Spot wildlife from the water:
Exploring by boat on Africa’s lakes, lagoons and waterways adds a whole new dimension to any safari holiday. No visit to the Okavango Delta, for example, would be complete without a trip on a Macoro (traditional wooden canoe). As you’re poled through shallow channels between the reeds, you’ll spot everything from fish eagles to elephants. Elsewhere, morning and evening game drives are replaced or complemented by riverboat safaris. At Chobe, that means cruising on small vessels – perhaps electric and solar-powered – along the peaceful river looking out for hippos, crocodiles and some of the 300 species of birds that are found there. You’ll find game-spotting boat trips on other big rivers, such as the Rufiji, and a sunset cruise on the mighty Zambezi is almost compulsory if you’re in Victoria Falls. And a sundowner on a boat at the end of the day will be a highlight of your trip!
See nature’s smaller details on a walking safari;
If you have the opportunity to go on a walking safari – they’re available in private reserves and conservancies across Africa – it’s an excellent complement to traditional game drives. Accompanied by a skilled guide, you’ll focus on the smaller details you miss from a vehicle, from plants and insects to tiny animals and the paw prints, markings and droppings of much larger game. In Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools, that might mean seeking out the underground lairs of predatory antlions, insects that lay traps for their prey; in South Africa’s Kariega Game Reserve, listening out for the mournful whistle of a crowned hornbill. Sometimes there’s a cultural element, too, as a Maasai or Samburu guide explains how the locals use different plants for medicines. In other places, the experience might include getting close to members of the Big Five – it’s a large part of the appeal of the three-day walking safari at Shamwari Private Game Reserve in South Africa’s Eastern Cape region which is also Malaria Free!