Tracking the Wildlife in South Africa
Once the pariah of the Western world and now rapidly becoming the darling of the adventurous traveler crowd, South Africa is in many ways a kaleidoscope of the African continent in miniature. It offers a heady stew of deep-rooted African traditions and culture, the lure of big game safaris, and some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, all within easy reach of the continent’s most advanced and liveliest cities.
South Africa is fast becoming a popular tourist destination in recent years. With its protected natural beauty and abundance of natural reserves, it is the preferred holiday destination for visitors who are looking for a holiday trip with a difference. Most people who visit South Africa are interested in going on a safari adventure, otherwise known to many as an `open zoo’. There are many services offering excursions and guided tours around the natural reserves; for the more experienced adventure travellers, the good network of roads enables one to drive oneself around the safari parks.
A Safari Experience – A Trip to Remember
A safari trip could be a truly rewarding and enriching experience as it allows you to watch the animals in their natural habitats and, in many cases, get up-close and personal with them. Just be sure to keep safe and play by the ground rules and you will be assured of a holiday experience that is truly unforgettable.
Kruger National Park
There are many great spots for experiencing the safari adventure dotted all over South Africa. Kruger National Park boasts the highest variety of wildlife in Africa which includes hippos, crocodiles, cheetah, elephants, giraffes and many other wildlife species. Kruger is ideal for both beginners and experienced safari travellers as it has a good network of roads and is one of the best-maintained parks in the whole of South Africa.
Kruger National Park was established in 1898 and is South Africa’s oldest national park, offering one of the best safari experiences in South Africa. It is situated north of Johannesburg, and takes approximately 5 hours to reach by car. The animals roam free in acres of vast land so visitors can watch the animals in their utmost natural environments. This can prove to be a valuable learning experience as they get to watch the animals’ in their natural habitats up-close and personal.
There is no need to rent a 4×4 vehicle as the roads in this park are all of good quality and it is also disabled-friendly; many of its lodges offer wheelchair access and specialised safari vehicles to transport those with mobility impairments. There are plenty of accommodations options within the park, from the rustic to the luxurious, in the forms of chalets, cottages, bungalows, caravans, camp sites and bushveld camps.
The presence of an element of danger is part of the appeal – it is what makes a safari trip all themore exciting. However, it is best to take the necessary precautions when going on such trips, especially for first-timers and inexperienced travellers, to avoid any mishap which might ruin an eventful holiday.
Always stay in the car when driving around the park
Follow the rules and guidelines posted around the park and only get off when you are allowed to by the guides. Many fatalities and injuries have occurred to visitors who decided to get out of the car to take a closer look at the animals. Remember, these are wild animals you’re dealing with.
Stay put in the car
Refrain from standing up or doing any frantic movements such as waving your hands. Some animals might get annoyed or see this as a threatening gesture, which could result in an attack. Avoid from sticking anything out of the car, too, as anything resembling a rifle might trigger a negative response from the wild animals and cause them to attack.
Keep the windows winded up
Some animals have been known to charge at passing vehicles and surround them. In order to avoid any unfortunate incident and to keep the animals from trying to get into the vehicle, try to keep the windows winded up at all times, especially in high-risk areas.
Wear boots and socks when walking around the bush
Some poisonous snakes and scorpions have been known to lurk around grassy areas, so lower the risk of a lethal bite by sticking to tough boots when walking around areas where you can’t see the ground clearly.
Avoid swimming in lakes or rivers
There might be hippos or crocodiles lurking in the waters. Hippos especially are more dangerous than crocodiles – if they sense danger or feel threatened, they will charge and attack and their bites have been known to be lethal.
Avoid from making a night trip
One can never be sure of the dangers that lurk in the dark, so unless you’re accompanied by a seasoned and experienced guide, refrain from going out into the safari park at night. Visibility is very poor at night; you might not be able to react as quickly as you should in the event of an attack.
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