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Your safari leader
Self drive? fine, but you're obviously out there to be viewing wildlife, and If you're part of a safari tour group this would be to your advantage. Why? Your safari leader is the person who knows the environment and the wildlife. He or she would be experienced and likely to know what would suit family groups, the best times of the day and where to go to see the most interesting animals and birds.
The game drive
The most likely method of transport on your safari would be by means of an adapted open vehicle or jeep, following established trails in the reserve, with the occasional diversion to get closer to specific wildlife.
Your safari leader is there to make sure that you approach the wildlife safely, inform you about their habits, and try to provide ample opportunities for safari photography and filming.
During the summer months your vehicle safari is likely to take place in the cool of the early morning or late afternoon when animals are active, or congregate at water points. In the heat of the day most animals seek shelter in the shade.
You may also be fortunate enough experience a nocturnal game drive which would add a fascinating concept to your safari adventure. There's nothing like being out in the African bush at night. You'll be spellbound by the sounds of the insects and the clear view of the night sky. Your vehicle will of course be equipped with a searchlight to see the wildlife.
If you have an opportunity to go on this type of bush trail safari, then you're strongly advised to take it up. A walking safari under the guidance of a knowledgeable guide will provide you with an experience second to none. You'll learn to appreciate nature in all its beauty and you'll be able to get closer to wildlife while remaining unobserved.
Other means of viewing wildlife
Depending on the game reserve you visit and the time you have available, there are various other means of getting to the wildlife. One such method is on horseback, which would be my own choice. Horses are ideal because they are less likely to spook the wildlife, and they allow you to approach close enough for some hair raising encounters and good pictures! Some game reserves also allow mountain biking, quad bikes and self drive in 4x4 vehicles along specific trails.
Other safari activities
There are lots of different types of outdoor safari you could enjoy. Some involve bird watching, game fishing, river rafting or canoeing, and mountain hiking.
It's advisable to do your research before choosing your wildlife safari destination in South Africa, or the type of safari tour you decide to book. Various factors such as your budget, the time of year, available facilities for family, and types of safari on offer, should be taken into account when making your decision.
What do you need to take along? Check out this page: Safari Essentials
Looking for a package tour or safari in the Kruger Park? There are a wide range of package tours and wildlife safaris available in the Greater Kruger Park. More details here: TourSA.com
Here is an excellent safari lodge at the start of the Garden Route:
Garden Route Safari Lodge
More tours and safaris around South Africa: Safari South Africa
Want some information for when you take the family along? Family Safaris
Top images on this page: © South African Tourism