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  • Writer's picturePhilonsafari-in

What can I expect to see on an African Safari?

It seems obvious to those of us who have been on an African safari before, what animals and wildlife we are likely to see on safari, but for those that haven't and have not done extensive research into African habitats and its wildlife, its not always that obvious. The landscapes, habitat types and wildlife often surprise people.

So here is a selection of photo's to give an idea of the variety of wildlife and wild habitats that could be encountered on a safari and to highlight the sort of situation you might see them in:

I will follow this post up in a few days with a post focusing on what camera equipment you should pack to make the most of these situations, so be sure to sign up to the blog or check our facebook page

Wide open spaces filled with animals, like this in the Ngorongoro Crator is often the image people conjure when thinking of Africa.

But this is not what like safari is like everywhere. And some animals you would get extremely lucky to see out in the open for long

Young lion cubs are often stashed away in thickets by their mothers to keep them safe, like this white lion cub and litter mate in South Africa.

Even if you are in an area dominated by vast open plains, you will often have to venture into thicker riverine vegetation to find the animals such as the elusive leopard. This young leopardess in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania, had ambushed and killed an antelope called a lesser Kudu in thick riverine vegetation. To get a view in the open we had to wait for her to climb a tree, which she did to rest, remaining close by her meal to keep a look out for danger and animals like lions and hyena who might steal her precious Kudu kill.

Like wise a bit of luck was needed to see this crash of white rhino, happening across them bathing in mud out in a clearing surrounded by thick mopane woodland. Mopane woodlands and Miombo woodlands occur over a vast range of safari Africa and where they don't, acacia thorn scrub could be something we have to content with to get a clear view or photo.

These habitat differences do not by any means detract from a safari experience, on the contrary they very much add to it. A lot of guests go on safari for the animals and go away mesmerised by the different landscapes and habitats they have experienced.

People are often surprised to find how much they enjoy some of the smaller stuff. The birds are spectacular and even if you are completely uninterested in birds before arriving, who could ignore birds like this:

So the variety that can be seen on safari is amazing and different habitat types diverse.

In my next blog in a few days i shall talk about what to take camera wise to make use of all these opportunities and then how with a little thought when packing can help you become more creative in how you photograph different species and in different situations.

On Safari-in welcomes you to give us a shout and we would love to organise your perfect safari, tailor-made according to your needs and interests. On safari-in is run by an experienced nature guide, guide trainer and lodge manager with over a decade's experience in wilderness areas across Southern and East Africa.

Phil Bennett- Founder, Private guide and safari specialist

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