A day on safari.

Very few people would disagree that a safari holiday ranks very, very high up on the list of absolute must have experiences. The thrill of adventure, of exploring the unknown and connecting to a raw, wild and primal place with a tangible element of potential danger and some remarkable encounters with Africa’s big game is without a doubt extremely alluring. To sip on an ice cold gin and tonic, glass of wine, beer or sparkling water as you watch the sunset casting breathtaking hues of crimson, burnt orange, pale blue, indigo and gold against the backdrop of the giant African sky as the light slowly fades away, and to lie snuggled up in bed as the powerful roar of the king of beasts reverberates through the night air, rippling through your body, is more than just a little tempting.

Just thinking about some of the truly incredible things you might experience makes my spine tingle in anticipation on your behalf.

The typical day on a safari in Africa does vary according to the ‘type’ of safari you are indulging in but there are some consistencies that run throughout. Your day starts off just before the sun peeps its head over the horizon and the dawn chorus starts injecting its usual promise of potential into the fresh morning air. A cup of coffee, either served in a luxurious dinning area or around the dancing flames of a rustic fire, serves to wake you up and provides the ideal platform from which everyone can discuss the strange sounds and noises they heard during the night. The coffee is usually accompanied by a warm, freshly baked muffin, delicious buttermilk rusk or a fresh piece of fruit and pretty soon you will be raring to go.

There generally are two ‘bush activities’ a day that are timed to coincide with the periods of the day that animals are the most active. This is of course to ensure that you are given the best possible chance of seeing not only Africa’s big and hairies, but also some of the smaller but equally as fascinating creatures that make up the incredible biodiversity in the bush veld. The first activity is the morning activity and usually takes place sometime between 5am and 10am determined by the season. The activities can be anything from game drives, walking trails, canoeing, horseback trails and boat cruises to beach walks, snorkelling or scuba diving. It all depending on what the lodge you are staying at offers, however, irrespective of the activity, you are guaranteed a unique and incredibly special experience.

A couple of hours immersed in the bush and the mandatory morning coffee break, with hopefully a splash of Amarula, and you arrive back at the lodge where you will be able to get stuck into a delicious breakfast. This is all followed by the usual ‘mid-day heat’ siesta or just some private chill time to hopefully provides you with the opportunity to allow both your mind and body to relax as your thoughts are softly carried away out and into the untamed expanses of both the wilderness around and within yourself.

After a buffalo-style wallow in a swimming pool or a refreshing shower you will be ready to head back down to the dining area for a lunch or high tea. Personally I enjoy an ice cold glass of ice coffee and something light to eat but you can be rest assured that there will be plenty of food and drink around. Then its time to head out on the afternoon activity which generally takes place sometime between 3pm and 8pm, again depending on the season. Included in this time is arguable one of the highlights of a typical safari day, the classic ‘sundowner’. Rounding up your overall experience will be a mouth watering dinner either served in the bush, in a boma or at the lodges dining room and more times than not under a sky full of gently twinkling stars. Then its off to bed with a full tummy and a strong sense satisfaction where you reflect on a very special day and prepare for the adventures the next day holds.

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