My safari review is a little different to most you’ve probably read. I’ve only ever really heard positives and the odd negative has only ever been about the lack of animals.
Well, I saw loads of wildlife, but I still really disliked going on safari.
Most people I meet say a safari is definitely on their dream travel list. I’m a super positive travel lover, so it does pain me a little to admit this, but I’m not so sure. I’m glad it’s a tick on my travel list, but it left me feeling a bit uneasy afterwards.
My Safari Review
I went to Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, Africa. I was massively excited to visit. I had visions of four-wheeled adventures and aspirations of seeing some of “The Big Five”:
- African Elephants
- Cape Buffalo
- Black Rhinos
Now I realise you’re probably thinking that my negative experience is due to not seeing these animals, but that’s not true. Save for the elusive leopard, I was lucky enough to see all of them, if not more. I even saw cubs and calves (baby elephants), which as you would expect, were adorably cute.
My group consisted of six of us, plus our ranger/driver and we set off from Nairobi in a rugged jeep. I loved that we were a small, intimate group and more so, I loved our cool vehicle, even if it was baking in there and the suspension was a nightmare over all the potholes.
As soon as we got to the park we were greeted by kudo and shortly after lots of zebras. It didn’t take us long at all to find some elephants, including some calves.
The Safari Chase
Our driver would pull up at a safe distance where we could clearly see them without using our binoculars. We’d spend a good fifteen minutes or so watching them and taking photographs. It was beautiful and amazing to see them so closely without a grilled fence. It was stunning to see these fascinating creatures, watching them interact with each other.
However, what I disliked was that despite those great encounters, our guide would then test his luck and edge closer and closer, until we were chasing them. It was clear the animals found it disturbing and distressing, particularly those with young. Although out of my hands, I felt like a greedy tourist pushing the boundaries.
When something or somewhere is amazing, there are always going to be tourists flocking there in droves. I totally appreciate that. When we started our safari we hardly saw any other people.
However, midway through I noticed the other jeeps gathering with us. Perhaps before I was too engrossed in the animals to notice, I’m not sure.
Is it Really the Wild?
What became clear was whenever we stumbled across one of the more rare animals, such as a lioness with her playful cubs, our guide would radio the other guides and we would instantly be surrounded by other eager tourists. I really do appreciate that everyone is just keen to see the animals, but I felt sorry for the animals being harassed. It didn’t feel like the wild and instead a glorified zoo.
Although I’ve been slightly put off by safaris, I’m sure there are some more remote ones that don’t have these problems, or maybe I’m trying to be too positive and they are all like this. Have you been on a safari or would you go on one? What was your experience like? X
Pin for later…
P.S. My Kenyan experience wasn’t all bad. In fact I had some amazing times too – see here.