Monday, February 14, 2011

An Africa safari in Kenya or Botswana is an up close look at nature

Who hasn’t seen Indiana Jones and wanted to travel around the world? The idea of an Africa safari has captured my imagination ever since I was asked to visit and speak to a group in Kenya. My interest went up later by talking to a friend of my daughter’s who used to live in Botswana.  

Kenya Baobab Tree -
The one thing that I already knew was to take a camera, large memory card and batteries. Other than that, there were so many details to find out about that I wasn’t sure where to begin. Every country is unique and with its own flavor which is part of what makes the idea of a safari so very appealing.

It’s easy to imagine yourself being face to face with large animals one afternoon and being pampered the next. It’s also easy to imagine yourself tasting exotic food while your expert guide fills you in on what to expect each day.

Could a safari be all of the above and more? 
According to my research the answer seems to be an emphatic yes! Here’s why:
Elephant photo courtesy of Morguefile
Botswana Safari
The Okavango River actually runs inland in this country and helps form the Okavango Delta. About 80% of the remainder of the country is desert. Large herds of elephants are often spotted during the dry season months of August to November.

What you aren’t likely to find are long lines and tourist traps. There is plenty of opportunity to see the elephants plus lions, leopards, giraffe, zebra and more throughout Botswana. About 40% of the country is wildlife preserves. A Botswana safari is for those who want an immersive experience in nature.

Lion photo courtesy of Morguefile
Kenya Safari
Kenya terrain ranges from coastal beaches to tall mountain peaks. Mt. Kilimanjaro sits close to the Kenya border and can be seen from a distance. This isn’t only the tallest mountain on the continent but it is the highest free standing peak in the world.

The diversity of terrain in this East Africa national also gives Kenya a rich diversity of wildlife. It has been called the “safari capital of the world”. Nature reserves begin just outside of the capital city of Nairobi.

A Kenya safari usually is a small group with an expert guide. Reportedly, wildlife is everywhere and can often be seen from the airport! Reserves hold a combination of rhinos, lions, zebras, birds and many more animals that can be seen on safari.

Tanzania Safari
The home of Mt. Kilimanjaro is just as exciting as Kenya or Botswana except more so. It is a country of grassy plains, rugged mountains and every animal that you can think of. Parts of some nature reserves remain unexplored. Some say that a Tanzania safari is the adventure of a lifetime.

An Africa safari to any of these countries have long captured the imaginations of visitors. Visiting has also captured their but their hearts and minds as well. 

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