A bush dinner is considered dining under the African stars. Safari Hunters we organize bush dinners to take place in scenic locations within the African Bush plains.
This dining experience is quite exciting whether it is by the river’s edge where the hippos are grunting or in the plains with unlimited views of the big game. In most cases, the bush dinner will commence with the setting of the sun. Our guests will find that a table and chairs have already been set up and that a campfire, lanterns, and bush kitchen awaits them.
Our staff carefully serve guests with freshly prepared gourmet food made by the executive chef using fresh local produce with international influences accompanied with fine wines. To make it an even more unforgettable African dining experience, local groups sing and dance providing background entertainment that blends with the sounds of the unfenced bush. By the light of the flickering embers of a wood fire, sit back and relax and soak up the final minutes of what will have been yet another day full of adventure.
The Rolls-Royce of budget camping safaris – Exclusive Camping Safaris
While searching for a budget tour, you may have come across some camping safaris classified as “Exclusive” on our site or elsewhere. We know this tour category can sound like a bit of a contradiction (being exclusive, yet budget and camping) so here is a bit of a breakdown.
Exclusive Safaris – camping in style
Both Exclusive Budget and Exclusive Overland Safaris are essentially camping tours, with two to three nights of accommodation thrown into the mix for added comfort. For the accommodated nights on these exclusive types of camping tours, you stay in lodge-style accommodation. On the camping nights you stay at tented camps, offering more luxurious camping facilities than basic camp sites.
Exclusive safaris are ideal for the first-time, or reluctant camper, who is unsure if the whole camping experience is for them. These exclusive camping tours are also perfect for the seasoned camper who wants a step up from standard and basic camping packages.
If you’re travelling on a very tight budget and the accommodated tours are looking a little too expensive, then you will probably find that the exclusive camping safaris meet your needs better. This camping option will enable you to visit the same highlights and game parks as the budget lodge safaris on even more of a shoestring.
What’s so Exclusive About these Camping Tours?
Both types of Exclusive Camping Safaris are classed as small group safaris, travelling with a maximum of 16 people. For the bulk of the tour travellers stay at permanent or semi-permanent tented camps, spending two or three nights (sometimes more) in lodge-style accommodation along the way.
Participation: One of the key differences between the exclusive camping safaris and traditional camping safaris is the level of participation required. Exclusive camping tours call for little or no participation, as opposed to standard camping tours where you are expected to help out quite a bit. If and when participation is called-for on exclusive camping safaris it will usually be in the form of helping to dismantle or set up camp.
Camping equipment: Another factor that sets exclusive safaris apart from standard camping tours is that the tents are equipped with camping mattresses (at the least), softening the camping experience. On some of the exclusive camping tours camping beds, pillows and all linen are included too.
Food: The exclusive camping tours also provide higher quality meals, given that you have a dedicated cook. For example, in Tanzania the exclusive budget camping tours include a wide selection of hot drinks and hearty meals that have been well-prepared, so you can expect to be well-fed.
Types of Exclusive Camping Safaris
There are two types of Exclusive Safaris – Exclusive Budget Safaris and Exclusive Overland Safaris. These are still affordable tours for the budget traveller, not to be confused with luxury safaris!
Exclusive Budget Safaris – the perks
These are the more exclusive of the two exclusive tour types. Why?
Mostly because the group size is smaller and the vehicles are smaller, resulting in a more personal safari experience.
Pros of the Exclusive Budget Safaris, include:
• Small group size: between 2 and 6 to 8 travellers per tour
• Transfers and game viewing drives in smaller vehicles
• Guaranteed window seat in some areas (East Africa)
• More personal safari experience
• Inclusive tour price
• Camping equipment
Chimpanzee tracking is where by a trekker goes to the forest to view the already habituated chimpanzees. The habituated chimpanzees are normally confined in one area and are not aggressive and sturbon. They are friendly.
Chimpanzee tracking can take 1-3 hours.
Chimpanzee Habituation experience is a process where by a trekker spends more hours or even the whole day with the chimpanzees deep in the forest. This process involves removing the fear of humans from the chimpanzees.
CHIMPANZEE/ GORILLA HABITUATION EXPERIENCE
Chimpanzee Tracking and Habituation in Kibale
Kibale’s most popular activity is the Kanyanchu Primate Walk. Thirteen species can be sought, and a good variety of diurnal monkeys invariably encountered, but the stars of this trail are the chimpanzees. Kanyanchu’s chimps have been tracked since 1993 and the chances of locating them are excellent. Guided walks start at 8am and 2pm and last an average of three hours, depending on various factors. The full-day Chimpanzee Habituation Experience (CHEX) works with a chimp community which is undergoing habituation. Early visitors can watch chimps leaving their overnight nests between 6:00 – 6:30am before feeding, copulating, hunting, breastfeeding, resting, patrolling and displaying until it is time to build new nests around 7pm.
Find details of Gorilla Habituation experience safaris and tours offered by Safari Hunters . Gorilla habituation safaris and tours are the latest additions to activities in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Safari Hunters can organize both road or driving safaris to Bwindi Impenetrable National park for gorilla habituation experience or fly in safaris to the same National Park. We have trips to Bwindi National park for gorilla habituation experience that range from 3 days to 7 days of gorilla habituation experience. For more details about our gorilla habituation safaris, do contact one of our safari consultants.
As part of our services, we do book gorilla habituation permits just as we do for gorilla trekking permits. As soon as you pick interest in Gorilla Habituation experience safaris, kindly do contact Safari Hunters for availability of space in Rushaga which is located on the southern part of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Once there is space, we will request you to provide all your passport details which are required before gorilla habituation permits are issued out. We also book accommodation in Rushaga depending on your budget and interest.
Eco-tourism is a burgeoning industry seeing a broad shift towards low impact development and environmentally friendly safari travel. Safaris often stay at eco-lodges, where the ecological footprint is kept at to a minimum.
The modern safari is also a socially responsible journey designed to interact ethically with local communities and have a positive impact on local economies. The cultural interactions offered by reputable safari operators do not exploit local people. The local communities benefit from sustainable tourism through employment and financial gains from selling goods and services (dance performances, guided trips and resource management etc). Some safari companies directly support social upliftment projects whilst others make use of lodges, reserves and other establishments that assist local communities.
In addition to game viewing and wildlife tracking, safaris are about:
• experiencing the local cultures of Africa
• exploring scenic places and natural wonders
• visiting historical highlights and sightseeing
• participating in adventure and outdoor activities
A Cultural Walk is a short tour undertaken on foot to different cultural sites within the local community where guests have an opportunity to meet local people and enjoy a cross-cultural interaction.
A game drive is an adventure that entails viewing wildlife in the comfort of a 4×4 open Land Rovers which accommodate 4 to 10 people, a sure way to give you that classical safari feeling. Safari game drives are one of the most popular ways to see wildlife in Africa.
At Safari Hunters ,game drives usually conducted in the early mornings, late afternoon or at night, since these are the coolest times of the day when most animals are more active. During the game drive, our knowledgeable Maasai guides will introduce you to the life in the savanna and share their infinite knowledge about the African wildlife.
A safari game drive can vary in length and distance, depending on individual preferences. As you drive into the wilderness, you will be captivated by the vast beauty of the savanna, with its rolling hills and infinite horizon.
The African Bush Ecosystem is renowned for its abundance of wildlife! During your game drive safari you most certainly will encounter the big five lion, cheetah, rhino, leopard and elephant as well as numerous other wildlife animals and birds.
There two words which are used concurrently to mean the same thing but there is a slight difference that we need to point out for those interested in visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Mgahinga National Park and Volcanoes National Park. Gorilla trekking and tracking basically come into play when one talks about mountain gorillas in the above mentioned national park. The difference between gorilla trekking and tracking lies with who does what.
Difference between gorilla trekking and tracking
When one talks about gorilla trekking whether in Uganda or Rwanda. It basically means following mountain gorillas. This involves a group of tourists who hike hills and beat the bush trying to follow and find a given family of mountain gorillas. Tourists are always guided by an official guide from Uganda Wildlife Authority in Uganda and or Rwanda Development Board for the sake of Rwanda. It is this trained guide that will lead the group of tourists to where the gorillas will be. During gorilla trekking, the guide will definitely do his work of indentifying other animals, birds and trees to make the journey or trek enjoyable. He will always be in touch with gorilla trackers or what we call the advanced team who will keep on directing him to where a given gorilla family will be at that particular moment. The fact that gorillas leave in mountainous or hilly areas, they have to trek or hike to find them hence the term gorilla trekking.
Gorilla tracking can be used to mean gorilla trekking but in the actual sense, gorilla tracking means trying to find a given habituated mountain gorilla family. Gorilla trackers/advanced team/rangers use many signs and methods to trace these gorillas before gorilla trekking takes place. These rangers wakeup very early every morning to hit the forest in search for these mountain gorillas. They use natural means to track them other than using the GPS system. Once they find them, then they will communicate to the park headquarters and its then that gorilla trekking will then follow. The second difference between gorilla trekking and tracking is that gorilla tracking is done by rangers or the advanced group using several methods to find gorillas and then once found, gorilla trekking will then follow. This does not however rule out the fact that when tracking gorillas, rangers also trek or hike hills to find them. Thus the difference between these words is minimal and one word can be used to mean the other.
Guided Nature Walk
A walking safari is an adventurous activity where guests embark on slow paced, guided walks with the primary objective to explore different wildlife species along the bush. The small details that are overlooked on game drives become more apparent from the slower pace and lower angle of being on foot.
Safari Hunters walking safaris are led by experienced and professional,local tour Guide Bushman through a rich wildlife area. By walking with the Bush, guests will get an authentic insight of the bush rather than simply observing it. African walking safari duration depends on guest’s preference varying from 2 hours to several days walking at a leisurely pace while exploring the open plains as well as the bush.
East Africa has several high mountains that offer hikers a thrilling adventure while on their holiday in Africa. These include Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Kenya, Mount Rwenzori and other several mountains in Uganda and Rwanda
East Africa has some exciting climbing adventures to offer; Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa; Mount Kenya and the Ruwenzori Mountains. Each of these mountains has its own challenges and successfully climbing any one of them is an accomplishment to be proud of! Although some are not particularly difficult to climb it is necessary that one be in sound physical condition.
And so mountaineering is a fast growing adventure among the young and old alike, and the commonly tackled are Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro. Silverbird Safaris can organise various excursions of varying durations to Mount Kenya and Mount Kilimanjaro and to any mountain of client’s choice.
Knowledgeable guides and porters will accompany you and carry your luggage and you will only have to carry water, cameras and other personal items. The mountain climbing adventure normally begins with an overnight stay at a base lodge. After a hearty breakfast, you and your team depart. This is where the legwork begins with a climb through the lower rainforests. You will find that the landscape changes as you begin the assault. Interestingly more people visit Mount Kenya and the Ruwenzori Mountains to explore and view the fascinating vegetation than to climb the peaks and glaciers.
As you get closer to the peaks, breathing becomes more difficult as the air is very thin and the cold cuts through your clothing. As the rising sun’s rays touch the earth, Africa is revealed in splendour at your feet. This gives you the impetus to push on through the last and final stages before you reach the highest peaks.
For those who enjoy being active, hiking vacations are great opportunities to experience East Africa from a different perspective. The smells and sounds of the area are sharper, nature is closer and the views stunning.
Mount Kilimanjaro – Tanzania
Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s most popular trekking destination, and at 19,336 feet it’s Africa’s highest peak. The trek to the summit takes you through 5 different climatic zones. More than 20,000 people attempt the climb every year.
Routes vary in degree of difficulty, traffic and scenic beauty. The least difficult routes are Marangu and Rongai; the more difficult routes are Machame, Shira and Limosho. The longer routes have more difficult hiking but you’ll be more acclimatized and your chances of reaching the summit are therefore higher.
Mount Kenya – Kenya
Africa’s second highest peak. While the highest peaks Batian (5200m) and Nelion (5188m) require some technical climbing, Lenana (4985m) is the peak trekkers head to. Mount Kenya’s slopes are cloaked in forest and moorland which gives way to rock, ice and snow. The mountain is part of a larger reserve.
The best time to climb Mount Kenya is between January – February, and July – October. There are huts on the mountain, or you can camp.
Rwenzori Mountains – Uganda
The Rwenzori Mountains (Mountains of the Moon) lie just north of the Equator along the border of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Uganda. Mount Stanley is the highest mountain in the range, with twin summits each standing over 5,000m high making it Africa’s 3rd tallest mountain. Permanent glaciers adorn the peaks.
The main trail up Mount Stanley’s peaks is called the Central Circuit and takes 4-10 days. Along the route you’ll encounter thick forest, bogs, boulders, glaciers and elephants. Guides and armed rangers are compulsory. There are basic huts along the routes. Best time to trek is December – February and June – August.
Nyiragongo Volcano – DR Congo
Nyiragongo volcano is located in Virunga National park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC and is situated around 19 kilometers of Goma, very close to Rwandan border. The Nyiragongo is one of Africa ‘s most dangerous and the most famous for its semi permanent lava lake. Though it is currently safe to hike Nyiragongo. The volcano is also known to the people of Congo as a sacred mountain where an angry spirit is trapped. The volcano is still active and it has erupted several times throwing lavas toward the town of Goma and other neighboring villages.
Lava Lake at Nyiragongo Volcanoe
Hiking Nyiragongo Volcanoe is not a piece of cake but any fit individual would find it fairly easy to climb. It takes 5 hours to get to the top of this active volcanoe. The hike starts in hot forest and ends at the desolate volcanic rocky cone, where it’s also cold at 5 degrees. The most stunning view while on top of Nyiragongo is the bubbling lava at night. There are a few new wooden shelters with two mattresses each. If you don’t have a spot arranged, you need to bring a tent. Either way, warm clothes and a warm sleeping bag are necessary.
You also need to bring food and water for the 1 1/2 days, including dinner up on top. The rangers make a fire that you can cook or BBQ on. If you have space to bring extra food, they are really excited to gobble it up. Make sure to bring enough for the hike and the night, plus whatever cooking you plan to do while on top as most hiking spend the night there.
Lakes of hot lava are one of the most spectacular forms of volcanic activity, but they are very difficult to see since there are currently only a few of them in the world. So, if you want to see a really impressive lava lake, you have only one option left: Hiking Nyiragongo
Karisimbi Mountain – Rwanda
Mount Karisimbi is an inactive volcano in the Virunga Mountains on the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. At 4,507 metres (14,787 ft), Karisimbi is the highest of the eight major mountains of the mountain range, which is a part of the East African Rift Valley. Karisimbi is flanked by Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the other side of the Rift Valley. The volcanoes Park is famously known for its endangered gorillas mountains.
The name Karisimbi probably comes a word in the local language, Kinyarwanda, which means Little white shell. This is an allusion to the white snow cap that can sometimes be found on the volcano.
Between Karisimbi and Bisoke is the Karisoke Research Centre, which was founded by Dian Fossey in order to observe the mountain gorillas living in this area.
Karisimbi was first successfully climbed by Berthelmy in 1903.
The best months to climb Karisimbi are January, February, March, July, August, September, October.
Ever dream of seeing an elephant trumpeting its trunk, a lion licking its lips, or a cheetah sprinting through the grasslands? An African safari is a thrilling chance to see wild animals going about their daily lives in their natural habitat. East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) has a huge variety of national parks that offer adventurous opportunities to see wildlife up close.
The history of the African safari
The word safari derives from the swahili word for ‘journey’, and in colonial times, the implication was that big game would be hunted, shot, and then arduously lugged overland by a small army of local tribespeople. US president Teddy Roosevelt popularised the concept in the United States, when he embarked on a safari of enormous proportions, ostensibly with the aim of filling the Smithsonian Institute with African specimens. 11,400 Animals fell to the party’s rifles, of which 512 were ‘big game’ – elephants, lions, leopards, buffalo, hippos and rhino, including six white rhino – rare even at the time.
The Modern Safari – Proudly Responsible
A safari still involves wildlife, but other than that the term has been re-purposed to mean something entirely new. Safaris are now for admiring wildlife and birds in the wild, along with a host of other adventures.
Safaris have largely developed into holiday trips that actually benefit the wildlife of Africa, by supporting local conservation efforts and wildlife sanctuaries. As opposed to hunting the animals, visitors get to encounter them and help make a difference in protecting the species. Safari companies either actively contribute towards conservation projects or help generate tourism revenue which is used to manage wildlife projects and game reserves.
Origins of the Word – Etymology of Safari
The English word ‘safari’ originates from the late 19th century according to the Online Etymology Dictionary.
First Arabic: The term originally comes from the Arabic word safara, meaning ‘a journey’ which was first used as a foreign word in the English langiage in 1858.
Then Swahili: The Arabic word found its way to East Africa where it was adapted to the Swahili verb kusafiri which means ‘to travel’ and the noun safari.
And then English: The Swahili word was first used in the English language in 1860 as a foreign word and then attested in dictionaries in 1890 as an English word. The legendary British explorer, Sir Richard Francis Burton is credited for introducing the word safari to the English language.
Forget the old concept of a safari as a hunting trip – that outdated usage is history! In the modern sense of a safari:
What is a Bird Walk?
Bird Walking is a light walking safari that involves observing and studying different species of birds, in their natural habitat. This adventure is conducted with the help of our passionate birding specialist’s Safari Hunters guide. Together with your guide, this excursion will teach you how to recognize and name bird species by sight, sound and habitat.
White Water Rafting
Rafting and white water rafting are recreational outdoor activities which use an inflatable raft to navigate a river or other body of water. This is often done on whitewater or different degrees of rough water. Dealing with risk and the need for teamwork is often a part of the experience. This activity as a leisure sport has become popular since the 1950s, if not earlier, evolving from individuals paddling 10 feet (3.0 m) to 14 feet (4.3 m) rafts with double-bladed paddles or oars to multi-person rafts propelled by single-bladed paddles and steered by a person at the stern, or by the use of oars. Rafting on certain sections of rivers is considered an extreme sport, and can be fatal, while other sections are not so extreme or difficult.
It is in Jinja, a small colonial town in Uganda that rafting trips can be taken. Rafting the river Nile in Uganda has become a huge tourist attraction and Jinja is often quoted to be the ‘adventure capital of East Africa’, white water enthusiasts have been rafting here for over 10 years. From the apprehensive who have never been on a river before to the seasoned adventurer, the Victorian source of the Nile in Uganda has something for everyone. The Nile is the classic pool‐drop river with deep, calm pools interspersed between powerful and exciting rapids and multitudes of different channels. At no point is the Nile constrained to one channel. The multiple of rapids between the beautiful mid‐river islands allows the expert guides to chose milder options for those not willing to subject themselves to certain dunking in the river.
The white water rafting is done in paddle‐rafts, each person joins as a member of a team and a professional guide captains the team. Paddlers are instructed comprehensively on how best to enjoy themselves on the water and on all aspects of safety including the use of safety kayaks which accompany every raft trip on the water. The highly trained safety kayakers are world class paddlers who adeptly pilot their kayaks through the rapid ahead of the raft. When the rafts flip upside down or people are washed overboard they are nearby to provide assistance in getting people back to their boats.
The trip on the water begins slowly and the first few kilometres give the raft guides an opportunity to train their crews fully on all aspects of Nile rafting. The river becomes much more adventures at Bujagali Falls and one major rapid follows swiftly after another for most of the morning. Once the rafts enter Wildwaters Reserve (protects the unique flora and fauna of the mid‐stream islands of the Nile), there is more time between the rough water but the rapids become larger and more spectacular. At Itanda (The Bad Place) the Nile is too powerful for the rafts and so the rafts are taken around the top by land.
The grading of the rapids rafted on this stretch of the Nile range from 1 – 5. At each of the larger (higher graded) rapids you are given the option of whether you want to go the hard way (through the middle) or the easy way (around the edge). The choice is voted on, however, it might not always turn out the way you expected because you (everyone in the raft) if do not paddle in the right direction you may not take the route you wanted.
The family rafting trip is a wonderful river journey for the whole family. Instead of choosing the biggest and wildest rapids, these rafts instead drift swiftly between the beautiful forested islands, bounce down smaller rapids and explore the many different channels of the river.
The night is spent on the ‘Hairy Lemon’ a beautiful secluded island right on Nile. The next morning the adults have a chance to river surf at ‘Nile Special’ the infamous surf wave found near to the Hairy Lemon. The light weight boogie boards will allow provide an incredible thrill on the waves of the Nile.
The great wildebeest migration is one of the most phenomenal natural spectacles in the world.
WHAT IS WILDEBEEST MIGRATION?
Great Wildebeest Migration, one of the 7 wonders of the world which happens right at the heart of the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Its astonishingly large numbers of wildlife species ensure guests have great game viewing opportunities. A Masai Mara safari promises incredible wildlife sightings all year round. The area is adjoined by private conservancies providing guests with intimate safari experiences.
The great wildebeest migration is one of the most phenomenal natural spectacles in the world. It is an annual movement by millions of wildebeest, accompanied by large numbers of zebra, Grant’s gazelle, Thompson’s gazelle, elands and impalas across the greater Masai Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem.
From July to Septemeber the Mara welcomes the Great Migration of wildebeest and zebra from the Serengeti in Tanzania to Masai Mara in Kenya. During the wildebeest migration, you will witness how the constant battle for survival makes the Migration Season a particularly exhilarating time to visit Kenya.
The Mara River crossing activity is considered the climax of the migration period. Mara River crossing is an event that will take you through a range of emotions, anticipation, heartache, inspiration, excitement and so much more. The sheer sight of the first herds of animals rushing into the crocodile infested river will make you long for this wildebeest migration every year.
Best time to see the Migration?
The best time to witness the migration from the Serengeti to Masai Mara is between July and September. During this period, the greatest spectacle on earth unfolds right before your eyes. Over a million wildebeest, zebra and gazelles make their way to Masai Mara by crossing the crocodile infested Mara River in search of greener pastures.
The exact timing may change from year to year as it is a spontaneous event influenced by rainfall patterns and the subsequent grazing opportunities. The animals are constantly on the move all year-round. They stay in the Masai Mara from July to October before gradually migrating back to the Serengeti from November.
Because of our longstanding commitment to the Maasai community we are able to provide authentic safari experiences to our guests with the guidance of our Masai friends. No one knows the Mara like the Maasai and as true nature specialists, guests are guaranteed a unique experience during this period.