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Ten Exciting Activities You Can Do On An African Safari

Antoinette Booyse

Author: Antoinette Booyse - 18 April 2023

Last Update: 7 February 2024

Part of the African Safari Collection

Going on a safari in Africa is all about incredible experiences that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s about getting up close with wildlife, exploring stunning landscapes, and making memories that last a lifetime.

In this guide, we’ll explore some of the most unique experiences you can have on a safari tour in Africa, promising an adventure that’s not just about spotting wildlife, but truly connecting with the heart of this incredible continent.

Hot Air Balloon Over the Great Migration

Soar above the Serengeti and Masai Mara in a hot air balloon to witness the Great Migration from an unparalleled perspective. This once-in-a-lifetime experience offers a serene and majestic view of millions of wildebeest, zebras, and antelopes as they traverse the plains, navigating dangers from predators to river crossings.

Hot-air balloon flies over the Great Migration.
Hot-air balloon flies over the Great Migration.

Floating silently at dawn, you’ll capture the essence of Africa’s heart-pounding drama below, with the golden sunrise providing a breathtaking backdrop. After landing, celebrate your aerial adventure with a champagne breakfast amidst the wild. The best months for this experience are from July to October, aligning with the peak of the migration.

Explore the Okavango Delta by Mokoro

Glide through the tranquil waters of the Okavango Delta in Botswana on a mokoro, a traditional canoe carved from a single tree. This peaceful journey brings you face-to-face with the delta’s abundant wildlife, including elephants bathing at the water’s edge, hippos submerging beneath the surface, and a myriad of bird species.

The experience is enhanced by the expertise of local guides, who navigate the intricate waterways and share insights into the ecosystem. The delta is most vibrant from May to September, when the floodwaters attract a dense concentration of wildlife.

Embark on a Night Drive

Unlock the mysteries of the African night on a guided night drive. Equipped with spotlights, venture into the wilderness to spot elusive nocturnal creatures, from the stealthy leopard stalking its prey to the fascinating behaviors of nocturnal birds and insects.

Leopard spotted drinking water on a night game drive in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.
Leopard spotted drinking water on a night game drive in the Kruger National Park, South Africa.

Night drives reveal a different side of the safari experience, offering a deeper understanding of the ecosystem’s dynamics after dark. Available in select reserves and national parks, this adventure requires a special permit and a skilled guide to navigate the terrain safely.

Visit a Local Village

Step into the heart of African culture with a visit to a local village. This immersive experience offers a glimpse into the daily lives, traditions, and crafts of the communities living in harmony with the surrounding wildlife. Engage with villagers, participate in traditional dances, and learn about their sustainable practices and conservation efforts.

Villages like the Khwai Community near the Moremi Game Reserve showcase the symbiotic relationship between humans and nature, enriching your safari with meaningful cultural insights.

Mountain Gorilla Trekking in East Africa

Gorilla trekking is a profound journey into the dense forests of East Africa to encounter the majestic mountain gorillas in their natural habitat. This once-in-a-lifetime adventure takes you through the misty mountains of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda or Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Tourists photographing on a gorilla trekking experience in East Africa.
Tourists photographing on a gorilla trekking experience in East Africa.

It’s an intimate wildlife encounter that not only respects the gorillas’ natural environment but also contributes to their conservation.

Stargaze Under the African Sky

Africa’s remote wilderness areas offer some of the clearest night skies for stargazing. Away from light pollution, the milky way and constellations shine brightly, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Guides and astronomers provide telescopes and share stories behind the celestial formations, making for an educational and awe-inspiring experience. Specialized safari camps may offer star beds, allowing you to fall asleep under the stars.

Walking Safaris in Zambia

Walking safaris in Zambia offer a unique and authentic African experience. With vast plains, dense forests, and abundant wildlife, Zambia is a walking safari haven where you can encounter the Big Five and other fascinating animals up close.

A guided walking safari in Zambia passes a hippo.
A guided walking safari in Zambia passes a hippo.

On a walking safari, you’ll be guided by experienced and knowledgeable rangers who will lead you on a thrilling adventure through the wildlife-rich national parks and game reserves. Walking safaris offer a chance to disconnect from the frenzied pace of modern life and appreciate the beauty of nature in its purest form.

Enjoy a Boating Safari

A boating safari offers a serene perspective on Africa’s diverse ecosystems. Whether cruising the Chobe River in Botswana or navigating the waterways of the Zambezi river shared by Zimbabwe and Zambia, you’ll encounter wildlife from a unique vantage point.

Elephants, buffaloes, and a variety of birds are often seen at the water’s edge, providing unparalleled photographic opportunities. The gentle pace of a boat safari allows for peaceful observation and reflection amidst nature’s splendor.

Hike up Table Mountain

The iconic Table Mountain offers a range of hiking trails for all fitness levels, each promising spectacular views of Cape Town and the Atlantic ocean below.

Hiking views from Table Mountain, Cape Town.
Hiking views from Table Mountain, Cape Town.

The summit can also be reached via the cable car for those seeking a less strenuous route. At the top, expansive vistas await, along with the unique flora of the Cape Floral Kingdom. Nearby, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens offer a tranquil retreat with beautifully curated plant displays.

Ride a Horse Through the Bush

Horseback safaris allow you to explore areas that are inacessible to vehicles in the African wilderness, offering a closer connection to nature. Horseback riding in Botswana presents a thrilling way to explore to iconic safari destinations such as the Okavango Delta and Makgadigadi Pans.

Additionally, horseback safaris in East Africa offer an exhilarating way to explore the plains and get closer to animals than you would be able to on foot or in a vehicle.

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