There is more to African safaris than just watching animals. Although that is a highlight, many other activities can make your safari experience even more memorable. From a walking safari to river rafting and camping in the African bush to mountain climbing, you can do just about anything on an African safari. Here are some of the most popular African safari activities that visitors like to experience:
No visit to Africa would be complete without experiencing the sights and sounds of the open wilderness. As one of the best African safari activities for kids and adults, many African safari tours will offer guided nature walks through some of the most beautiful walking trails in the region. These guided walking safaris can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days, giving you a chance to get in proximity to many different animals and plants in the area.
Many African safari tours offer water activities that are great for those who don’t enjoy hiking or riding. Activities like snorkeling and scuba diving can help you get up close to the coral reefs and underwater residents of the area while rafting and kayaking allow you to experience rushing rivers from a completely different perspective.
African safaris are a great time to practice your canoeing skills. Many African rivers have sections that are ideal for beginners and experts alike, with flat water and exciting Class II-IV rapids to enjoy. With most tours offering expert guides who can show you the ropes before you get on the water, canoeing is one of the safest African safari activities you could be a part of.
Through kayaking, you get to explore many off-the-beaten-path areas of the continent and get closer to wildlife than you ever would have thought possible. Kayaking tours will usually stay close enough to land so that you never need any previous experience; in fact, most tour groups will offer a complimentary lesson segment. Kayaking is something that you can continue to enjoy for many years after your African safari, with many waterfalls and lakes ideal for those who love the sport.
This is one of the best African safari activities for those looking for an adrenaline rush. Many rafting tours offer a range of different rapids, from mild Class II to heart-pumping Class IV-V rapids that will keep you on edge for the entire trip. For even more excitement, some African safari tours even offer a chance to try your hand at whitewater surfing.
Often seen in the Okavango Delta and on the Chobe River, a mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe that will take you through the wetlands and tall grass areas. This is especially for those who prefer a more serene adventure as you can easily see crocodiles, hippos, elephants, and other wildlife from your mokoro.
For those who prefer a bit more speed, you will be happy to know that many boat tours exist to take you through the delta areas as well. These motorized boats can get you where you need to go much quicker than a mokoro and are often used as shuttles by safari-goers as well.
Perhaps the thing that most people are looking for on their African safari, animal and bird watching is a must when visiting this continent. It also qualifies as one of the best African safari activities for kids. Whether you take one of the many game drives offered by tour groups or travel through any of the national parks in search of African animals, there will be no shortage of animals to see. From the typical elephants, cheetahs, and giraffes to the more unique Malachite Kingfisher, Lilac-Breasted Roller, and Gray Crowned Crane birds, there truly is something for everyone.
For those who are looking to get a bit closer to wild animals and learn about their behavior, some African safari tours offer wildlife courses. These often last for several days or even weeks and take you deeper into the wilderness for a chance to truly immerse yourself in nature. Be warned though, these courses will require you to have previous experience in the outdoors and are often offered by companies that have trained professional guides for wildlife viewing.
Many safari tour groups offer opportunities for those who want to explore beyond the roads. With quad bikes and mountain bikes, you can discover vast lands that were previously inaccessible before. You will be able to take the routes of your choice and get a chance to travel behind the scenes for an even greater safari adventure. Rest assured that these mountain biking tours are often guided by experienced professionals who will be sure to keep you from harm in these remote areas.
For those who want to take their safari experience to the next level, many companies offer aerial activities. Whether it is a hot air balloon ride over the plains or a helicopter tour over Mt. Kilimanjaro, these scenic flights will give you stunning views of this beautiful continent that you would never have been able to see otherwise.
These flights show you the ethereal desert vistas and African savanna. They also let you go on a safari to see the abundant wildlife while including some heart-pounding activities for those who are feeling daring!
Shopping is one of the best experiences for those who enjoy finding treasures during their travels. Many luxury safari tour groups have a variety of souvenirs and trinkets, such as hand-woven baskets to local artwork, that you can take with you to remember your trip. For even more selection, many of the larger cities in Africa also have shopping centers and local markets that you can visit.
Though you may not think that food would be a highlight of a safari trip, the cuisine in Africa is truly something to behold. Whether it is traditional African dishes or just fine dining at one of the many resorts, there is a great selection of food here. The pleasure of being able to sample original African delicacies is truly one-of-a-kind and should not be missed.
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