Safari Activities

Here follows a variety of our options that the discerning traveler may wish for during a trip to Africa…

Africa’s array of birdlife is unparalleled on earth. The spectacular variety, array and colours of Africa’s birds never fails to impress any enthusiast. There are endemic species in ancient relic forests; thousands of resident species and European winter migrants that swell numbers even further. For those who are keen on ‘birding’ their interests can easily be accommodated.

For an adrenalin thrill, water rafting or canoeing in waters that are home to hippos and crocodiles is an adventure indeed, which can be accommodated either on Uganda’s great Nile River, or in Southern Africa’s great rivers such as the Zambezi below Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe/Zambia or the Chobe river in Botswana.

The Okavango Delta in Botswana offers a rich combination of both birds and wildlife and canoeing. Should boating or canoeing be your preference, it can easily be accommodated within your Itinerary. More ‘civilised’ boating can be had almost anywhere we go in Africa. The coasts of Kenya, Tanzania & Mozambique offer some fabulous boating opportunities in the traditional Dhows that plied the spice and ivory trades with Arabia for thousands of years.

In addition, Lakes Victoria, Baringo, Tanganyika, Malawi, are also a few of the freshwater options we can offer.

There is a lovely variety of amazing boat charters available in the Indian Ocean. From large authentic Dhows that have been converted to modern charter vessels with all the mod-cons yet still authentic, to 50-foot catamarans to expedition yachts. One can explore the East African Coast’s amazing diving, fishing, history and many Islands such as Lamu, Zanzibar, Pemba, Mafia, or Bazaruto in Mozambique. Or go further afield to the Seychelles, Mauritius, Comores, The Red Sea.

This is an activity popular within East African safaris, for it offers a unique opportunity to acquire firsthand experience of colourful desert & nomadic tribes and their traditional cultures that have changed little over time.

It is also a great way to get to parks of Kenya that one cannot reach easily by car, say the magical Matthews mountains, or the Ndotos and Kulal further to the North, walking with the Samburu tribal people. The camels carry the camp, including rations, bedding, tents, and the cold beers! The guests mainly walk during a camel safari, but if need be one can ride a spare camel in case of injury or fatigue.

The staff then erect the camp and have it ready for the walkers by the time they arrive on foot from a long day of exploring.

A visit to the African Coast is easily included in your safari schedule, either as a relaxed beginning or end of a safari. The East African Coast boasts spectacular Coral Gardens and colourful tropical fish that swim with and alongside one, fearless since they have been afforded Sanctuary within protected Marine Parks.

There is the option of Deep-Sea Fishing (the Kenya coast’s deep-sea fishing is among the best in the world) and many other marine activities. The East African Coast has an ancient and interesting history dating back a thousand years, Fort Jesus in Mombasa having changed hands between Portuguese and Arab invaders many times, some of whom have been massacred and driven out by fearsome local tribes.

One steps back in time when visiting the islands of Lamu and Zanzibar, and in the Old Town of Mombasa and the monuments erected by Vasco da Gama in Malindi.

The Carr-Hartley family have been deeply involved with conservation in East Africa since the establishment of the first National Parks in 1948 and are familiar with Research Projects, both current and past. For those interested in acquiring a more in-depth understanding of the intricacies of ecology and wildlife conservation generally in Africa, we have access to the right experts in this field.

The peoples of Africa are a mosaic of a myriad different cultures from many tribal groupings, whose origins and customs vary dramatically according to whether they embrace a pastoral or agricultural way of life, the nature of their tribal lands, and what part of the vast African continent they migrated from in the first place.

The different tribes are as varied as Africa’s fauna and flora, and equally as interesting, so a taste of culture can be a fascinating addition to your amazing African experience.

In keeping with the spirit of adventure for which our safaris are known, expeditions to remote corners of the continent can also be a part of your itinerary. Just give us your preference, and we will find a way.

Deep sea fishing (including fishing with salt water flies) for a Big One on the Swahili Coast opens up another huge dimension. Several venues offer state of the art equipment and have world records on their Boards.

Fly fishing for trout in mountain streams, or fishing for Nile Perch in Lake Victoria or Lake Turkana (many of which can exceed 100 lbs) can easily be arranged with Tiger Fish adding another lively component to this activity. Tiger fishing on the Zambezi or Rufiji rivers are exciting new fishing destinations, and both are set in some stunning country, so there are two dimensions to your fishing experience.

The ultimate way to see East Africa and Ethiopia! Explore the incredible diversity of terrain in this remarkable country by helicopter.

Fly up the Great Rift Valley, stopping on Islands in the Rift Valley lakes in Kenya for a picnic, carry-on North to fly low over the sand dunes in the Suguta Valley, perch on rock pinnacles and sacred mountains in dramatic desert landscapes, land at a palm lined oasis in the Chalbi desert to watch the camel people bringing their stock to drink and wash. Land on forested mountain glades, sundown drinks near a fig tree in a sea of savanna grasses. You could choose to use the helicopter to get you between various wildlife destinations as part of your safari.

However you decide to make your helicopter safari – be it a one-day excursion or twelve days, rest assured it will be the experience of a lifetime!

This activity is offered by many of the luxury Lodges that are situated in wilderness settings. On horseback, you are able to become part of a herd of wild game, to ride in amongst them, yourself viewed as simply a part of your horse and as such no threat to the wild species.

This activity can be included as a short morning or afternoon activity from a Lodge or a longer adventure across the Mara plains, or within the Okavango Delta, depending on an individual’s wishes.

A dawn flight across the Mara or Serengeti plains teeming with wildlife, especially during months of migration, remain a very popular activity that is always enjoyed – especially during the migration time.

Kenya is the only country in the world that has successfully hand-reared elephants orphaned by poaching and misfortune in early infancy, and returned them to the wild herds of Tsavo National Park when grown.

Details of this unique project can be viewed on The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust’s website – Included in your safari schedule can be a visit to both the Orphaned Elephant Nairobi Nursery and also the Orphaned Elephant Rehabilitation Centre at Ithumba, Voi in Tsavo East National Park, or Umani Springs in Kibwezi Forest.

To be amongst what amounts to a ‘herd’ of friendly elephants of all sizes, and listen firsthand to their different backgrounds and adventures, is, indeed, a thrilling and unique experience and one that can be easily accommodated within your schedule.

Africa during the hours of darkness is another alluring experience affording the opportunity to view many nocturnal creatures not seen during daylight hours.

This can be done in a variety of ways, searching sensitively by spotlight from a vehicle at night being careful not to blind animals and place them at a disadvantage, or by using night vision technology from the safety of a ‘blind’ or from a secure vantage point at your camp or lodge, of by sleeping under the stars in comfort and safety on a custom built Star-bed Platform, an opportunity offered by some of the Lodges in wilderness settings.

Recognised as ‘The Cradle of Mankind’ that produced ‘The First Eve’ from which all mankind originated (according to some), Africa’s prehistory is a fascinating study.

The famous Olduvai Gorge, the Lake Turkana Basin, early rock paintings and exposed fossil beds provide a thought provoking record of our origins and of the other hominids that once shared the earth with our ancestral branch. We have working relationships with several world-renowned paleontologists who can join us for a couple of nights on safari to talk about their work, or even escort us to one of their sites for a couple of days prehistory education.

Every safari offers a degree of walking and hiking, whether just a late afternoon stroll to be close to Nature, perhaps motivated by the need for exercise, or an opportunity to stalk wild animals on foot (with a camera) – even mount a major walking challenge – all can be arranged as an activity during your safari.

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