Anne Foy explores some of the ways that being in the bush benefits your mind body and soul
tudies have long proven that holidays are good for your health. From lowering blood pressure to improving sleeping patterns, getting away from the hustle and bustle of your home life for a few weeks is the ultimate way to refresh. For many people, a safari is a wonderful way to get back to nature and up close to some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world while still being able to recharge your batteries.
It is known that there are a number of health benefits associated with being in the presence of wildlife, and animal therapy is a very real phenomenon. The concept is usually focused on domestic animals but some ‘safari tour’ companies in the UK and USA are extending the concept to more exotic animals such as meerkats and reptiles. The thrill of seeing bigger, wilder animals in their natural habitat on safari should not be underestimated either. The emotional benefits are huge and the increase in levels of serotonin and other feel good endorphins help reduce stress and improve positivity. The precious memories of these moments will last a lifetime.
Africa is the hottest continent in the world and providing that you avoid the rainy season (April-July in East/West Africa and November-March in the South), you are almost guaranteed some sunshine. The health benefits of sunlight and warm weather are plentiful. From replenishing our stores of Vitamin D to building up the immune system and even helping cure depression, you can bet that after a few weeks under the African sun you’ll feel happier and healthier.
Studies show that couples who travel together are more likely to stay together. The majesty of the African plains, catching sight of the awe-inspiring wildlife and spending long evenings under the stars in the bush isn’t just romantic but a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you have shared together. Many couples report that their relationship is revitalised after spending quality time together on safari.
Safari operators are very environmentally and ethically conscious; the majority working to reduce their carbon footprint, support local communities and help the conservation efforts of the surrounding area. One report suggests that every tourist supports 10 local people in South Africa. Having a holiday that is as ethical as it is magical is a great way to boost your own self-esteem and give you a deeper appreciation of the trip.