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6 wild reasons to go on a luxury African safari

A luxury African safari is a holiday of a lifetime and sits right at the top of many, many people’s bucket-lists. If you haven’t been on a safari or it’s not on your wanderlust wish-list, these 10 reasons might make you change your mind… and reorder your list! Feast your eyes on the beauty and diversity of Africa’s landscapes Golden savannahs, emerald green mountains, and crystal clear ocean waters, the beauty and incredible contrasts of Africa’s landscapes is remarkable. From the watery lagoons and palm-fringed islands of the Okavango Delta, to the great grassy plains of the Maasai Mara, the landscapes of the continent will leave an indelible mark on your mind. The African wilderness is an effortless natural remedy to the grit of urban spaces – ‘concrete jungles – the world over. The arrival of each day in Africa offers the potential for incredible moments to happen in some of the most scenic places on the planet; and, like the myriad habitats, each day can be so dramatically different to the next. It is hard not to be speechless at least one point on your safari when looking across a beautiful piece of pristine wilderness. Mark your holiday with unforgettable moments and amazing photographs Going on safari gives you distinct moments and a wide range of vantage points from which to take those still shots and video footage you’ve always imagined possible in the right setting. Depending on when and where you choose to go on safari, it can also put you exactly where you need to be to capture a particular wildlife happening, like the Great Wildebeest Migration. This wildlife spectacle is set in motion by the annual rainfall over the Maasai Mara and Serengeti, and sees around 2.5 million wildebeest, zebra and gazelle making a 2600 square-kilometer journey across Kenya and Tanzania. There will always be those spontaneous moments that you’ll never be able to plan for, like lions successfully taking down a wildebeest or a mating dance unfolding between two feathered beauties. You will be so glad you were there at the right place and time to document it as it happened. For the most part though, bush photography is largely about patience. This is particularly so when photographing wildlife, but even for landscape shots when you need wait for the light to change and the clouds to settle in order to get that perfect shot. Burgeoning photographers will be spoiled for choice on scenery and creatures to test out your craft. Make new friends and broaden your mind about another culture Whether at the back of the game vehicle, cruising along one of the continent’s mighty rivers, or taking to the bush on foot, you’re bound to meet people who are just as friendly, adventurous and curious about the world as you. If you’re not booking out a private safari for a group of your friends and family, then it’s a wonderful way to make new friends with interesting, like-minded folks from around the globe. Going on safari in Africa opens a world of cultures different to your own. Even if you’re going to Africa as a solo traveller, you’ll never feel alone whilst on safari! You’ll get to share those in-the-moment hushed gasps when watching a giraffe lowering its head to drink from a crocodile-infested waterhole, and then also recall the day’s best moments together around the campfire at night. Wonderful friendships are waiting to be made with camp staff, rangers and field guides. Through these local people, you can share in the ‘homegrown’ food, crafts, dancing and singing of the destination you’re visiting. This is the type of travel that is transformative both for you and those you meet, and is part of why travel in Africa can teach you so much. Experience luxurious safari accommodation and authentic traditions An African safari experience doesn’t have to be wild and rustic. Exclusivity and authenticity can combine beautifully to celebrate the spirit and essence of the original, century-old idea of ‘going on safari’, while still providing amenities of exceptional quality to meet the needs of today’s travellers. A four-poster bed draped in netting, a shower open to the African sky, and a private dining and lounge area turn your bedroom suite into a fairytale kingdom under a canopy of cream canvas tenting. Beyond the magic of your private tent, the main camp can be equally elegant, with lounge areas encouraging relaxing and reading, a pool providing the perfect midday cool-off, and spaces for fine dining indoors or al fresco. So might a day look like on your luxury African safari? A game drive at dawn, followed by breakfast in a private location in the bush; a midday swim and nap, and to finish off the last of daylight, enjoy chilled drinks as you watch the sun set from a hilltop. Get in touch with nature and reconnect with yourself When you leave behind the familiar, well-beaten track of the everyday routines and demands of life for the African wilderness, your senses and your mind are awakened in new ways. The seclusion of the bush and the tranquility that comes with it, might feel a little uncomfortable at first, but soon being immersed in nature will be a welcome therapy. In fact, you will likely enjoy the experience so much that the last thing you’ll want to do is check your mobile phone, tablet or laptop. You’ll witness things for the first time with your own eyes that up until now you’ve only seen online or on your TV. Checking your phone while on a game drive could mean missing the squealing warthog breaking free from a pack of African wild dogs or a fish eagle dipping its talons into a mirror-still lake to grab its dinner. No single day is the same as the next, so you will naturally be alert during safari activities like game drives and bush walks, aware of the possibility of something flying, roaming or crawling close by. Encounter a colourful array of creatures The feeling of seeing Africa’s wildlife living freely within their habitat just can’t be replicated when there are fences or a screen between you. A wandering herd of elephants, a leopard hanging out in the cleft of two tree branches, the colours of a starling so brilliant you can’t take your eyes off it – sightings like these are special the first and the tenth time you have them! You might want to tick all members of Africa’s might Big 5 off your list, but even if you don’t (because no sighting is guaranteed on safari), there are other creatures that are equally impressive. Professional guides are the ‘walking encyclopedias’ that help you read the language of the bush and the marks left by its different wild residents. Whether in the game drive vehicle, walking through the bush or even just sitting on a rocky outcrop looking out across the plains, your guide might just be one of the most informative and fun teachers you’ll ever have. There are so many reasons to go on safari, not the least of which is that it will be an adventure of a lifetime.  There are plenty of reasons to go on safari – and why you should not hesitate for a moment! Calvin Cottar is Director and Owner at Cottar’s 1920s Safaris. Cottar’s 1920s Safaris is an award-winning luxury 1920s safari camp and private bush villa located in the famous ‘seventh’ natural wonder of the world, the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Calvin Cottar

Calvin Cottar is Director and Owner at Cottar’s 1920s Safaris, an award-winning luxury 1920s safari camp and private bush villa located in the famous ‘seventh’ natural wonder of the world, the Maasai Mara in Kenya. Offering a bespoke safari experience, it’s owned and managed by the oldest established and continuing safari family in Africa. In 1919, together with his sons, Mike, Bud and Ted, Charles established ‘Cottar’s Safari Service’, one of the very first registered safari companies offering superior big game hunting and film safaris outfitting throughout Africa, India and Indochina. Cottar’s is proudly associated with The Long Run, Classic Safari Africa and Pack for a Purpose, and together with the Olderkesi Maasai Community, run the Cottars Wildlife Conservation Trust.

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  1. You’re right about amazing photographs. I’ve still got pictures on display from my very first safari about a quarter of a century ago.

  2. I couldn’t agree more about a safari broadening the mind. The African people have lived in this tough environment for thousands of years and they’ve developed a very different way of thinking, valuing every drop of water and showing immense resilience in a difficult climate. There is a lot we can learn from them.

  3. The luxury you get in some of these safari camps really surprises me. That picture of the 4 poster bed is amazing.

    I don’t even get to stay in that sort of luxury in European hotels. I’ve never slept in a 4 poster so on safari would be a good place to start.

  4. Doesn’t look that wild to me! It looks very friendly and luxurious – only joking, I know what you mean by wild.

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