active-adventure

Many people want to be active on safari – our increasingly sedentary lifestyles mean that more and more travellers want to get out of the safari vehicle and get moving!

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Our safaris can incorporate several different activities. Choose from horseback riding, camel treks, tracking gorillas or lions, walking in the bush from camp to camp, bungee jumping, white water rafting, mountain climbing and more, including sports such as golf, cycling or even a game of football with some locals!

Various comfort levels and different physical fitness conditions must come into the mix.
Accommodation is usually more rustic on these active adventure safaris, but is always comfortable and will meet all your basic needs.

Our understanding of your interests and tolerance and fitness levels will give us a good idea of the kind of active adventure experience we can offer. Each safari is designed to ensure your absolute enjoyment within your requirements.

WALKING

“ … from a vehicle you see Africa. On foot you feel, hear and smell Africa.”

As you walk, the landscape becomes transformed. You have no idea how large an elephant is until you see it with nothing between you and it but an experienced guide and a couple of thorn bushes. As Peter Mathiessen puts it more poetically in his book, The Tree Where Man Was Born,

“…on foot, the pulse of Africa comes through your boot. You are the animal among others, chary of the shadowed places, of the sudden quiet in the air.”

Walking can be tailored to suit you – you may only want to walk a few kilometres at a time at a gentle pace or you might like to go out all day with a picnic lunch in your day pack; you may enjoy a mobile walking safari with camels or donkeys bringing up the rear with camp equipment, food and luggage; you might like to walk from camp to camp or you may choose to walk for a few days at a time with everything portered or carried on your back.

GAME DRIVES

Game drives are without doubt the highlight of any safari. The anticipation is such fun and routes/timings are often planned the night before with your guide. Climb aboard and venture out into the bush at first light with your camera and binoculars and cover miles of beautiful landscapes looking for great wildlife sightings. Drives can last from a couple of hours to a full day with a picnic breakfast or lunch in the bush, and many concessions allow you to drive after sunset on night drives. Game drives are usually conducted in custom-designed open-sided four-wheel-drive (4WD) vehicles – usually Land Cruisers or Land Rovers. In most cases they carry a maximum of six guests only, which means everyone gets a ‘window seat’ from which to view or photograph scenery and wildlife. The vehicle is driven by the guide and sometimes there is also a tracker, who sits right up in front on a special seat attached to the bonnet, where it is easier to spot animals signs on the road ahead.

HORSEBACK RIDING

What better way to discover the real beauty of the African bush than from the back of a horse, where you become on “even terms” with the wild animals? Making close contact with the wildlife, without the security of a vehicle, is an unforgettable experience. Riding is varied – a meandering walk through magnificent wilderness; at other times stalking big game and occasionally breaking into an exhilarating gallop amongst the herds, or standing sedately alongside a giraffe. There are different styles of safaris to suit every level of ability, from novice to experienced riders.

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FLYING

Flying between camps in a light aircraft, piloted by an experienced commercial aviator who is also your private safari guide, may seem like utter indulgence but it can make economic sense as well as saving valuable time. This is especially true for countries where camps and lodges are tucked away in remote corners and only easily accessible by small plane or helicopter. And it can be rather extraordinary, as happens on the Skeleton Coast, to have your pilot/guide land on a remote air strip, totally inaccessible by vehicle, step out of his plane, take you on a fascinating walk, and at the end of the walk return to the plane and fly on to your overnight camp! John Stevens has colleagues who can take you on a wonderful flying adventure into Africa’s remotest bush destinations.

HOT AIR BALLOONING

This is a wonderful activity, floating across the landscapes of Africa at crack of dawn, the sun just easing up over the horizon… a favourite activity in Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana. usually, a 5 o’clock departure from camp to drive to the balloon launch site ready for a sunrise take off at 0600 hrs. You will fly for about an hour drifting over the plains or desert in a basket, getting a birds-eye view of the great herds of zebra and wildebeest migrating through the area, perhaps, or a unique perspective of Sossusvlei or the Okavango Delta. On landing, the chase car driven by your guide will meet you for a Champagne celebration, with snacks, and often including commemorative flight certificates presented by the pilot. In Botswana, over and above a standard balloon excursion, you may be offered the option of adding on a helicopter flight one way – reducing travel time and adding a real WOW factor!

BOAT/MOKORO EXCURSIONS

River boat cruises are a popular way of seeing wildlife from the comfort of luxury cruisers, barges or speedboats on various rivers throughout Africa. Usually, boats set out in the early morning, in time for sunrise and breakfast or more often, at sunset, when snacks and sundowners are brought out whilst you watch river life roll by… great boat rides in Zimbabwe on the Zambezi River, in Chobe, Botswana, Ruaha in southern Tanzania, 

The mokoro is a large dugout canoe and is used to explore the tranquil waters of the rivers, marshes and deltas of Botswana. Whilst your mokoro is poled silently through the waters by a trusty guide, you’ll have a unique opportunity to fully experience the sounds and sights of the wild without disturbing the secret life of nature. This is a must-do activity for keen birders and photographers! Observe puku, elephant, numerous pods of hippo and large crocodiles from up close.

CAMEL TREKKING

This is a truly unique way to experience Africa on safari. Really a walking safari with experienced Samburu tribesmen and guides, you’ll hike with camels, sometimes on them, through the Laikipia or Samburu up to the Matthews Range, camping with your guide and crew.  This is a wonderful family safari, as you can learn all about the tribe, who wear their Samburu clothing, and what it takes to become a warrior, as well as learning bush survival skills, the bows and arrows they make and creating fire with no matches. Walk through beautiful terrain amongst wildlife, at a pace that you dictate. This is a completely private experience for yourself and your family. This does not have to be an entire safari trip – you can spend just one night fly camping with your camels, either riding or walking alongside them, in the traditional manner of the northern Kenya tribes and then resume on a more “regular” safari experience.

Excerpt from John’s diary on a camel trekking trip in the Laikipia Maasai Land –

We rose at the normal early hour and prepared to leave camp.  Continued on down river and then followed a game trail to the summit of a long ridge where we observed thirty zebra. The camel train caught up with us at this point.  Descended the escarpment following a winding game trail down to the Ngare River where we found a shady canopy of trees for our lunch break.  Wallowed in the cool flowing water before climbing the slopes again to observe the surrounding area.  After lunch we walked on towards a conical hill – saw a pair of fish eagles, elephant sign everywhere.  Eventually came across the herd and had to backtrack toward the river again.  Our camp came into view, camels hobbled under the trees. Enjoyed a cup of tea before continuing on for a few kms to visit a Maasai village.  Not at all commercialised, refreshing change.  We returned to camp walking by the light of the moon, Kitongo (our local guide) ‘wailing’ in the traditional way  to ward off any elephants on our path  – three young Maasai girls joined us, Kitongo explained for protection.  Back to camp at 2000 hrs.

Sylvia Dolson, Joy of Bears

“If you reconnect with nature and the wilderness you will not only find the meaning of life, but you will experience what it means to be truly alive.”
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“If you reconnect with nature and the wilderness you will not only find the meaning of life, but you will experience what it means to be truly alive.”

Anon

“Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you've been all along.”
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“Travel not to find yourself, but to remember who you've been all along.”

Anita Desai

“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”
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“Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.”

Bill Bryson

“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”
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“To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.”

Bartle Bull, Safari. A Chronicle of Adventure

“Even today, to visit Africa is a feast for the senses. The bush literally brings one’s faculties to life, as you learn to see better, to smell for the first time, to be silent and to listen.”
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“Even today, to visit Africa is a feast for the senses. The bush literally brings one’s faculties to life, as you learn to see better, to smell for the first time, to be silent and to listen.”

Mark Twain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
2018-06-25T16:29:07+00:00
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Charles Kingsley (Writer 1819 – 1875)

“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”
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“We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about.”

Richard Ferris Burton, Explorer 1821 – 1890

“The gladdest moment in human life is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands.'
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“The gladdest moment in human life is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands.'

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.”
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“I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.”

Karen Blixen

“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and makes you feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”
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“There is something about safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows and makes you feel as if you had drunk half a bottle of champagne bubbling over with heartfelt gratitude for being alive.”

Marcel Proust

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
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“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

John Muir

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”
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“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”

Karen Blixen, Out of Africa

“You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.”
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“You know you are truly alive when you’re living among lions.”

Gustave Flaubert

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
2018-06-25T16:27:12+00:00
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”
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