If an African Safari is not on your bucket list, it should be! Not only are there nine Countries in Africa that have amazing Safari adventures, but within those Countries there are several types of accommodations and adventures to choose from. Each one breathtaking and exciting in it’s own way. Whether you want to participate in a lot of activities or spend your days relaxing on the deck of your lodge and watch the wildlife from your pool, (or both), there is something for everyone. There are lodges where kids of all ages are welcome, others don’t allow kids under 6yo. Some lodges are for adults only and those who specialize in romance travel.
This post, as well as others that I have linked to below, will give you a general outline and information about the destination and what to expect. As you read the articles, consider your vision for the trip you are planning, your priorities, your travel companions and your travel dates and make notes. These will help you with the planning process. This particular article is about safaris in Southern Africa. If you are also considering East Africa, you can take a look at that post HERE and the post with a quick comparison of all areas, is located HERE.
Southern Africa, the southernmost region of the African continent, comprises of amongst others, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Each magnificent in its own right and quite different.
Zambia has awe-inspiring natural wonders, including the Victoria Falls, with an abundance of wildlife. There are huge water bodies and seemingly endless open spaces. Zambia is home to 17 other glorious waterfalls aside from the Vic Falls, and 5 massive lakes, making it a very popular fly-fishing venue. If you are an adrenalin junkie, you could choose an action packed, adventure filled experience jam packed with activities. This destination is perfect for kayaking and white-water rafting, and bird watching. An exhilarating walking safari will definitely get the adrenalin pumping. If you would like a less active experience, there is always a river cruise where you could enjoy your favorite beverage at sunset, while watching the wildlife at the edge of the river. I encourage you to try it all! Besides hippos and crocodiles, there are vast herds of wild game that come to quench their thirst on the great Zambezi River.
If you are into painting and conservation, you will love the Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary who teamed up with Art of Africa to create an eco-conscious and unique elephant experience. This is brought to life by the artistic strokes of your fingertips while surrounded by the African bush. Learn how these beautiful and gentle giants came to be adopted by this organization, followed by a delicious lunch.
Both Zambia and Zimbabwe safaris can include one of the world’s most intriguing destinations; the Victoria Falls. This means that whichever of these two countries you choose for your safari destination, you will be able to include the Victoria falls in your itinerary. Zimbabwe offers a large variety of scenery and has one of the African continent’s finest concentrations of wildlife, and a perfect climate with an average of 7 hours of sunshine daily throughout the year. As the country with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s hundreds of San Rock paintings and ancient ruins from the Iron Age, satisfies the most avid history buffs. You can enjoy incredible views from the infamous Knife-edge Bridge or walk through the Rain Forest that grows within the billowing spray. With so much to offer, Zimbabwe safaris are a popular choice with visitors to Africa.
This Country is a safari paradise with several options that highlight the unique destinations in “Old Africa’s Last Refuge.” These can include dry game drives, canoeing wet safaris, walking safaris and more. With a small human population, including some of the last remaining Bushmen, Botswana is truly a ‘wild’ safari destination.
To make the most of your time in Botswana, you could charter a private flight to take you between remote destinations. Imagine your safari kicking off with a bush pilot maneuvering the light aircraft over the vast Botswana wilderness at an altitude that allows for aerial game viewing! There is so much to experience, that we recommend guests spend at least two or three nights at distinctly different Botswana camps; each unique in design and personality and offer a variety of activities. “Water” camps specialize in wildlife activities aboard boats and mekoros (canoes) and the walking safaris are also hugely popular. The “land” camps are geared to the pursuit of the big 5 on open 4×4 vehicles which allows you to get so close to the wildlife that you can leave your zoom lenses behind!
This is a land of enduring tribes, timeless tradition, wild and ghostly coastlines littered with shipwrecks, fantastic geography, and abundant wildlife. Namibia boasts one of the greatest wildlife populations in the world including some truly unique and many rare species. In the Etosha National Park, huge herds of springbok, gemsbok, zebra, and blue wildebeest, as well as smaller numbers of red hartebeest, lion, cheetah, and leopard, gather at waterholes where they are easily spotted against the stark white background of immense salt pans. You can travel from the endless, rippling sands and towering dunes of Sossusvlei to the dolphin-filled waters at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Then through the stark plains of Damaraland and onto the Etosha Pan. Etosha, meaning ‘Great White Place’, is made of a large mineral pan, where the animals have adapted to this wild and arid landscape. This is a truly unique African experience and not to be missed.
There are so many wildlife reserves both private and government owned here, that it can make your head spin. Choose the one that best suits your needs with the input of a travel designer and DMC familiar with the area, to help you maximize your travel spend. There are many gorgeous luxury lodges, tented camps, both luxury (if you prefer glamping) and basic, in South Africa. The Greater Kruger area includes the Kruger National Park, where you can choose a self-drive experience. This is one of the premier game viewing areas in Africa. There is no shortage of exciting adventures, as this area is home to the Big Five. The magnificent scenery on the sunrise and sunset game drives in an open safari vehicle, guided by professional game rangers, will leave you mesmerized. The night drive is absolutely exhilarating, as is a walking safari. The game drive is of course optional but highly recommended, as game viewing is the main attraction and most activities are planned around the times that the wildlife is active. You won’t be disappointed.
There is truly no other experience that compares to a safari in the African Bush. You will leave something behind when you go, and you will yearn for Africa until you return. Whatever your safari preference; whether lazing at the pool, spotting the animals on a game drive, camping out in the wild under the stars, or enjoying the world renown South African wines with delicious authentic South African food… it will be an unforgettable experience.
The lodges we recommend are & Beyond Ngala and Phinda, Singita, Thorneybush, Ulusaba by Virgin, Amakhala Woodbury Tented Camp, Londolozi, Sabi Sabi, and Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. These are high end luxe lodges, but there are many other budget friendly camps that are absolutely wonderful, where you can experience the adventure that is an African Safari. Here are a few: Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp, Amakhala Woodbury Tented Camp, Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge and many more.
Much More to South Africa than Safaris
South Africa has so much to offer! Aside from going on Safari and tracking the Big 5, while you are there, do an add-on to your trip and discover the charms and jaw dropping vistas of Cape Town, hike the iconic Table Mountain, swim with the penguins or great white sharks. Discover the incredible wines of Stellenbosch or experience a Cultural tour in Johannesburg. There is truly something for everyone.
The most important aspect of your trip is a professional and reliable DMC and there are two companies in Africa that I put my complete trust in to fulfill every detail of a client’s trip without fail. Meet Bernard of Nziza Hospitality and Sandra Lee of Ruby Travel. Both have many years of experience in the travel industry and will provide you with a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience Africa at its best. These two professionals are true gems in the industry and will work with you to create an unforgettable experience.
Keep following our posts for info on African Safaris, Safari Weddings, Domestic Travel, California Travel, Exotic Island Getaways, Wedding and Honeymoon Destinations and much more. We also shine a spotlight on exotic travel destinations, fabulous wines and great food as well as general lifestyle topics. Contact us below if you have any questions by filling the form in below.