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Self-Drive Safari vs Guided Tours in African Reserves

One of the best ways to experience Africa is through its world class Safari’s that will keep you on the edge of your seats  as you ride past the big five and treat your eyes to the continents scenic splendor. It can be a rewarding experience when planned well and tour rules are respected.

Humala River Lodge

To ensure you have the best Safari adventure, go on a guided tour especially if you are a first timer. On guided Safari tours, you don’t have to stress about driving or getting lost. It takes away the need to stay focused on the road and transfers your attention to what you are really there for: an enthralling wildlife experience.

Safari Vehicles are generally large high seated 4×4 vehicles. They have no windows, therefore, you can feel the open air and no obstruction with the visibility of your surroundings especially if you are an avid photographer. The guides are passionate about what they are very skilled and knowledgeable in their job and therefore you will not only see the wild animals and stunning scenery but also learn a little history on your surroundings, which include the behaviours and tendencies of the various species you may encounter in the reserve.

Guides have an active communication system with other guides within the Safari, they are also very experienced and well trained so they will know where to look for certain animals and will spot them way before you do. This not only saves time but takes you to where the action is happening in the animal world in safe but exciting way.

If you are travelling with family and it involves kids, it’s easier to keep them excited in an open jeep safari ride compared to a locked up car. Some game reserves restrict the pathways that can be accessed by private vehicles whilst safari vehicles have wider access. Another advantage of choosing a guided tour is that you can go on a night drive which is much safer and better than driving alone during the dark. Some game reserves may not even permit night drives to private vehicles so it’s in your best interest to find out before booking your next safari experience.

However, there are some benefits of going on a Safari without a guide like being able to stay longer at your spot of liking and taking better pictures. You will travel without a group of other travellers and drive through the reserve at your own pace, taking your own time to appreciate certain spots and animals.

The great migration

One important aspect before deciding Whether or not to take a guide also depends on the kind of reserve you visit. Some may allow private vehicles whilst others may not due to safety and security reasons or to ensure a complete and fulfilling safari for tourists. Some of the best places to go for a Safari in the continent are the Masai Mara National park in Kenya, which is the renowned for the phenomenon called the “Great migration” where thousands of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle make their legendary round trek which is almost 3000 km long. The Kruger National Park in South Africa is known for the majestic “Big Five” and giving tourists a fulfilling world class safari experience. The Songimvelo game reserve, also  in  South Africa is one of the hidden gems of the country, here you can not only enjoy quality game drives but you can also live in the reserve on the banks of the fast  flowing river, surrounded lush green mountains and friendly game animals.


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