For most aspiring travellers to Africa, the continent is seen as a single destination often chalked up onto a bucket list of sorts and put off for that BIG holiday. What most don’t plan is that the continent’s experiences will leave them yearning to return to discover the many individual facets of its people, wildlife, scenes and adventures. A second safari is often planned with more of the idea to get off the beaten track, and discover the unusual instead of heading to the stalwart National Parks, reserves and highlights and offers a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the finer details of each destination on the chosen itinerary. We’ve selected some of our favourite unusual places for you as a guide to your second African safari.
Liuwa Plains National Park - Zambia
Zambia is best known for its South Luangwa, Kafue and Lower Zambezi National Parks which all offer excellent game viewing experiences. A fairly new addition to the travel routes is located on the western side of Zambia and is home to the second largest wildebeest migration after Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park. The vast plains are covered in savannah until the rain season at the beginning of the year, when the Zambezi River floods and spills over onto the plains creating a large wetland habitat, which is ideal for thousands of water birds and for supplying fresh grazing to the herds passing through. Marsh antelope like Red Lechwe can be seen prancing over the watery wilderness along with the masses of wildebeest. These massive herds in turn attract predators including African wild dog, cheetah and lion who hunt the plains giving gamewatchers ample opportunity to see the action.
Accommodation is at the Matamanene Camp situated on the edge of the plain and consists of four en-suite safari tents on concrete bases. Both hot and cold water is supplied, as well as a few hours of electricity daily for charging electronic devices. A communal lounge tent is used for dining and social interaction with the rangers and guides. The camp is very remote and is accessible by air from Lusaka and Livingstone.
Selinda Adventure Trail – Botswana
Seeing wildlife from a different perspective is a great 2nd safari option and the Selinda Adventure Trail in Botswana’s Selinda Spillway is the perfect choice for adventurers looking to immerse themselves into the wilderness. The Spillway links the Okavango Delta, Linyanti and Kwando waterways giving access to a stretch of natural wilderness to explore. Equipped with 18ft canoes, a safari guide, cook, two camp assistants and the all important paddle - you’ll spend four days gently gliding across the waterways with stops along the way to walk the islands and seek out the native wildlife that include a host of predators, antelope and reptile species. Birdlife is abundant and the trail offers a unique opportunity to observe and photograph some common and rare species found in the region.
Accommodation is in dome tents that are set up daily by the trail team in remote bush camps. A communal ‘bathroom’ area is set up daily with a bucket shower and ‘drop’ toilet. Each tent is supplied with a comfortable bed roll with linen and a pillow and towels, with a campfire chair also included. The mobile tented camp is ideal for those seeking adventure and are willing to compromise on comfort and facilities for the benefit of experiencing nature up close and personal.
Mana Pools National Park - Zimbabwe
Nestled against the Zambezi River in northern Zimbabwe, the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Mana Pools National Park offers an ideal location for exquisite Big Five game viewing with a riverside location. Most well known for the magnificent elephant herds that roam the park, the iconic ‘must see’ is of the elephants balancing on their hind legs to forage for fruit in the higher branches of the trees. The Zambezi brings life-giving water throughout the year ensuring prolific wildlife populations and fantastic bird watching opportunities. In addition to land based game drives, there are also water based activities including sundowner game watching boat trips, canoeing and catch and release fishing for Bream, Tilapia and the aggressive Tigerfish.
Accommodation is at the luxurious Ruckomechi Camp perched on a one kilometre stretch of the river offering breathtaking views over the water. The ten tented chalets each have a private viewing deck with loungers to enjoy the tranquil ambiance. The central guest area offers an infinity pool and comfortable lounging area for socialising and night time stargazing. The dining communal area includes a small bar and library.
Mahale Mountain National Park - Tanzania
Hidden on the western edge of Tanzania on the shimmering Lake Tanganyika, rests the forested Mahale Mountain National Park. From outside it is accessed mainly by air, there are no big roads to this part of the world where game tracks and rutted dirt tracks offer the only alternative. Due to its remoteness, the wildlife in the forest has flourished and it remains one of the few places where chimpanzees can be observed in their natural habitat. A total of nine primate species inhabit the park, as well as bushbucks, bushpigs and a variety of both common and more rare African bird species. The waters of the lake are home to pods of hippo which can be heard and seen while visiting.
Accommodation is at the rustic looking Greystoke Mahale, hidden in the forest on the edge of the beach with perfect views onto the tranquil lake. The six banda’s are made almost exclusively from sustainable material and reclaimed wood from the surrounding villages and countryside. The communal dining area opens out onto the beach and has a lovely bar area for enjoying sundowners at the end of your perfect African day.
If you would like to visit any of destinations mentioned in this blog then get in touch with us on 020 7843 3500 and our experts can start planning your dream safari adventure today.
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