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African Safari Tours & Holidays

Does an African safari feature on your bucket list? It should! Africa has so much to offer, from spectacular scenery, friendly people and cultural treasures to blissful beaches. But above all else, it is the wildlife and safari lifestyle that will draw you back, again and again. This well-known quote by Richard Mullin is so very true: ‘The only man I envy, is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to’. Once you go on your first safari, Africa gets into your blood. You develop a deep longing to return to this magical continent, and to start planning your next African safari holiday. Be warned, Africa is very addictive!

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1-20 of 9,328 African safari trips, packages and vacations

7 Questions About African Safari Tours

 
 

7 Questions About African Safari Tours

Answered by Harriet Nimmo

Why should I choose an African safari?

“There are so many reasons to choose an African safari. Going on safari is an unforgettable experience, offering a heady mix of adventure, thrilling wildlife sightings, cultural encounters and spectacular scenery. It is a chance to escape the fast pace of the modern world. You’ll retreat to a simpler, more peaceful way of life, reconnecting with the daily rhythms of nature. For me, the wildlife sightings provide the adrenaline that keeps me coming back, time and time again. Who can ever forget their first sighting of an elephant in the wild or realizing just how tall a giraffe really is? And there is something so primeval when hearing the roar of a lion under a glittering night sky. Finally, going on safari can help protect Africa’s wild animals and wild places. The more paying visitors, the more local people are employed and the more incentive there is to protect Africa’s natural wonders.”

1

Which are the best African countries for going on safari?

“All the classic safari countries make wonderful destinations for African safari tours. These countries are Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa. Which country you choose may depend on whether you’d like to combine your safari with another activity. For example you may like to add some beaches and/or Zanzibar in East Africa. Or perhaps Victoria Falls between Zambia and Zimbabwe, or fine dining around Cape Town and the winelands of South Africa. If this is your first safari, South Africa makes a good option. The private reserves bordering Kruger National Park can almost guarantee sightings of the Big Five. South Africa also has good infrastructure and excellent levels of service. However, you will not get the sweeping savannahs and ‘Out of Africa’ scenes here. For these you need to travel to Kenya or Tanzania. Of course, these two countries also offer the incredible wildebeest migration. Note though, you need to travel here at the right time of year to see this. Zambia and Zimbabwe should also be considered. They have stunning national parks, including South Luangwa and Hwange respectively. Both countries are slightly more off the beaten track with less mass tourism. Botswana perhaps feels the wildest of the safari countries, although this comes with a price.”

2

What time of year is best for going on an African safari?

“The best time of year, and the peak season, for most safaris is the Dry season. This is when the bush is less dense, and the wildlife is drawn to waterholes. Generally the wildlife is easier to find and see at this time. The Dry season means bright sunny days, and cooler nights. Of course, as the Dry season is peak safari season, there are more travelers and prices are higher. Dry season generally falls from May/June to September/October. You may also wish to consider going during the ‘Green season’ (also known as the Wet season or Emerald season). Although it may rain, often the showers are short downpours and then the sun comes back out again. It can be much cheaper to travel then, the bush is lush and green, and this is the breeding season for many of the animals. In East Africa, there are two Green seasons – the long rains between March and May, and the short rains from approximately October to December. In southern Africa the Green season is approximately from November to March. Temperatures can get very hot. Note that when it is wet there are more bugs and a greater risk of malaria.”

3

What wildlife can I expect to see on an African safari?

“When it comes to seeing wildlife while on safari, this is wild nature and nothing can be guaranteed. You may see plenty of animals, including the Big Five (lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant). But there will be game drives when you don’t see very much at all. That will make the sightings you do see all the more special. The joy of safaris, and what makes them so addictive, is that you just never know what you might see around the next corner. If you listen closely to, and learn from your guide, you’ll be able to enjoy all aspects of Africa’s wildlife. Everything from baobab trees to dung beetle, to chameleon and cheeky mongoose. Don’t forget to also focus on the birds, as even a very quiet game drive usually delivers some great bird sightings.”

4

What does a typical day look like on an African safari?

“All African safari holidays run to the same typical timetable. The best times to see wildlife, particularly predators being active, is at the beginning and end of the day. These golden hours at dawn and dusk are also the best times for photography. So be prepared for very early starts! You will usually be woken at dawn, and given tea, coffee, rusks or cereal. The aim is to get going on your game drive as early as possible at first light. The morning game drive usually lasts three to four hours, including a coffee and comfort break. You return to your camp or lodge for brunch. Then you are free to relax and take a siesta, or perhaps lie by the pool, during the middle of the day. It’s a good idea to bring something to read for this down time. Later in the afternoon you will meet again for tea and snacks, before setting out on your second game drive of the day. This will usually include a stop for sundowner drinks, to watch the setting sun. The game drive then returns to your accommodation in the dark, using a spotlight to look for nocturnal animals. Evening meals are usually served just after returning to camp. In some countries night drives are offered after dinner at around 8pm. Such drives can be a unique opportunity to spot nocturnal (only active at night) wildlife such as genets. Unless you have paid for exclusive use, be prepared for sharing your game-drive vehicle with other guests. This can be huge fun (although sometimes you need to be quite tolerant). It is always a good idea to offer to swap around your seating positions during your safari. ”

5

What are the typical costs of an African safari?

“The costs of an African safari can vary enormously. You could pay anything from US$125 to US$1000 per person, per night. Sometimes considerably more. Safaris can be an expensive holiday, and you generally get what you pay for. At the budget end of the spectrum are African safari packages where you join organized tours, departing on set dates, with other groups of people. South Africa and Kenya offer some of the best value-for-money safaris. Your choice of accommodation will affect the cost of your safari. Mobile safaris, where you sleep in tents, are great for groups of friends or families traveling together. Some safari lodges have taken luxury to the extreme, with private plunge pools etc. That said, you will probably have the same wildlife-viewing experience as staying in a more rustic lodge. It’s a matter of deciding what features are most important to you. If your reserve or lodge is remote, getting there will also impact the price. To visit the Okavango Delta, in Botswana, you can only fly into the Delta. There are no road transfers, so this adds to the price of your trip. The Serengeti is accessible by road, but this is a long, bone-rattling journey. It’s much easier and more comfortable to take a quick trip in a small plane. Whatever the costs of your safari, if you’ve experienced good service, do tip generously. A few extra dollars or Euros will make a huge difference to your guide or lodge staff.”

6

What should I consider when choosing an African safari?

“There is a lot of considerations to be taken into account when choosing an African safari tour operator. These include: If you are traveling with children, choose a family-friendly tour or lodge. In addition, you may prefer to choose a safari in a malaria-free area, for example in parts of South Africa. What type of safari do you want to go on? There are organized tours, departing on set dates, joining other groups of people. Or do you want an exclusive, tailor-made safari just for you? Are you happy to camp or do you want to stay in a luxury lodge? Your budget will probably determine your choices. Do you want to combine your safari with beaches, South Africa’s winelands, or a trip to Victoria Falls? This will help determine which country to choose.”

7

Safari Reviews

4.8/5 57253 Reviews
Tom60UK  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Oct 23, 2020
Excellent service, very knowledgeable, very accommodating, highly professional, competitively priced
5/5

Just came back from a Safari in Kenya of Amboseli, Lake Nakuru and Masai Mara, a fantastic trip with Tazama Africa Holidays, Kenya. We had a great driver in Antony, whose boundless energy and enthusiasm ensured we saw everything that was on...

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Katarina Michael  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Oct 23, 2020
Amazing mount kilimanjaro climbing
5/5

I completed both a six day safari and the 7 day Machame Kilimanjaro climb with Almighty Kilimanjaro. Absolutely everything was perfect, beyond what I could have ever imagined. Everyone was extremely friendly and I always felt safe with our...

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Wanjiru  –  
Kenya KE
Reviewed: Oct 23, 2020
Baobab Diani
5/5

Best holiday ever,we got a real nice deal from Bonfire Adventure,our agent was very professional and he didn't mind us calling now and then even after office hours,i would highly recommend Mr Mbugua.He is very polite and understanding. As...

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Franz Dreschler  –  
United States US
Reviewed: Oct 23, 2020
Best experience
5/5

I cannot rate Almighty Kilimanjaro highly enough. They took safety very seriously at all times, and the quality of the equipment was excellent - I slept warm and comfortable every night. The food was amazing, I'm sure I actually put *on*...

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Cuthbert  –  
United Kingdom UK
Reviewed: Oct 23, 2020
Amazing Memories Etched for a Lifetime
5/5

My brother and I did an amazing 7 Day Safari tour in Tanzania to Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Serengeti and Ngorongoro super guide Martin. He has vast knowledge of all the parks we toured, culture, politics and has a likeable personality. He...

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Aaltje  –  
Netherlands NL
Reviewed: Oct 23, 2020
Perfect family safari
5/5

We booked a safari for two families: 4 adults and 5 children. We did a two day safari to Lake Manyara and Ngorongoro and several day trips. The kids loved the safari but probably the day trip to the Kikuletwa hot springs even more! What an...

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