THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF A SAFARI
It’s more than just a memory to cherish or photos to capture, going on safari can benefit your overall health.
Here’s how going on a safari can positively benefit your health;
1. IMPROVING YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Research shows that spending time walking in a natural environment, compared to walking in an urban area, can significantly decrease both self-reported rumination and neural activity – the part of your brain that is associated with heightened risk for depression and other mental illnesses. If you spend your time in an office or other workplace environment, we find our stress levels reduce when spending time in natural settings.
There’s a reason why, aside from helping reduce the affects of climate change, that cities are planting more green areas around office buildings!
2. A REINVIGORATED YOU
Researchers have accumulated evidence that indicates that time spent in natural environments promotes creativity. This results from lowered stress levels from being outdoors and allowing our brains to ‘wander’, which in-turn allows us to think differently and more openly. Check out these 3 benefits of mind-wandering.
The perfect solution to recharge your batteries and get back to work refreshed, with renewed purpose and vision.
3. AN EDUCATION OF THE NATURAL KIND
Knowledge is power… particularly in today’s world, where the importance of conserving our natural world is as important as ever. Leaning about cultures, flora and fauna is a fantastic way to increase our personal knowledge, as well as helping children and young adults understand our complex world and encouraging the next generation of “David Attenborough’s”.
It may also help you avoid touching those poisonous snakes. Seriously, don’t touch them!!
4. KEEPING FIT
Other studies have concluded that there are benefits to mental and physical well-being from taking exercise in the natural environment. Exercising in natural environments can be associated with greater feelings of revitalisation, increased energy and positive engagement, together with decreases in tension, confusion, anger and depression.
On safari, exercising isn’t contained to the gym (although some safari camps do have their own indoor gym). A variety of exercises are available as part of your travel experience, including cycling, guided walking safaris, trail running, horse riding and swimming in outdoor pools.
5. SUNLIGHT IS THE BEST LIGHT
Exposure to sunlight (responsibly) is thought to increase the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin. Serotonin is associated with boosting a person’s mood and helping them feel calm and focused.
Sun light, as well as various foods and supplements, is a great source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary for key biological processes to take place in the body. Its benefits can also include; supporting healthy bones, managing calcium levels, reducing inflammation, supporting the immune system and glucose metabolism.
6. HELPING THE PLANET, HELPS US
Reducing our abuse of plastics, fossil fuels, animal agriculture, etc, is a key part of how many of us are leading our lives in a world often blighted by pollution, animal abuse, litter, shrinking polar ice caps, destruction of habitat and endangerment to wildlife species. Bettering the way we live our lives not only has a positive affect on our planet, but it makes us feel good – because it’s the right thing to do.
We can also apply this to wildlife conservation, how we utilise wildlife in eco-tourism, how we appreciate the habitat and destinations we visit, how we ensure local people are part of and benefit from a tourism management plan and the way in which we use the land to ensure we don’t over-use and inflict degradation on vital habitat.
Travelling sustainably is for now and the future, because it can benefit everyone when it’s done correctly.
7. KEEP THE FUN ALIVE
New activities can be an important new addition to our lives, they allow us to re-engage, freshen our approaches and also spend time with like-minded people, including bonding and socialising with family and friends.
8. A BREAK FROM TECHNOLOGY
In this social media driven world of phones, digital screens and up-to-the-minute news, people have begun to appreciate the art of “getting away from it all”. Whether you want a break from your daily workload, or general social media life of updating friends with your latest Instagram photo of your shoes… breaking free from technology is important for all of the above health benefits; stopping work for a moment to spend time with family, looking away from Facebook long enough to appreciate the views around you, or simply putting everything down to ensure some quality “you time”. Safari camps may have some, limited or no wifi at all, which helps prevent you from sneaking online.
Of course, don’t forget your phone or camera for those all important photos to capture your safari experience!
9. FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD
Exercise and fresh air is one thing, but what we put into our bodies is equally if not more important.
One of the joys of a safari is the food, deliciously prepared by amazing chefs and fitting for any appetite and dietary way of life. Sure, treat yourself to a responsible glass of wine, but prepare for great quality meals featuring nutritional goodness to aid your bodies ability to function.
For those who are vegetarian, vegan, kosher etc, you’ll find a safari is a wonderful way to be accommodated.
10. A GOOD REST
After all of that, you should feel refreshed, re-vitalised, re-invigorated, restarted and ready for the next chapter in your life, whether it’s back to work, back to school or university, or simply daily life. Your body will ultimately reap the benefits of Mother Nature.
Header image: King Lewanika Lodge, Liuwa Plain National Park, Zambia
TRAVEL TO AFRICA IN 2021 OR 2022
Our team will be happy to chat to you about your revitalising escape to Africa – our safaris cover Botswana, Congo, Kenya, Namibia, Malawi, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
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