Africa is about wildlife, it is the safari capital of the world.
Two very distinct areas with similar but different experiences are – East Africa and Southern Africa.
Straddling both Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa is the Serengeti and Masai Mara with its vast open savannah grassland and where the annual Great Migration takes place. Each year up to 2 million wildebeest along with herds of zebra, antelope and other animals make the trek from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya. Predators await at every river crossing and the circle of life continues.
Further South and ranging both north and south of the mighty Zambezi River starting from South Africa’s renowned Kruger Park in the east there are the wildlife regions in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, here, the largest herds of elephant in Africa roam this region. The terrain here is more broken country with Rocky kopjies (hills), every shade of brown and a wonderful variety of trees. In the midst of all this is the roar of the spectacular Victoria Falls.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana and its huge flood plain is a popular draw card with its hippopotamus and vast birdlife, while further west there is Namibia with its Etosha Game Park and the contrasting incomparable sand dunes along the Skeleton Coast.
In our winter months most New Zealander’s visit Africa where with its cloudless days and crisp starry nights and when the animals are easier to find. This is a time when the animals wait their patience at the waterholes for their turn to drink. The giraffes have to do their version of the splits to reach the water! There is a definite pecking order!!
Experiences are many, from watching a Jacana (a bird) skitter across a lily pad, a crocodile basking in the sunshine to elephants on their steady march to the waterholes to drink and their young rolling in the mud and blowing little water spouts as they learn to use their trunks.
The big cats can be plentiful and it is not uncommon to see the results of a kill or even watch the stalking of a lion as they crouch and wait, tension is high before the explosive chase, quite often the hunted escape to see another day.
Sometimes it is the tiny that fascinates - a dung beetle pushing its load, a chameleon changing its colour or a lilac breasted roller fluffing up it feathers in the morning light. Then there is the morning cooing of the plentiful African dove or the haunting call of the fish eagle watching for prey from high in the tree.
The measure of luxury and satisfaction is not gauged by the thread count of the sheets or the quality of the food, while on safari, although both are excellent, but the exclusivity of the experience.
Whatever your African dream is, Pukekohe Travel can advise you once this Covid time eases and we are free to travel again.
This East Africa Safari takes in some of the best scenery and animals in the world – highlighted by the wildebeest and zebra migration at the northern end of the Masai Mara.
This escorted tour begins in Cairo, the heart of Egypt, with time to discover the Pyramids, Sphinx, tombs and temples of the valleys of the Kings and Queens and immerse yourself in history that dates back centuries.
These three African countries offer contrasting game viewing opportunities. In Namibia, Etosha is open, dry and scrubby, a National Park with game concentrated at the waterholes, while Sossusvlei – the huge sand dunes south of Windhoek offer wonderful photographic opportunities.