Alan Murphy
Australia AU
Jan 12, 2016 January 12, 2016

Alan Murphy is a Lonely Planet author and expert on Southern Africa and its wildlife. In 2013 he established Roundtrip Foundation. Check out www.roundtripfoundation.org.au.

Category: Alan Murphy's Column

This week, Alan discusses safari operators that cater accessible safaris for those visitors to Africa who have an impairment or disability, making regular travel difficult or even impossible.

Let’s face it. Travel in Africa can be difficult enough for most of us. Let alone for people in a wheelchair, those who have visual or hearing impairments or a range of other conditions. It is a continent that, in general, is not accessibility-friendly.

Expert advice
I have a friend who had a terrible accident on their bicycle in Australia a few years ago. It was horrific. The result? He is permanently in a wheelchair with very limited movement capability. He is making remarkable headway in his progress to regain movement and in his mental attitude, which, for the most part, is very positive.

My friend researches and writes about accessibility issues, particularly regarding travel. I recently asked him to share his findings on safari companies in Africa so I could use them in a blog. Here is what he said:

Accessible Safari Organisations

Epic Enabled (epic-enabled.com)
An upmarket safari tour company operating in South Africa, offering a variety of accessible tours in and around the Kruger National Park, and able to supply a variety of equipment, including wheelchairs, walking frames, shower chairs and hoists.

Endeavour Safaris (www.endeavour-safaris.com/accessible-travel)
Safari tours throughout Southern Africa for seniors and people with a variety of impairments, including visual and hearing.

Naenda Safaris (www.naendasafaris.com)
Tanzanian company offering safaris for wheelchair users and the visually impaired. It promises vehicles with access ramps and a variety of accommodation with accessible rooms.

Access 2 Africa Safaris (+27 35 562 0378)
Specialist accessible safari tour company based in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, catering for wheelchair users, hearing- and mobility-impaired, visually impaired and blind guests.

The organisations listed above are a great starting point for those seeking options for a special needs safari. Africa’s landscapes and wildlife should be accessible for everybody and it is great to see companies like these helping to make it a reality.

South Africa is a country that stands out from its neighbours when it comes to providing for travellers with disabilities. The South African National Parks website (sanparks.org), for example, has plenty of information on accommodation and trails for the mobility impaired.

The key to selecting a safari that is right for you follows the same principle for travellers with disabilities. Ensure the company you select meets your requirements – including of course equipment and services, in order to fully enjoy your safari experience.