Safaris for beginners guide – When backpacking in South Africa, seeing the African wildlife is one of most amazing things that you can do when you visit South Africa.  Seeing the big 5 (and the little 5) is a thrill you will never forget.

You may wonder about

– self drive, driving with a guide or tour;
– which national park or private game reserve;

Think about what kind of experience you want?  If you are travelling alone tours are easy and allow you to meet new people.  A tour bus full of back packers may not be the romance you want with your new spouse on honeymoon though.  If you want to hear the lions roar at night that mini bus tour may instead mean that you are hearing the voices of your fellow tour doer instead.

You may wonder about self drive, driving with a guide or tour.  Self drive means that you can come and go as you wish.  It does mean that you don’t risk being stuck with people you would (as the Smiths song says) rather stick in the eye.  It does mean that you won’t know the tricks of the trade, which waterhole tends to have that rhino but you can strike it lucky with that magic hour of sitting watching that leopard lying in an Amarula tree.

A private tour with a guide can be fantastic.. it also can be a waste of money… you may have more luck alone or in a tour.

You can do safaris to various national parks like Kruger National Park or stay in private game reserves.  Some tours will offer camping and some will be in lodges.  If you are you are travelling alone you may need to share your tent or chalet.  If this is an issue for you make sure you are clear that you don’t want to share your accommodations.

Ashanti Travel Centre Cape Town in the foyer of Ashanti Gardens can direct you to some of the more popular tours for backpackers.

Let our staff know what you want in the way of the tour.  Also be aware that unfortunately there are some tourist agencies (not ours) that may over promise on some tours.  Always ask to see any brochures for any tours you book outside our agency and verify what tour you are booking by looking on line prior to paying any deposit.

Ashanti Travel has been operating for over 20 years and safaris offered at our desk have been throughly vetted.

Contributor, Allison Finley-Bissett