A Guide on Where to Safari in Africa
Most people believe that visiting Africa is a one and done experience, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Africa is HUGE. In fact, it is so large that the US, India, China, and most of Europe can fit within its borders together. The continent boasts 54 countries and an extremely wide variation in culture, landscapes, and activities. Given that you can continue to visit Africa for an entire lifetime… it’s probably time to get started!
Here are some of our most popular destinations for luxury travel in Africa:
Of the many wonders of Kenya, the nation is known for the Maasai tribe, a native community with a unique and vibrant culture. At lodges like Campi ya Kanzi with &Beyond in Chyulu National Park and the Angama Mara in the heart of Maasailand, the teams are staffed with local community members to share their culture and expertise of the land with visitors. A major attraction to Kenya is The Great Migration of millions of wildebeests, zebras, gazelles, and other herd animals which circulate through East Africa.
As The Great Migration continues into the Seregenti of Tanzania, there is still so much to explore. On a game drive you’ll be sure to see the Big Five: elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo and rhino. At Sasakwa Lodge on Singita’s Grumeti Reservation, you can watch wildlife on the savannah from your private infinity pool. For the even more adventurous, try summiting the tallest volcano in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro. Finally, a tropical escape awaits off the coast in Zanzibar. We recommend Mnemba Private Island, an &Beyond property.
While the word Rwanda may bring up difficult memories of the past, the country has evolved in incredible ways. It is not only safe for tourism, but the people are truly inspiring in their resilience, hospitality, and stewardship of the environment. This small country is extremely biodiverse, boasting rainforests and mountains as well as Big 5 game viewing opportunities. Rwanda is most popular for its endangered mountain gorillas and trekking through Volcanoes National Park to see them up close. We recently featured the Chief Game Warden of the Park and head of One & Only’s operations in Rwanda on our podcast, Luxury Travel Insider. Listen to the episode on Apple, Spotify, Google, or on our podcast website.
In the Valley of the Leopard, Time + Tide Safaris has numerous lodges in South Luangwa and across Zambia. South Luangwa holds an important milestone in African safari tourism-–Norman Carr pioneered walking safaris through this land and advocated for wildlife conservation. The Zambezi River creates the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe with the natural wonder of Victoria Falls. Tongabezi Lodge sits on the river bank with an endless amount of activities on and off the water. And for a connection to the friendly people of Zambia, take a guided tour through the neighboring villages like Simonga. Zambia represents a truly wild experience in Africa.
On the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Singita’s Pamushana Lodge overlooks the untouched wilderness on a sandstone ridge. Zimbabwe, especially Pamushana Lodge, is ideal for families. There is a rich history with rock art of ancient tribes and ecological zones for the protection of endangered black and white rhinos. Tourism supports wildlife conservation, sustainability, and education for local children making Singita an essential part of this community. Sarah’s favorite experience at Pamushana was meeting with and learning from the Malilangwe Trust’s ecology team and the wildly impressive anti-poaching team.
Safari in Botswana is the definition of old money elegance. Think of Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” music video that was actually filmed at the San Camp in Makgadikgadi Pans. Belmond Safaris will capture the Hollywood charm in the most iconic locations of Botswana. On the private island in the Okavango Delta, Belmond Eagle Island makes for an unforgettable water safari vacation. Other famed luxury lodges abound here like Mambo, Jao Camp, and more. Then heading over to Chobe National Park, you can see some of the largest herds of elephants and cape buffalo anywhere.
From the capital city of Cape Town to the remote reserves in Kruger National Park, South Africa has the most diverse options for your vacation. At the tip of the continent, you can go shark cage diving, whale watching, and see penguins on Boulders Beach. South Africa is also known for its world-class wineries and vineyards. It’s also a great choice in Africa for families with young children – more lodges are set up to be family friendly and there are several malaria free zones to visit. South Africa doesn’t skimp on luxury options either – from Singita’s Ebony Lodge to Royal Malewane, Tswalu, and Jack’s Camp, there’s something for everyone.
If you are looking for a tropical getaway with some extra adventure, head to Mozambique. This country has beautiful beach towns like Vilanculos where you can then visit the islands in the Bazaruto Archipelago National Park. Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort is located on the north island and is known for whale watching, deep sea fishing, and so much more. At &Beyond’s Benguerra Island you can go on a sunset dhow cruise and go horseback riding on the beach.
After you have visited Africa once or twice, Namibia just might be the next location for you. This landscape sits in contrast from other popular destinations in Africa. The Sossusvlei Desert is an endless space of red horizons and jagged mountains with animals you may have never heard of. &Beyond has multiple accommodations across the country with small, private flights for transport from the Namib Desert to the Skeleton Coast and everywhere in between. Zannier has also opened some gorgeous properties set to make a difference in the country while giving you a truly amazing experience.
There is a significance in visiting Africa, both for you and for the wild places you visit. Luxury travel to Africa is becoming more sustainable, focused on conservation, and economical for local communities. Based on your vision for visiting Africa, our team can build a tailored itinerary with the absolute best accommodations and adventures for you and your loved ones. Click here to get started and remember that you should always aim to start planning your safari 12-18 months in advance!