No safari is alike. They’re all different because nature is unpredictable. At various times of the year, you will see different things: Migrations, births, droughts, greenery, different vegetation, etc. Plus every safari lodge offers its own unique experiences and value propositions. I will say that something I have felt at all of them, is this feeling that they are creating magic in the middle of nowhere.
One safari lodge/camp may offer an unparalleled wine selection. We are all familiar with wines that are paired with various meals, but what about pairing wines with a specific animal viewing? For instance, try sipping a full-bodied South African pinotage while watching a momma elephant giving herself a dry dust bath in the near distance. Or a light sauvignon blanc paired with antelope as they spring across a creek bed just below you.
Some safaris are renowned for their superb local cuisine, while others may have a chef whose specialty is Italian or French dishes. Some safari lodges have incredible spas, and some are rumored to be in the best location for viewing certain animals. Plus, in some locations, there are animal rehabilitation centers where you can even interact with lions, cheetahs, elephants, and giraffes!
Of course, different safaris offer a myriad of animals. In addition to traditional safaris with their own specific and varied wildlife that differs from place to place, there are gorilla safaris in Rwanda, tiger safaris in India, and marine safaris in South Africa, and I am delighted to say that Zoom Vacations covers all these. In places like Borneo, there are various areas where you can track wild orangutans, including the incredible Danum Valley and via river safaris down the Kinabatangan.
Then there are safaris that cater to unique activities: walking safaris, cooking experiences, canoe safaris, archery, and so much more.
However, even if every safari offered the same experiences, the most powerful thing about being on safari is how it makes you feel: in touch with nature, grounded, peaceful, and contemplative. It is on safari where I find myself often having the most life-changing epiphanies. The most powerful lesson that safaris have taught me is that you have to go one day at a time and let nature take its course. The safari experience reminds you that you cannot control everything. It makes you feel less anxious and more peaceful. People often get anxious when they feel not in control. Safaris teach you to embrace this and even celebrate it. And every so often, it is beneficial to have a refresher course of this powerful lesson, and the best place to do that is on a safari.
People often think that going on safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but we have had so many travelers take one safari with Zoom Vacations, and then find themselves booking another. Safaris are indeed an experience for which many of us need to budget and plan, but I look at it as an investment in myself and in my mental and physical wellbeing. One thing is certain: the investment is worth it.