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Wildlife and safaris

Wildlife and safaris travel guide

Lions and tigers and bears – oh my! The world is full of wonderful wildlife experiences

Wildlife holidays are all about anticipation. There’s never any guarantee that you’ll get to see a tiger, that a humpback whale will surface near your boat, that a turtle will come ashore to lay its eggs. The people who were there the day/week/month before you always seem to have seen something amazing, while you scour the horizon with little success.

However, adjust to that and you can then start to enjoy all the other aspects of the environment you are in, and all the other creatures that you will get to see.

Though, occasionally, something magical will occur: a leopard crossing your path when you're on a walking safari; a family of orca performing acrobatics just metres from your boat; realising that the boulder has just moved and is actually a rare black rhino.

Wildlife holidays can require a lot of patience, but more important is to find the right one for you. Will you be happy to sit in a vehicle or hide for hours, or do you need an easier option? If on a safari, do you want to stay in a lodge with all mod cons such as air-con and a pool? Or would you rather be in an intimate camp where 'nightlife' is sitting round a fire, swapping yarns and listening to the sounds of the bush?

Whatever your degree of interest there will be a trip to suit you. As a general rule you will have to get up early on a wildlife trip, as the majority of animals are most active at dawn and dusk.

And you’ll need to be soberly dressed: khaki is synonymous with safaris for a reason – wear blue or black and you’re more likely to get bitten by a tsetse fly; wear white or a bright colour and you’ll stand out like a beacon to the camouflaged critters.

Binoculars are always useful on any wildlife trip or safari, as you can rarely get as close to the animals as you would hope. But, when you get down to it, you need no special equipment for wildlife watching. Just open eyes and ears, mixed with a splash of good luck.

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