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A Day on Safari

One thing you'll discover is that no two days on safari are ever the same or will be again. A waterhole in Linyanti whose only customer yesterday afternoon was a grumpy old warthog, is this morning the scene of mayhem as elephants jostle with giraffe, buffalo and antelope. Yesterday morning you might have been silently tracking a lion on foot with mixed feelings as to whether you really want to find it, and a sneaking suspicion that it's already found you. This morning all is right with the world as you drift down the Zambezi enjoying a sumptuous cooked breakfast on a pontoon as kingfishers dart into the river and a hippo submerges with a cavernous yawn.

Animals get up early, and so must you, whether you're waking in the palatial luxury of your 200sq metre suite at Singita, or popping your head out your private little fly camp deep in the Selous. A quick cup of coffee and a biscuit, then you're off in your open vehicle, on foot, by boat, on your horse, quadbike, camel, dugout canoe, or whatever other form of safari transportation you've chosen this morning. One thing you'll discover if it's your first time on safari is that you'll never starve. Even among the remotest safari camps there's a culture of performing culinary miracles. So you'll return mid-morning to an array of freshly baked breads just out of the oven, all kinds of things sizzling away on skillets, delicious fresh fruits and piping hot coffee. And so it goes on, with a light lunch before your siesta, cakes and tea at 3.30 before the afternoon activity, then a four course dinner with decent wines before you turn in. In the afternoon your safari activity tends to be more leisurely using vehicles and boats, and as the reddening sun sinks slowly in a huge African sky you invariably stop somewhere magically beautiful. The guide produces a folding table, linen tablecloth, a mobile cocktail cabinet, nibbles for the hungry and you enjoy the time honoured sundowner.

First a couple of bright stars emerge, then with surprising suddenness it's dark, and you think to yourself that, yes, there probably are 100 million stars in the galaxy. On the way back your musings might be broken by the sight of prowling leopard or a solitary owl picked out in the harmless beam of the spotlight. We like you to stay in camps and lodges that are the "real thing", so you might nod off to sleep to the sawing call of a leopard, the laughter of a hippopotamus, a rhythmic munching sound as a buffalo chews grass outside, the occasional rending crack as an elephant tears a branch from a tree or the distant grunting roar of a male lion. Wake to a chorus of birdsong.

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Set your heart on Africa

"You were so right - once I got to Africa all that stress was left behind. The trip was beyond any and all expectations. Everything went exactly as you designed it and we loved it. It was the best trip of our lives. The hotels were elegant and we had the best service we have ever received. The camps were heaven."

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