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|An African Journey With The Big Five|
When most people book a safari holiday they do so with the aim of seeing the Big Five. Lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo; these are the animals that make up the Big Five. This term was originally used by hunters to describe the five greatest African animals. Some people also consider them the most difficult or most dangerous African animals to hunt on foot. Either which way, during safaris and game drives these animals still remain the most popular beasts to keep an eye out for.
There is a great misconception that all throughout Africa people wear animal skins, live in grass shelters or caves, ride pet elephants to get around and have no idea what cell phones and iPods are. While some African countries are still developing their infrastructure, it is a sudden reality check for foreigners landing at OR Thambo Airport (formerly known as Johannesburg International) where they are surrounded by high rise buildings, the latest car makes and models and, of course, men and women clad in glamorous or business-style clothing. However, as they pile into their transfer vehicle that will take them to the starting point of their South African safari, and leave the city in favour of dirt roads, savannah bushveld and open plains, it is as though the mental image that one had of Africa comes to life.
With films such as Jock of the Bushveld, I Dreamed of Africa and Out of Africa setting the scene for African safaris, visitors do tend to have certain expectations when they decide to go on a safari holiday. Blue, sunny skies and a yellow, dried-out landscape with the occasional green shrub or tree and lots of khaki clothing is a must, as are the water holes surrounded by animals, with zebra and antelope grazing on the grassy plains. Secretary birds strut along the dirt roads and vultures circle the skies while waiting for predators to eat their fill of their fresh catch. Hippo and crocodiles sleep in the sun on the river banks or laze in the cool shallows, while at night the hyena and jackal emit their laughing call up to the starry sky.
Yes, these sights and sounds are sure to be experienced during your stay in Africa, but there is also an educational aspect to this wilderness wonderland. During morning hikes game rangers or tour guides will point out animal tracks and tell you which creature left them. You will learn to recognise bird and animal calls so that you may identify them en route (although the roar of the lion or trumpet of an elephant should be easy enough for all to distinguish).
Sadly there are still poachers hunting these majestic beasts - the elephant and rhino for their tusks; crocodile, zebra and antelope for their hides and the lion for the acclaim, among others. There is also the impact that humans have on the environment; climate change influences droughts and wet spells, during which many of these beasts will perish. So if poaching doesn't contribute to the African animals' extinction, humans' thoughtless waste and pollution may well do so. Either which way, a safari tour in Africa may well be the only way of seeing these magnificent creatures roaming free in their natural habitat.
Journey to Southern Africa and partake in a safari tour that is guaranteed to open your eyes to the beauty of our continent. Walk with elephants, go horse riding and get close to grazing antelope and buffalo, see the leopard or cheetah race past your safari vehicle and hear the hyena scuttling around camp at night. These life-altering experiences are truly memorable and you will discover them all when you go on a safari holiday.
Karen du Toit is a tours consultant who books safari tours and Big Five safari packages.
safari tours,Big Five safari,
People need a van rental for several reasons. Key factors to locating rental vans is to first identify your requirements, the length of time you require and the amount of space you need. If you’re transferring a whole house of furniture, you’ll need a completely different type of van from the person that’s moving a desk or a few pieces of furniture. If you require the van rental for an entire season, instead of simply a one-time use, it also makes a difference.
People in search of rental vans for long-term use need to investigate several different options. Often it helps to explore your situation with a customer support agent to obtain not only the most beneficial rental van for your situation but to secure a quote. Those requiring a van for a longer period ought to be particularly interested in getting a top van rental because it can make a significant difference within the final price, even though there is just a few dollars difference per day.
Your customer support adviser should be beneficial and explain each of the various choices. They should comprehend the benefits of the rental vans offered and be able to give that information to help you make the best choice for your needs. The agent should also evaluate the period of time you will need the van for and offer a reduction on the price if you hire it out long-term.
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After you secure various quotes you’ll need to reduce the field even further, beyond just trying to find a cheap van rental. You need to ask to view the vans prior to making your ultimate decision. Examining rental vans can aid you in a number of ways. From looking at the selection of vans from which to pick out, you’ll be able to see the age and upkeep of the various vans provided from each organization. A number of the businesses that offer cheap van rentals can also have ancient or badly kept vans.
Van rental businesses that offer newer equipment and those that are in clean, pristine condition are proud of their rentals, so you’ll begin with a tidy van. What’s more vital, is that the rental vans are probably not as likely to stop working from lack of maintenance. Even if you’re moving or using the van rental on the job, a failure can be costly in time and annoyance. Awaiting the business to provide a secondary van in the case of a breakdown could mean important working hours lost for the businessperson or sacrificing any support you secured if moving. Time is money, whether you’re a substantial business, small business or an individual trying to move across town.
Finding the best cheap van rental might take some extra work, but it is far cheaper than paying higher rates or winding up sitting at the side of the road, watching for a service truck or substitute van. The annoyance of holding out for repair or worse, reloading another van, can spoil the whole ambiance of a move and postpone any activity you might be working on if you’re using the van for business.
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