two stops for me. In total I “visited” five counties outside SA (Namibia and Congo for refuelling on the way). I was exhausted but very pleased to be back.
In hindsight this was a wonderful learning experience and I am looking forward to going back. The people are very friendly and helpful. The city is old, and yes, the airport is smaller than Lanseria, but this is a very beautiful country with many untouched areas and so much is being set aside for conservation. Gabon is definitely something to explore when looking into tours in Africa.
Update: My local client has gone to Gabon and expanded the enclosure considerably. More training has been done. And via correspondence I have helped the local vet sort some minor issues.
Africa expeditions can be enjoyed on budget safaris, camping safaris and Africa travel tours. Overlanding in Africa is an amazing experience that everybody should bear witness to. This short video will give you an idea of the good times to be had when travelling on an overland truck with like-minded people who share a common interest, to discover Africa in all its beauty and glory on an Africa expedition of a lifetime.
Whether you’ve already got a destination in mind, or whether you’re keen to travel on one of the routes labeled the best African safaris, the overland trip style of travel won’t disappoint.
If this short teaser has got you itching to go on a safari in Africa, don’t hesitate to contact us for free advice from members in the tourism industry with 40+ years of combined overland experience. We will gladly help you plan your next Africa expedition.