Africa, even today, for many holds a tinge of excitement, adventure and the unknown which is perhaps why an African safari holiday is often a very special journey. Yet for 'old Africa hands' safaris are almost addictive, as many return to experience the tremendous raw nature that this continent holds. Primarily wildlife safaris are in sub-Saharan East and Southern Africa although Central Africa is opening up in countries like the Republic of the Congo where lowland gorilla trekking is possible for the more adventurous.
The climate and seasons vary somewhat as you move away from the equatorial East African countries of Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and head southward through Malawi to Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Swaziland and South Africa. Distinct climate zones, sometime localised, do affect the best times to travel as indicated in the general information on individual country pages. However, it is possible to enjoy a safari at any time of the year and the so called 'Green Season' is favoured by those in the know. You will find that we have travelled through Africa in all seasons.
Safaris can vary in length from just 2 or 3 nights as the perfect extension to an African beach holiday or business trip, to around 3 weeks in any one country. Increasingly popular are short break safaris of around 4 or 5 nights, possible from the UK and Europe due to there being no real time difference. For instance, we would recommend a short break to the plains of the Masai Mara in Kenya, tracking chimpanzees or gorillas in Uganda or gorilla trekking in Rwanda. With the right location these can make amazing safari & spa breaks for the complete get-away long weekend.
More generally the African safari holidays that we design are for couples looking for a holiday of one or two weeks in length. As always it is best to talk directly with us when planning your holiday as safari styles and standards vary, plus there are a wide choice of activities that you may not have considered. In essence we strive to design tailor made safari holidays carefully to your requirements, adjusting itineraries with precise attention to detail, until we have created exactly what you are looking for.
For those who prefer to have some company and wish to share the safari experience it is possible to join some small group tours and those safaris that our clients have enjoyed are of a high quality, professionally guided and offer excellent value for money. Testimonials indicate that we have chosen the right safari operators in Africa to work with in this respect.
For families a large number of camps and lodges now offer discounted rates for children and they will usually have specific family rooms or larger tents. Families looking for luxury safari holidays and exclusivity will discover some lovely private camps and safari homes. A point of note here is that few accept children under the age of 6 or 8 years.
Many places now provide additional and sometimes separate activities appropriate for the age of the children. Kids usually enjoy these so much whilst their parents are out on a game drive or relaxing that the parents eventually end up participating too! Imagine your child tracking animals under the expert guidance of a Maasai guide, or perhaps down in Botswana having fun exploring the wilderness. All the family is sure to return home with 'once in a lifetime' memories.
Today, Africa is not so cheap and we strongly believe it is true that what you pay for on safari is what you get although we have identified some camps and lodges as well as some exceptional experiences of tremendous value. However, for a tailor made safari holiday from the UK for 10 days to 2 weeks you can expect to pay between £3,500 and £12,000 per person or if your budget is unlimited then so are the possibilities, for instance a private pilot-guided luxury flying safari.
There are ways to make an African safari holiday more cost effective. One is to travel during the shoulder and 'green' season period when the rains are due. It is worth pointing out here that in African safari destinations the rains rarely persist all day long and more generally thunder clouds build up for late afternoon downpours which may continue into the night, leaving bright clear mornings. The wildlife viewing in these seasons is often very good and photographers relish the wonderful lighting.
With such a good choice of accommodation in many safari destinations special offers are often available and we will have the latest information at the time of enquiry or booking. When quoting for your safari we will always include any special offers in place that arise during the course of your itinerary. A common offer is spending x number of nights and receiving an extra night or nights free. However, another good strategy if it suits your preferred safari and for those on a tighter budget is for Wildlife & Wilderness to book you into a series of camps under the same ownership or those with an association with each other. This usually generates a discount based on the total number of nights spent throughout these properties and some very good tours can be made. Do talk to our consultants for further information.