Insider’s Guide: What to do on Safari

Claire BirtwhistleSafari Tips, Safari trips

Fun things to do in Africa that balance relaxation, adventure and involvement, all while giving you an authentic taste of the country that you’re visiting.

The only difficult part about going on a safari in Africa, is actually deciding what activities to focus your time, energy and funds on.

While it would be nice to be able to experience all the safari activities on offer, Africa is so diverse and every country has so much to offer, making it virtually impossible to properly enjoy everything in one trip. Whisking around from country to country, packing in as many attractions as possible, is a recipe for a stressful safari. Call us old-school, but we are all for slowing things down and taking things easy. After all, there is way more to a safari than the Big 5. We believe the only way to fully appreciate a county is to immerse yourself in it and take the time truly understand it.

Here are a few of our favourite safari activities:

Horse Riding Safari

Horse riding is a fun and exciting way to explore the bush and view animals. While it may sound a little adventurous to some, horseback safaris cater for all ages and riding abilities, making this a fun activity that the whole family will enjoy.

Where to Experience it:

South Africa is a great destination for horseback safaris and there are several lodges geared specifically towards this fabulous activity. Horizon Horseback Adventures, in the malaria-free Waterberg Biosphere Reserve is one of these lodges and knows just what to do when it comes to families. Offering everything from led pony rides, to horse riding lessons, to all-day horseback safaris, and a variety of other safari activities, Horizon Horseback caters for everyone from babies to grandparents.

Safari Activities

Safari Activities at Horizon Horseback

Cultural Visits and Activities

Africa comes from a turbulent past and its fascinating story continues to be written every day. Cultural activities and village tours allow you to interact with local communities and Africans of every background, giving you a deeper insight and understanding of the challenges that communities face and how they are reconciling traditional ways with the demands of modernisation.

Where to Experience it:

Kenya bundles together many tribes within its borders, but the most famous are the Maasai. At Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camp, families can visit a Maasai Village and experience the culture that has survived for centuries. They even offer a Masaai Warrior School activity in which children and families are invited to partake in several traditional activities and learn the ancient ways of these supreme hunters; including making and throwing spears throwing, bow and arrow practice, Maasai jumping, dancing and singing and stone throwing. This is one school your kids will definitely love attending.

Safari Activities

Safari Activities at Cottar’s 1920s Camp


Walking safaris are one of our favourite safari activities as they are an excellent way to experience the bush and awaken your senses. Picking though the landscape on your own two feet is a wildly wonderful experience that allows you to connect with nature on a deeper level and explore areas that are inaccessible by game vehicle.

Where to Experience it:

One of the most renowned places for an authentic wild and remote bush walk, is Zambia. The guides in Zambia are some of the best in the world and have experience in guiding people of all ages. Situated in Kafue National Park, KaingU Safari Lodge is a great place for families to explore the untamed wilderness and experience the vastness of Zambia. Although a full-blown walking safari is not suitable for children, KaingU offers some superb nature walks for families. On these walks, specialised guides teach guests how to read the spoor of animals, identify insects and birds and explain which plants are useful for survival in the bush, making it enjoyable and educational for both children and adults alike.

Safari Activities

Safari Activities at KaingU Safari Lodge

Boat Trips

Lazily drifting down the river with a drink in hand, boat safaris are one of the most peaceful and relaxing ways to view wildlife. Less intrusive than a game vehicle, boat safaris are a great way of getting close to water-dwelling wildlife that we can usually only see from a distance.

Where to Experience it:

The Boteti River is the main outflow of the Okavango Delta in Botswana and is a stunning, game-rich area to explore by boat. Desert & Delta Safaris’ Leroo La Tau is situated on the western bank of the river and offers scenic boats trips when the water levels are high enough.

© Rosanne Cobb

© Rosanne Cobb

No hustle. No bustle. No hassle. It’s the kind of holiday you don’t need another holiday to recover from it. That is the art of a ‘slow safari’.

About the Author
Avatar for Claire Birtwhistle

Claire Birtwhistle

Born and raised in the bush in South Africa, Claire has grown up with a deep love for wildlife and enjoys nothing more than immersing herself in nature. When she's not barefoot outside, she can be found at her computer blogging about adventures and editing her photographs.