I don’t like to make a habit of setting my alarm at 5am, but I can make an exception on safari. In fact, on a recent trip to Greater Kruger in South Africa, I found myself bounding out of bed as soon as I heard the guide’s gentle knock at the door. A far cry from burying my head in a pillow like I normally do. It was the thought of seeing lions in the wild that made me, but there are many other reasons to go on safari besides that!

If you’re unsure whether a holiday spent spotting wildlife is the one for you, I’ve rounded up my top 9 reasons to go on safari. I’m sure there are millions more, but these are the ones that made me fulfil a lifelong dream and book one. 

Reasons to go on safari

Reasons to go on safari

1. See animals in their natural habitat

This reason should be enough, in my opinion. Where better to see wild animals than in their own environment? Granted, a safari still seems to be a bit of an invasion of their privacy but if they don’t like the look of you, they can run away. And anyway, it’s miles better than locking them away in a cage in a country that their bodies just aren’t made for. Do a solid and go to them instead – it’s a must for any African bucket list!

Reasons to go on safari

2. Learn more about animals from the people that really know them

All of the guides I have had the pleasure of meeting have been fantastic. At Africa on Foot, the trackers had all grown up in the bush and the guides dreamed of protecting animals from a very young age. This gave them a passion for their job that you just don’t see with other professions. You could ask them a question about anything and they would tell you the answer with a big smile on their face. 

Africa on Foot: Staff

3. Support conservation 

All safari lodges in designated national parks charge park fees at the end of your stay. Instead of an annoying tax, this fee directly contributes to the animals’ welfare through park maintenance and anti-poaching tactics. As you settle in to your game drives, you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re helping to protect the wonderful animals you’ve come to see. 

Reasons to go on safari

4. Support local communities 

The majority of staff at safari lodges are local to the area. In fact, five of the seven staff we met at my lodge in South Africa were born within a twenty minute drive of the park gates. By going on safari, you can help these communities by funding staff wages, buying local crafts in the souvenir shops and eating and drinking local produce. 

Africa on Foot: Staff

5. Relax

When you’re not out on a game drive, a safari lodge is a great place to relax. Most lodges have communal areas where you can read a book, have a coffee or watch the wildlife go by from the verandah. All are a great way to recuperate after early mornings and too much pinotage the night before. 

Africa on Foot: Drinks around the campfire

6. Make new friends

Safaris really are for everyone, meaning you’re likely to meet a very diverse group of people at your lodge. And they always have one thing in common – a love of animals. On our three nights at Africa on Foot, our fellow guests came from Australia, USA, Germany and France and we all had a great time drinking around the campfire, reminiscing about what we had seen during our day’s activities. 

Africa on Foot: Staff

7. Unique experience

The beauty of nature is that every safari is different. You’ll never see the same thing twice, making it an incredible experience each time you go. I know I’d much rather go on safari every year than stay at the same beach resort for a second time! 

Elephant in Yala National Park

8. Good photography opportunity 

Animals make fantastic photographs. If photography is your thing, you’ll be snap happy on a safari. Plus, the landscapes in national parks are just beautiful. Even if you don’t see any animals worth capturing, you’re sure to find incredible mountain scenery, lush forests and never ending plains through your viewfinder. Depending on where you visit, of course! 

Reasons to go on safari

9. Explore more than just Africa 

Remember that safaris shouldn’t just be reserved for Africa. I’ve had fantastic trips to see tigers and elephants in Indialeopards and deer in Sri Lanka, as well as lions and giraffe in South Africa. With a safari holiday, you’re spoilt for choice as to where you go. Try them all to see which type you prefer! 

Tiger in Ranthambore National Park, India

If my reasons to go on safari have convinced you it should be your next holiday, check out my review of Africa on Foot – a boutique safari lodge in South Africa – to start planning!

Have you ever been on safari? If not, do you think you’d enjoy it? If you have, where did you go and what made you book it in the first place? I’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!

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20 thoughts on “9 reasons to go on safari

    • Anna (wouldbetraveller) says:

      Thanks Alex! I would definitely recommend it, you could try a short one first to see if you like it. That’s really what we did on this holiday. But fell totally in love with it and now want to spend the rest of our lives on safari!! You might get the safari bug too ?

  1. Caroline says:

    Jaw-dropping photography! I would love to go on safari – it’d have to be a luxury one though, no camping for me haha. And of course one that is helping to protect the animals – that’s a very important point you made.

    • Anna (wouldbetraveller) says:

      Hey Anna! Thank you for that 🙂 The guides have to carry guns just in case. Usually the animals stay well clear if you’re on a walking safari, but if they get too close, the guides can make noises with the gun (like playing with the mechanism) just to alert them that they don’t want to come closer. They can also use them for warning shots into the air as a very final resort. It’s incredibly rare that they even need to do that though 🙂

  2. Victoria says:

    I love your photos! South Africa is the next big trip I’m planning, and the opportunity to go on safari there is definitely one of the main reasons I want to go. It looks like you got to see lots of animals there which is amazing – hopefully I’ll be just as lucky 🙂

  3. Cherene Saradar says:

    Your photos are incredible! Can’t believe you managed to see a tiger. I know they are hard to spot. I did a safari once in Tanzania and thinking of coming to S. AFrica next year!

  4. Steph The Pink Backpack says:

    Oh …my…goodness.. Your photos are just amazing. the baby elephant?! Serious travel goals right there. and the rhinos!! I have never seen a rhino in the wild before, just amazing! It’s funny, in my post in South Africa I said you could skip a safari because the resort had wildlife but your post definitely has made me change my mind and wish I went to Kruger 🙂

  5. Jacku says:

    Oh man I would love to go on a safari! One day I’ll make it, I’m sure 🙂 Would be great to explore such alien landscapes and see some of these extraordinary animals!

  6. Stefinia says:

    I love safaris, possibly because I love wildlife. To see animals in their natural habitat is a great reason, you get great opportunities for photography as well. It’s just amazing seeing wild animals, the calm tiger, lion, the elephant taking sand bath and have a ride through the greenery and things like that. Lovely pictures, the lioness looks lovely.

  7. Danielle says:

    I will be going on my first ever safari in Kruger in a few months, so this post has made me VERY excited. The photo of the baby elephant walking alongside it’s mum made my heart melt!

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