How to Choose the Right Safari for You

A safari is one of the best ways to awaken your senses and get a complete change of scenery. They’re the perfect opportunity to connect with your wild side and watch amazing animals roam freely firsthand. On top of that, many safaris are surprisingly affordable.

But with so many safari options available, picking one can feel overwhelming. So to help, consider these four factors when deciding which safari is right for you.


Travel on: a safari tour


Decide what wildlife you want to see

The most important thing to consider when booking a safari is what kind of wildlife you’re interested in seeing.

  • The Big Five: First-time safari goers hoping to spot the Big Five—lions, leopards, buffalo, rhinos and elephants—should look no further than Africa. African wildlife is incredibly diverse, and you’re almost guaranteed to spot at least one of the five.
  • Tropical wildlife: Given their complex ecosystem, it’s no wonder rainforests are home to an impressively diverse number of species. Picture everything from glass frogs and brightly-coloured birds to wild jaguars and pink river dolphins.
  • Winter wildlife: Think reindeer, polar bears, and arctic foxes. These animals thrive in colder climates, so prepare to layer up. But if you’re able to withstand the cold, observing these animals amid tranquil, icy landscapes is a truly breathtaking experience.
  • Aquatic wildlife: Whale and dolphin watching is hugely popular in many coastal regions. Spotting aquatic wildlife usually involves boating, so if you’re easily seasick then this probably isn’t the safari for you.
A chameleon on a green branch
You’ll find amazing animals big and small in the rainforest! | © Tim Stief/Unsplash

Pick the perfect safari destination

Narrowing down what type of wildlife you want to see will simultaneously narrow down where you go. But even then, the decision may still be difficult. An African safari may be at the top of your bucket list, but don’t let that stop you from looking elsewhere; world-class safaris can be found in all corners of the world.

Africa

Boasting an impressive roster of national parks, Africa is a favourite destination for first-time safari-goers and enthusiasts alike—for good reason. Fall in love with the wildlife in countries like South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, and Kenya.

Our top two destinations: Okavango Delta, Botswana & Kruger, South Africa

A lion cub yawning in Kruger, South Africa
Sabi Sands Game Reserve in Kruger, South Africa | © Kurt Cotoaga/Unsplash

Asia

Asia is where you’ll find the world’s most unique and remote species of wildlife amid diverse climates and environments. Sri Lanka, India, and Southeast Asia offer the perfect combination of lush landscapes and cultural vibrancy for an immersive safari experience.

Our top two destinations: Yala Park, Sri Lanka & Ranthambore Park, India

a tiger in Rathanmore National Park, India
Rathambore National Park, India | © Annie Spratt/Unsplash

North America

Head to Canada, Alaska, and Maine for wildlife safaris, often offered at a fraction of the cost. During the winter, witness incredible wildlife migrating through snowy conditions. During the spring and summer, experience wildlife excursions amidst rugged mountains and colourful backdrops.

Our top two destinations: Canadian Rockies, Canada & Alaska, USA

South & Central America

Latin America is recognized as the most biodiverse area on the planet. Consider heading south for an off-the-beaten path safari experience in the middle of the Amazonian jungle.

Our top two destinations: The Galapagos IslandsPuerto Maldonado, Peru

a giant tortoise in the galapagos islands
The nature in the Galapagos Islands is unlike anywhere else in the world | © Jose Aragones/Unsplash

Australia

Across the globe, Australia offers a rare glimpse at uniquely local wildlife. Discover diverse species amid the Golden Outback and UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Great Barrier Reef and Uluru.

Our top two destinations: Perth & Queensland

Antarctica

Go where few have gone before. Antarctica is the ultimate safari destination for adventure seekers willing to brave sub-arctic conditions. It’ll be more than worth it when you find yourself whale-watching while camping with the likes of penguins.

Our top two destinations: South Georgia & The South Pole

Two chinstrap penguins standing beside each other in Antarctica
Get up close and personal with penguins in Antarctica | © Torsten Dederichs/Unsplash

Europe

Northern European countries, such as Iceland, Denmark, Finland and Russia, are well known for magical winter safaris. Their wintery conditions are both picturesque and also the perfect environment for diverse wildlife like reindeer, wolves, and bears.

Our top two destinations: Svalbard, Norway & The Golden Circle, Iceland

A polar bear on a rock in Svalbard, Norway
Svalbard, Norway | © Andy Brunner/Unsplash

Think about your mode of transportation

  1. By Walking: For the seriously adventurous type, a walking safari is probably the best way to be one with nature. Experiencing the wilderness up close gives you a real chance to soak in the sights, sounds, and scents of your surroundings.
  2. By Jeep: There’s nothing more classic. Whether you’re on a guided or self-driving safari tour, a 4×4 jeep is a great way to get around. Travelling by jeep offers both safety and a sense of adventure, ideal for families with kids.
  3. By Water: Water safaris are especially great for families or those looking for a more relaxed alternative. Watch from afar while enjoying a leisurely cruise, or get even closer and hop aboard your own canoe.
  4. By Balloon Ride: Experience the outdoors from above in an epic hot air balloon ride. If you’re looking to go the extra mile, this is the perfect opportunity for awe-inspiring photos. While hot air balloons aren’t a common mode of transport for safaris, specific destinations such as Serengeti, Africa are well known for offering them.
A hot air balloon in Tanzania
Hot air balloons are an incredible way to travel on a safari | © Ryan Al Bishri/Unsplash

Choose how long you want to go

Your excursion can be as short as three to seven days or as long as two weeks to over a month. But be sure to weigh your pros and cons. The more time you spend adventure seeking outdoors, the more wildlife you’ll see. However, this also means the cost of your trip will rise. Keep these things in mind when booking your safari.

Choosing the right safari may seem difficult, but we guarantee—no matter which one you pick—it will be a worthwhile experience. If you’ve been a safari before, let us know where in the comments below!