How Safaris Work

What's the best way to see the animals?

Whether you're staying at a posh lodge or a rustic tent at a temporary campsite, each day, you'll make it out into the wild to catch a glimpse of the wildlife. There are many ways to venture out. Here are some examples:

  • Walking safaris -- These expeditions travel between campsites and/or lodges by vehicle or boat, but when they stop in wild areas, tourists get the opportunity to walk around on foot, under the watchful eye of a guide.
  • Mobile safaris -- These trips usually make use of 4X4 vehicles driven by guides to roam over a wider area, and they're the preferred style in many places. You'll also find bus or van tours in some areas.
  • Fly-in or wing safaris -- These tours use aircraft to cover an even larger area more quickly than the vehicle tours. It's also a great way to see the breathtaking expanse of Africa from the air. Be sure you're comfortable flying in a small plane, though.
  • Canoe safaris -- These expeditions paddle down the Zambezi or other rivers between camping and lodges, with stops along the way for walking forays in the wild.
  • Self-drive safaris -- This is the most flexible arrangement of all, though it's best reserved for the savviest travelers who've been to Africa before. You drive your own vehicle and book your own accommodations, so you can explore at your own pace.
  • Migration safaris -- These trips follow vast animal populations on the move in their annual treks in quest for food and/or water. They provide a chance to observe some of the most amazing collections of wildlife you’ve ever seen, but the animals, not you, control the itinerary [source:].