Choose a Safari - Part 4 - Orlando / Florida Guide
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Again who knew this was an option? You get to cross the plains with a plodding camel caravan. Dromedaries are well suited to a safari as they can access areas that vehicles can’t reach, while still carrying lots of supplies, allowing you to venture into remote areas for longer periods. Multi-day trips will involve early starts and you will either ride a saddled camel or walk alongside it for 5 to 15km a day. You set up a new camp each night although the guides will likely do that for you.
There are several camel safari options which are led by Samburu and Maasai guides, in the game-rich Laikipia area of Kenya. Mkuru Camel Safari which is based in northern Tanzania uses its bespoke one to seven-day trips as a way to explore and benefit local communities as well as spot wildlife.
On the plus side, the camels provide access to offbeat areas. Multi-day trips get deep into the wilderness and give you the chance to wild camp in remote spots. The trips can still be comfortable as camels can carry a lot of kit. The downside is the potential for saddle soreness and although treks are gentle you may be on your feet for several hours a day. So this is an option only for active people.
This is not so much a safari as a trip you take if you are in the region. Rising above Africa in a balloon-powered wicker basket is one of the best ways to travel and see the vastness. Hot air balloon rides, which can be booked from many of high-end lodges, usually take off ready for sunrise. You’ll assemble pre-dawn, and can expect six to 16 people, plus pilot, in the basket depending on the company. You then take off and rise above the savannah, desert or delta as the first rays of the morning sun hit. This platform on high allows you to see galloping herds or predators stalking their prey. While the views are unmatched make sure you watch the balloon’s shadow sliding across the ground below. Flights last around 60 to 90 minutes and most often after landing a champagne breakfast in the bush likely awaits. Flights over Namibia’s Namib Desert reveal the full extent of the rippling apricot sand sea, glowing at first light. If you want a chance to soar above the Great Migration then chose the Serengeti’s Seronera region in May or November, and Kenya’s Masai Mara July or August. Other special spots include the vast Kalahari and Zambia’s Busanga Plains, in Kafue NP from August to October. As the receding waters here create lush islands, beautiful from above. This is normally a once in a lifetime experience. Aerial views reveal a whole different aspect of the land, such as snaking rivers and animal trails leading from waterholes.
The only downside is the price. You can expect to pay from around £200 per person and this can increase with some after flight options. It’s not for those with a fear of heights and make sure your travel insurance covers hot air ballooning as landings can be bumpy, and injuries are possible.
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Page added on: 2 September 2019
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