Self Drive Safaris  & Unbeatable Guided Tours – 4×4 Africa.

A guided safari to Africa is like no other experience, most travelers rate Africa as the best travel experience of their lives because of the real adventure Africa allows you to experience in its finest nature  with minimal human interference.

Our past travelers return home, with exciting stories and adventures to share with friends and family, and with a better understanding of nature, a feeling of accomplishment, increased self-confidence and broader horizons from having ventured where few have gone, the kind of adventure many dream about but few experience.

We know that most people travel to Africa to see the large and beautiful wildlife, that makes Africa unique and fascinating. In addition to lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, hippo and giraffe, there is an amazing array of other large and small mammals, as well as spectacular birds and a tapestry of compelling cultures. The finest safaris are not only those that provide the thrill of seeing the big mammals, but also explore the whole ecosystem and capture the true spirit of the African wilderness making your trip an exciting and educational experience.

HOW DOES A SAFARI LOOK LIKE?

Most safaris are focused on guests participating in two or three activities per day, for example morning and afternoon game drives in four-wheel-drive (4wd) vehicles or minivans.

A game drive consists of a drive around the  park or reserve in search of wildlife. Your guide helps you to interpret and understand what you are seeing in the bush. The drive  lasts 2 to 5 hours and are conducted when the wildlife is most active. That is  early in the morning (often before breakfast), just after breakfast, in the late afternoon and at night (where the park authorities do allow).

Midday activities might include boat riding,spending time in a “hide” observing wildlife coming to a waterhole or river, visiting a local village or school, birdwatching or viewing game as it passes by your tent or lodge, writing about your experiences in your journal, lazing around the swimming pool or taking a nap.

After an exhilarating day on safari, many guests return to their exquisite European or Pan-African cuisine in lodges and camps that range from comfortable to extremely luxurious with private swimming pools and butler service.

The kind of experience one may have on safari varies greatly from country to country, and even from park to park within the same country. For instance, going on safari in the top wildlife countries of East and Central Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda) is generally very different from going on safari in Southern Africa (Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia and South Africa). Simply watching wildlife from a vehicle anywhere in Africa is an experience in itself. However, a growing number of travelers prefer more from the safari than simply watching animals.

Be apart of this and more by choosing a safari that includes parks that allow you to participate in activities that make you a more integral part of the safari, like walking, boating, canoeing, horseback and elephant-back riding.

TYPES OF SAFARIS

Flying Safaris

Flying safaris are safaris in which guests are flown within or near the wildlife reserves that are to be visited. They are then usually picked up at the airport or airstrip upon arrival and driven to their camp or lodge — which is often a game drive in itself. Guides and vehicles are based at the camps and lodges at which guests will be staying. Guests join others staying at the property on “shared” game activities, or, most often for a surcharge, they may book a private vehicle and guide.

A real advantage is that the resident guides should have intimate knowledge of the area because they are usually based in the same camp for the season. This type of safari is very popular in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, South Africa, Kenya and Uganda,Rwanda and Tanzania. The beauty about this type of safari  is that the time that would normally be spent on the road driving between the parks and reserves may instead be spent game viewing and since  the primary reason why most people travel to Africa in the first place.

 Driving safaris

Driving Safaris are simply safaris in which guests are driven by their driver/guide from reserve to reserve. You generally have the same guide throughout the safari, who have very good knowledge of all the parks and reserves to be visited. This safari is less expensive than flying safaris. However, travelers should take into account the amount of time it takes to get from reserve to reserve, the quality of the roads and whether or not there will be something en-route that will  interest  them, and compare that to the cost of doing part or all flying on their safari. Some driving safaris make good sense as the parks and reserves are close to each other, or there are other things of interest to see en-route, such as schools or villages that the travelers wish to visit.

Fly/Drive Safaris

As reflected from the  name , these safaris are a combination of driving and flying. The general idea is to fly over areas that are not interesting to drive or that you have already covered on the ground, and drive through the areas that have the most to offer. This is an excellent option in northern Tanzania, for instance, where travelers  may be driven from Arusha to Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti, and then fly back to Arusha instead of driving the same route back.

Other popular fly/drive options are available in northern Botswana (small group mobile safaris), Kenya and Uganda.

Self-Drive Safaris

In Africa, self-drive safaris are a viable option for general sightseeing in countries of the East,central and southern Africa. However, self-drive safaris into wildlife parks and reserves are, in general, not a good idea for several reasons. One major disadvantage of a self-drive safari is that you miss the information and experience that a professional driver/guide can provide. A good guide is also an excellent wildlife spotter and knows when and where to look for the animals you want to see most.

Self-drive safaris, especially ones requiring 4wd vehicles, are most often more expensive than joining a group safari. Gas (petrol) is generally a lot more expensive. Vehicle rental costs are also high, and the driving is often on the left side of the road. Finally, self-drive safaris by people without extensive experience in the bush can be dangerous. Lack of knowledge about wildlife and the bush can result in life-threatening situations. An International Driver’s License is required.

Our Advise

  1. Consider choosing smaller camps and lodges that are unfenced where wildlife is allowed to walk freely about the grounds.
  2. In terms of the long-term future of Africa’s wildlife reserves, it is important to consider selecting a destination from which local people benefit in tangible ways.
  3. To be guided by or to meet happy people from various cultures and to learn about their customs will greatly enhance your trip to Africa.
  4. Another excellent way to get the most out of your adventure is to have a private safari arranged for you. On this safari You do not have to bow to the wishes of the majority of the group or a set itinerary of group departures. With your guide, you are basically free to explore your own interests, spend as much time as you want photographing particular animals, and generally do things at a pace that suits you. In some cases, for an extra charge you can book a private vehicle for your party when on a flying safari or on a group driving safari.
  5. We highly recommend this option as it allows you greater flexibility as to how you spend your time during the day.

Car Rental for An African Safari

4×4 Africa has the expertise in tailoring long term car rental & Safari tours for private guided tours and guided safaris to explore the various wildlife parks , Primates & Culture that Africa has to offer in South Africa, Rwanda, Kenya ,Botswana , Tanzania & Zambia in 4×4 landcruiser with rooftop tents.