Few safari experiences rival the amount of pleasure derived from merrily driving along by oneself only to be rewarded with the most special sightings. To become one with and share in the spoils of the natural world on a self-drive safari, is part and parcel of coming to Africa.
The expression TIA—This is Africa—is nowhere more applicable than on a safari of this description. There is no rush. Visitors can stop and smell all that is wild and wonderful, and make memories to last a lifetime. What can be better than to immerse oneself in the feeling of total kinship with the animal kingdom?
There are a handful of positives when visitors to these shores should choose to go it alone. It is less expensive and will suit the budget traveller while there is also more freedom to explore at a self-set pace and go where and when it is most suitable. This also includes the time of year—if safari-goers can handle hot and humid weather, the warmer months on the continent south of the equator (October to April) are prime time, while colder weather with chilly mornings prevails between May and September.
When opting for a self-drive safari to Africa, there are a few important points to take note of. These include the best driving practises and other game viewing etiquette:
— Make sure the chosen vehicle is in a roadworthy condition with proper technical back-up should it be required.
— Be aware of road conditions as not all roads are tarred, and some driving will be done on gravel.
— Adhere to the locally-enforced speed limit, for the safety of animals and other safari-goers.
— Only get out of the vehicle at designated spots.
— Be courteous to other visitors at special wildlife sightings.
— Take note of animals’ behaviour when observing them, especially bigger and more temperamental species like elephants, rhinos, and buffalo.
— Keep a safe distance from animals and other visitors in their vehicles.
South Africa boasts an unbeatable array of wildlife, a place visitors are guaranteed to be at the receiving end of an unforgettable experience. With 20 national parks, it is the perfect destination—whether on a first or a fifth safari—especially if the almost 20,000 square kilometre Kruger National Park is on the itinerary.
Visitors can witness one of the continent’s greatest wildlife success stories when heading towards Gorongosa National Park. Here, the floodplains, grasslands, and palm forests are home to populations of newly introduced species.
Hwange National Park offers a great connection between man and beast with a handful of hides and waterholes to alight from the vehicle and getting a different perspective.
Head to this kingdom, landlocked between South Africa and Mozambique, to seek the wonders of the Hlane Royal National Park.