There are few experiences as exhilarating and life changing as going on safari to Africa. It is not just a vacation; it is a magical and unforgettable experience. You will take something with you when you leave, and some part of you will stay behind. While interest in Safaris have increased in 2022, there is still some hesitancy about being safe “in the wild.” As someone who has spent countless years visiting various spots in Africa, just follow the suggestions and instructions of a professional guide and you will be totally safe. Each Country has different COVID-19 requirements and thorough planning is imperative, however the lodges are super strict about sanitizing and cleanliness.
A bucket list destination.
There is a plethora of reasons a trip to Africa should be not just on your bucket list but number one on that list. There is no shortage of breathtaking moments, tons of adventures to participate in and unrivaled natural beauty. Africa is a huge continent with 54 countries, nine of which are renowned for the best safaris.
The landscapes of Africa are vastly different from one country to another. From the untouched pristine land of Southern Africa with rich vegetation, to the miles and miles of swirling sands and granite rocks of Namibia, or the great plains of the Serengeti. Each is more beautiful than the last. The savannas, woodlands, awe-inspiring mountains, as well as crystal-clear waters are beyond the imagination. Which of these you choose to see (or see first), will depend on your specific interests and taste. Africa will leave you with unforgettable memories of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, surrounded by unique landscapes and spectacular wildlife. Explore them with me in this three-part series, so that you can make an informed decision when you book your first safari.
All safaris are not created equal.
Each Country, game lodge or tented camp, has a unique appeal and each has its own features and attractions. Many say that The Great Migration in Masai Mara is THE best experience ever and make no mistake, it IS incredible. You will see the largest and most spectacular movement of animals spanning an impressive circular and scenic trek as every year, over a million wildebeest and thousands of gazelles and zebras make their way between Masai Mara and Serengeti National Park.
Others will suggest that you should spend time trekking with the gorillas, and that too is a profound experience. As is the Okavango Delta and the diversity of South Africa; each absolutely unique.
Wherever you decide to go, you will have a variety of options when it comes to accommodations and activities such as a self-drive stay in a national public park, or a guided experience in a private reserve with a knowledgeable tour guide.
As you start to plan your safari, you should first decide if you want to disconnect and unwind by a pool with an incredible view surrounded by nature and go on the occasional game drive, or whether you want a more adventurous journey with guided walks and sleepouts in the bush. A romantic night for two in a treehouse with just the sounds of the night is an incredible experience! There really is nothing quite as magical as sleeping under the stars while listening to lions roaring in the distance. It’s almost like living in your own Out of Africa movie scene!
You could also choose to spend time with the local communities or have a hands-on experience with conservation. Accommodation options vary from luxury game lodges, cabins or tented camps and even these vary from utilitarian to luxury. I have stayed in tented camps that are as luxurious as a 5-star hotel and while both have their charms, your choice will depend on your preferences and budget. However, the ultimate experience would be to try both.
Are safaris family-friendly?
Many safari lodges have kid-friendly options but there are some that don’t allow kids under six years old. Some game drives can take up to three or four hours or longer, so if you want to go on a family safari, be sure to take that into consideration. Taking your children with you on safari where they have many learning opportunities about conservation and how other cultures live, is priceless. The guide’s experience ensures that you and your children get a wealth of knowledge about the animals and a chance to spot them in their natural habitat.
Talk to me about the best countries and lodges for a family-friendly safari, where you can fully customize your experience to ensure that everybody has a great time. Consider properties that offer family-friendly activities and animal encounters.
If you decide to go on a guided safari to a private game lodge, choose wisely. Your lodge should promote conservation and sustainable tourism and follow sensitive and ethical wildlife practices, and your guide should be fully trained and experienced. In the next article I will share my experiences of the different areas and lodges starting with East Africa, overland safaris, the migration and gorilla trekking.
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. Bernard is the owner and manager of Nziza Hospitality with deep roots in Africa and is committed to providing you with value that goes above and beyond. Sandra Lee also has 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 for more adventures in Africa, wine tours all over the world, cruises, river cruises, wedding and honeymoon destinations and much more. If you have any questions about safaris or travel in general, please contact me here.