In Swahili, safari means ‘journey’, so take a ringside seat at some of the world’s best wildlife journeys: canoe hippo-studded rivers, view lions from open Land Rovers or ride elephants through an Indian forest to spot the fabled Bengal tiger.
1) Serengeti safari, Tanzania
Discover the vast open plain of the Serengeti National Park, home to the largest concentration of wildlife in the world. Explore the nearby Ngorongoro Crater, teeming with wildlife including elephant, lion, cheetah and black rhino. The legendary Serengeti covers 14,763km² and is home to Africa’s highest density of plains game, including 35 species of big mammals and a huge selection of birdlife. From herds of wildebeest that sweep majestically across the plain and stately giraffes munching on flat-topped acacia trees, to lazy lions, stealthy cheetahs and flighty zebra, the Serengeti has it all. For an unforgettable experience, watch the annual migration of some 1.5 million wildebeest, shadowed by their predators – one of the world’s greatest natural spectacles. Read more....
2) Maasai Mara National Reserve safari, Kenya
This vast rolling plain sits beneath the Oloololo escarpment and forms part of the vast Serengeti plains in neighbouring Tanzania. The Maasai Mara is best explored between July and September, when the reserve’s resident lions lounge in the sun, apparently indifferent to tourists but keeping a close watch on the estimated two million wildebeest and zebra that arrive in the Mara from late June onwards during the spectacular annual migration. Read more....
3) Mountain Gorillas safari, Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda
Trek through dense jungle to catch sight of habituated, rare mountain gorillas in the wild. From just metres away, watch mothers caring for babies and young gorillas playing in the trees while a massive silverback male dominates the scene. Hidden in the thick forest of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, live an estimated 320 mountain gorillas, about half of those remaining on the planet (the rest live in Rwanda and Congo.) This 331km2 park contains 113 species of mammals, including a herd of the rare forest elephant, as well as 200 species of butterfly, more than 360 species of bird and 324 tree varieties. Look out for chattering monkeys and families of chimpanzees foraging for food. Read more....
4) Okavango Delta safari, Botswana
Surrounded by the sands of the Kalahari Desert, the Okavango Delta is the world's largest inland delta (18,000km2). Known locally as ‘the river that never finds the sea,’ the largest freshwater wetland in Africa is home to a rich concentration of wildlife. Read more....
5) Elephant-back Safari, Corbett Tiger Reserve, India
Explore one of India's finest wildlife sanctuaries from atop an elephant as you sway gracefully from side to side through the scenic foothills of the Himalayas. Corbett offers a rich diversity of habitat and natural beauty, from flat valleys interspersed with hilly ridges to rolling grasslands known as chaurs. Besides tiger, Corbett’s biosphere reserve is a haven for 50 mammals, 580 varieties of bird and 25 reptile species. Look out for deer, elephants, the Himalayan black bear (seen at higher elevations), the sloth bear and a variety of jungle cats. Along the Ramganga River, see long-snouted fish-eating gharial crocodiles and in the jungle spot langur and rhesus monkeys – you’ll probably hear their warning screeches when they see either a tiger or leopard from their tree-top perches. Read more....
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