Not for the faint of heart, an African safari is one of the most exotic vacations you can take. The allure of traipsing through the Savannah bush, stalking the wildlife, and getting up close and personal with nature in the same way they hunt their prey brings out the animalistic adventurer in all of us. Whether it's for the love of the animals or the thrill of the chase, here are some tips to plan the best luxury safari possible. Kenya, here we come.
To Tent or Not to Tent?
Depending on how much you want to rough it, different tour providers offer different degrees of creature comforts. From five-star suites to air-conditioned tents with running water, your level of outdoorsy-ness and who you're traveling with may dictate the type of accommodations best suited for your trip. iExplore offers the unique opportunity to stay at Basecamp, an eco-friendly luxury tented campsite situated in the heart of the Serengeti, which offers some of the most prolific wildlife areas on the planet. Besides a solar heated shower, and open-air bar, the wireless internet access is steps from zebras and wildebeests grazing.
Location, Location, Location
Depending what type of animals you're in search of, there are different countries to hit up. Most visit Africa in search of the "Big Five" in their natural habitat - the buffalo, lions, leopards, elephants and rhinos, oh my. Kenya's Masai Mara reserve in Eastern Africa is a very popular destination for its unspoiled authenticity, as well Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater, a volcanic landscape home to over 30,000 animals. South Africa has some standout options as well like Johannesburg and Cape Town, but are known for being a little more touristy.
Know Before You Go
In addition to a passport, most African countries require a visa and/or immunizations. For example, Kenya requires a visa obtained from the US Embassy and proof of a yellow fever vaccine. Malaria is quite common and easily caught via mosquitoes. Preventative measures you can take to protect yourself include anti-malaria treatments, nets and bug spray. Check the State Department website for tips and advice on your specific destination well in advance of leaving.