Mention the word safari and it conjures up visions of Meryl Streep and Robert Redford in Out of Africa, or perhaps the vague memory of a testosterone-infused Hemingway story.
In the past, safaris focused more on hunting and offered the opportunity to pursue trophies on trips that, while considered both glamorous and luxurious, were a far cry from today’s African experience.
Earlier safaris were typically shooting and drinking extravaganzas conducted in comfortable, although still relatively spartan camps. But hunting gradually declined in popularity and now photography is the centerpiece of African expeditions. Safari sites that cater to the photographic tourists who came to prominence in the 90s are much more luxurious affairs.
The end of apartheid in South Africa contributed significantly to the change, and along with the acceleration in luxury the safari industry is now seeing an increased focus on private concessions as opposed to more restricted national parks. Private ownership has increased not only the range of activities, but enhanced the guest experience while promoting conservation and cultural interaction. The modern safari allows guests to enjoy a luxury travel experience, view and photograph a breathtaking array of wildlife and interact with local people during their stay. Today’s African adventure is much more a comprehensive cultural experience.
For more information, please read:
50 Years of Safari: An Insider’s Take on the Changing Face of African Travel | Robb Report