Safaris don’t have to be only about seeing the Big Five while riding around in a Land Rover wearing khakis. Of course it’s worthwhile to have a traditional game-drive-and-tented-camp experience….but maybe you’ve been there, done that, and are looking for something new. If that’s the case, here are 10 alternative safaris to try.
1. South African Art & Wildlife Safari, Johannesburg and Cape Town
If you don’t want to devote all your time to seeing animals, this safari by African Safari Company combines a mix of art galleries, beautiful gardens, and drives into the Madikwe Private Game Reserve. Featured stops include David Krut Arts, the Ellerman House, and the elegant Brenthurst Gardens.
2. Frog Safari, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Put on your headlights and boots, and get ready to go frogging. Kruger National Park boasts 34 different species of amphibians, and during this experience with Jock Safari Lodge, you can catch, observe, then release all kinds of frogs, from banded rubber frogs to bubbling kassinas.
3. Bat Safari, Kasanka National Park, Zambia
If you think you’ve seen a lot of animals during the wildebeest migration, then try this bat safari from Robin Pope Safaris in Zambia. Up to 10 million bats converge in Kasanka National Park for six weeks starting at the end of October, during which time you can get front-row seats from 60 feet high in a tree top.
4. Bush men Safari, Namibia
Learn how to make your own hunting equipment then put it to quick use on this remote safari by Nhoma Safari Camp. You can also participate in traditional healing dances and games with the native bush men, while truly learning what it means to live off the land.
5. Gorilla Trekking Safari, Uganda
Instead of lion trekking, try your hand with gorillas deep in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park. This journey offered by Mahlatini Luxury Travel Specialists often requires scrambling through dense forest and muddy conditions to get up close with the silverbacks found there.
6. Rooibos Tea Safari, Cederberg, South Africa
Rooibos is prized throughout South Africa and is increasingly becoming a favorite in tea shops around the globe. This safari from Elandsberg Eco Tourism takes you on a tour of rooibos plantations, while teaching you about the history and cultivation of the plants.
7. Pilates and Yoga Safari, Kruger National Park, South Africa
Get some good exercise and relaxation while out in the African savanna on a Pilates and Yoga Safari by Mahlatini. You can channel the back-to-nature vibe while in deep meditation next to giraffes. If South Africa is not your thing, the company also offers packages in Namibia and Botswana.
8. Canoe Safari, Zimbabwe
If you feel more comfortable traveling by water than by land, a canoe safari is the ticket for getting face to face with everything from crocs to hippos. Zambezi Safari & Travel Company offers two four-day journeys, either down the Lower Zambezi River or the Selinda Spillway.
9. Ghost Hunting Safari, South Africa
If you’re interested in the paranormal, spooks, witchcraft, and the occult, there are several safaris up your alley. Van Hunks offers multiple packages offering everything from haunted houses to bewitched forests.
10. Snake Safari, Kenya
If you’re looking for something a bit stranger than the Big Five, this safari from Magical Kenya hits the mark: cobras, pythons, puff adders, boomslangs (pictured), and mambas are all on the itinerary. There’s no need to be scared (well, maybe there is), as the staff is exceptionally trained and always carries anti-venom in case of emergency.
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