Something Different: Non-motorised Safaris

The mention of an African safari usually conjures up images of bushveld landscapes, gravel roads, and 4x4s. While traditional game drives in open safari vehicles are still one of the best ways to experience a classic African safari, a variety of new safari methods are now on offer. These non-motorised safari techniques offer fresh and unique ways to explore the African wilderness.

Walking safaris

Walking safaris are undoubtedly one of the most thrilling ways to experience a safari. Being on foot allows to you experience your surroundings up close and in a much more personal way than you would in a vehicle. You are able to take in every little detail; you can see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste your surroundings! Encountering wildlife on foot will bring an unforgettable rush of adrenaline.

Plenty of safari destinations now offer guided walking safaris- but one of the best places for this experience is the South Luangwa in Zambia.

Horseback Safaris

Explore the African wilderness in the same way that early travelers and explorers once did- on horseback! As with a walking safari, a horseback safari allows you to get much closer to your surroundings than a vehicle would. There is a wonderful variety of parks and reserves that offer guided horseback safaris, catering for everyone from young children and beginners to experienced riders. Explore iconic safari destinations like the Kruger, the Masai Mara, and Victoria Falls on horseback, or chose to visit places such as the Tswalu Kalahari or Ant’s Nest Reserves in South Africa. You can even choose to do a multi-day horseback trail in the Mashatu region of Botswana.

Mokoro Safaris

A mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe that is mainly used for water-based safaris in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana. The guide stands on a flattened platform at the back of the boat, propelling it using a long pole. You are taken on an exciting journey along the waterways and channels of the area, using your unique vantage point to help you spot wildlife species.

While Botswana is the prime mokoro safari destination, a number of other regions where you can enjoy them as well, including Victoria FallsKafue National Park in Zambia, and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. Excellent camps in Botswana to visit include Pom Pom Camp, Machaba Camp, and Pelo Camp.

Gorilla Trekking Safari

Mountain Gorilla

The words gorilla trekking safari conjure up an iconic image, Dian Fossey surrounded by a troup of majestic black gorillas in a sea of green foliage. For any would-be-naturalist this is a once in a lifetime experience – sitting in close proximity to one of humankind’s closest primate relatives. A gorilla trekking safari allows you to experience the wonder of coming in contact with these magnificent and powerful creatures.

A gorilla trekking safari is one of the most unique and memorable safaris one can undertake in Africa. Exploring the expansive rain forests of central Africa on foot does not only bring one in touch with nature, but also allows you to observe gorillas and other primate species in their natural habitat.

Guide blends in to the foliage in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

 

The guides who accompany you on the gorilla trekking safari are true experts in their fields. They know which gorilla families occupy which areas as well as which patterns they move in, ensuring that your gorilla trekking safari meets its intended gorilla family. While on route the guides will point out other animals you might meet along the way such as the Uganda Kob, Forest Buffalo or Colobus Monkey and a variety of bird species from brightly coloured Turaco’s to the secretive Broadbill.

Mother and baby

Upon discovering the family of gorillas your guide will allow you to spend an hour’s worth of observation time with that particular family. Here time slows and you you will spend the session watching the family going about their daily routine of feeding, playing and communicating,. Highlights are no doubt the young playing in the foliage while the mothers keep a close eye or when a massive Silverback passes by close to you.

Volcanoes National Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

With tours spanning over Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the Congo’s Odzala-Kokoua National Park and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park there are numerous opportunities to find your perfect gorilla trekking safari. From the novice to the expert trekker everyone can see these wonderful creatures int he wild.

Bwindi Impenetrable National Park

 

This is one for the bucket list, nothing can beat meeting a families of gorillas in the forests of Africa. Get in touch with the Safari Index to tick off your dream gorilla trekking safari!

The Kruger Park

South Africa’s world-renowned Kruger National Park spans over 2 million unspoiled hectares and is one of the largest game reserves in Africa. The Kruger Park, as it is known locally, is one of the world’s most fertile and abundant wildlife sanctuaries, and famously hosts the majestic Big 5. The Kruger Park is a dream destination for anyone wishing for a safari getaway.

Kruger Park guided safari

There is plenty to see when out on a game drive while in the Kruger Park.  The park’s incredible diversity of life includes 336 tree species, 507 bird species and 147 mammal species. Whether you choose to do a self-drive safari or guided game drive, there are plenty of ways to see what the Kruger Park has to offer. When doing a self-drive safari, you need not be concerned about wear and tear on your vehicle, as the Kruger Park boasts a well-maintained road infrastructure.

 

RWS walking safari

Driving safaris are not the only type of safari on offer in the Kruger. Several camps, like Rhino Walking Safaris Plains Camp, offer walking safaris, where keen-eyed, well-informed guides are able to find even the most elusive animals.

The famous African Big 5- consisting of the lion, leopard, rhino (white and black), elephant and Cape buffalo- can be found in the Kruger Park. The highlight of any Kruger safari is spotting all 5 members out in their natural habitat. Imagine being on an early-morning walking tour, the sun rising above the plains, and spotting a family of elephants in the distance. Picture enjoying sundowner drinks with a view of a waterhole, where a pride of lions joins you in enjoying some refreshments after a hot day. The Kruger Park is a magical place where just such occurrences can take place.

The Kruger Park offers different accommodation options to suit anyone’s budget and taste. From the versatile accommodation types at Skukuza Rest Camp, to the rustic rondawels of Pretoriuskop Rest Camp, to the more luxurious lodges like Singita Lebombo, there is something to suit everyone.

Singita Lebombo
Pretoriuskop Rest Camp

No matter what your budget, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Let the experts at Safari Index help you find the best option for your pocket. Contact us today to book your dream safari getaway to the Kruger  Park.

Cape Town and the Garden Route

Expansive beaches, breathtaking mountain views and ancient forests- these are just some of the features that you can expect to encounter when traveling along South Africa‘s famous Garden Route. Known for its diverse landscape and vegetation, this 300km route stretches from the Storms River in the Eastern Cape all the way down to Mossel Bay in the Western Cape. Traveling on the Garden Route will give you the perfect opportunity to not only see perhaps the most beautiful part of the country, but also to partake in a variety of experiences.

The Garden Route is like no other, a paradise for those with a love for nature. Found between the Outeniqua Mountains and the ocean, the area features a mild climate, which allows for a mixture of fynbos, wetlands and forests to thrive. The Route is also a paradise for animal lovers. There are nearly 300 species of birds, several types of large and small game, as well as a diversity of marine life found in the region- safari opportunities are plentiful. You can even see the Big 5 in Gondwana Game Reserve or Sanbona Game Reserve.

A number of smaller game reserves can be found dotted along the Garden Route, allowing for visitors to enjoy a variety of activities. Hiking is a popular activity, as there is a lot to explore. The Knysna Forest is world-famous for its population of ancient Outeniqua Yellowwoods, while the Table Mountain Nature Reserve is home to the world’s smallest yet most diverse floral kingdom- the Cape Floral Kingdom.

For those interested in history, the Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve is the perfect place to visit. This World Heritage Site offers informative tours led by experienced guides, who take guests to over 130 bushman painting sites. The area is also famous for the indigenous rooibos that grows there.

There is also plenty to do for those looking for adventure or an adrenaline rush. Go shark-cage diving, canoeing, rock-climbing, quad biking, paragliding, and even skydiving! The world’s highest bungee jump is located along the Garden Route, at the Bloukrans Bridge. There is also horse-riding, zip-lining, sandboarding, surfing, and whale and dolphin-watching- the list is endless…

There is something for every nature lover on the Garden Route. It is the most beautiful part of the Cape, and definitely worth the trip. The Safari Index team will expertly help you to plan your Garden Route holiday- contact us today.