On the subject of lodges versus camping, it really doesn't matter to the animals how much you have paid. I went on a budget camping safari and saw the big five within the first day - including both black and white rhino, so many lions I lost count and three leopards.
The most important thing is to talk to your guide beforehand and ask lots of questions. The more knowledge they have, the better your chances of spotting some amazing animals.
We started chatting to ours and got lots of added bits of info..
He also went the 'extra mile' and took us places that other guides didn’t go to - we saw the migration of about 10,000 zebra with no one else around. This was the most spectacular site. We also saw the kill of a buffalo by a lioness and her pride - this was most unusual, but had we not have made an effort to get to know our guide over the few days, he may not have made the effort ...
In 2001 I went with my friend on safari to the Serengeti in Kenya. On the first day as we approached the plains, we’d been driving for only half an hour, when we spotted our first African drama. We saw a herd of zebras, majestic with their thick black stripes. The stallion zebra was leading the way, chomping on grass. We could see acacia trees in the distance and rocks in the far background. Overhead we saw a vulture silently circling and in the far distance perched on one of the rocks was a lone hyena watching. Both it seemed were waiting for some kind of curtain call. And they were all perfect symbols of an African landscape. Then we saw movement and our driver whispered that there was a lion in our midst. We anxiously scanned the horizon and saw nothing. Suddenly the stallion zebra lifted his head and froze. The other zebras immediately taking heed did the same thing. There was a flash of movement and from out from nowhere it seemed sprung a lioness. The small group of zebras bolted and the lioness missed. By the time our truck drove round she lay heavily panting on the dirt track exhausted. The vulture took off and the hyena skulked back to where he had come from. What a fantastic way to start an African adventure!
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