The numbers speak for themselves. When over 30 million humans make there way to Africa every year, you have got to question why. While a good half of these are travelling for business reasons, they almost always partake in some tourist activity as well.
When most think about Africa the word safari comes up almost every time. So, we had to wonder what draws people to Africa and to having a safari holiday.
The Eastern Cape Game Reserves are by far one of the most popular areas for a safari holiday, and we investigated what the intrigue was.
The Resorts and Hotels
Many an amateur, contemplating an African vacation, will shudder to think of what their accommodation will be like. They envisage roughing it in tents and very flat mattresses, if they are lucky to even get a mattress at all. They picture sleeping under the stars, and being eaten alive by every bug that exists.
Well, when they, finally, do their homework, they realise that African safari holidays are quite tame, and, in fact, quite upmarket. The calibre of hotels and resorts across Africa has improved drastically over the past few years. Yes, you can go “rough” it out in the plains, tracking cheetahs and being one with nature, but when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, you will find that the 5 stars or even 3-star facilities quite acceptable.
What will you do on your African adventure?
The list is endless, and you will be surprised at what the holiday resorts have in store for you.
From night drives, where you can experience the silence of the Serengeti, to early morning walks through the wet and fresh terrain, to discover just-waking wildlife, and just-opening flowers.
As mentioned, tracking cheetahs and other wildlife is on the cards too. A sense of caution is always instilled into all those that take part in this exhilarating activity, and most times children under a certain age are forbidden, for obvious reasons.
Horse riding through the open lands is a common event. You get to see the world of Africa from a different view, and it can be quite peaceful, especially early morning.
The resorts also provide many creature comforts too, such as spa treatments, hot and cold swimming pools, Jacuzzis, under-the-star dinners, kids activities so mom and dad can chill, and many other relaxing, and quite out-of-Africa pastimes.
Of course, the animals are a big drawcard. Everyone wants to see the big five, being the African Lion, the African Elephant, the African Leopard, the Cape Buffalo, and the Rhinoceros.
Not many get to see all five in one visit, but it is fun to count them down, and keep track of what you have seen, and how many of each you have seen. The kids, especially, get a big kick out of this.
But, besides the big five, there are many other beasts that are just as interesting. From the stern and serious Hippopotamus to the cheeky monkeys, you will be entertained for your entire stay.
When we say nature, we mean everything around you other than the wildlife. The plants and vegetation are a big part of the South African vacation packages. Without the growth, Africa wouldn’t be the what it is today. And, with the shortage of rain in many parts of Africa, it is a grave concern to many as to how long it can sustain itself.
When out and about, take a close look at the different types of vegetation. See how they work with each other in the big circle of life. See how the animals feed off the plants and trees. Work out which animal likes which type of flora, and which are a no-go, or just not good to eat.
The Photo Friendly Moments
It goes without saying that you will take many, many photos when on holiday, and vacations out in such places like eastern cape game reserves, will lend many a photo opportunity.
Be sure to check your photographic equipment out before you travel, ensuring you have extra batteries, shutters, different zooming lenses, and all the accessories you may need.
The wildlife is quite used to having photos taken of themselves, so don’t be shy. Just don’t get too close.
The best photos are those where you and your family or friends are in them, so get busy with selfie shots that incorporate the wildlife and nature.
The food can be the best part of your vacation. The buffets are normally to die for, and sometimes you feel like all you do is eat. Generally, you are provided with a breakfast buffet and a supper buffet, leaving you to grab a quick light bite at lunchtime, if you can fit that in at all.
The outdoor barbeques or “braais” as the Africans like to refer to is as, are out of this world. And, yes, you will get to taste many flavours of wildlife. A good outlook, when going on safari, is to open yourself up to trying new foods, after all you are there to experience everything.
So, taking an African vacation has many advantages and intrigue, so, what are you waiting for?