Southern or East Africa?
Africa is a huge continent of dizzying contrast.
Allow Head of Africa Ben Oxley-Brown guide you through the options for Southern and East Africa.
Nothing can prepare you for your first visit to Africa – to visit such an ancient landscape where animals roam free, to smell its earthy scent, wander along deserted tropical beaches – it’s truly humbling. From private guides matched to your interests to a dizzying array of accommodation – ranging from tented bush camps to swish lodges – the choices are infinite and our knowledge is invaluable when it comes to creating your perfect holiday.
When talking about safaris to East Africa we are generally referring to Kenya and Tanzania and for Southern Africa, popular safari regions include South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Each of these countries offers radically different experiences, so finding the right fit is important and we are here to help every step of the way.
"Think of me as a match-making service where I can pair you with your perfect safari. There's a lot of choice out there but I know how a good guide can make or break your experience."
FIRST TIMER HEAVEN
South Africa offers beautiful safari lodges with spectacular food and service. It feels more polished than other African countries and is great for a first-time safari, and for the nervous! There is abundant wildlife in the Kruger, Madikwe and Eastern Cape with the latter two being malaria-free, so perfect for families.
Aside from the wilds of its game reserves, South Africa is also a great for exploring and popular combinations alongside safari include Cape Town, the Winelands as well as the scenic Garden Route. With mountains, beaches, vibey cities, vineyards and some of the world’s top restaurants there is a lot to explore.
BEST GAME VIEWING ON THE PLANET
Botswana is the self-styled king of safari destinations with the Okavango Delta commanding global renown, and the semi-arid Kalahari holding mystical appeal. It has phenomenal game and with fewer properties as ‘policy’ it commands an air of exclusivity. There is no other place quite like it.
Witnessing wildlife from the air, land and water makes an expensive proposition. A safari here normally consists of staying in two to three camps to get a good perspective of the different terrains as well as a and range of wildlife. We carefully select a mixture of ‘land’ camps where the focus is on game drives, and ‘water’ camps where gliding along on mokoro or motorboat provides a different angle.
Namibia is a land of landscapes and desert-adapted wildlife. If open skies and wide vistas are your thing, then you will simply love it. Although you won’t find the same level of game viewing as other countries in Southern Africa, what you do find more than makes up it – the sheer diversity of scenery, experiences and activities is enough to blow your mind.
The Sossusvlei dunes at sunrise are a photographer’s dream. They’re the highest in the world, and if you’re fit enough, the humbling sense of insignificance you feel when you reach the summit makes the effort well worth it. Moving from sand to sea, along Atlantic coastline you’ll find a string of wrecked ships which helped forge its nickname ‘The Skeleton Coast’ – it’s a real privilege to see something so remote.
Waterfalls, wildlife & world heritage sites
Zimbabwe has sense of true, infinite wilderness. It not only offers safaris to rival its Southern Africa neighbours, but Zimbabwean guides are widely recognized as being the finest in Africa. Combine wildlife viewing with some pretty spectacular World Heritage Sites such as Victoria Falls, the wonderfully eery Matobo Hills and the second oldest human structure in Africa – The Great Zimbabwe Ruins.
Matusadona National Park, on the shore of Lake Kariba, has some of the highest concentrations of lion anywhere. You’ll find huge herds of elephants in Hwange National Park and Zimbabwe is one of the few remaining places where you can see white and black rhino in the wild. And, then there is Gonarezhou on the southern border to Mozambique – this has long been a favourite of ours with its unexplored Jurassic feel where big tuskers look as large as woolly mammoths.
Raw and beautiful
Zambia is untamed. It’s also less known than some other safari destinations which gives it a distinct advantage – it offers some of the wildest safaris anywhere in Africa. Home of the walking safari, this landlocked country is as much about the scenery as it is about the wildlife.
South Luangwa is Zambia’s premier place to safari. It has a high density of lion and wild dog and is one of the best places in Africa to see leopard. Then there’s the Lower Zambezi, a remarkably beautiful and remote area framed by mountains and the mighty Zambezi which flows to perhaps Zambia’s most well-known place – Victoria Falls. For truly wild, we recommend smaller North Luangwa which is great for exploring on foot, as well as Liuwa Plain which has just one camp.
Out of Africa
Kenya is home of the original safari. It is a double-edged sword with some areas in prime months becoming rather busy, but we can take you far from the madding crowd to vast unexplored areas, with incredible landscapes. Witness the iconic plains of the Masai Mara and the thrill of the Great Migration – the greatest wildlife show on earth.
Depicted on countless wildlife documentaries, Kenya is familiar but also surprising. A lone acacia tree against the shimming horizon, plains teeming with wildlife – you must see it to understand its beauty. Top spots include Samburu in the arid north, Amboseli which is set to the backdrop of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro and famed for its large herds of elephant, Lake Nakuru with its huge flocks of pink flamingos and its golden coastline laced with Swahili charm.
Sense of Scale
Tanzania stretches from the sun-drenched Serengeti to the shadow of snow-capped Kilimanjaro, and from its Indian Ocean coastline to the wild southern shores of Lake Nyasa. Its sprawling plains are studded with wildlife, and its oceans alive with colourful reefs. The ‘northern circuit’ just scratches the surface of this wonderfully dramatic country.
To see the Serengeti as thousands of animals thunder across its plains during the Great Migration is bucket list stuff. But that’s not all Tanzania offers. The Selous is the largest uninhabited area in Africa, while Ruaha harbours huge elephant herds. There are cloud forests inhabited by chimpanzees in Mahale, and in wild and woolly Katavi you can be sure not to see anybody else. The sense of scale of Tanzania is incredible – one game reserve equals the same size as a small country in Europe.
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