Safari Holidays in Africa - November 2013
Two key areas of East Africa and Southern Africa dominate the safari industry and the market is slowly changing to embrace stricter conservation controls to protect the animals and their habitats and at the same time provide a better quality of safari to the visitor.
East Africa is characterised by a higher density of tourists, hotel-styled lodges, mini-vans with pop-up roofs, and in some areas, queues of vehicles that track through the national parks. There are fewer private reserves than in the South, although the number of private conservation areas is increasing. Kenya and Tanzania are home to the world’s greatest wildlife spectacle – the ‘Great Migration’ between the Masai Mara in the North, to the Serengeti.
Southern Africa is dominated by huge land concessions owned or leased by luxury safari camp operators, luxury tented safari camps and huge tracts of wilderness areas with very low tourist densities. With average camp sizes of 10-16 people and only one or two vehicles for the entire concession, it is possible to drive all day and not encounter anything but wilderness and wildlife. However, not all the parks in the South fall into this category, with some generating high numbers of visitors and facing the same environmental and visitor-carrying capacity issues as those in East Africa.
With Africa being more accessible than at any time previously, the popularity of safari holidays is growing rapidly, and consequently, the most popular destinations have to adapt to cope with extra pressure from tourist arrivals. However, those less well-known and off the beaten track destinations are being presented with new opportunities from this emerging demand.
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