Thursday, 5 January 2012 3:23 PM
If you are looking for a special holiday for 2012, your first and only port of call should be African safari tours.
These getaways enable you to catch a glimpse of some of the most stunning wildlife in the world, such as lions, elephants and rhinos.
There are a large variety of African countries you can take a safari in, such as Botswana. The destination tends to be more expensive than other countries as the tourist path is less well-trodden, creating a more personal and high-quality experience.
The Okavango Delta is perhaps the most famous safari area in Botswana, with May to October the best time to see game migrate towards water sources in the Kalahari desert.
Of course, wherever you decide to take your African safari you will not be disappointed. The locals' and guides' knowledge about the wildlife is second to none, meaning you will not only see these majestic beasts, but learn plenty about them too.
Kenya is another popular destination in which to take a safari and the country is steeped in culture. The Masai Mara, Samburu, Amboseli and Naivasha safari locations are the best to head to, with the Masai Mara lying on the Tanzania border.
The migration of the zebra and wildebeest is one of the most breathtaking experiences you can have in Kenya and will certainly provide you with plenty of opportunities to take stunning photos.
Indeed, a safari makes memories that will last a lifetime. Getaways that focus on beaches and sunbathing can all blur into one, but an African safari will stand out from the crowd.
Nothing can be more amazing than watching a lioness feed her cubs with freshly-killed prey, or seeing elephants cool themselves down by spraying water.
If you take a high-quality camera with you, the photographs you manage to capture will be different from any you have taken before. Rather than the usual snaps of beach landscapes, amaze your family and friends will unique portraits of African wildlife.
You might even decide to blow some of them up on to canvas to decorate your home.
One of the best places to capture these magical moments is the Serengeti National Park.
While this includes the Masai Mara in Kenya, the vast majority of this park is located in Tanzania.
Tanzania safaris could, should you time it right, allow you to observe 1.5 million animals make their way across this vast expanse of land during the Great Migration. Home to thousands of lions, the Serengeti National Park will provide you with ample opportunity to enjoy the trip of a lifetime.
Against a backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro, a Serengeti safari will afford you the chance to spot lions and cheetahs, with the central parts of the park boasting the largest concentration of these animals in the world.
Other Big Five creatures – aside from the lion – that call the national park home include the African leopard, buffalo, elephant and black rhinoceros.
Meanwhile, you could be lucky enough to see a gazelle, giraffe, hyena, baboon or ostrich cross your path.
Taking an African safari in 2012 could therefore be on the cards for individuals who like to do more than sit on a beach or by the pool during their summer getaway. While a wildlife holiday is likely to cost more than a traditional beach break, it certainly represents good value for money.
Where else are you afforded the chance to get under the skin of African culture, spot some of the most spectacular creatures you will ever see and watch the sun go down as you tuck into your evening meal at a luxury camp?