5 Life-Changing Safaris You Need to Try 
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5 Life-Changing Safaris You Need to Try 

April 9, 2023 Share

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Explore unforgettable wildlife safaris: mule trekking in Ethiopia, gorilla trekking in Rwanda, tigers in India, and the Big Five in South Africa.

If you’re an adventure-seeker with a deep love for wildlife, there’s nothing quite like the thrill of going on a safari. From spotting majestic creatures in their natural habitats to sleeping under the stars in luxurious tents, safaris offer a unique and unforgettable experience. But with so many incredible options out there, it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the most awe-inspiring safaris that should be on every wildlife enthusiast’s bucket list. Join us as we explore some of the world’s most remarkable wildlife reserves and national parks.

Image courtesy of Cedric Dhaenens
  1. Mule Trekking in Ethiopia

Ethiopia may not probably come to mind when planning a safari. But if you’re looking for fun adventures and get off the beaten path, consider a mule trekking in Ethiopia. Often referred to as “Roof Africa” due to its vast mountains, Ethiopia is a fascinating country to explore, with breathtaking landscapes and rich culture and history. Exploring its rugged landscapes on a mule is an incredible experience, something you will remember for the rest of your life!

Riding a mule allows you to visit remote areas in Ethiopia, which vehicles cannot access. The Simien Mountains National Park is among Ethiopia’s most popular spots for mule riding. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the park features jaw-dropping gorges, plateaus, and ridges. It has some of the world’s best hiking routes and is a popular trekking destination. But a more exciting way to discover the park is by riding a mule, a hybrid between a donkey and a horse.

Aside from the Semien Mountains, you’ll find many other fantastic places to explore in Ethiopia. The country is also home to fascinating wildlife species, from Ethiopian wolves to monkeys and exotic birds. You’d be able to see many of them during your mule-trekking adventure.

  1. Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda

Rwanda is home to over three hundred mountain gorillas, making it an excellent destination for gorilla trekking. Catching glimpses of these spectacular creatures in the mountains of Rwanda is a life-changing experience. While gorilla trekking can be expensive and the trek to the jungle can be strenuous, it’s worth the money and the effort. 

When choosing to go Gorilla trekking in Rwanda, you can explore the Volcanoes National Park which is home to about ten habituated gorilla families with about 11 to 33 members. You will be with a guide during your trek, which can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 8 hours, depending on the location of the gorillas and the terrain’s condition. Virunga is home to 340 of the world’s 780 Mountain Gorillas, so there’s a good chance you’d be able to see them during your trek. These fascinating primates live in lush forests, and coming face-to-face with them in their natural habitat is an incredible experience.

While it’s also possible to go gorilla trekking in Uganda, there are benefits to choosing Rwanda for your gorilla trekking adventure. One is the park’s proximity, which is only a two-hour drive to Kigali International Airport. And as mentioned, there are over 300 gorillas in Volcanoes National Park, so there’s a higher chance you’ll see many of them during your trek. 

Image courtesy of Yassine Khalfalli
  1. Tigers at Pench National Park, India

When people go to India for a holiday, they will most likely explore majestic temples or discover the fascinating culture. But what many don’t know is that India is also a top destination for a safari. It’s home to Pench National Park, a rolling landscape of lush forest and valleys, and the inspiration of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” Declared a tiger reserve, Pench national park is the best place to spot tigers in the wild.

Pench National Park lies in the state of Madhya Pradesh. It’s home to over 50 tigers and over 40 leopards. Aside from tigers and leopards, you can spot many other animals during your safari, such as sloth bears, wolves, wild dogs, giant squirrels, and more.

You’ll have a higher chance of seeing tigers in Pench than in other national parks in India. In addition, the visitor numbers are low, so the park is not too busy with safari jeeps. Pench National Park offers a more secluded and peaceful safari experience, and you will sometimes feel like you have the entire national park to yourself!

  1. The Big 5 in Pilanesberg National Park

South Africa is one of the most popular destinations for an African safari, specifically the Pilanesberg National Park, home to the Big Five, which consists of the lion, buffalo, rhino, leopard, and elephant. Another good reason to choose Pilanesberg for safari is it’s easily accessible, only about two and a half hours from Johannesburg. Since the park has decent gravel roads, you can use a regular sedan vehicle on your safari, which makes for a more comfortable experience.

Occupying an area of over 500 square kilometres, Pilanesberg is the fourth-largest park in South Africa. Aside from the Big Five, there’s a vast diversity of wildlife in Pilanesberg, which makes this park an incredible place to visit. You can drive yourself through Pilanesberg, which is also a plus. The roads are well-paved, so you don’t need a 4×4.

A guided safari is a more convenient way of seeing the Big Five in Pilanesberg National Park. With a guided safari, someone will drive you around the park, allowing you to focus on spotting the animals. Also, these guides are familiar with Pilanesberg and know the best places to spot wildlife.

  1. The Leopards at Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

If you’re fascinated by leopards and want to see them in the wild, visit Sri Lanka’s Yala National Park. Home to about 100 to 125 leopards, it has one of the highest leopard densities in the world and is an excellent place for a life-changing safari experience.

Aside from leopards, you can spot many other fascinating animals at Yala Park. It’s common to see giant elephants crossing roads and monster size crocodiles chilling out in swamps. Sri Lanka is home to over 20 national parks, but Yala has a large variety of animals. It boasts rich wildlife, and a jeep safari can guarantee a higher chance of spotting wildlife. 

Yala Park lies in the southeast part of Sri Lanka, about a 5-hour drive from the capital city of Colombo. Many tour companies in Sri Lanka can arrange a guided safari tour to Yala. They can pick you up from the airport and drive you to your hotel before going on a safari at Yala Park.

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