The unexpected luxuries of a safari
Unexpected luxuries of a safari: A safari in Africa could well be the epitome of adventure, going to distant lands on the planet in search of indomitable creatures, big and small, and the drama that takes place when prey and predators meet. While you can certainly opt for a low-budget safari where you set up your own tent, sleep on the ground and support food that can be cooked in the fire, it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, it’s just the opposite when you choose a luxury safari.
Unexpected luxuries of a safari
On a luxury safari, you will definitely get what you pay for and enjoy the best in more ways than you think. The small camps that can accommodate 12 to 20 people maintain an atmosphere of privacy and exclusivity, which means you can have your own private gaming experience. High thread count sheets on soft beds in airy tents, adjoining bathrooms with flush and hot water toilets, private pools for midday refreshments, gourmet meals ranging from freshly baked scones to ravioli beets in a Parmesan cream sauce and sunset cocktails in the most scenic spots are just some of the comforts you will enjoy. And while all of these things certainly add to the memorable and relaxing nature of the adventure, the real luxury of any safari is often found in intangible assets.
The luxury of opportunity
A photographic safari based on a private reserve, unlike a public place. Private reserves or concessions are not accessible to everyone, and the fewer people, the better the experience which offers the luxury of opportunity – to see more wildlife in almost complete solitude. It is a very different feeling to be the only ones to travel miles watching a cheetah lounging in the shade rather than being one in ten vehicles at any one time. In addition, in exclusive use areas, regulations are often different from public parks.
Guides can stay outside after sunset and usually drive off-road, which can be the difference between seeing a pack of endangered African wild dogs in a thicket or knowing they were just out of sight. Opportunities are also created because the guides know the territories of the herds, pride and packs that live in the area around the camps, and they also communicate with each other to share observations. An experienced and experienced guide reflects on the location of the vehicle for optimal photos.
The luxury of knowledge
In general, as guides gain experience and expertise, they can move to better camps. The luxury camps employ the best and most qualified guides, and traveling with an experienced naturalist guide means that you will have the luxury of knowledge. Expert guides know not only where to find wildlife (individual territories or favorite hiding places), but also incredible details about them, even for individual animals.
They can often spot animals hundreds of yards away with their eagle eyes and know by the behavior of a gazelle if there is something hiding in the tall grass – and will wait before continuing to see if anything thing is happening. During a recent safari, one of our guides knew that a leopard mother and her adolescent cub had been separated for a few days and that a meeting must be imminent. The little boy had been calling all afternoon and, at dusk, the guests were watching the mother’s return closely. His knowledge allowed them to witness the moment they met – pure magic!
The luxury of serenity
In this modern age, perhaps the greatest indulgence during a safari is the luxury of serenity. Choosing to go on a luxury safari means you don’t have to worry about anything – your safari operator, camp staff and guides take care of all the logistics, so you can relax and concentrate on an immersion in the natural world, far from your daily routine. Aside from stress-free planning and execution, your brain will rest from the over-stimulation typical of our life in the 21st century.
Hear birds, rustling grass and hippos sniffing in the distance instead of your buzzing alarm clock or the planes above you; relax on deck while buffaloes and wildebeest graze nearby instead of sitting in traffic while on the move; sleep with a cool breeze of fresh air floating through the canvas instead of inhaling the pollution of the city; enjoy the calm of dawn during sunrise instead of rushing to the door; and end the day sitting by a crackling fire under a canopy of stars instead of cleaning up after dinner. Are you ready to finally go on the safari you’ve always dreamed of?
Matt Holmes is the founder and president of Boundless Journeys. Boundless Journeys is an award-winning tour operator who thinks outside the box for immersive and authentic travel experiences.