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Why African Safaris are the Best Vacation

So I’m a bit biased here, but I think safaris are the best vacation. They work for couples, old and young. Families with kids of most ages. Multi-generational trips? You bet. Boredom? Nope. Every day is different. And you never know what that day will bring.

Safaris get you out in nature. Yes, you will see some amazing animals, but you will also be out in the open: either in the rainforests of Madagascar or driving across the Serengeti plains, or skimming the water of the Okavango Delta. If you like nature, you’ll love going on safari.

And yes, the animals can be amazing. And not just the big cats and the high profile game like elephants and giraffes. I’m not a birder, but seeing some of the amazing bird life along the way can be breathtaking. You won’t find many of these species at your backyard feeder.

And I love searching out and finding the smaller animals as well. Mongoose, civets, duikers, lizards, pangolins. They don’t have to be cute to be fascinating. The safari landscape is big and foreboding, but small creatures find a way to survive (at least temporarily) and can sometimes pop up quite close to you.

And the landscapes are mind-boggling. The Great Rift Valley is a massive geological formation running from Ethiopia to Mozambique. It has created some striking vistas in East Africa. The Zambezi River and Victoria Falls create an awe-inspiring site as “The Smoke that Thunders” crashes down into the Batonka Gorge. The Namib Desert with its massive dunes rolls right up to the ocean. Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi are massive, water-filled fissures (thanks to that Great Rift Valley geology pulling and pushing land masses) that are teeming with life. 
Africa has mountains like Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, as well as Mount Mulanje down in Malawi. And the lush green Blyde Canyon’s beauty in South Africa is rivaled by the massive and dusty Fish River Canyon in Namibia.

So hiking, mountaineering, zip-lining, white water rafting, swimming, fishing, boating, and canoeing are all possible activities you can mix in while on safari. That’s right, you can do more than just stare at animals if you want.

And then … and then there’s the sun.

You’ll be able to see plenty of sunrises while on safari, as most game drives start early so rousting you out of bed is important. And they are gorgeous and welcomed each day, but for me, it’s the sunsets. It’s like the sun knows you are out on safari and wants to give you a little something extra as the day winds down. The sparkle of the last rays on the river as you meander along on your sundowner cruise. The warm glow lighting up streaks in the sky in the plains over the Kalahari Desert. Or that silhouetted giraffe looking out over the scrubland with the sun backlighting her for a few brief moments before nightfall.

It’s magical. It’s amazing. It’s Africa.

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