What happens on an African Safari

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… is about all you will get when you ask someone (anyone) what they thought of their safari experience. I for on am guilty of this complete lack of ability to form an English sentence when describing the experience.


Because safari really is that amazing.

But I’m sure you want to know more of what goes on – how many days does it last? What do you actually do on safari? What animals do you see? Do you see the big 5? Where do you go on safari? How long do safaris take out in the bush? Oh, I’m sure I have just skimmed the surface of questions…

The Safari Experience Explained (With a Photo Diary)

Arriving to Kruger National Park at the 'airport' for Singita

Arriving to Kruger National Park at the ‘airport’ for Singita

The Arrival

It begins with the arrival…. which is usually by air. Safari lodges are located throughout Africa and South Africa, but if you’re coming in from an international location you will first fly into Johannesburg International Airport. From there you will take a connecting flight either by commercial airline or a small chartered aircraft, depending on the location of your safari lodging.

african safari

The Game Drive

When picturing a safari, you’re likely to be picturing The Game Drive. Game Drives are an element of safaris, meaning they are the ‘safari experience’ where you go off into the bush in a vehicle to view the game (animals). This is undoubtedly the best part of the safari experience as you get to see the wildlife up close, but you will also have encounters with the wildlife beyond the game drives as your lodge will be located in the middle of the action itself.

safari lions

Wildlife Watching

….What happens on game drive. But it’s not all candid snapshots of lions lazing around and giraffes grazing, prepare to see it all……… especially in mating season!

Sleeping Lions

Sleeping Lions

More Wildlife Watching

….I couldn’t choose between photos. Usually camps/lodges will offer two game drives per day lasting between 3-5 hours in length – one in the early mornings and one in the afternoon/going into the night. Why? The animals are most active at night! This is when the animals are hunting, so it’s when they are awake and the action is most interesting.


Bush Activities

To keep you busy throughout the day, your lodge is likely to offer a range of bush activities such as archery or rifle shooting (to hit a target of course, shooting animals is illegal in all public game reserves). Many lodges also have a swimming pool and spa facilities to allow for a day of leisure between game drives.

south africa safari

Eating and Drinking in Abundance

For whatever reason, there has been SO much food on both the safari experiences I have had – my first being at Mala Mala Game Reserve and second being at Singita Sweni.

south africa

Stunning Sunsets

This needs no explaining… be prepared for some of the most stunning and surreal scenery of your life!

safari lion safari singita lion

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    March 31, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    I can just imagine what the sunrises must be like.

    Virginie @ Writer In Progress
    June 29, 2014 at 5:30 am

    I have always wanted to go on a safari! It must be such an amazing life experience!

    June 25, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    Love this, Safari’s are the most amazing experience, this post has made me so excited knowing that I’ll be going back and doing it all again in October!
    Great post and amazing photos

    June 23, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I have decided I must go on safari. I love wildlife photography, especially lion shots, but I can only see them at the zoo!! // timidlioness

    Ashley @ Ashley Wanders
    June 22, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    Love the lion photos