Africans Wildlife explored and what makes it such a great place for a safari

Africa is famous for its wildlife and safari trips. Thousands of people flock here year upon year to visit the magnificent sights of the wildlife in its own environment. You may often hear the terms the “big five” referring to the five large animals that inhabit South Africa. These are the Lions, Leopards, Rhinos, Elephants and Buffalo that are often seen on safari trips around South Africa. 

If you have ever been lucky enough to see a male and female lion rubbing heads, you may not know but this is actually how they greet each other. Their roar can be heard over 5 miles away! 

Did you know that a baby elephant is blind when it is first-born? Baby elephants can often be seen sucking their trunks similar to a baby sucking its thumb for comfort.

You may wonder how similar leopards are to domestic cats – well they hunt in a similar way and possess many of the same traits but unlike domestic cat’s leopards actually like water and can often be found fishing in it quite successfully. 

These animals are just a few reasons why South Africa is the perfect place for a safari trip but there are a number of other reasons to visit too!

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Safety in South Africa on a safari holiday

If you are considering booking a safari holiday to South Africa you may be concerned about the safety aspect of it. Safari holidays are actually quite safe, despite the number of wild animals you may come in to contact with, as long as you book with a reputable company and follow all the instructions you are given.

When on a safari, tour guides and staff members always have safety at the forefront of their mind and will not put you at risk just to get a better glimpse of an animal. They often have many have years of experience in safari trips and know where to go and where not to go. They can often pick up on signs that animals are not happy or feeling vulnerable and therefore likely to attack in which case they will keep you at a safe distance.

The main concern when going holiday to South African is actually the crimes committed by people not being attacked by animals. Unfortunately the crime rate in Africa is quite high and there has been a rise in gun point hostage situations over the last decade.  You need to ensure that you have thought carefully about your travel arrangements and try and pre book your travel rather than using “black cab” taxi firms.

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Dangerous animals on safari

If you are planning on going on a safari holiday then you may think about the safety aspect. Many people instantly think of tigers and lions as being the most dangerous but did you know that Hippo’s are within the top 5 dangerous mammals. The hippo has actually caused more human fatalities than any other mammal in Africa.  The hippo is the third largest land mammal in the world and their size and weight mean they are certainly not to be messed with.

Male hippos defend their territory along the river banks and the female hippos have been known to get very protective and aggressive towards anything that comes between her and her babies, who stay in the water while she feeds on the banks.

Hippos can actually run at speeds of up to 20 miles per hour. If you are in the way when this animal runs, you are likely to suffer serious injuries. This being said they really are amazing to see and you will be disappointed if you miss them when on safari. There are a lot of interesting facts such as Hippos secrete a natural sunscreen that is coloured red and eventually turns brown.

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Is there such thing as a cheap safari holiday?

Many of us dream about going on an all out safari holiday but often the cost puts many people off from even considering booking one.

Often when people think of a safari holiday they will assume that it is going to cost in the region of three thousand to five thousand pounds for two people. This is often the case for a luxury safari package that you may book with a well-known tour operator, but there are ways to find safari trips for a lot less. Many safari holidays that you see advertised are within this price range, but if you really want to go on a safari holiday for around a thousand pounds, it can still be done. This does not necessarily mean that you have to skimp on the quality of the resort or the sights you can expect to see, but it does mean that you need to shop around and do your research. You will need to be very flexible on the times you go and which airport you will fly from etc.  

Some resorts offer a 5 night stay for approximately nine hundred pounds but these need to be booked during certain times of the year. These packages are often available when the resort is usually quitter, allowing them to reduce their prices to try and fill their capacity.

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Booking a last minute summer holiday

There are pros and cons for booking a last minute holiday. Booking last minute usually within two weeks of travelling, can grab you a bargain. Often the travel agents advertise these types of holidays in their window or through their website.

If you are considering a last minute holiday then you need to ensure that you have all your documents in place. Make sure that you already have a valid passport before booking and that it has plenty of time left to run on it. Some countries require you to have vaccinations. You need to check how long before you travel they need to be done and allow enough time for this.

Booking last minute can be exciting and will leave you little time to panic over the location you have picked or money. Make sure you have people in place that can look after your pets and that you are able to get the time off work. Travel insurance is another must that you need to get in place as soon as possible after booking your holiday.

If you need to exchange money, shop around for the best exchange rates and try not leave it until the airport where you often don’t get as good a deal as you would of previously.   

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