When you hear the word, safari, scenes from old movies might flash through your head. The classic scene: Khaki-clad hunters -- accompanied by large numbers of bearers carrying equipment and supplies, a local guide and dreams of a fierce trophy to hang on their walls -- trekking through the wilds of Africa in search of lions, elephants and other exotic creatures. Some parts of that century-old scenario still apply today. For example, people on safari continue to wear the traditional safari "uniform" (there's a good reason why they do!), they still use local guides to help them find wildlife and they still camp out at night. But since the last quarter of the 20th century, safaris have been less an occasion for hunting and more an adventure for tourists to view and photograph big game in Africa's rich national parks and reserves.
More recently, the travel industry has expanded the meaning of the word safari to include journeys and expeditions not necessarily related to the search for wildlife. For example, there are safaris by camel in Egypt, safaris into Australia's famed outback and adventure safaris in Alaska. But the most popular kind of safari -- the kind that most people still see as the ultimate adventure -- continues to involve exotic animals and spending time out in Africa's unique landscape. In this edition of How Stuff Works, we'll take a close look at the African safari. How does it work? Where do safaris go? What kind of animals can be seen and how close can you get to them? What kind of transportation, equipment, preparation is needed? When is the best time to go, and how much does it cost? So, jambo! (That's a friendly Swahili greeting) -- sit back and enjoy this cyber-safari!