So, you’ve decided that your next holiday is going to be a safari – great choice, but what now? The choices are so vast, how do you ensure that you make the right choice for your first safari? Well, the best thing to do would be to pick up the phone and speak to one of our travel experts who have years of unrivalled experience and the specific knowledge required to create the most exclusive hand-crafted travel arrangements to Africa. However, in the meantime we’ve created a short guide to help you choose the safari destination that is ideal for you.
What time of year can you travel?
East Africa’s rainy season starts in March and ends in May, so we would advise you not to travel to Kenya and Tanzania during this period. In Southern Africa, the peak game viewing seasons runs from June to October and the rainy season starts in December and ends in March, so we would suggest that you head to East Africa for a safari during the rainy season where the weather and game viewing is excellent. However, we believe you shouldn’t always avoid a destination during their rainy season. It’s a time when many animals are giving birth to their young, the light is fabulous for photography and the lower temperatures also mean that animals stay out longer during the day. Rates for most lodges are also significantly cheaper during this period, which means you get better value for money.
What animals do you want to see?
Most of the famous African safari countries have lions, elephants, giraffe, zebra, and hippos, but if there’s a particular animal you would like to see on your safari then we would strongly advise that you add that into the planning process to avoid disappointment. Zambia, for example is well known for its great leopard sightings, Kenya’s Laikipia County is one of the best places in the world to see the highly endangered black rhino and Botswana offers excellent sightings of the very rare African wild dog. If you want to see the wildebeest migration then head to Kenya’s Masai Mara and the Serengeti in Tanzania for front row seats to one of the greatest shows on earth.
What safari activities do you want to do?
All famous African safari countries offer the traditional morning and afternoon game drives, but if you are looking for a safari experience that is a little bit different then Zambia or Botswana’s Okavango Delta are great choices. Zambia is the birthplace of the walking safari, which allows you to get about as close to nature as you can get. Whilst safaris in the Okavango Delta offer water based activities such as mokoro canoe safaris. For the super adventurous, there are horse riding safaris, quad biking safaris and even helicopter safaris. If you like the idea of combining a safari holiday with a beach holiday then Tanzania and Kenya are both fantastic options.
Who are you travelling with?
The best place for safari if you’re travelling with children is definitely South Africa. The vast majority of safari lodges can accommodate families (Ant’s Bush Homes with its wide variety of activities on offer is a great option) and the country is also home to several malaria free game reserves such as the Waterburg, Tsualu Kalahari and Madikwe Game Reserve. The other joy of South Africa is that it offers very little time difference and overnight flights to get you to and from Johannesburg or Cape Town – a perfect choice for those travelling with younger children.
For couples on their honeymoons, Tanzania and Kenya are both really great options. This is because its very easy to combine a week on safari with a week on the beach and many of the resorts and safari lodges also feature purpose built honeymoon suites (Elsa’s Kopje in Kenya’s Meru National Park is one of our favourites).
If our blog has got you interested in booking your first safari then call 020 7843 3500 and speak to one of our travel experts today. They’ll be happy to tailor-make a safari holiday to suit your exact requirements.
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