I’ll be honest. I’ve been on two safaris in Tanzania and I didn’t love them. Africa is an amazing place that features tons of wildlife (including animals, but also incredible trees, plants, bugs, birds, and more). But, seeing a safari from a van that sort of controlled what you saw, much like a zoo, was not my idea of seeing nature in its true form. In a country as unique and HUGE as Africa, there are so many more options than safaris to see wildlife. Particularly, hotels that are surrounded by elephants, zebras, giraffes, ostriches and more.
The Giraffe Manor in Nairobi is situated on 140 acre of indigenous forest. The Manor boasts that a herd of resident giraffes visits the grounds every night and every morning, often poking their heads into windows for a treat. The hotel also offers exciting activity packages, including “meeting, feeding, and adopting baby elephants” and “sharing breakfast with a giraffe at the manor.” Rooms range from $500-2000 a night and it is suggested guests visit anytime except for the month of May, when they are closed for maintenance.
Another excellent way to be amongst wild animals without the safari route is through Airbnb experiences. One experience in Cape Town, called “Paddle With the Penguins”, boasts kayaking around Boulders Beach and Windmill Beach while wild penguins swim alongside. The excursion is lead by Terry Corr, the head of education of AfriOceans Conservation Alliance, and is only $43 per person. Reviewers rave that the trip is amazing, and they also have been lucky enough to see seals swimming up to their kayaks. The trip lasts two hours, and allows ages six and up. In addition, “Paddle With the Penguins” is a social impact experience, meaning the fee you pay goes directly to the AfriOceans conservation Alliance.