African safaris are not, in our humble opinion, marmite scenarios; rather something absolutely everyone should try and will, undoubtedly, love. Even if you're a seasoned safari-pro, there's still more to try and if you've never done it before, there's no time like the present. So, what type of safari animal are you?
The ‘been there, done that’: Liuwa Plain safari, Zambia
Mention Zambia's Liuwa Plain to any seasoned safari pro and you'll soon find their ears prick up pretty quickly. You may feel you've been there, done that on the safari front but chances are you haven't got this t-shirt. The Liuwa Plain is so remote it's only accessible four months a year (Jan - April) but once there, you'll be left in awe of the immense wilderness of the place. This completely flat landscape is brimming with birds, bursting with beasties and positively overflowing with wildebeest, zebra, tsessebe, red lechwe, wild dog, cheetah and the occasional striped jackal. If that doesn't whet your appetite, nothing will!
The ‘would-be David Attenborough’: walking safari, Botswana
Aahh David Attenborough. Wildlife aficionado, national treasure and let's face it, our hero. How many of you have (and there's no shame in being honest here, folks), at one time or another, found yourselves on bended knee in your garden, narrating à la Dave while observing pets (or children) in their natural habitat? Even if he could tear himself away from the filming schedule, a relaxing holiday would probably still involve wildlife. Here at Original Travel, we'd like to think of our David on a walking safari in Botswana. Imagine him crouched down, clad in safari suit, and whispering in those dulcet tones: 'whether in the grasslands of the Kalahari, the lunar-like expanse of the Makgadikgadi Pans or the floodplains of the Okavango Delta, walking safaris provide ample opportunities for spotting the many wild and wonderful species of Botswana.' Sold.
The ‘Adrenaline Junkie’: Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe
Sky diving? Check. Bungee jumping? Check. White water rafting? Check. Where to find these death-defying thrills? Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (and Zambia) has a fair few on offer and is the perfect place to dovetail with your African safari. Not only are the falls unbelievably beautiful (as is their African name, Mosi oa Tunya, meaning 'the smoke that thunders'), but you can do everything from heli flips over the falls, to white water rafting, to microlighting and boogie boarding. Once your adrenaline quota is well and truly off the Richter Scale you can settle into a more conventional safari incorporating Hwange and Mana Pools, or hop across the border to Zambia, Botswana, South Africa or Mozambique.
The ‘I’ve got kids, safaris probably aren’t a good idea’: family safari, South Africa
Do you have some feral children who could benefit from being released back into the wild? If so, a family safari in South Africa's malaria-free Madikwe Reserve comes highly recommended. There's some jaw-dropping wildlife to see and you can introduce the kiddies to the arts of bushcraft and animal tracking. We've joined forces with much-loved children's party people Sharky & George who will provide your little monsters with a carefully selected kit to help them discover the magic around them, including a spotters guide, mini microscope and star chart. Plus, let's be honest, you'll have a whale of a time doing it as well!
The ‘beach bum looking to branch out’: safari and beach combo, Tanzania
Holidays are a precious commodity and many of us simply want to fly somewhere hot and flop onto the beach or next to the pool. Well, Tanzania is the perfect destination if you're looking to inject a little action into your holiday without sacrificing that all-important R&R. Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park are two of Africa's best kept safari secrets and you'll see a phenomenal range of wildlife including the famous Selous lions, which are renowned for hunting during the day - very thoughtful of them, we say. Then head down to Tanzania's coast for the ultimate post-safari beach break; you'll find endless white sand beaches, clear blue waters and a handful of idyllic luxury beach retreats. It doesn't get much better than that.