Exploring Africa on Hoofs or Wheels, or By Water or Air


 

The road traveled is definitely a large part of an adventure vacation.  If you share the same affinity for fascinating modes of transportation as I do, then you should definitely check out some African Safaris.  You will be able to explore this dream destination by ship, four wheeling, upon a horse, walking and hiking, paddling, and even by tram!  This adventure tour packs in tons of activities, wildlife, and nature, all while on the go during your African Safari.

The best way to encounter a lioness with her cubs, or a Jaguar feeding on its prey is from a safe distance away:  However, the safety of a four-wheeler with experienced guides can get you closer than you ever could have imagined to the beautiful animals that have only ever passed through your imagination.  Every exotic animal you could dream of from giraffes to elephants, to hippos, zebras and tigers.    By travelling by four-wheel drive allows you the flexibility to travel faster and farther than you could on foot, with added perk of safety and security in this mode of transportation.  The luxury of this mode of travel is that it is simple enough to hop out of the car and have a walk around or get a little closer, with an escape route option just a few feet away.

The beautiful Sabi River is also something of a visual paradise that Africa offers.  Although difficult to be experienced by foot, this can be the perfect location to be explored by raft or kayak.  Quick flowing areas of the river provide adventure and excitement when explored in a raft, rushing down the river. Slower areas of the river are perfect for a kayak paddle where you can encounter a baby hippo playing in the shallow water with a mother hippo watching nearby.  Floating by a colony of penguins on a sandy beach is also worth a thousand words.  Having trained conservationists and guides nearby to explain the wilderness that you are exploring will add an informative edge to your adventure vacation.

Some exploration is done better by air.  The views of Table Mountain cannot be fully appreciated until seen from above.  If you are lucky perhaps a helicopter or hot air balloon is an option to view this spectacular sight.  If not available you can still bask in the landscape by tram, floating through the sky at a pace that affords you to take in the view and the vast mountain range beneath you.  The view from atop the 3,400 ft. mountain is no less spectacular.  Most marvels are most amazing when you make the journey by foot, and the appreciation so much more, but South Africa has plenty of locations that are only accessible by foot, so take advantage of this ride through the sky and sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.

While some parts of your trek through Africa can be explored by foot, you are limited by how far you can travel with just a given days sunlight.  Another method to travel through the coastal forests of fynbos, Africa’s unique vegetation, is by horseback.  A Kruger Safari is equipped with informative guides teaching you about the rare plants only found in this part of the world.  Riding along you will be able to grasp why conservation of this area is so critical and relevant to all of the species of life living here.

While your biggest thrills may be encountered while viewing and searching for wild game, the towns of Africa should not be overlooked.  To get from town to town what better way to ride, then upon two wheels.  In May 2011 Cape Town was actually featured on CNN as “One of the 15 most bike-friendly destinations in the world!”  What better way then, to explore the cities and ride along different wineries and cellars, and soak up some local culture and history?


About Michael Hodson

I’m an attorney that took off on my birthday in December of 2008 to circumnavigate the globe without ever getting on an airplane. After 16 months, 6 continents and 44 countries, I made it all the way back home. Right now, I am back on the road writing about it all.