Africa’s amazing diversity provides some very contrasting safari experiences, from the wide open savannahs of Kenya and Tanzania, to the wetlands of the Okavango Delta in Botswana and the wilderness of Zambia. Add to this the natural beauty of the Namib Desert, the South African private reserves, and an excellent range of luxurious camps and lodges, as well as experienced and knowledgeable guides, and you are presented with some outstanding game-viewing experiences!
What type of safari you would like and in which country to experience it, is very much a personal decision. The main things to consider are what wildlife you would like to see and the level of accommodation you would prefer. There is something to suit everyone, whether you are travelling alone, with your partner, on honeymoon, or with your family. Accommodation is fundamental when choosing your safari – whether you prefer a luxurious lodge in a prime wilderness location or an eco-tourism camp set up alongside the Maasai Mara, our expertise and inside knowledge ensures that you will have the safari that is the perfect fit for you!
It is worth noting that travelling around certain regions may include long 4×4 journeys, with the surface of the roads varying from tarmac to gravel and sand. In the more remote National Parks, the roads can be in poor condition – and moving between locations may be compromised by adverse weather conditions. Travelling by light aircraft not only provides excellent views of the plains below, it also makes getting around much easier – however, this will affect your luggage limit, which in East Africa is only 15kg, including hand luggage!
Choosing your safari
For first-time visitors, Kenya and Tanzania are a good option – each is a great Big Five destination, boasting lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and buffalo). Both countries offer some of the most fascinating wildlife experiences anywhere – and if you are travelling in late May/early June, then you will be fortunate enough to witness the annual migrations across the Serengeti and the Maasai Mara! This is when game in their thousands move across the plains in search of new grazing land, in a journey that attracts hundreds of predators. In addition to all the wildlife, Kenya has some wonderful beaches, providing ideal bush-and-beach combinations! Tanzania offers two main safari circuits. These are the northern routes and the southern parks. The northern routes tend to focus on the remarkable natural amphitheatre of Ngorongoro Crater and the wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park, whereas the southern parks are usually less busy and require flights into the region. There are fewer crowds in the southern parks, which is always a welcome feature!
Botswana is certainly at the top of the list of the best safari destinations. This country provides an amazing array of wilderness encounters, from the famous herds of elephants at Chobe, to a sunset mokoro boat ride along the stunning waterways of the Okavango. With excellent wildlife, brilliant lodges, and Victoria Falls close by, Botswana will not fail to impress!
Zambia is renowned for its walking safaris, allowing close-up wildlife encounters that will leave you mesmerised! This country is considered to be one of the most natural safari destinations, offering a wealth of inspiring landscapes from South Luangwa to the mighty Zambezi River. South Africa is also a great option, inviting you to combine your safari with culture, fine dining, and excellent accommodation, whereas Namibia, although not abundant in wildlife, is a country of incredible beauty, with the golden towering sand dunes of the Namib Desert and the saltpans of Etosha National Park, home to the iconic oryx!
By its very nature, a safari is an experience that changes from day to day, reflecting the mood of the wildlife. Typically, though, your day will begin early – you will rise at dawn and depart on a morning game drive in a 4×4, making the most of the cool of the morning when the animals are more active! You will then head back to your camp or lodge for breakfast. During the rest of the morning, you can relax, read a book, chill by the pool, or enjoy a massage, if your accommodation includes a spa or spa services. A second game drive normally takes place at around 4pm, returning after sunset. Following a delicious dinner and a nightcap while reflecting on your day, you will usually opt to go to bed early in readiness for another early start the next morning. Some lodges and camps specialise in additional activities, such as night safaris, canoe safaris, horse riding, and walking safaris, offering the ultimate safari experience!