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A safari // is an overland journey, usually a trip by tourists to Africa. In earlier years, the trip was a big-game hunt, but today, safari often refers to trips to observe and photograph wildlife—or hiking and sight-seeing.
The Swahili word safari means long journey, originally from the Arabic سفرية (safarīyah) meaning a journey  The verb for "to travel" in Swahili is "kusafiri", the noun for the journey is "safari". These words are used for any type of journey, e.g., by bus from Nairobi to Mombasa or by ferry from Dar es Salaam to Unguja. Safari entered the English language in the late 19th century, The person generally attributed to having used the word in English is Sir Richard Francis Burton, the famous explorer.
The Regimental March of the King's African Rifles was 'Funga Safari', literally 'tie up the March', or, in other words, pack up equipment ready to march.
Funga safari, funga safari. Funga safari, funga safari. Hamri ya nani? Hamri ya nani? Hamri ya Bwana Kapteni, Hamri ya keyaa.
Which is, in English:
Prepare to March, Prepare to March. On whose orders? On whose orders? On the order of the boss captain, On the order of the KAR.
On Kenya's independence from Britain, Funga Safari was retained as the Regimental March of the Kenya Rifles, successor to the K.A.R.
Today, many operators throughout the African continent offer various types of safari service, from lodge based tours, where clients travel between lodges or tented camps often by air, fly in safaris where clients meet the camps and staff after travel by plane or helicopter, to the true Mobile Safari operation where the clients travel with the Guides, staff and equipment from site to site. The Mobile Safari offers guests a genuine safari experience, and they are often very ecologically friendly as they allow areas to regenerate and wildlife do not become as habituated to human presence as they may with a permanent lodge or tented camp.
In 1836 William Cornwallis Harris led an expedition purely to observe and record wildlife and landscapes by the expedition's members. Harris established the safari style of journey, starting with a not too strenuous rising at first light, an energetic day walking, an afternoon rest then concluding with a formal dinner and telling stories in the evening over drinks and tobacco.
Jules Verne's first novel Five Weeks in a Balloon published in 1863 and H. Rider Haggard's first novel King Solomon's Mines published in 1885, both describe journeys of English travellers on Safari and were best sellers in their day. These two books gave rise to a genre of Safari adventure novels and films.
The safari provided countless hours of cinema entertainment in sound films from Trader Horn (1931) onwards. The safari was used in many adventure films such as the Tarzan, Jungle Jim, and Bomba the Jungle Boy film series up to The Naked Prey (1966) where Cornel Wilde, a white hunter, becomes game himself. The safari genre films were parodied in the Bob Hope comedies Road to Zanzibar and Call Me Bwana. An instant 15-minute helicopter safari was shown in Africa Addio where clients are armed, flown from their hotel and landed in front of an unlucky and baffled elephant. Out of Africa has Karen Blixen and Denys Finch Hatton travelling, with Denys refusing to abandon home comforts using fine china and crystal and listening to Mozart recordings over the gramophone while on safari trip. Tourists must also have appropriate clothing such as hats, long-sleeved shirts and blankets for when the night gets very cold.
There is a certain theme or style associated with the word, which includes khaki clothing, belted bush jackets, pith helmets or slouch hats, and animal skin patterns—like leopard's skin. There is also a term of safari chic that followed the film Out of Africa. This not only included clothing but also interior design and architecture.
Safaris have today diversified considerably from the initial fledgling expeditions of the pioneering European explorers and colonialists. Tourism is becoming an increasingly prevalent economic factor for many Eastern and Southern African nations, in several regions surpassing traditional industries such as agriculture. Lending to specific conditions such as relative infrastructure or inherent geography countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Namibia, Uganda, South Africa, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe advertise locally specialised safari experiences ranging from guided safaris, mobile safaris, walking safaris and fly-in safaris to more niche concepts including elephant back safaris, river safaris, primate safaris, horseback safaris, balloon safaris photographic safaris, mobile tented safaris, and accessible safaris for those with disabilities.
Secondly: Safaris are a form of Eco tourism in which the public can become educated on the ecosystems and animal kingdoms of indigenous regions like Africa and Australia on expeditions by vehicles and stations. Through the use of professional guides tourists are provided safe transportation, certified educational services, discovery, photography and expanding the countries exploitation. The many common uses of Safaris are photography, video shooting, Eco and Adventure tourism, hunting, and discovery in which a customer cannot provide for themselves in the wilderness regions of places such as Africa or Australia.
- Hans Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary
- pp.6-7 Balfour, Daryl & Balfour, Sharna Simply Safari Struik, 2001
- p.175 Bickford-Smith, Vivian & Mendelsohn, Richard Black and White in Colour: African History on Screen James Currey Publishers
- Gibbs, Bibi Jordan Safari Chic: Wild Exteriors and Polished Interiors of Africa Smith Publisher, 2000
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