Traditional African safaris see you sitting in a jeep, driving through the African bush and hunting for the local wildlife. While these safaris are great, why not try something a little different this year? The following are three suggestions for an exciting alternative safari in Africa.
1. Horse back safaris at Pakamisa Game Reserve
Pakamisa Lodge is a luxurious lodge in Pongola in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal. Set in an unspoilt game reserve, the lodge offers a unique safari option. They offer game viewing while perched on the back of a pure Arabian or a cross-breed horse.
The experience is ideal for beginners and advanced riders and allows them to travel through the game reserve without the noise of engines. Varying trails include the more challenging hilly areas of the reserve. Alternatively, they head out on the flat plains where visitors can ride into a herd of giraffe, warthogs, wildebeest or impala. The exhilarating horse back safari includes a romantic picnic or a delicious bush breakfast.
2. Hot air balloon safari in the Okavango Delta
Fly high over the Okavango Delta in Botswana in a hot air balloon. This amazing experience takes you to a highly prized wilderness area, which is beautiful at all times of the year. However, the magical time to take a hot air balloon safari here is during the rainy season. This season only lasts for a short time during each year, but causes the Delta to become green and lush, attracting much wildlife.
The best way to experience all of this is on a hot air balloon safari. Fly high over a galloping zeal or dazzle of zebra. Watch lions and cheetahs hunting and elephants enjoying themselves in the water below. The Okavango Delta is also famous for rhinos, baboons and crocodiles and is a popular area for bird watching.
3. Turtle safari tour in iSimangaliso Wetland Park
Leatherback and Loggerhead turtles nest on the coast of the iSimangaliso Wetland Park and this the place to be to experience the last, major nesting site on the African continent.
The ritual starts in early November when the female of the species heads out of the surf and searches for a suitable site to lay her eggs. Digging a one-meter hole for the nest is no easy task. When done, she lays around 80-100 eggs before carefully closing her nest and concealing it.
She knows to be careful in disguising her nest, as genets, jackals, ghost crabs and honey badgers are known to forage for the eggs.
Ezemveglo KZN Wildlife actively protects the breeding grounds and has been working with the Wetland Park Authority for more than 50 years. On this turtle safari tour, visitors can watch the ancient nesting rituals of these remarkable creatures, as they lay their eggs in the sand or arrive as the hatchlings are born.
Between January and March, the eggs finally start to hatch, with the hatchlings emerging from the nest at night. They then make their laborious and risky way into the surf. It is estimated that only around four of every 1,000 hatchlings will actually manage to reach maturity.
Turtle safari tours can be enjoyed between November and March each year from Cape Vidal and St. Lucia.
Experience an alternative safari this year, out in the wild, viewing fascinating wildlife from the air, on horseback or on the beach.