Iconic Africa’s 3 Bucket List Safaris

From the Bale Mountains of Ethiopia to the roaring Atlantic Beaches of Cape Town… Africa has an almost endless variety of experiences on offer. It would take multiple lifetimes to do them all.
Yet if we were absolutely pushed to choose only THREE – an almost impossible task – we know which way we’d go.

After much internal deliberation, we settled on one safari to get you blood absolutely racing, one to make you feel an unbelievable connection to nature, and one to bring you utter peace…

Here then is Iconic Africa’s Bucket List Selection of 3 (at least for now):

1. The Great Migration

It’s one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on earth.

1.5 million wildebeest sweeping majestically over the great African plains is a sight that you won’t soon be forgetting. The annual circuit of this megaherd between the southern Serengeti of Tanzania and the Maasai Mara of Kenya is a sheer wonder to behold. The wildebeest – accompanied by half a million zebra – follow the seasonal rains and the good grazing they bring, moving in an never-ending clockwise ring.

From July through to September, the herds have been hitting the northern extent of their movements and have entered the Mara Triangle; a thin wedge of land between the Mara River in the east and the Oloololo Escarpment in the west. It is the Mara river and the crossing thereof that presents them with their greatest challenge on their already arduous journey.
Monster crocodiles lie in wait in the brown waters, and prides of lions line the banks, knowing how the herds will be funneled through very specific gulleys and exit points.
It is carnage as tens of thousands of wildebeest ford the river at once, and it is a glut for the predators.
A particularly wild crossing will leave you completely out of breath.

It seems almost impossible that there can be such an aggregation of wild animals in one place – or at least one area – yet the Great Migration as it is simply known will redefine what you previously imagined as abundance.
Seeing it first hand would be THE safari we would recommend, if you could only choose one…

2. Gorilla Trekking

Another safari to take your breath away, but in a total different manner…

Staring into the eyes of a great ape that but for its shaggy black coat and enormous size could be… you… will bridge the gap between human and nature in a profound way than any other experience you’ve ever had.
You will know – not suspect, but know – that this creature is working you out in exactly the same manner that you are working him or her out, and once you’ve encountered a sentient being like that in the wild, your whole perception of the word “wild” will change. As will your understanding of our human place in this world, and our responsibility to protect it.

The mountain gorillas of east/central Africa are confined to a very small area between Uganda, Rwanda and the DRC.
Uganda and Rwanda are where the infrastructure lies for gorilla trekking, and there are a number of excellent lodges to choose from, like Wilderness Bisate or Singita Kwitonda.
In reality, the lodge you stay in is secondary to the gorilla experience itself, but you do tend to find that the higher-end establishments prepare their guests far better for the treks on the mountain by providing things like gaiters, gloves and other handy equipment.

3. Boatride in the Okavango

Botswana’s Okavango Delta is a true eden. Plate tectonics under the Kalahari Basin have meant that the Okavango River never reaches the sea. Instead it flows out into the Kalahari sands, forming an unbelievably lush inland delta covering 16 000 square kilometres that are simply brimming with wildlife.

The Okavango is seasonal, in that the floodwaters are only around between the end of May and September, when the rain that has fallen far away in the Angolan highlands has flowed down through the catchment area and spread out into the myriad waterways of the Delta.

This is the time to go boating.

There are essentially two options; mokoro or motorboat.

A mokoro (plural mekoro) is the traditional dugout canoe of these parts and is still used extensively bby local fisherman to pole their way through the winding channels. A mokoro ride (multi-day trips are possible) is slow and serene, and allows one real intimacy with nature. You approach silently round corners so have every chance of hearing what’s up ahead of you, like a stately elephant bull crossing a channel.

You get to see the Delta at eye-level, and can appreciate its finer details like frogs and waterlillies and wading birds. It is one of the most tranquil experiences you can find on Safari.

The second option is to head out on a motorboat. You can still find the serenity in droves once you’ve cut the engine, and the beauty of this mode of transport is that you get to cover a whole lot more ground in a short space of time, so if you want to maximise your experience but only have a couple of days in the area, this is the option we’d recommend.

The Okavango is such an incredible body of water (during the flood) that it is a shame not to get the full potential out of your time there, and a boat excursion is definitely the way to do this!

Africa is vast and so is the diversity of safari offerings. No two experiences are the same, which is really the beauty of safari in the first place. Even the same activities in the same area will always differ.

The above three options we are supremely confident will move you in a profound way. If you want the safari bug to bite – and you are unlikely to have much control over the matter – then the Great Migration, a gorilla trek, and exploring the Okavango’s waterways are a sure way to let Africa into your soul…

Get in touch through info@iconicafrica.com to find out more about these and other experiences that are out there, just waiting for you…



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