Whether you’re a lover of the great outdoors or not, the safari is the ultimate wildlife experience.
The chance to see the ‘big five’ – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo – the world’s most iconic animals, is something that cannot fail to impress.
Skyscanner looks at two safari options – the chic and the cheap – that will give you the safari experience, whatever your budget.
Chic Safari: Kenya
Kenya is Africa’s most popular safari location, and most Kenyan safaris include a visit to the Masai Mara , widely regarded as the best game reserve in the country and known for its sheer numbers and diversity of game.
Here you’ll be able to view lions, leopards, buffalos, elephants, rhinos, wildebeest and zebra in their natural habitat with no cages, no crowds and no boundaries – just miles and miles of untouched African scenery.
Visitors can stay in the legendary ‘tree top hotel’, luxurious lodges, or any number of chic or otherwise camping options which can be arranged via a safari tour guide and will allow you to get close up and personal with the wildlife (though not too close!) and really experience the wonder of the African safari.
Cheap Safari: UK
Whilst watching wildlife in its natural habitat is the ultimate animal experience, it doesn’t come cheap; a family safari to Kenya will cost several thousands of pounds. But you don’t have to leave the UK to experience the wonder of the world’s magnificent beasts.
The UK is well endowed when it comes to safari parks, wildlife sanctuaries and zoos, and there’s one advantage of the safari park over the real African safari – you’ll be able to see animals that live outside of Africa too.
The West Midlands’ Safari Park is a little piece of Africa right here in the UK. Offering miles of safari like terrain and the chance to see the UK’s only pride of rare white lions (which are virtually extinct in the wild) as well as elephants, rhinos, tigers, wild dogs, wallabies, wolves, buffalo, zebra and gnu. Turn up at the right time and you can even feed the animals. There’s also an amusement park with 30 rides to scare yourself on, from the New Venom Tower Drop, to the Zambezi Water Splash. And for the ultimate outdoor experience, stay at the Coppice Gate Holiday Park, in the nearby Wyre forest.
Made famous by featuring on the BBC documentary “Animal Park”, Longleat was the first location outside of Africa to open a drive through safari park. Visitors will get to see giraffe, flamingos, vultures, seals, lions, wolves, tigers and pelicans, and can even get close up and personal with the animals at the ‘Family Pets Corner’, where you’ll get the chance to handle snakes, possums, and if you’re brave enough, tarantula spiders! Stay at a campsite near Longleat and you’ll even get to hear the lions roar as you sleep!
Scotland’s Blair Drummond Safari and Adventure Park offers an excellent animal experience for those living north of the border. There’s a great array of wildlife including antelope, bears, bison, lemurs, elephants, chimps, lions, otters, zebra, meerkats, penguins, sea lions, ostriches and tigers.
There are also plenty of rides and amusements including pedal boats, the Pirate Ship and the Giant Astraglide Slide, and for the parents there’s the essential ‘Watering Hole Bar’. Accomodation can be found at the Blair Drummond Caravan Park situated near Stirling in an attractive site, set in and around a walled garden, sheltered with mature trees and bright flowering shrubs.