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Choose a Safari - Part 3 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Travelling

When I started to look into this trip I was amazed at the number of options that were available to the more adventurous traveller. I have completed this review with all the details that I looked and have to say that there is no way I would try most of them. Still, I have put the information here so that you have the full picture.


CANOE & MOKORO

This option lets you paddle through the winding, wildlife-filled African waterways. You do either under your own steam or in a traditional mokoro, which is a type of dugout, that’s punted by a skilled poler. Both options are peaceful ways to get exceptionally close to animals that are drinking from the river. Trips can be a two-hour excursion from a safari lodge or a multi-day journey, camping on the route.

If you want to do this then Botswana’s Okavango Delta is the home of mokoro trips. Arusha NP and Lake Manyara NP are canoe options in Tanzania. Kayaking is possible on Lake Malawi. Longer trip options are available which include Botswana’s five-day self-paddle Selinda Canoe Trail. This became possible when flooding opened up the Selinda Spillway, however, no one knows when it might dry up again. There are also canoe trips down the Zambezi to Victoria Falls, just like Livingstone, while the four-day, 65km Mana Canoe Trail traverses Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools.

The chance to explore at water-level gives you an unusual perspective. You’ll get very close to the wildlife so it’s ideal for those with a sense of adventure. The downside is that it is only available seasonally, and where there’s water. Also, Crocs and hippos pose real dangers, every year hippos kill more people than lions. Also Bilharzia, a parasite caused infection can be a problem in some lakes.


SELF-DRIVE

This option lets you drive yourself in your own vehicle around some of the greatest safari spots on the planet with no guide and no fellow passengers. Both 2WD and 4WD options are possible and these types of trip may also incorporate non-wildlife elements. You might do a safari within a longer road trip along South Africa’s Garden Route or a grand tour of Namibia.

You can do this type of trip in the Kruger NP in South Africa and Etosha NP in Namibia. Both are popular with self-drivers as both of them have extensive networks of sealed roads suitable for 2WD vehicles. Botswana has good roads too, though 4WDs are necessary for a proper exploration of the country’s national parks.

This type of trip gives you freedom as you’re not tied to a group or set itinerary. It’s also a lower cost option as you only have to hire a car, pack a tent, buy groceries and head to a national park. These are cheaper than a private reserve and you can safari on a budget.

The downside is that without a guide to point it out, you could miss most of the wildlife. It’s also potentially dangerous so you need to know what you’re doing, especially if driving a 4WD into the wilderness. In national parks, you won’t be allowed to self-drive after dark and your vehicle may not offer unhindered wildlife watching because of small windows or lower elevation. If you’ve never driven a proper 4WD before then hiring one in Africa is not the best place to start.

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