The adventurer in us all longs to go out on safari, putting on the bush gear, donning the pith helmet, then realising how stupid we look and changing to the more sensible shorts, boots and long socks. With plenty of insect repellent and the requisite inoculations, you’ll be ready for any safari.
Most think of safaris as being a uniquely African experience but take a look at what a safari entails and you’ll see you can do it just about anywhere in the world. Our favourites include the following, with a few of them being a little on the unusual side.
Cairngorms National Park
OK, we’ll start with one that wouldn’t normally cross your mind. The Cairngorms is one of Britain’s wildest regions and is home to a quarter of the UK’s endangered species. If you want to do the proper safari experience you can hire your own Land Rover or join a jeep safari party with guides that will know exactly what to look for. You’re likely to see golden eagle, red deer, wildcats, pine martens and wild reindeer. Expectations of what you’ll see in winter are quite different to the summer safari making an extra visit later in the year well worthwhile. You can use car hire in Scotland
to get around.
No African safaris yet we hear you say and you’d be right. This time we’re whale watching in the plankton rich seas around the Azores. There are plenty of boat trips that leave to see up to twenty species of whale and dolphin as they feed and breed in the waters. Many of the boats have underwater microphones to pick up the whales calling to each other. It adds another aspect to the thrill of seeing them rise to the surface to breathe. When not out at sea, why not take advantage of a hire car in the Azores
to travel around the islands in comfort.
One of the world’s best preserved rainforests awaits you in Costa Rica and it teems with wildlife. Night time safaris will let you hear jaguars hunting in the dark whilst a daytime safari can expect to encounter sloths, dart frogs, monkeys, iguanas and more. The safari will be more on foot than you might expect, following ancient trails through the luxuriant foliage. Rent a car in Costa Rica
with Rhino to make the most of your trip when not out in the rain forests!
At last, an African safari but not like you’d think. This time you’ll take to canoes, not jeeps, and paddle down the Zambezi under your own steam. Tents are carried with you and you’ll be expected to join in erecting them. You’ll see hippo and crocodiles as well as many other animals that come down to the river to drink and the predators that wait for them. Don’t worry that it’ll be rapids and hard going, for the main section used is where the middle Zambezi languidly flows through the flood plains and on to the Mupata Gorge. Rental cars in Zambia
prove more popular that you might imagine and are a great way to get from the main airports if you want to travel under your own steam.
That’s more like it, a traditional safari destination but with a twist… Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world’s unique ecosystems where wildlife has been stranded within the confines of a huge volcanic crater for eons. Even modern humans didn’t make it into the crater until a little over a hundred years ago and it remains unspoilt. Much of the wildlife is typically African but its isolation has allowed subspecies to thrive, so many of the animals you see will be slightly different to the norm.
We hope to have given you some food for thought if you were simply going to travel to Kenya and take a mass tourism safari. You may well waste your time and money in doing so, so consider our suggestions for a unique and worthwhile alternative.