Since the Ebola outbreak in West Africa panic has spread faster than the virus and guests became insecure about going on South Africa safari. Ebola is not an airborne disease and South Africa is far away from West Africa. However, it is the little knowledge about the geography of Africa and the distances on the continent what creates the myth. South Africa is as far away from Liberia as Miami from Paraguay and Nairobi is as far away from Liberia as Hong Kong from Dubai. South African safaris are not affected by Ebola, just like a holiday in Spain.
The infographic by The Safari Company. below shows the distances of African safari destinations from West Africa in comparison to other countries and continents. Paris, London and Madrid are closer to Liberia than South Africa. It is only the poor understanding of the geography of the African continent, what makes one fear of Ebola when travelling to an African country, but not in France.
A very good article is available in the New York Times called “What you need to know about the Ebola outbreak”, showing what the risks are and taking away myths about the disease. Africa is a huge and diverse continent, yet widely unknown in detail. Safari countries like South Africa are in no way like a West African country. There is a reason, that there are no safaris in West Africa, but all safari holidays are happening in Southern and East Africa. South African safaris are excellent and can be safely enjoyed.
There are very good reasons to do a South African safari, especially when visiting Africa for the first time. Yes, it makes a difference which African safari destination one visits first when calling the western world home. Climate, nature, culture and the standard of accommodations can differ a lot and South Africa can provide a smooth introduction to Africa.
South Africa is pretty developed with regards to infrastructure and standard of accommodations and service. Facilities one is used to from home are provided including free WiFi in most of the safari lodges.
With the Sabi Sands South Africa have probably the best leopard sightings in the world.
Thorough conservation work for decades allows excellent Big Five sightings.
The safari guides are well trained and on private game reserves a team of a tracker and ranger make sure the wildlife gets found.
A maximum of 6 guests per open game drive vehicle on higher standard private game reserves provides an outstanding safari experience.
Besides that, allows a South African safari the combination with more incredible sights of the country. A classic combination is Kruger Park and Cape Town. For guests with more time at hand a round trip including Kruger Park, the Garden Route and Cape Town is a good option. And not to forget, that other great safari destinations like Botswana, Namibia and the Victoria Falls are at the doorstep.
One might wonder why South African safari tour Cheetah & Big Five and not just Big Five? Cheetahs are not part of the Big Five, which are lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant. These animals are the most dangerous to hunt on foot and therefore called the Big Five and cheetahs do not belong to this category. However they are incredibly beautiful and are part of the Big Cats and on many “want to see lists” of safari guests. Therefore an African safari with Cheetah & Big Five.
The South African safari tour takes guests to Phinda Private Game Reserve and Kruger National Park. Phinda is an excellent game reserve to see cheetah. It got plenty of open areas, which makes it an ideal hunting ground for cheetahs. Besides these incredible cats, the game reserve has the Big Five including the black rhino. In Kruger guests will stay in the Sabi Sands, the probably best wildlife area to see leopards, but rarely cheetahs. The predator competition is too big and the bushveld is not ideal for them either.
Combining these two major wildlife destinations in one African safari itinerary guarantees excellent sightings. The distance between the areas is big, but direct light aircraft transfer are available, ensuring time is not lost for travel, but saved for game drives. Wildlife photography enthusiasts will love both safari destinations, as they offer ideal conditions to come home with the most amazing pictures, National Geographic style.
More information is available in the detailed itinerary, available for download here.
When reading “dangerous situations on African safari” one might easily think of dangerous encounters with wild animals, but we are thinking more of the two legged animal, the human being. Reminding people to be alert when traveling in Africa is of most importance to the self-drive African safari traveler.
African safari travel in general, like all travel, gets safer when being conscious of danger and being alert, if possible always. The game drives are the least dangerous part of the safari when professionally guided. The professional safari guide knows the wildlife and is trained in animal behavior and response to critical situations, which could be an elephant charging a vehicle. Many people think, that cats like lion, leopard and cheetah are the ones to be afraid of, but they are not. Elephants, buffalo and hippo are more dangerous and more accidents happen with them. However, there is little to worry about when travelling with a professional safari guide. The self-drive safari guests should at least read about the African bush before travelling and stick to the rules they receive when entering national parks.
But what about dangerous situations on African safari caused by humans? This part is very similar to any other travel in the world and mainly of importance for self-drive safari travellers. Be alert of tricks to distract you and steal something from your car, preferably at gas stations, junctions or other places where you will have to stop the car. Know where you are going and avoid driving at night. Don’t be a soft target. People with bad intensions sense that immediately and will take advantage. At least pretend to know what you are doing and don’t show off with expensive gadgets and jewelry. This might all sound familiar, as it could also be advice for travelling to Barcelona or any other tourist hot spot. Just keep in mind, that there is a whole industry specialized in tricking tourists, also in Africa. But most of all enjoy awesome safaris and wildlife sightings on incredible game reserves or national parks of this amazing continent.