Self-Drive Safari: Freedom, Independence and Safety for the African Explorer
If you long to get away from it all and have the adventure of a lifetime, a self-drive safari could be perfect for you. When you go on a self-drive safari, you design your own itinerary, set your own agenda and have the chance to get away from everything and discover peace, wilderness and beauty.
Although perhaps it also sounds a little risky or challenging. If that’s what you’re thinking, or you just to want to learn more about this unusual format of safari holiday, you’re in the right place.
What Is a Self-Drive Safari?
A self-drive safari is simply a safari where you set your own itinerary, plan your own routes and drive your own vehicle. With safety advice and a fully-serviced, robust 4×4 you can go off on your own, camp in the bush and experience amazing locations – places like Namibia, Tanzania, or even Argentina,- in all their glory.
This way of going on safari offers unparalleled freedom and independence. Imagine camping in the wild under canvas with no one else around you, being able to set your own itinerary and go at your own pace. All the above advantages all underscore one thing: freedom. This is what true adventure is all about.
What it means to have your very own 4×4
Your vehicle comes equipped with everything you need, from a fridge to a vehicle roof-top tent. You can store food and keep it cold, you can wash and you can set up a fire for cooking.
Having your own 4×4 is the key to all that freedom I mentioned. As well as customising your itinerary, you’re also able to select what type of accommodation you have each night. You choose how many nights to spend under canvas and how many nights to spend at safari lodges. That means you can select the campsites and lodges which offer you the facilities and experience you’re looking for.
You can still stop over for some luxury
If you like a little luxury as well, a few nights spent in a safari lodge can be great. Stopping at a lodge for the night means a proper bed, a restaurant, a bathroom and all the facilities a lodge can supply. Admittedly, these vary from place to place – but they can include swimming pools, spas and tennis courts.
One of my favourites is in Zambia, and you only have to see the video below to understand why. Local elephant herds regularly visit the lodge to eat the ripe mangoes which grow in the area, and so they designed the place with that in mind.
Is a Self-Drive Safari Really Safe?
Safety is paramount on a self-drive safari trip – it’s a holiday, not an exercise in mortal peril! At Safari Drive, for example, we provide all out clients range of facilities to keep them safe, including:
• A fully-serviced, robust 4×4 vehicle.
• Up-to-date maps of every country you visit.
• SatNav – loaded with the latest Tracks 4 Africa data.
• A satellite phone and a 24/7 emergency number.
• Contact details with all our local and regional offices for the area you are travelling in.
• A comprehensive guidebook detailing everything you need to know, from national park rules to how to light a fire and from changing a tyre to driving through water. There is also detailed information on what to do in an emergency and how to use your satellite phone.
Is Self-Drive Safari for You?
With so many safety concerns, why would you want to consider a self-drive safari? Well, it’s true that it isn’t the right kind of holiday for everyone, and if you hate camping and don’t like being alone in the wild, a different kind of safari may work better for you.
But if you are looking for adventure, independence and freedom, this could be the perfect choice for you.
It’s about experiencing your destination of choice in a unique and memorable way that will be different to any other holiday you have ever had.
In fact, it’s so much more than a holiday because it’s about discovering a place where the only light comes from the stars and the only sounds from the wind in the trees, the insects buzzing around you and the birds in the trees.
In the words of Lisa Grainer on telegraph.co.uk: ‘This isn’t a place for lovers of iPods and spas; it is the earth as it has been for millennia, untouched and unspoilt.’
What it means to travel at your own pace
A self-drive safari means you can decide whether to make a journey from one point to another long or short, fast or slow. You can decide whether to bed down in camp for the night early or late in the day and when to get up in the morning.
So if you want to get out viewing wildlife early, you can do that. You don’t have to wait for a guide or for breakfast to be served. It’s your choice what to do and when.
However, you do have the security of having a pre-designed itinerary; one that is created in collaboration with a team of people who have travelled the path before you and who know what is achievable and what you mustn’t miss on your way.
The most significant point is that you are not tied to anyone else’s agenda or nailed down by anyone else’s needs or desires but your own. Freedom is very much the watchword of a self-drive safari.
Are You Ready?
If the idea of being out on the road with your own vehicle, following your own specially-designed itinerary sounds good, then a self-drive safari is for you.
To discuss your safari ideas and get the benefit of our expertise in helping you design it, get a free safari consultation with one of our team.