Luxury African Safaris
Qosy’s Guide to Choosing & Planning an African Safari

Planning an African Safari

Going on safari is a holiday dream many of us have always had. The idea sounds simple enough, but when it actually comes to looking a little deeper and booking that trip of a lifetime, suddenly the choices can become overwhelming.

First off, we can sometimes forget that Africa is a huge continent, with over 20 countries. The variation in climate, scenery, animals and landscape between different countries is significant. Secondly, the time of year you’re able to travel will heavily impact the places which can provide the best safari experience in the window you have to explore.

Next, you need to consider the safari style itself; Do you want luxury resorts, or semi-luxury camping safaris where you can properly immerse yourself in the environment? Are you wanting to relax, or is a full day plan more your style? Are you travelling with a significant other and wanting the more romantic option? Or are you travelling with friends or maybe bringing the kids along?

Whilst maybe not knowing where to begin looking, you probably have an idea in your minds of the countries you’re most interested in, the style of safari you’re after, or the kind of animals you want to encounter.

We’ve narrowed the options down for you, and have made it a lot easier for you to find a safari that’s right for you.

Let the safari adventure begin…

Where to visit in Africa

Rwanda

Best times to visit: Beginning of June – End of February (except November).

A small landlocked country, Rwanda is renowned for its mountain gorillas. Made even more famous by naturist Dian Fossey, getting up close with these majestic and endangered monkeys will take your breath away. Rwanda also offers an incredible landscape, with steep forest mountains, a chain of volcanoes, and luscious, deep valleys.

Kenya

Best times to visit: December to March & June to October

Perhaps the most iconic of all Safari destinations, Kenya offers visitors the chance to witness the famous wildebeest migration and to spot the big five in its many renowned game parks. The arid plains in the south of Kenya are also home to the famous Maasai tribes people, whom you can visit to learn about their traditional ways of life.

Tanzania

Best times to visit: June through to March (Except for November)

Bordering Kenya, Tanzania is the only other country in Africa to offer visitors the chance to witness the spectacle of the wildebeest migration. Tanzania is also the home country of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, which provides a stunning backdrop to Tanzania’s gorgeous landscape.

Uganda

Best time to visit: June-End of February (excluding November)

Dubbed the “Pearl of Africa” by Winston Churchill, Uganda is a beautiful country where you can climb snow capped peaks on the equator, or spend time game-seeking in Savannah plains. It’s also one of the few places that offer you the unforgettable experience of getting close and personal with endangered mountain gorillas.

Madagascar

Best time to visit: June-December

Dubbed the “Eighth continent” for it’s biodiversity, Madagascar is a whole different ball game when it comes to safari experiences. From lemurs to whales to volcanoes, Madagascar has something to offer the adventurer looking for something a little out of the ordinary on their safari. Many of the species on this island are endemic, providing an eclectic and unique opportunity.

Zimbabwe

Best time to visit: May-October

Zimbabwe is one of the most beautiful places in Africa, boasting two world heritage sites; Victoria Falls and Mana Pools. It is also a brilliant place for a game safari with its park rangers and guides some of the most qualified in all of Africa. Despite the recent political instability, the reputable parks in Zimbabwe can offer you a safe safari experience, with less tourism than other african destinations.

Botswana

Best time to visit: All year round or May to mid-November for Game spotting.

Botswana is one of Africa’s most politically, and economically stable countries. There are less tourists and the country is a game-seeker’s paradise. Elephants are perhaps the most notorious animals in Botswana, with Chobe National Park boasting over 70,000 elephants.

Namibia

Best time to visit: May to December

Home to some of the sparsest and arguably most striking landscapes in the world, Namibia boasts the worlds highest sand-dunes and the chance to enjoy a hot air balloon safari (and champagne breakfast) across the sparse landscape, or up-close and personal encounters with wildlife at Etosha national park.

South Africa

Best times to visit: All Year round

A country where history, culture and experience collide, South Africa has no limitations on what it can offer adventurers on safari. South Africa offers the world’s longest wine route, and also the famous Kruger National Park, where visitors can see more species of animals than anywhere else in the continent.

Recommended Safaris for Honeymooners, Families, Singles, and Seniors

For Honeymoons

What better way to kick-start a life-long journey together than an unforgettable adventure through some of the most romantic and awe-inspiring places on earth.

A honeymoon safari is the perfect excuse to go that extra mile and splurge on exclusive retreats and experiences. Perhaps you want to relax on pristine and private beaches. Maybe, you’d like to enjoy superb service in boutique lodges whilst exploring game parks. Or maybe a self-drive safari at your own pace, is more your style. In any case, there’s a romantic African safari waiting with your name on it.

15-Night luxury honeymoon in Kenya and the Seychelles

SeychellesGet back to nature on this dream of a trip across African plains to wild, deserted Seychelles beaches. A holiday of superlative experiences seen from small, select lodges and luxury beach hotels.

13-Night luxury honeymoon in South Africa & Mozambique

Sabi SandOn this South Africa and Mozambique honeymoon, you’ll wallow in luxury within the exclusive Sabi Sand Game Reserve: sharing the thrill of safari, whilst sipping champagne in your hot-tub, snuggling up in Egyptian cotton sheets, and savouring excellent cuisine amongst glittering lanterns. After this, you’ll arrive in style by helicopter to the Bazaruto Archipelago, and completely detach from the rest of the world at Azura Benguerra Island.

Looking for a tailor-made safari holiday?

Exsus logoAlmost all reputable African safari tour companies allow you to tailor-make your safari holiday. You can enquire about tailor-made safaris with our recommended provider, Exsus, by clicking below.

For Families

If planned well, a safari adventure can be one of your most cherished family experiences and memories.

There are a few extra things you’ll need to consider depending on the range of ages of your family, such as making sure you choose child-friendly accommodation; and that you pick adventures and destinations which are appropriate for little ones.

Whilst definitely not the extent of your options, Tanzania, South Africa and, of course, Madagascar are our top three picks for a family safari which is unforgettable, for all the right reasons.

8-Night luxury family safari holiday in Tanzania

SerengetiTravel through the great outdoors on a family adventure holiday in Tanzania, embarking upon a safari hop to some of Africa’s top wildlife destinations. Visit the edge of the world’s largest intact caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater, to take in the natural wonders of the Big Five, go in search of the Little Five in the great Serengeti National Park, and sail across the waters to Zanzibar to top off your family adventure with a splash of desert island paradise.

8-Night luxury family safari & beach holiday in South Africa

MadikweOn this ultimate family getaway, you’ll embark upon an active adventure into the natural environs of South Africa’s pulsating wilderness. Take in the sights and sounds of the Malaria Free Madikwe Private Game Reserve, where you’ll stay in your own exclusive farm house, before travelling to Cape Town to experience nature at its best in South Africa’s picturesque ‘Mother City’.

Looking for a tailor-made safari holiday?

Exsus logoAlmost all reputable African safari tour companies allow you to tailor-make your safari holiday. You can enquire about tailor-made safaris with our recommended provider, Exsus, by clicking below.

For Singles

Whether it’s a journey of self-discovery, a long desired trip, or just some time away, a solo African safari can be one of the most rewarding experiences. You hold the wheel and can choose exactly what you want to do and see.

Choose to join a small group tour to trek the endangered mountain gorillas, relax on golden beaches or take to the air over the breathtaking Namibian landscape, or over the magical Victorian falls.

The wonder of Africa is at your fingertips.

15-Night luxury safari & beach holiday to Zambia, Botswana, and Mozambique

Victoria FallsThis is the stuff dreams are made of. Victoria Falls, some of the best wildlife viewing in the world and time to kick back and relax on Mozambique’s beaches. Exclusive, luxurious, adventurous and one of our favourite African adventures.

11-Night Namibian journey to Sossusvlei, Swakopmund & Damaraland

SossusvleiEncompassing one of the oldest and largest deserts in the world, Namibia’s breathtaking expanses can leave the first-time traveller wondering where to begin. That’s why we recommend this classic safari holiday for anyone who wants an introduction to Namibia’s most iconic regions: from the towering dunes of Sossusvlei, to the game rich salt pan of Etosha National Park. Accompanied by the best guides in the field, you’ll learn about the exceptional desert adapted wildlife, whilst staying at the most comfortable and stunningly located lodges.

Looking for a tailor-made safari holiday?

Exsus logoAlmost all reputable African safari tour companies allow you to tailor-make your safari holiday. You can enquire about tailor-made safaris with our recommended provider, Exsus, by clicking below.

For Seniors

You might not be quite as young and fit as you used to be, but that’s no reason to miss out on an incredible Safari adventure.

There are plenty of destinations and safari experiences which aren’t too physically taxing, and which offer a more exclusive experience with fewer tourists, less waiting, and more to see. Botswana and South Africa are just two of our favourite destinations which are a game-seeker’s paradise, whilst offering plenty of choices in accommodation and other activities to provide a perfect balance of comfort, exclusivity and experience.

It’s never too late to embark on a safari adventure of a lifetime.

11-Night luxury safari to Chobe River and Okavango Delta, Botswana

Chobe RiverWe love the juxtaposition on this wonderfully relaxing safari: drifting down the Chobe River aboard the Zambezi Queen and all the while enjoying some of the most dramatic game in Africa. Top off this totally unique experience with time spent in Kwando and the Okavango Delta, and you’ve got an absolute killer safari.

10-Night romantic safari holiday in South Africa

Kruger National ParkA regal holiday for the most discerning of travellers, this luxury trip to South Africa is fit for kings. Journey in style through the Western Cape, passing quaint coastal towns and exploring Greater Kruger National Park for an all-encompassing Big Five safari experience, all the while staying at some of the finest boutique hotels in the world.

Looking for a tailor-made safari holiday?

Exsus logoAlmost all reputable African safari tour companies allow you to tailor-make your safari holiday. You can enquire about tailor-made safaris with our recommended provider, Exsus, by clicking below.

“Africa gives you the knowledge that man is a small creature, among other creatures, in a large landscape”
– Doris Lessing

Uganda

Uganda is a large country located west of Kenya. Whilst sometimes overlooked by those looking for the traditional safari experience, Uganda has something very special to offer: the chance to get up close and personal with some of the few remaining silverback gorillas in the world.

Unlike the image you may hold of Africa in your mind, Uganda offers visitors a fertile and diverse landscape. Experience everything from savannah plains littered with game, to stunning green valleys, vast lakes, and tall forest mountains. Uganda’s high altitude gives it a cooler climate than neighbouring countries on the equator. In fact you can even hike snow capped mountains located right on the equator depending on the time of year you visit.

Uganda was described by Winston Churchill as “The Pearl of Africa” in the early 1900’s, and the country is only increasing in its popularity as one of the prime destinations to visit in east Africa.

Highlights:

  • Trekking the Mountain Gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest
  • Seeking the elusive tree climbing lions in Ishasha, located in the savannah plains of Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • Explore Kampala, the capital city of Uganda
  • Visit Kibale Forest National Park, home to the largest variety of primates in east Africa. Kibale is also home to bigger game including lions, leopard, elephant and buffalo
  • Have your breath blown away by the beauty of Lake Bunyonyi, which translates “Place of Birds”

Want more information on Uganda? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet East Africa travel guide here.

Recommended Uganda Safaris:

8-Night luxury safari & gorilla trekking in Uganda

Uganda Baby GorillaExsusIn this luxurious Ugandan safari, you’ll watch the zebras graze while you relax in your infinity pool, gaze into the eyes of a mountain gorilla just yards away, follow lions over the open plains, and track chimpanzees in the rainforest. You’ll then drive through the lush hills and charming villages of Uganda, discovering what makes the country so special.

10-night mountain, lake, and gorilla trekking safari in Uganda

Light aircraftSafari by ExsusNo trip to Uganda is complete without a gorilla trek. In this tour by Exsus, you’ll take an exciting adventure across remote and beautiful Uganda for an unforgettable gorilla encounter at Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge. And it’s not only gorillas: Uganda offers excellent game viewing and some of the most stunning scenery in Africa.

Rwanda

Rwanda:
Rwanda is a small, landlocked country nestled just under the equator. It is a compact but beautiful country covered in steep, forest mountains, a chain of seven volcanoes, and deep valleys.

The main reason to visit Rwanda is to track the endangered mountain gorillas. Rwanda’s rainforest mountains are one of the last remaining refuges for these gentle giants. A hard, long trek through the mountains is soon rewarded by the magical and emotional experience of being close with these creatures. Visitors can also visit the famous conservationist, Dian Fossey’s, Karisoke research centre in Volcanoes National Park. Here, the work she started in 1967 on Gorilla conservation continues to this day.

Due to Rwanda’s small size, it is a perfect place for a shorter trip. Alternatively, a couple of days of gorilla trekking can be easily combined with other attractions Rwanda has to offer. Visitors can also extend their trip by adding some time in Uganda, or heading over to Tanzania and Kenya to catch the “big 5”.

Highlights

  • Trekking the mountain gorillas
  • Visiting Dian Fossey’s Karisoke research centre
  • Spending time in Rwanda’s capital city, Kigali, where you can learn about Rwanda’s haunting cultural past
  • Relaxing on the shores of Lake Kivu, Africa’s highest lake
  • Tracking the cheeky chimpanzees in Nyungwe Forest

Want more information on Rwanda? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet East Africa travel guide here.

Recommended Rwanda Safaris:

9-Night luxury gorilla & chimp trekking adventure in Rwanda

Silverback gorillaSafari by ExsusForget seeing them on television, in this safari you’ll get up close and personal with the Rwandan chimps and gorillas in their natural environment. Be prepared to be captivated by their human-like traits. This privileged Rwanda experience is definitely worth the trek – not least for the mountain views.

12-Nights of gorilla trekking and golden sands in Rwanda & Zanzibar

ZanzibarSafari by ExsusAfter three days of exhilarating gorilla trekking, you might be ready to spend a few nights relaxing on a stunning white sand beach. After your Rwandan gorilla trek, you’ll fly down to Zanzibar, to snooze on the island’s sandy shores and explore the winding alleyways of Stone Town.

Kenya

Kenya is one of the most iconic and diverse countries in eastern Africa. With the Indian Ocean along the east coast, and wildlife-rich savannahs in-land, there’s no shortage of things to do, and awe-inspiring places to see.

Kenya is an extremely popular destination for safaris, and is home to one of the natural wonders of the world – the great wildebeest migration. Each year, between June and September, over two million wildebeests travel 1,800 miles from the Serengeti in Tanzania to the Masai Mara in Kenya. It’s a spectacle not to be missed.

Wild mammals can be found at national parks across the whole country, although Masai Mara is one of the most famous locations for spotting “The Big Five”.

The climate in Kenya varies depending on the area and time of year from between 10 degrees celsius and 35 degrees. The capital city, Nairobi, is relatively cool with a max temperature around 25 degrees.

Kenya has a diverse culture with several tribal groups, including the Swahili, and Maasai peoples, known for their elaborate jewellery and upper body adornment.

Kenya Masai women

Want more information on Kenya? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet Kenya travel guide here.

Recommended Kenya Safaris:

14-Night luxury Kenya safari & beach honeymoon

LaikipiaSafari by ExsusAn African honeymoon needn’t mean campsites and basic beach lodges. Instead, we present you with some of Kenya’s finest boutique hotels, all chic, stylish and wildly romantic, where you enjoy an indulgent honeymoon without sacrificing any of the adventure. Start in the untouched wilderness of Samburu National Park, home of the Samburu tribe, before tracking the great elephant herds of the exclusive Loisaba Conservancy and ending up on the white sands of Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline.

15-Night luxury honeymoon in Kenya and the Seychelles

SeychellesSafari by ExsusGet back to nature on this dream of a trip across African plains to wild, deserted Seychelles beaches. A holiday of superlative experiences seen from small, select lodges and luxury beach hotels.

Tanzania

The name ‘Tanzania’ comes from the merging of the original country of Tanganyika (Tan) with the islands of Zanzibar (Zan) and Mafia (Ia).

Situated on the eastern coast of Africa, Tanzania is a diverse country with many national parks, game parks, mountainous regions, and some of the most beautiful beaches in the World.

Tanzania is notably home to Africa’s largest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, which stands tall at 5,892 meters above sea level.

Each year, thousands of people climb the mountain’s three peaks, although don’t be mistaken – it’s not an easy climb. There are, however, many low-level hiking tours and alternative tour options for different climbing abilities.

Of course, no trip to Tanzania is complete without visiting the semi-autonomous islands of Zanzibar, Mafia, or Pemba. Zanzibar is particularly famous for its stunning beaches and stone town, which was once where sultans traded exotic spices with the British.

Mafia island is a particularly popular location for scuba divers of all levels.

In-land, Tanzania has over 16 national parks, and many more game parks. The oldest and most popular national park is the Serengeti Plain, which is where you can watch the great migration of wildebeest. The Serengeti Plains are a great place to do a balloon safari, which often include a champagne breakfast upon landing.

Other popular national parks include Ngorongoro Converservation area, and Tarangire National Park. The Nogornogoro crater is a world heritage site where humans live alongside animals in a volcanic caldera. Here you’re likely to see lions, wildebeests, zebras, rhinos, and buffalos.

Tanzania lion fight

Want more information on Tanzania? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet Tanzania travel guide here.

Recommended Tanzania Safaris:

8-Night luxury family safari holiday in Tanzania

SerengetiSafari by ExsusTravel through the great outdoors on a family adventure holiday in Tanzania, embarking upon a safari hop to some of Africa’s top wildlife destinations. Visit the edge of the world’s largest intact caldera, the Ngorongoro Crater, to take in the natural wonders of the Big Five, go in search of the Little Five in the great Serengeti National Park, and sail across the waters to Zanzibar to top off your family adventure with a splash of desert island paradise.

11-Night luxury safari & beach holiday in Tanzania and Zanzibar

Lake ManyaraSafari by ExsusBlend wild endeavours with beach bliss on this safari and beach holiday in Tanzania and Zanzibar. If you’re looking for an exceptional game viewing experience in the Serengeti National Park, bird watching in abundance in Lake Manyara National Park, and some down time on a coral island retreat in Zanzibar, then this is the perfect itinerary for you.

South Africa

Occupying the southern tip of Africa, South Africa is one of the best places in the continent to experience the ‘big five’. However the traditional safari is far from all that South Africa has to offer.

Known as the Rainbow Nation, South Africa is a country with an extraordinary diversity of races, tribes, creeds, languages and landscapes. The term was originally coined by Novel Peace Prize recipient, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and was later reinforced by Nelson Mandela after the country’s first democratic election in 1994. A country with a dramatic past of racial tension, post-apartheid South Africa has certainly come a long way and offers visitors an unforgettable safari experience.

South Africa is one of the largest countries in Africa, with an incredibly diverse geographical landscape. It has a long coastline of over 1,500 miles, stretching from the arid, desert border with Namibia on the Atlantic Ocean, around the bottom of the continent to the border with sub-tropical Mozambique on the Indian Ocean. In the south of the country you’ll also find the iconic Table Mountain, standing sentry over the vibrant city of Cape Town.

Another must-do in the south is to travel the Garden Route. This is a 300km drive, providing a perfect showcase of the diversity and natural beauty the country has to offer. The route is from Mossel Bay in the west to Plettenberg Bay in the east. The coast is pierced with stunning beaches, and further in-land you’ll be greeted with lagoons, hills and the Outeniqua and Tsitsikamma mountain ranges which divide the Garden Route from the arid little Karoo.

Other natural landmarks the country has to offer are the Drakensberg; the eastern part of the Great Escarpment which encloses the central southern African plateau and the Blyde River Canyon which is the largest green canyon in the world. The Blyde River canyon is located in the north of the nation, near the enormous and must-visit Kruger National Park. Here visitors can experience the ‘big five’ along with the most diverse range of wildlife species anywhere in Africa.

Wine lovers will also be pleased, as South Africa is home to the world’s largest wine route, covering 850 km. Route 62 travels from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth through the wine-growing regions of Wellington, Tulbagh, Worcester, Robertson and the Klein Karoo. With most bottles coming in under £3, or $5, you’ll have no excuse not to enjoy a glass or two relaxing with the stunning mountainous backdrop.

Highlights

  • See the ‘big five’ and a range of other wildlife in Kruger National Park
  • Explore the enigmatic city of Cape Town and the over-looking Table Mountain
  • Take a trip through the Garden Route and experience the natural diversity of the Rainbow Nation
  • Drive through route 62 and enjoy some of the best wine South Africa has to offer
  • Enjoy whale watching from shores near Cape Town, or take a boat tour out to get close and personal with these giant mammals

Want more information on South Africa? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet Southern Africa travel guide here.

Recommended South Africa Safaris:

10-Night romantic safari holiday in South Africa

Kruger National ParkSafari by ExsusA regal holiday for the most discerning of travellers, this luxury trip to South Africa is fit for kings. Journey in style through the Western Cape, passing quaint coastal towns and exploring Greater Kruger National Park for an all-encompassing Big Five safari experience, all the while staying at some of the finest boutique hotels in the world.

13-Night luxury safari & beach holiday to South Africa & Mozambique

Sabi SandSafari by ExsusOn this South Africa and Mozambique honeymoon, you’ll wallow in luxury within the exclusive Sabi Sand Game Reserve: sharing the thrill of safari, whilst sipping champagne in your hot-tub, snuggling up in Egyptian cotton sheets, and savouring excellent cuisine amongst glittering lanterns. After this, you’ll arrive in style by helicopter to the Bazaruto Archipelago, and completely detach from the rest of the world at Azura Benguerra Island.

Botswana

A landlocked country in southern Africa, Botswana is a game-seeker’s goldmine.
Although the landscape is mainly arid salt pans, the rich, inland delta system of the Okavango River creates unique and thriving ecosystems which result in an array of wildlife in Botswana’s National Parks, including the Chobe and the Okavango Delta National Park.

The wetlands of the Okavango offer the site of splashing hippos, and elephants drinking in the shallows.
The nearby Chobe National Park is home to enormous herds of buffalo and African elephants, with elephant numbers estimated at over 70,000.

Big cats are also frequently sighted in the game parks, with lions on the hunt in the early hours and leopards and cheetahs often visible later in the evening. Apart from the cats, Botswana offers a thriving population of other popular African mammals, including giraffe and wild dogs. Rhinos have been recently re-introduced, making the final addition to the ‘big five’.

Apart the Okavango River in the north, Botswana is largely made up of arid and sparsely populated salt pans. The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans are south east of the Okavango, are surrounded by the Kalahari, and are home to traditional bushmen communities who have survived here and in areas of western Botswana for hundreds of years. A visit to these areas allows you the unique experience of learning first-hand about their culture and how they live. Whilst visiting the salt pans, you might catch a glimpse of some meerkat families, and, if travelling in the first couple of months of the year, capture the spectacle of the only zebra and wildebeest migration in southern Africa.

One of the more politically stable countries in Africa, Botswana’s tourism is tightly controlled, making it a slightly more expensive and upmarket safari destination.

Want more information on Botswana? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia travel guide here.

Recommended Botswana Safaris:

11-Night luxury safari to Chobe River and Okavango Delta, Botswana

Chobe RiverSafari by ExsusWe love the juxtaposition on this wonderfully relaxing safari: drifting down the Chobe River aboard the Zambezi Queen and all the while enjoying some of the most dramatic game in Africa. Top off this totally unique experience with time spent in Kwando and the Okavango Delta, and you’ve got an absolute killer safari.

15-Night luxury safari & beach holiday to Zambia, Botswana, and Mozambique

Light aircraftSafari by ExsusThis is the stuff dreams are made of. Victoria Falls, some of the best wildlife viewing in the world and time to kick back and relax on Mozambique’s beaches. Exclusive, luxurious, adventurous and one of our favourite African honeymoons.

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country between two rivers, the Zamezi to the north, and the Limpopo to the south. It borders Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa making it easy to combine with these bordering nations.

Until recently, Zimbabwe was politically unstable with civil unrest, however the political situation has settled dramatically and a well-planned Zimbabwean safari has so much to offer, with relatively few tourists and plenty of places to find peace and quiet. There are multiple game parks in the country where visitors can get up close with typical African wildlife, and Zimbabwean guides are also some of the most qualified in Africa.

The country itself is beautiful and diverse, containing two world heritage sites; the unsurpassable Victoria Falls and Mana Pools. The central and western landscape includes savannah grassland, the east showcases vibrant evergreen forests and highlands, and the north offers brilliant rock formations.

The options on offer for your Zimbabwe safari know few limits. One of the most popular national parks for game spotting is Hwange National Park, bordering Botswana. Here you are likely to spot lion, leopard, cheetah, wild dog, zebra, giraffe, hippo and elephant. Another highlight is taking a canoe safari in Mana Pools National Park, where you gently paddle down the river and can often sight hippos swimming and wildlife on the banks. Victoria Falls is a must-see, but why not take it a step further and take in the sights from the air with a “Flight of Angels” helicopter safari? History buffs can also enjoy the granite boulders and ancient rock art found in Matobo National Park, or venture to Great Zimbabwe, a 900-year-old stone city which is one of the best preserved in sub-Saharan Africa.

Want more information on Zimbabwe? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet Southern Africa travel guide here.

Recommended Zimbabwe Safaris:

9-Night luxury holiday in Zimbabwe

Hwange National ParkSafari by ExsusThis luxury holiday in Zimbabwe takes in the best of the country’s considerable natural beauty, from the iconic majesty of the Victoria Falls to the varied landscapes of the Hwange National Park, finishing with the beautiful sunsets and wildlife-rich vistas of Lake Kariba.

13-Night Zimbabwe holiday from Victoria Falls to Lake Kariba

Lake KaribaSafari by ExsusThis fantastic safari itinerary takes in the best of Zimbabwe’s extraordinary natural diversity, from the majesty of the Victoria Falls to the alien landscapes of the Matobo Hills and the shimmering shoreline of Lake Kariba. There’s fantastic wildlife viewing on offer, too, with Zimbabwe’s largest national park and the verdant Mana Pools, both home to iconic African wildlife, on the agenda.

Namibia

Namibia is situated in the south western part of the African continent. The country lies between the Kalihari and Namib Desert, which its name is derived from. The Namib desert is considered to be the oldest desert in the world.

Namibia is an excellent location for eco-tourism, desert tours, wildlife spotting, and extreme sports – such as sand boarding, skydiving and 4x4ing.

One of the most popular attractions in Namibia is Etosha National Park, which covers over 7,722 square miles, and is considered to be one of the greatest wildlife viewing spots in the World. With over 114 species of mammal, 340 species of bird, and 16 reptiles and amphibians, there’s no shortage of opportunities to see a wide range of animals.

For a few days each year, the immense desert that makes up Etosha National Park is turned into a shallow lagoon from the rain, attracting enormous numbers of pelicans and flamingos.

Another must-see destination is Sossusvlei, a gigantic salt and clay pan with red sand dunes in the southern part of the Namib Desert. Here you can take a hot air balloon safari over the desert, and visit some of the most photographed dunes in the world.

Other popular areas in Namibia include Fish River Canyon, Caprivi Strip, Twfelfontein, and Namib-Naukluft National Park.

Want more information on Namibia? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet Botswana & Namibia travel guide here.

Recommended Namibia Safaris:

11-Night Nambian journey to Sossusvlei, Swakopmund, Damaraland & Etosha National Park

SossusvleiSafari by ExsusEncompassing one of the oldest and largest deserts in the world, Namibia’s breathtaking expanses can leave the first-time traveller wondering where to begin. That’s why we recommend this classic safari holiday for anyone who wants an introduction to Namibia’s most iconic regions: from the towering dunes of Sossusvlei, to the game rich salt pan of Etosha National Park. Accompanied by the best guides in the field, you’ll learn about the exceptional desert adapted wildlife, whilst staying at the most comfortable and stunningly located lodges.

15-Night luxury wing safari adventure in Nambia

Hot air balloon safariSafari by ExsusNamibia is a photographer’s dream and adventurer’s paradise. Stunning landscapes, nomadic tribes and rare endangered animals make for an incredible journey into the wilderness. Take to the air to experience the dramatic scenery from above and witness one of the most remote and inaccessible places on earth.

Madagascar

Madagascar is probably not the image that comes to mind when most people think of “Africa”. However, its tropical climate, extreme biodiversity and friendly locals mean that this island, known as the “eighth continent”, is becoming more and more popular and is gaining entry into many people’s “must-see African destinations” list.

The island is located 250 miles from the eastern coast of Africa, and is the fourth largest in the world. Madagascar’s landscape ranges from gorgeous coastal beaches and tiny islands, to active volcanoes, rain forests, and semi arid desert.

The rain forests and national parks in Madagascar are a nature-lover’s paradise. All exploring is done on foot through the weaving trails. Here you’ll easily catch glimpses of Madagascar’s famous lemurs and no shortage of chameleons, geckos and frogs. The diversity of species you will find is staggering, with many endemic to the island.

The dazzling coastline and golden beaches make a perfect place to relax. The turquoise water laps at the shore and the beaches are laced with palm trees and forest backdrops. The beaches also make a perfect base for snorkelling on the reefs which are home to vibrant fish and corals. The Masoala Peninsula, in the north east of the country is also one of the few places on earth where the rainforest meets the reef.

The highlight for many when they visit Madagascar are the many species of playful lemurs, native to the island and not found anywhere else in the wild. Each of these furry creatures has its own character and style. Some of the species you might get to spot include the nocturnal mouse lemur, which is the smallest mammal in the world, to the large and cuddly indiri, the energetic, dancing sifakas and perhaps even the creepy looking, but harmless, aye ayes. An encounter with lemurs of any kind in Madagascar is sure to be a memory to be cherished.

If travelling between July and September, be sure not to miss the whale migration off the coast of Île Sainte-Marie, a small island east of Madagascar. Cruises can take you out to experience, in close quarters, the awe that these incredible humpback whales will inspire.

Highlights:

  • Getting up close with some of the many species of playful and endearing lemurs
  • Humpback whale watching during their migration between July and September
  • Relaxing on unspoilt white sandy beaches, and snorkelling over the vibrant reefs
  • Take a trip to Morondava where you’ll find the Avenue des Baobabs, a group of baobab trees lining the road and creating an impressive sight
  • Explore Amber Mountain National Park, which is famous for its waterfalls and crater lakes. It’s also home to 25 species of mammals, including eight species of lemurs, 75 different bird species, 60 reptiles, 35 frogs and over 40 species of butterflies.
Madagascar beach

Want more information on Madagascar? Get your copy of the Lonely Planet Madagascar travel guide here.

Recommended Madagascar Safaris:

12-Night quintessential Madagascar safari

Madagascar lizardSafari by Abercrombie & KentThis 12-night safari offers a great overview of everything there is to see in Madagascar, from visiting the unique city of Antananarivo, to the tranquil coast of Manafiafy. Experience the diverse culture, wildlife, and landscapes of one of the most vibrant countries in the world.

“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to”
– Richard Mullin

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