My African Safari: The Best and Worst Parts

Hi, it’s Kay! I was very fortunate to go on my second African Safari this summer. My family and I visited a few camps in South Africa during a 2-week trip. Unfortunately, Drew was not able to go and I really missed him. Here are the best and worst parts of my trip. 

The Best Parts

  • The Elephants!! If you leave this post learning only one thing: I hope it is that I am in LOVE with African Elephants (sorry Drew)! They have been my favorite thing in the world since I wrote my animal essay in 3rd grade. Observing them in their natural habitat made me cry a few times on the trip. I’m not going to lie, they can be very scary at times, a few young males have charged our jeep. I am hooked on seeing elephants in the wild because the herds of females with their young are gentle and graceful, yet still so powerful and intelligent.  
  • The Camps: this trip we visited &Beyond camps and I can not recommend them enough! This company stays true to its name and goes above and beyond. I would compare our experiences with them to a trip to Disney World. Often they would accommodate our early morning drive requests, snack requests, and added additional searches to get us the best animal sightings.

  • Seeing African Wild Dogs: we spend days ( I literally mean days!) tracking a pack of wild dogs and they were worth the wait! These creatures are beautiful and our sighting story is so great it deserves another post, so stay tuned! 

  • Visiting a Local Village: this was an amazing opportunity to tour a village and learn about the customs and traditions of the Zulu people. It was also the best time to purchase handmade gifts for family and friends (or buy myself some elephants). 

The Worst Parts

  • Leaving Each Camp: this was hard because we had just bonded with our guides and also gotten a feel for the land and animals. Amazingly, we formed close connections with our guides in less than 3 days! It was easy to do since we spent over 9 hours a day in jeeps and had dinner with the guides. 

  • The Flights: these were very long and we often flew smaller planes to different camps. A few times we boarded 7 seater planes which were not pressurized. As a person who gets very motion and altitude sick, these flights quickly became my nightmare! 
  • Feeling Safe: traveling between camps by car or using the airports without any guides was sometimes nerve-wracking and sometimes put you on edge. At one airport, people shouted orders at us that were conflicting and confusing. We often had to trust them and go with the flow everything worked out fine in the end. 

What animals would you want to see on safari? Leave us a comment below!

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