Q. I've never been on safari before, how does it work?
Most safaris concentrate on game drives. You’ll head out for morning and afternoon drives in the bush and avoid the hotter parts of the day when the animals are less active. You’ll be accompanied by a professional driver guide, and, in parts of South Africa, a tracker too. In most of the remote areas where we send people, you’ll share a game drive vehicle with 2-4 other people. The exception to this is northern Tanzania, where game drives are often private. Everywhere Exsus uses has 4 wheel drive vehicles. Most days on safari aren’t too structured. Usually you’ll sit around the campfire the evening before and chat with the guide about what you want to see, where the animals are, and what’s happening in the reserve. You’ll then make a plan around that.
Q. Is the focus on safari purely about game drives and photography?
Only if you want it to be! There are all sorts of different activities and aspects of safari on offer, such as walking safaris in Zambia's Luangwa Valley; boat safaris through the Okavango Delta in Botswana; starlit sleepouts such as the one at Sand Rivers in Tanzania; and even microlight flights over the bush - take a look at Tafika in Zambia.
Q. What are the Big Five?
These are the five animals that were traditionally considered most dangerous by Big Game hunters. They are lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo: all wonderful animals in themselves, but definitely not the be all and end all of safari. There’s so much more to enjoy from fluffy little cheetah cubs, to grunting hippos, fat warthogs scuttling through the bush, and giraffe galloping elegantly over the plains.
Q. Does going on safari mean I have to sleep rough and use a long drop loo?
NO! We do very occasionally use more basic accommodation if, for example, it enables you get to wonderfully remote and inaccessible places, as with the Island Hopping Safaris with Ibo Island Lodge in Mozambique, or where it really adds to the experience: sometimes a night under the stars is worth ten in a luxury hotel room! However, by and large accommodation on safari is extremely comfortable. Typically, you’ll stay in a luxury tent, with, at the very least, an en-suite bathroom, and a proper bed. These are probably best described as rooms with canvas walls and some of the most luxurious have indoor and outdoor showers, for instance Garonga Safari Camp South Africa; are air-conditioned, check out Eagle Island Camp in Botswana; and silver and crystal aren’t unknown on the dinner table, think Beho Beho Camp in Tanzania.
Q. Where's the best place to go on safari?
We all have our favourites and there really is no “best” place, just the one that’s best for you! Zambia’s wonderful for walking safaris, the Sabi Sands in South Africa’s amazing for leopard sightings, Botswana’s fabulously exclusive, Namibia’s extraordinarily beautiful, and Kenya and Tanzania have the wildebeest migration, the list goes on.... There are so many wonderful places to go on safari that if you're having trouble choosing, the best thing to do is to pick up the phone and chat to one of our Exsus specialists.
Q. I've done safari before but I really want to try something different. What do you suggest?
We’ve been doing safari for over ten years, and are thoroughly smitten, so we know what it takes to keep even the most committed safari addict happy: seriously good guides, atmospheric camps, and a little touch of something unusual. Everyone has their own personal bucket list, be it spotting a pangolin, spending several days on foot in the wilderness, or reaching far flung game reserves that few others have even heard of. We’ve been lucky enough to try most of these, so challenge us with your wish list, and we’ll be happy to oblige.
Q. What if I want to go on safari and combine this with another activity?
Our specialists know Africa inside out and have an encyclopaedic knowledge of flight schedules, so we can achieve almost any combination for you. However, broadly speaking we’d recommend East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) for safari trips with the beach, Uganda or Rwanda for safari trips with gorilla trekking, and South Africa for safari trips with Cape Town. For those who want to visit South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia & Malawi in one epic trip, why not take a look at our Ultimate Southern Africa Adventure...