There are few experiences in the world that can prepare you for a proper walking safari in Africa with a professional guide. It is a life highlight, let alone the highlight of your safari holiday adventure and something that will live you for some time. It is exhilarating, slightly unnerving, heart pounding and quite wonderful to walk through the African bush, with Giraffe, Zebra, Elephant and various other animals as your nearby companions. Whilst you are able to walk in most African countries in one safari area or another there are only a few places in reality that offer up a true walking safari. This being a big game walking safari with a licensed professional and armed safari guide, tracking finding and approach the big game species of Elephant, Buffalo, Lion, Rhino, Leopard and Wild Dog. The importance of the skill of your guide here can't be understated and few countries have the examination processes in place to be able to offer these extraordinary experiences.
There is something still so carnal about having the Africa soil beneath your feet, tracking the spoor of an Elephant, using the wind direction to disguise the scent of the planet's apex predator ( us), and knowing that any minute you can happen upon whatever it is you are tracking. Approaching an Elephant and standing within 10-15 metres of these majestic giants is something else. Humbling to say the least to feel so small and insignificant. Tracking fresh Lion footprints will have your heart racing at 100 miles an hour. Should you be lucky enough to successfully catch up to them and see them for however long, that natural high that comes with it is incredible. It literally feels like you are floating around the bush afterwards. Once you do a walking safari at this level it is highly addictive and you'll want to do more and more.
Zimbabwe and Zambia are the two best walking safari countries in Africa and are so because of their guiding standards and examinations. There are a few camps and lodges in both Tanzania and Kenya where one might also be able to take these real walking safari's, Namely Kichaka Expeditions in Ruaha National Park, Tanzania along with Jabali Ridge and Kwihala Camps. In the Serengeti, Alex Walkers sets of camps that follow the Wildebeest migration also have great walking safaris. In Kenya, there are a few more options, to be honest, as they have a pretty decent licensing setup. Botswana has some walking guides but generally speaking, it is not something that is often taken up. South Africa is a little hit and miss, but the majority of the big names of camps, the higher end ones, do have some great guides.
It has to be said too that not all walking safaris end in an exciting experience, and this is where the quality of your guide also kicks in. Having the knowledge to be able to bring to life everything that you will miss when in a vehicle. Insects, Snakes, trees, grasses, tracks, poop, birds etc make up the majority of your learning on all walks always with the hope of "bumping" into something exciting. Most of the time a walking safari is not an exertive exercise and done as an activity from a camp for a few hours is the most common form of walking safaris. However, there are specialist walking camps that focus predominantly on the activity or even walk between camps for the ultimate experience. In Zimbabwe, the most notable of a very long list of great walking safari camps would be all the camps in Mana Pools, with Chitake Springs being the most visceral and raw experience. In Hwange National Park, you have Kazuma Trails, Hwange Bushcamp for the most heavily focussed walking safari's but to be frank all the camps have extraordinary guides to make walking safari's from anywhere in Hwange great.
If you are fit and able to walk for a few hours as a safari activity then we at Tailormade Africa wholeheartedly recommend you do at least one walking safari. Which camps you should go to really does depend a lot on your holiday personality and previous travel experience either in Africa or the rest of the world so please do get in touch for a conversation and a getting to know you chat.
Probably one of the most iconic titles that an Africa safari first springs to one's mind at the onset of planning a safari, mainly done so without any real knowledge of where it came from and why the Big Five is a thing. Its origins are from hunting safari's and is a designation given to Africas's most dangerous game to hunt due to their unsurprising ferocity should that said hunter miss and injure any of these magnificent creatures.
Thankfully these days it has moved on from there and now just represents five species of many, that most safari goers will hope to see on a safari activity. In reality, The Big Five should become a 'Magnificent Ten' as there are at least five animals that hold as much significance and allure in everyone's minds. Giraffe, Zebra, Cheetah, Wild Dog and Hippopotamus.
Arguably Crocodile too would spring to mind. These are all the animals that make everyone's list, with all the antelope species, small predators and funky species such as Pangolin's, HoneyBadgers etc all providing the supporting cast roles.
There are few countries that can deliver the Big Five truth be told, and it would be down to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa to provide you with the best chances. Namibia too if you have the time and funds to get around to the various areas. Whilst Botswana can give you all five you would be considered very lucky to catch Rhino.
It is on a walking safari with a licensed professional walking safari guide that The Big Five truly becomes relevant and immediately gives you a sense of why they are in a separate class altogether. They are Big, either in Size or Aura.
Tracking elephant, rhino and buffalo on foot and then being within 10-20 meters away from them leaves you feeling pretty small, insignificant even and will have your heart racing at a little under a thousand beats a minute.
With Lion, it is more of a case that they are the kings & queens of the African bush and you feel that power and presence instantaneously and are totally in awe of them.
With Leopard, it is their beauty and grace that captures your heart, their strength and ability to live in solitude, happily and successfully. It is the natural high and adrenaline rush you will get shortly afterwards that makes them so special and turns a great safari into a trip of a lifetime.
In a vehicle or on a boat the experience is very different as you have the perceived safety of the vehicle to take the strain of some of your apprehension, and of course, you are able to get much closer to observe and photograph them. No less impressive, however.
Sitting in the presence of Gorillas is without a doubt one of the top "life" experiences a nature lover can ever have. Incredibly emotional, exhilarating, oddly comforting and natural, a Gorilla trekking experience will leave a long-lasting impression on you.
Where are the best places in Africa to see Gorillas: There are several countries available for Gorilla trekking experiences. Rwanda, Uganda, Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. Rwanda and Uganda are the most well known and home to the Mountain Gorilla whereas in the Congo and the Central African Republic you would see their cousins, the Western Lowland Gorillas.
Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda are the main areas with various camps and lodges. 2 or 3 nights is all you need, but do take our advice of booking 2 Gorilla trek excursions if budget allows. Whilst you will see the Gorillas on 1 trek you only get about an hour with them and it won't be enough for most people as that time passes so quickly! This is the epitome of a once in a lifetime experience which you are unlikely to do again, so make the most of it and book at least 2 treks on your trip.
In the Republic of Congo, things work a little differently and a trip to Odzala National Park should only be taken on by people with previous Africa safari experience. However, the rewards are sensational, not only do you have phenomenal Gorilla sightings but you are venturing into one of the most remote and beautiful places in Africa.
While Africa is the continent for travellers yearning to see animals in their natural habitat, if timed right, South Africa and Tanzania are often called on because of the possibility of seeing the Big Five of the bush and the Marine Big Five in one adventure. Penguins, seals, sharks and dolphins can be seen all year round along the pristine coast of the Western Cape but the Southern Right and Humpback Whales migrate to South Africa’s warmer waters from June to October. These spectacular sea-creatures can be spotted breaching the water from the shore or you can have the humbling experience of sharing the ocean with a mammal that’s quite possibly twice the size of the shell you’re floating on.
The Coastal region of Hermanus and Gansbaai are the major hotspots for Whale Watching in South Africa with quite extraordinary sightings all along the coast or from several accommodation options that are in prime position to view them from your room, the garden and whilst having your meals or Sunset drinks. The Islands of Mafia, Zanzibar and Pemba of East Africa, adjacent to the Taznanian coastline affords opportunities to see them too along with excellent populations of Whale Sharks.
One of the worlds most impressive wildlife spectacles has to be the great Wildebeest migration in East Africa. Tanzania and Kenya to be more specific. One of our directors spent 2 years guiding in this region specifically to work the migration and he rates it as the finest most exciting experiences to have on safari. Having over Two million animals made up of predominantly Wildebeest but also Zebra, all moving together in a circular motion from the Southern Plains of the Serengeti to the northern regions of the Masaai Mara and surrounding areas and back is like nothing else out there. The great Bisson migration of North America the only thing that surpassed it when it existed.
This migration has the added benefit and excitement in that the animals have to cross 3 major river systems, all teaming with Crocodile. Should they make it past those water predators and avoid being trampled on by others or drowning then Lion, Leopard, Cheetah and Hyena all lie in wait on the other side. The sheer volume of animals lining the river bank waiting for one to jump in and start the haphazard crossing is staggering, as is the noise, the dust and general chaos that shortly ensues. It is emotional and breathless, heartwarming and ruthless all at the same time. If you have the time and the budget to see this event then do so.
It is not as straightforward however as you might think to plan your safari around this. There are 3 times of the year when river crossing migration experiences can be had. Late April to very early June sees the majority crossing the Grumeti River in the Western corridor of the Serengeti, Mid June through to mid August is the absolute best time to catch the crossing the Mara and Talek Rivers, and then again in late October as they return back across the Mara, Talek and Bologonja Rivers heading from Kenya to the Southern Serengeti. it has to be said though that the Wildebeest cross and re-cross various points of the river in the north all the time as they split up in search of fresh grass, so assuming you can afford to have at least 3 or 4 days up in that region you stand a very good chance of not only seeing them, but having at least one river crossing experience.
This next part is really important. In July and August please do not go to Kenya's Masaai Mara to witness the migration. There are too many lodges and camps in this amazing national park and outlying conservation areas and thus hundreds of vehicles lining the river banks to watch the migration. There is no etiquette here and we have personally witnessed just under a hundred safari vehicles at one crossing point, Guides and clients all shouting at each other jostling for position, people getting out of the vehicles and thus scaring all the Wildebeest away. It is soul destroying. If you wish to have a Kenya migration safari experience then you do have to pay for it in order to get a reasonable and wild migration experience by going to camps away from the masses. Please do speak to us before booking any trip to Kenya for the migration.
This migration of zebra was only discovered as recently as 2012 as much of the land the animals travel though is largely inaccessible and also it wasn’t thought that zebra would travel so far. It is now common knowledge among wildlife enthusiasts that large numbers of plain’s zebra (known as Burchell’s zebra) travel in a linear motion, i.e. straight northwards and then directly back the same way southwards, every year, some of them covering 1000kms making it, in fact, the longest ‘land’ animal migration in Africa! The Zebra is resident in the Chobe and Kwando regions of Botswana and Namibia during the African dry, winter months and they then start moving south when the rains come at the end of November, beginning of December. It is thought that they don’t actually begin their journey until the rains actually fall on the Nxai Pans of the Kalahari which are some 250kms away!
These incredible beasts can sense water from that distance, what remarkable and sophisticated animals they are compared to us, humans? The journey there for many takes just 20 days. For others, it can take them up to 40 days as they don’t take the most direct route and in these cases, they can cover distances of up to 400kms, and it is this along with their return journey, which makes it the longest migration ever. They remain in the Nxai Pans for about 80 days and then by the end of February, beginning of March, they return northwards and this time all of them taking a longer route, typically covering 500/800kms to reach ‘home’. Some arrive at the rivers as early as April while others take until July to reach their destination.
Botswana is home to a further and similar zebra migration covering an almost exact distance and time as the aforementioned. These zebras begin their travels from the South-Eastern Okavango Delta journeying southwards towards the Makgadikgadi Pan National Park. Similarly, the animals leave the Delta for the new grasses of the pans in November/December time with the arrival of the first rains. Their journey takes a few weeks, they stay there for a few months before returning to the Delta by March and the dry season ahead.
Scientists have discovered that the new grasses in the Makgadikgadi have a noticeably higher level of protein and mineral content than those growing in the Delta areas so maybe it is for this reason that these creatures follow this migratory route every year. However, scientists have also found out that only 55% of the zebra migrate while the other 45% of its population doesn't move at all, but they don’t know the reason for this!
If you have already been on safari to Africa before but are wanting to return to experience something different then a visit to either Nxai Pans Camp or to Jacks Camps in the Makgadikgadi might just be the answer. Travelling to either of these salt pans in the mighty Kalahari during the lush season of December through to March may give you the opportunity to see this migratory zebra spectacle along with a number of hungry, opportunistic predators close on their tales!
Furthermore, babies will be plentiful at this time of year and the rainy weather provides dramatic skies, fantastic for photographing. Why not combine this with an add-on trip to the Victoria Falls; marvel through the mist at Mosi-Oa-Tunya and experience its thunderous smoke.
Conversely, for first time safari goers, the best time for to visit the ‘orthodox’ safari destinations of Botswana; i.e.: Chobe, Linyanti, and the Okavango Delta, is during the drier months of June through to November. It is then that the Kalahari provides a sharp contrast to the latter safari spots. Oppressively arid and almost barren, and devoid of its migratory zebra, the salt pans boasts other great creatures, such as quizzical meerkats, brown hyena and aardvark.
Adventure out onto to the plains on quad bikes, sleep out in the open beneath the impressive milky way or even take a cultural visit to the San Bushmen and learn how they can smell water from miles away just like those inspirational zebras!
A little like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock horror movie. Over 100 Million bats converging on a small area of the Kasanka National Park in Zambia is the largest Mammal migration on the planet. They are the Straw-Coloured Fruit Bats and when they come from their normal residence in The Congo they are located in the Mushitu Swamp of aptly designated Bat Forest. It is here that they come to feed on the fruits of the impressive Masuku Tree.
There is a very short window of time in which to see them between late October and Mid December every year and very few camps to accommodate visitors. It is hard to imagine anyone NOT being impressed and in awe of this spectacle, but in our opinion suitable as either part of a much longer trip or for the experienced Africa safari traveller.
There can be few experiences in the world of horse riding that can come anywhere close to the sheer joy that riding in Africa's endless wilderness areas will give you. Indeed it is our firm belief that there is nothing that compares to cantering alongside a journey of giraffes, riding through the great Wildebeest migration of Masaai Mara or Serengeti National Parks, or galloping through the flood waters of Africa's most beautiful wetlands, the Okavango Delta in Botswana. In themselves those experiences are fantastic but entwine them into the fabric of a traditional mobile safari or fixed safari camp setting alongside some of Africa's most experienced professional safari guides and you have the ultimate trip of a lifetime.
Botswana and Kenya perhaps are the kings of this extraordinary medium of viewing and experiencing Africa's wildlife and wilderness with both having dedicated safari companies to operating these specialized experiences. At Tailormade Africa we align with only the very best of these as client safety is of course our main concern. This is not for the novice or part time rider as you may spend up to 6 hours a day in the saddle and be approaching big game species such as Elephant, Buffalo and even Lion. There are set departure trips of small groups of people to some camps but we much prefer arranging small private horseback safaris for just your particular group. Please do get in touch and speak with one of our team on designing the ideal itinerary for you.
Trekking to view one of mans closest relatives is an experience like no other. Unlike the Gorillas, the chimps are far more active, constantly moving, often at a high pace through their forest habitats. Often it is a harder task to find the chimps, but once you do find them, it is always an entertaining, fun and fascinating experience. There are several locations in Africa to view chimpanzees and to experience chimpanzee trekking.
In Rwanda, Nyungwe Forest home to around 500 chimpanzees is a superb place to trek within one of the world’s most beautiful and pristine mountain rainforests and is also one of the oldest on the entire continent.
In Uganda, there are 3 areas in Uganda from where you can track Chimpanzees: Kibale Forest, Kyambura Gorge (near Queen Elizabeth National Park) and Budongo Forest (in Murchison Falls National Park). Kibale is by far the most popular and chances of a sighting are high. In Budongo and Kyambura, sighting chances are just slightly less, although it is not as busy in these locations and one feels a greater sense of achievement when you finally track down the chimpanzees from their knuckle-tracks and calls in the forest.
In Tanzania, the stand out location is the Mahale Forest (Mahale Mountains National Park). It is one of the most remote and beautiful parks in Africa, and home to around 700 chimps. Combined with beautiful mountains, lush forest, mind-blowing beaches and all on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, this park is sensational. Also in the west of the country lying on the shores of Lake Tanganyika is the better-known Gombe National Park, and where Jane Goodall performed her ground-breaking studies. The park is smaller than it's sister park to the south and home to around 100 chimps.
Chimpanzees are very active and often very vocal. You can be treated to a range of behaviours from eating to mating, fighting, playing and grooming. A troop of chimpanzees hooting in the forest and/or drumming on tree buttresses is a sight to see and hear!
Any safari viewing experience be it by vehicle, on foot, by boat Canoe or Makoro or in a Balloon is a wonderful way to view and experience wildlife, but there can be few experiences to match the natural and secretive experience that one has when sitting in a specialised hide, near a waterhole or overlooking one. The close proximity to whatever turns up at the waterhole is extraordinary and for the majority of cases it is quite some feeling knowing that the animals do not know that you are there. Ultimately that is how we want to interact with Africas wildlife. To be there without affecting their normal behaviour. It is simply an extraordinary experience!
Surprisingly there are not that many places that do these specialist hides. Zimbabwe and Zambia have the most number of them and have done this kind of safari for a very long time and are specialists at combining hide safaris with walking or vehicle safaris. Botswana has a few camps that have hides, as do Tanzania and Kenya, but you can count them on one hand. For the ultimate combination of walking vehicle and hide based experiences it is a Zimbabwe safari or a Zambia safari that you should be looking at for your trip.
It goes without saying that a hide safari delivers high quality photographic opportunities, being so close to the species of animal and bird that visit one can get a quite incredible shots. Bean bags, tripods and monopods can all be used in the hide and help to capture crystal clear images of course. A hide safari experience possibly isn't for everyone given the close proximity to Big and dangerous game species such as elephant and Lion especially if it is a log pile hide where you literally only have large tree trunks and branches surrounding you and being a barrier between yourself and whatever is around you. You are safe for sure but your heart may beat somewhat faster and you will feel incredibly small and insignificant.
It is vital that we understand who you are, your previous safari Africa experience or general adventure travel experience whilst planning the trip with you so a phone call or face to face meet should occur at some point so that we can just be sure you'll fully enjoy it and have your expectation managed. Please do get in touch!
One of Africa’s greatest attractions is the warm, friendly and delightful people. With so many different ethnic groups, tribes and cultures there are a plethora of experiences to be had. Many camps and lodges provide travellers with the opportunity to experience the local culture and learn their traditions, but across Africa it is often a controversial and much discussed subject, in what actually is an 'authentic' experience.
A prime example will be where many places offer 'traditional' dances, these can often feel staged and not authentic at all. Or visiting a local market, where you are hassled and feel more stressed than soaking up the sights and sounds as you should be. Therefore in our opinion it is best to discuss with us your specific location you are travelling to and we will be honest about where we feel you will get the best local interaction that not only benefits you, but the local people.
The very thought of this type of safari is one of extreme romance and freedom. Who can argue that floating over the plains of the Serengeti in Tanzania, the Maasai Mara of Kenya or the red sand dunes of Sossusvlei in Namibia would not be one of the most spectacular ways of doing a safari activity. Very few indeed and quite rightly. As a scenic activity it is everything you imagine it to be and something to be considered when planning a safari to any of those countries I just mentioned.
There is one big draw back though. The cost. it is not a cheap or lengthy safari activity. Almost everywhere in Africa it is around USD$500 per person for about 45 minutes to an hour in air. Yes you generally get a champagne breakfast before continuing on a normal safari activity but that is a fairly steep cost to what will likely be an expensive trip as a whole. It's very much a personal decision therefore of whether or not to include it. We would say that if you have the funds available to treat yourself, without sacrificing any other element of your general safari holiday, then go for it, you won't regret it.
The vistas, dramatic scenery and even the wildlife viewing from a Balloon can be extraordinary. But in the case of the latter you are st the total mercy of wind direction as to what game you may see. A balloon safari should not be taken as a means to see animals as it can lead to disappointment, rather do it to appreciate the vastness of the wilderness area or national parks that you are in.
Guests are taken out during the day in a specialist vehicle with the main purpose of finding and viewing wildlife. This activity is the main one for the majority of safaris. The wildlife in the area is easily approached by vehicles as the animals become familiar with the presence of them and are no longer threated by the vehicle. This will allow you to get much closer to the wildlife than you would if you were on foot.
Night drive safaris involve finding and following nocturnal animals while they are at their most active. The activity requires great skill from the spotter and the driver. It also requires guests to have a lot of patience.
A mokoro boat safari is a refreshing change from travelling by vehicle, horseback or walking. A mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe which is pushed by a guide who stands on the flat area at the back of the vessel. A guide will take one or two guests and explore the papyrus-lined channels and flooded lagoons. Encounters with large wildlife are rare in a mokoro, however, the main focus of travelling in a mokoro is to encounter smaller wildlife.
Encountering Lions is the main aim of most good safaris. Finding lions while out on a safari is not a problem, it’s the quality of the sighting that counts. Lions often hunt at night, so some camps offer the night drive safaris that could deliver a magnificent and heart-pumping encounter. Some guides will track and encounter lions on walking safaris which can be exhilarating. Lions are extremely dangerous creatures, and man-eaters are very rare.
Leopards are the least threatened species out of the large feline predators in Africa and can be found over sub-Saharan Africa. Despite being found in a large range, leopards are probably the most elusive large mammal on the continent. There are a few places that can say they have regular sightings of the mammal. The best way to see leopards will be on a night drive safari. However, the guides and spotters that take the night drive safaris need to be experts on tracking and spotting and have an in-depth knowledge of the habits and the territories of all the animals.
The African elephant forms part of any good safari and there is nothing more rewarding and thrilling than spending time with the gentle and sociable giants. While on safari you may encounter elephants easily but the quality of each encounter can be very different.
Rhinos are one of the most endangered species and are almost extinct because of poaching. These magnificent animals are the second largest land mammal in Africa. There are two different kinds of rhinos in Africa, the bigger and more passive square-lipped rhino which is known as the white rhino and the smaller and more hostile hook-lipped rhino which is known as the black rhino.
A microlight safari involves the use of a microlight which is also called an ultra-light. Microlights are used for short beautiful flights over a specific are that has a lot of wildlife. A microlight is a small aircraft that has a triangular cloth wing under which both the pilot and a single passenger are seated, with a small engine at the back of the aircraft.
A mountain bike safari is when guests are guided through the bush on bikes. The main goal of this activity is exercise, however, there is the aim of finding and viewing wildlife. This is an unusual experience but a rather pleasant experience. Close encounters with wildlife are very rare when it comes to this type of safari, however, it can be pleasant being out in the bush with no engine noise.
Bungee jumping is considered an extreme sport. Bungee jumping is when someone leaps off a bridge with an elastic rope tied to their feet. After they have jumped off the bridge they will bounce and slowly stop. Once they have stopped they are hoisted back to the top.
White water rafting is an activity that involves a group of people in a large blow-up raft. There is an experienced pilot who paddles down a few river rapids. This activity is very extreme in the right season.
Kite surfing involves standing on an altered surfboard and being dragged along by a huge kite. Kites surfing is a tough skill to master, for the first couple of days, you will probably be learning how to fly the kite. Strength, fitness and coordination are needed for kite surfing.
The days of basic safari camps in small canvas tents have become rare, so it is not always straightforward to understand what makes a “luxury” safari. For many people “luxury” is quantified by the quality of the accommodation itself - the interior decor, service, food quality and general ambience of each safari camp or lodge. Indeed, even when the ‘luxury’ element is more tuned to the quality of the experience or remoteness of location in which the camp or lodge sits, the accommodations are usually still of a very lovely standard. The question remains however, what makes a luxury safari luxurious for you as an individual or group? Time, isolation and uniqueness of experience should all be major focal points when considering a luxury safari as all 3 of those elements of luxury have become synonymous with modern safari travel in Africa. Needless to say that any luxury safari is going to be no small financial undertaking. It can be true that a fairly basic-appearing camp in an extraordinary location that delivers first class experiences and guides can still reach the USD$850 per person per night mark and more.
Botswana and South Africa are kings of the luxury safari world where opulent accommodations, food, wine and service are concerned. Botswana in particular manages to combine these with experiential safari and remoteness of location, rather gloriously too, giving you everything. Zimbabwe and Zambia do have some stunning camps and lodges but here the experience and guiding quality are the main defining characteristics of luxury. Old-school safari camps, atmosphere and remoteness of camp locations are the mainstay of what makes safari in these two countries incredibly difficult to beat. Tanzania has started to come to the table with epic luxury safari camps in recent years, but also has some quite outstanding remote safari camps for high-quality isolation luxury safari. Kenya, much like South Africa, has very opulent safari camps mixed in with some excellent next-level down luxury camps that offer similar levels of service at reduced costs.
To list all the camps that we love in this rather ambiguous category of safari type would be a bit silly as it is entirely subjective and down to your own perceptions and degrees of importance of what constitutes a luxury safari. The greatest example of this would be some clients we recently had that were very fortunate to have no budget ceiling, whom we challenged to mix in a "luxury camp" that was far off the beaten track with no wifi / phone signal or close proximity to any other camp or form of civilization. It was a pretty basic looking camp but was the part of the trip that resonated with them most.
The best thing to do at this point is to get in touch with us, preferably by phone, to allow us to get to know you a little and advise on the kind of luxury safari that would give you your trip of a lifetime experience.
It is arguable that a honeymoon safari is right up there with being one of the most unique honeymoon experiences in the world. It certainly is one of, if not the, most romantic and adventurous ways to kick off the dawn of a new marriage. In truth, most of the camps lodges and locations we encourage people to go to on safari cater very well to honeymooners so it becomes very subjective to each, and different, couples as to what would make for the best Honeymoon safari. Our general rule of thumb when considering exactly what to do is to stick to your normal travel personality traits and discuss with us the degree of adventure, luxury and relaxation you feel you may want. There are a few things that immediatly elevate a trip from ordinary to Honeymoon category. Private guides and vehicles where possible, remote safari camps in off the beaten track parks or reserves, touches of luxury either at the medium or opulent scale for example.
Our top picks for honeymoon safaris would undoubtedly be Tanzania as it offers some of the best wildlife in Africa and has outstanding Islands to compliment the exciting safari with relaxation on white sandy tropical beaches. The diversity of the national parks in this country is something to behold as is the diversity of wildlife and quality of the camps and lodges. Botswana's Okavango Delta has a selection of camps that ooze luxury honeymoon safari with the service and standards of traditional 5 star properties world wide. Zimbabwe and Zambia both approach honeymoon safaris in a much more adventurous way putting absolute quality and traditional authenticity of the safari experience at the fore. Victoria Falls, Mana Pools, South Luangwa and Hwange National Park all extraordinary for game viewing and depth of wilderness experience. Both countries combine well with Malawi. So many options!
So much of travel to Africa and the type of experiences that as individuals we want or need, is highly subjective to each individual person. For that reason, we do strongly recommend that at this point you get in touch for a “getting to know you” conversation with one of our team. We are absolute in our belief that this is the only way to achieve a truly Tailormade Africa Honeymoon experience….. for you.
An Africa safari makes an unforgettable holiday for a family especially for children as a child’s innate love of nature and animals comes to the fore and opens their eyes and minds to a very different world that must seem magical to them. These holidays can be a magnificent way for children to learn about nature and interact with different cultures. The whole family together on a mission to explore the landscape and find wildlife. These kinds of experience are magnificent on their own. However, shared with people you care about, these experiences become important points of connection, that will have value for decades and become a family memory.
Of course where you decide to visit in Africa is closely dependent on the ages of your family members. This age consideration is one not to be taken lightly. Yes, really young children can go on safari but speaking frankly, taking children younger than 6 seems a little bit like a waste of what should be a life changing event for the whole family. Happy children = happy everyone else and it is very difficult for little ones to sit still enough and quiet enough whilst out on safari. If you do want to go then certainly your main consideration should to go to non malarial safari areas, such as the South Africa game parks in the Eastern and western cape along with Madikwe and Mashatu of Botswana.
For children of all ages above 6 yrs old safari Africa is simply amazing. Safari Camps that take children of all ages do so because they have the staff that are able to translate everything so effortlessly and love giving them those first Africa experiences. Some excel at it. Tanzania, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa really do create the very best family safari holiday experiences and we would very much recommend either of those countries as a first look. Also how much will they remember.
So much of travel to Africa and the type of experiences that as individuals we want or need, is highly subjective to each individual person and family. For that reason, we do strongly recommend that at this point you get in touch for a “getting to know you” conversation with one of our team. We are absolute in our belief that this is the only way to achieve a truly Tailormade Africa family safari experience….. for your family.
For us here at Tailormade Africa arranging someone's very first safari is the most exciting and rewarding part of our job. It is hard to get across to people what to expect let alone the deep life changing experience that is about to befall the first time Africa safari client. Indeed Our directors frequently talk about how envious they are of that "first time" feeling. The awe of seeing your first Zebra, giraffe, Elephant and Lion or Leopard is something that you just can't quite be prepared for. It is simply exhilarating and if you are reading this as a newbie to the safari world you should be delirious with excitement at what awaits you.
Truth be told, your first safari can hardly ever fail to deliver a decent experience and you do not yet have the knowledge or a barometer to know the difference between an average safari or a safari experience at the very top of its game. You will not yet understand how important the quality of guiding is to making your safari go from good to extraordinary and this is partly because you will just be super excited to see everything that you will see. However, we know how to give you it all on your first safari and there are several countries that we believe are best for this particular category of safari travel. Tanzania is probably the best first time destination as you pretty much get most of an African safari, the variety of species, the mixtures of habitats and ecosystems and a decent infusion of authentic local culture. All these elements put together are fundamental in getting the most out of Africa will give you the injection of the Africa & safari bug that leaves yearning for more and more. Indeed we have clients that return annually without fail.
Having said that a first safari can't fail to deliver in reality, logistics, national park choices and choosing the right kind of safari accommodation to match your travel personality is absolute vital and is not something you can do on your own as you would with any other type of holiday travel. Africa works to her own beat and time and can be frustrating for the un-initiated, nor is it possible for you to sift through the thousands and thousands of camp and lodge choices based on imagery and trip advisor, so please don't try as you can end up with a really poor overall Africa experience. Plan your trip with one of our team at Tailormade Africa, you get our experience and knowledge absolutely free, costing you no more to plan and book with ourselves than going direct so please do get in touch.
The best thing to do at this point is to get in touch with us, preferably by phone, to allow us to get to know you a little and advise on the kind of first safari that would give you your trip of a lifetime experience.
Tailormade Africa is an Approved Fair Trade tour operator, which means that we actively support sustainable businesses certified under the Fair Trade logo. We are one of only two tour operators in the UK that have taken on this important mantle.
Many people travelling to Africa are, rightly, very concerned about the impact that their trip will have on the local communities, wilderness areas and conservation as a whole and whether or not they will be safe on their adventure to this incredible continent. While you can be assured that all of the destinations we support are safe and, to some degree, have programmes of Community and conservation support some go above and beyond to act sustainably and have a positive impact on the environment that surrounds them, whether this is the ecological environment or the social environment.
When you see the Fair Trade Tourism best practice label you are assured that everyone you deal with in the value chain gets equal pay for equal work. This assurance is based on a large set of stringent criteria, that have been set out by Fair Trade Tourism, that the safari lodge has to adhere to, and is tested by means of a third party audit.
The criteria focus on:
• Fair wages and working conditions
• Fair operations, purchasing and distribution of benefits
• Ethical business practice
• Respect for human rights, culture and the environment
If you would like to book your Tailormade Africa Fair Trade Safari, we have a range of accredited camps and lodges that we support who are eager to make you feel at home in Africa and show you their Communal and Environmental projects. In many instances, you will be able to directly support these initiatives and in doing so have an even more direct and lasting effect on the people and places you visit long after you return home.
As mentioned earlier, Tailormade Africa does not get involved with large, organised groups which tend to follow a set departure and itinerary. That said we very much encourage family parties or indeed intimate groups of friends to embark upon a tailor made African safari put together by us with our care and precision. There is perhaps no better way to celebrate a family occasion than to travel to Africa and go on safari.
If the family group is big enough it may be that you will be able to have your own vehicle while out on game drives with your own personal and private guide. Often this scenario can end up being the most cost effective as you will be splitting the fees of a private guide and vehicle between a fairly large number of you. If you are a particularly large, private group you may be able to book the whole lodge or camp, some of them only have 4 or 5 rooms; imagine the privacy and exclusivity you will then experience?
The smaller more intimate camps generally work best in this scenario, so certainly matching your party size to as close to the maximum number of rooms at a camp is always best. There are some safari camps and lodges that excel at catering for group or private party clients and sadly others that are ill prepared, having knowledge of teh very best camps across all budget ranges helps us to correctly match your party to the right camp.
The best thing to do at this point is to get in touch with us, preferably by phone, to allow us to get to know you a little and advise on the kind of group or private party safari that would give you all your trip of a lifetime experience.
Anyone that is travelling alone or wishing to travel alone to Africa should feel 100% confident in doing so! A safari in Africa is a very inclusive experience at its heart with the majority of camps and lodges being uber friendly and with very like minded people being at said camps or lodges. The word safari is Swahili "to journey", and we feel that there is no better example of a journey than that of the self discovery experiences travelling by oneself in Africa can give you. In most of safari Africa you will be sharing your safari activities with up to 5 others from the camp or lodge you are staying at and will undoubtedly make long lasting friendships. We would always encourage solo travellers to mix in a variety of experiences. Wildlife safari of course, but also authentic cultural experiences where possible. We say this because we have found that with all our solo traveller guests it has been this combination of wildlife and local cultural deep and meaningful interactions that has really struck home and changed or greatly impacted them.
Almost every safari country in Africa works for solo travellers although there are a few that excel in this particular area. Tanzania’s Southern Circuit of the Selous game Reserve and Ruaha National parks work perfectly with a great mix of ecosystems and safari activities and almost all operate a shard safari activity format in camp. The northern circuit of Tarangire National park, Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti can work just as well, though it can get quite pricey because of single supplements on many of the accommodations. It is in Tanzania where the richest cultural experiences are to be had and combine so effortlessly with traditional safari game viewing too. Rwanda and Uganda work really well for Gorilla and Chimpanzee experiences and operate similarly to Southern Tanzania and Southern Africa
Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia are the real kings of solo travel in Africa. Namibia and South Africa offer perhaps the best self drive options should big road country driving be your thing and we can plan some quite remarkable itineraries along those lines.
So much of travel to Africa and the type of experiences that as individuals we want or need, is highly subjective to each individual person. For that reason, we do strongly recommend that at this point you get in touch for a “getting to know you” conversation with one of our team. We are absolute in our belief that this is the only way to achieve a truly Tailormade Africa solo traveller experience….. for you.