An African safari is on the travel bucket list of many of our clients. It’s absolutely a life-changing experience you will never forget.
Planning a luxury safari is one type of vacation where the advice of an expert travel professional is invaluable! From selecting the right location, the right time to see and experience the things you want to see, the perfect accommodations, the proper documentation, and the ideal safari guide, you’ll appreciate having someone “in-the-know” taking care of the details.
Here are some of the top things you should keep in mind when planning a luxury African safari…
Where to go?
Africa is a vast continent with diverse cultural and wildlife experiences. While many people consider a safari to be a “once in a lifetime” trip, the truth is that you can plan multiple safaris without repeating experiences.
Over 50 million tourists visit Africa each year with the majority coming from the US, UK, and France. US visitors tend to favor Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Tanzania, Ghana, Ethiopia, and South Africa. The French prefer Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, and Mauritius. British tourists opt for Egypt, Gambia, South Africa, and Mauritius.
What to see?
Deciding where you want to visit can feel overwhelming but knowing precisely what animals you hope to see on your safari can easily help narrow down the choices. During our vacation consultation, we will discuss what experiences you are looking for, and your travel advisor will offer suggestions based on those preferences
Africa offers some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in the world. While there are a considerable number of animal species in Africa, most first-time safari guests are hoping to see “the big 5” during their time in Africa. The big five is made up of lions, leopards, rhinoceros, elephants and Cape buffalos. If this is what you are looking for, then your choices will include Botswana. Zambia, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Another popular request is for gorilla trekking. If you are hoping to commune with a silverback and company, then you’ll want to focus on Uganda, Rwanda, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Where to Stay?
There are a wide variety of options available for accommodations on your safari vacation. For a luxury safari, most guests tend to choose either a five-star safari lodge or a luxury tent camp. Quite often when we help our clients to plan a safari, we recommend that they allow for enough time to experience both options in multiple locations.
A safari lodge or game lodge will typically feature more resort-like amenities while a luxury tent camp is often the ultimate romantic experience that feels entirely authentic.
The primary differences between a safari camp and a safari lodge tend to be the size (lodges, in general, are bigger), amenities, and of course having four solid walls around you! Don’t let the name fool you; there are tent camps available that are almost decadent in their level of luxury!
When to go?
In real estate, location is everything. When it comes to a safari vacation, timing is everything! Visit at the right time, and you’ll be treated to a fantastic experience with abundant wildlife that takes your breath away. Plan your trip during the wrong time and you the animals may be few and far between.
The best advice tends to be to plan your trip during the dry season when water is a bit scarce. The animals will seek out watering holes, and this makes it easier for your guide to predict where and when you are likely to find them. It is also easier for safari vehicles to navigate the dirt roads of the game reserves.
One of the most amazing experiences happens each year from June to September with the great Wildebeest migration in the Serengeti National Park. While this is peak season, and that is reflected in the price tag, it has earned the title of “the Greatest Show on Earth!”
These are just a few of the things we take into consideration when planning a luxury safari for our clients. Other factors include how to get around, what type of travel documentation is required, if any vaccines are recommended, safety, and what (if any) ways our client would like to give back to the local communities.
Ready to experience an African safari for yourself? It all starts with a personalized vacation consultation. Click here to request a time for us to meet. We’ll discuss the details and what you are looking for. We’ll give you our suggestions and explain how we can best work together to plan an unforgettable safari experience.