Safari tours offer lavish opportunities to observe wildlife in their natural habitat, view scenic and breath taking landscapes and participate in a range of wildlife adventures.
Wildlife safari tours and holidays offered within the Blue Sky Wildlife collection include African wildlife safaris and much more, ranging from games drives, game viewing, mokoro (dug-out canoe) excursions, bird watching to gorilla trekking.
Blue Sky Wildlife brings together a unique collection of safari tours from around the world, which include the traditional African safaris. However within this broad collection of wildlife safaris one could find themselves floating in a canoe along the Katherine River in Australia’s Northern Territory birdwatching, discovering a wide range of wildlife from orchids and butterflies to seabirds and birds of prey in the beautiful English county of Yorkshire, gorilla trekking in Uganda to watching Commerson´s Dolphin, cormorants and penguins in Argentina.
A safari originally meant an overland expedition, usually a trip by tourists in East Africa. In the past, the trip was often a big game hunt, but today safari refers mostly to tours to observe and photograph wildlife. The Swahili word safari means ‘journey’, originally from the Arabic safar meaning a journey; the verb for ‘to travel’ in Swahili is kusafiri. Safari entered the English language at the end of the 1850s thanks to the famous explorer Richard Francis Burton. If you think of a safari tour, African is the first place that springs to mind. However, there is a great deal more to wildlife safaris, not only in terms of species, but also with regards the numerous destinations available worldwide.
The classic Africa safaris sets out to see the ‘Big Five’ – African Lion, African Elephant, Cape Buffalo, African Leopard and Rhinoceros. Such safaris are popular and for good reason. Although you know that Africa is so much more than the Big Five, the familiar images soon begin playing in your mind: lions roaring, elephants trumpeting, buffalos lurking in long grass, rhinos standing stately under a thorn tree and leopards prowling in the gathering darkness. The king of beasts, the sight of a wild male lion is breathtaking – majestic and beautiful, with his splendid mane and statuesque frame, and a roar that is simply spinetingling. Enormous and intelligent, elephants will dwarf your safari vehicle. The sight of a herd is something to behold, while witnessing them swimming is a special experience.
Robust and strong, the buffalo is one of the most difficult prey for would be predators. With a speed of up to 35 miles an hour, watch in awe as it pounds the terrain, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake. Notoriously difficult to spot, it is a wonderful feat of detective work when your eyes adjust and make out the sleek figure of the elusive leopard, camouflaged aloft in a tree. Magnificent and martial, it doesn’t take much imagination to envisage the danger of a rhino charge. But the overwhelming feeling is likely to be a more poignant one – with only 4,000 left in the wild, you’ll be lucky to see the critically endangered Black Rhino. To be on a game drive is to be immersed in nature, surrounded by spectacular landscapes, while admiring these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
Eastern Africa is where the safari originated and remains king. The most incredible diversity of mammals and birds on earth is to be found in Kenya and Tanzania, including the greatest range and highest number of large mammals, not least over a million migrating Blue Wildebeest crossing rivers in the Masai Mara, as well the largest flocks of flamingos in the world and numerous other easy-to-see birds at Lake Nakuru National Park, all in some of the most wonderful landscapes on the planet. We have several key operators in this region.
An African safari of a different kind will find you coming face-to-face with our closest living relatives. Mountain Gorillas and Chimpanzees, both of which may be seen in either Uganda or Rwanda, where an hour is allotted with each, one with calm and relaxed gorillas and one with often noisy and active, some might say menacing, chimpanzees, either of which may prove to be the ultimate singular wildlife experience. Once again, we have several operators who can get you close to them.
The most beautiful of the big cats, the Bengal Tiger, may be found in Northern India, as well as a great many birds, including the spectacle of waterbirds and raptors at Keoladeo National Park. Check out our tours with the expertly-led Enchanted India. Seeing Killer Whales is one thing, seeing them hunt sealion pups on the beaches of Southern Argentina is another. Here too are Southern Right Whales and Southern Elephant Seals, as well as a rookery of up to a million Magellanic Penguins. The long-established Clark Expediciones can show you all of this and more. How about Orang-utans on Borneo, in some of the richest rainforest on Earth, along with Proboscis Monkeys, Bornean Gibbons and many fabulous birds? Have a word with our Malaysian operators – amongst the finest in Asia.
Here are ten featured safari experiences to get you closer to the wonderful wildlife on offer:
Unique Safaris, Arusha, Tanzania
Founded in 1990, Unique Safaris brings decades of experience of running Tanzania tours with thousands of satisfied clients who continually refer friends and family to these unique private safaris. What makes them unique is their focus only on Tanzania and their knowledge of the country is unparalleled by any other safari company in the region. It is not surprising that the company has been listed as the ‘Best of the Serengeti’ in the National Geographic Adventure Magazine. The safari guides have a passion for the bush and their policy of providing unlimited daily mileage on all game drives allows them to explore away from the other tourist vehicles to the greatest extent possible.
Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris, Mpumalanga, South Africa
Lawson’s Birding, Wildlife and Custom Safaris opened its doors in 1990 and is the original South Africa birding company. Back then there were very few resources available to the birder, such as the ‘where to find’ books, websites and apps available today, and many of the routes, stakeouts and hotspots Lawson’s still use were first pioneered by Peter Lawson over twenty years ago. Lawson’s has established relationships with many capable and trusted freelance guides across the country, whom they use for many of their regional South Africa wildlife safari.
Atlas African Safaris, Kampala, Uganda
Atlas African Safaris offer East Africa safari experiences to Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya, ranging from short, medium or long stays or alternatively cultural and honeymoon safaris. They also specialise in birding tours, game drive safaris, mountain climbing, sport fishing, white water rafting and bungee jumping. Destinations available during a stay include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, Kibale Forest National Park, Lake Mburo, Murchison Falls National Park, Sesse Islands and Jinja – a source of the Nile.
Walk with Jith, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s claim to be the best all-round wildlife destination rests on the fact that no other country is as good for the combination of offering large terrestrial animals, outstanding marine mammals, a huge biodiversity and a high proportion of endemic species, all set within a compact area of varied landscapes with good tourism infrastructure and a high encounter rate that makes it possible to see much of the target species within an affordable fortnight’s holiday.
Taj and Tigers Tour, Enchanted India, Haryana, India
Consider a wildlife safari tour in India with Enchanted India. This classic ten-day trip combines a visit to Ranthambhore in the state of Rajasthan – the ‘Land of Kings’ – to glimpse the greatest of the big cats – the Royal Bengal Tiger, with a visit to see one of the most romantic monuments on earth – the Taj Mahal. The optimum time to visit is from October to June.
Clark Expediciones, Villa San Lorenzo, Argentina
Clark Expediciones offer two fortnight-long trips. The first, in North Argentina, explores Altiplano habitat for wild camelids, high Andean lakes teeming with Andean Flamingo, deep canyons where Andean Condor and Puma abound. Then down into Yungas forest in search of Lowland Tapir, Ocelot and Tayra. The tour ends on a high in the Chaco looking for Giant Anteater, Geoffroy´s Cat and the rare Maned Wolf. The second, in South Argentina, explores the Valdes Peninsula for Orca, Southern Right Whale and Elephant Seal. Then southwards along the Patagonia shoreline to Deseado for Puma and Guanaco in the steppe, plus a boat ride for Commerson´s Dolphin, cormorants and penguins. To finish, the fabulous landscape of Los Glaciares National Park and Mount Fitz Roy.
Summer Yorkshire Wildlife Safari, Yorkshire Coast Nature, England
This exclusive two-and-a half-day safari tour with Yorkshire Coast Nature is aimed at discovering a wide range of wildlife from orchids and butterflies to seabirds and birds of prey. North and East Yorkshire is a beautiful and peaceful place in midsummer and is full of wildlife. Accommodation and meals are provided by Highfield Farm, renowned for its delicious home-cooked food. Pricing from £385 per person.
Kinabatangan Wildlife Safari Tour, Borneo Eco Tours, Sabah, Malaysia
This three-day tour with Borneo Eco Tours experiences Borneo’s most emblematic wildlife, including the Bornean Orangutans at Sepilok, a river cruise on Kinabatangan – the longest river in Borneo – and a chance to see the unforgettable Borneo Pygmy Elephants while staying at the multi award-winning Sukau Rainforest Lodge.
Gecko Canoeing Katherine River Safari, Northern Territory, Australia
A three-day tour of the region viewing wildlife as you float quietly along the Katherine River in a canoe or kayak. The low impact and quietness of the transport allows wildlife encounters of an unforgettable nature. Using top quality equipment and accredited, qualified guides, this trip with Gecko Canoeing & Trekking covers around fifty kilometres of wildlife-rich river, downstream from Katherine and away from the often crowded Nitmiluk National Park. Fed by springs and soaks throughout the long dry season, the river below the gorge winds through rocky banks, paperbark forests, small rapids and pandanus channels. Comfortable bush camping under the stars, fine dining, efficient service and wildlife encounters all add up to an unforgettable experience.
Botswana Mobile Safaris, Letaka Safaris, Okavango Delta
Mobile safaris allow you to see Africa through the eyes of the early explorers. The camps are set up in exclusive wilderness sites that are far from the madding crowd, allowing you to enjoy nature’s intimacy in an idyllic setting. Mobile tented safaris with Letaka Safaris allow you to explore the vast wildlife areas with the same group and the same guide throughout your journey, thus ensuring continuity and camaraderie not found in a fly-in, fly-out lodge holiday. When their advance team arrive to set up camp for you, it is in pristine wilderness where there is no sign of the hand of man and, when they leave, it is only footprints that offer a short reminder that you were ever there. As such the wildlife is not scared by your presence but treat this as any other part of their territory. Their tents are not elevated on decks above the animals, presiding over the wilderness, but rather totally immersed in it.
Click on the “View all listings” link below to view the complete collection of Safari tours and wildlife safaris on offer prior to contacting the relevant tour operator and company directly.