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Safari Types

Bush Walks & Moonlit Sleep Outs

Bush Walks & Moonlit Sleep Outs

Bush Walks & Moonlit Sleep Outs

Bush Walks & Moonlit Sleep Outs

One of the most rewarding and exciting aspects of a walking safari is the chance to see the bush through the eyes of Africa’s wildlife.

Walking is at a leisurely pace allowing time to learn more about the smaller flora and fauna of the African bush and how to identify and interpret animal tracks.

Zambia is the home of the walking safari going back to the 1960’s particularly in the South Luangwa, a reserve that still today offers fabulous opportunities to walk between rustic bush camps, or even to spend a night out at a fly camp with just a simple bedroll and mosquito net between you and the stars.  Call us to incorporate the marvellous Luwi Camp into your itinerary.

As an adventurous addition to any safari, a Sleepout under the Stars is an extraordinary experience allowing you to reconnect with nature.  Like the early explorers fall asleep under a canopy of a million twinkling stars.  So with your own culinary team, a cosy bedroll and romantic mosquito net this will be one of life’s most memorable experiences.

Zimbabwe’s guides are second to none and relish the opportunity to share their love of the bush with you on foot.  Mana Pools National Park is a top destination for its great visibility over the floodplains and the guides willingness to get you close to the wildlife.  

In Botswana’s it’s even possible to walk with San Bushmen on an authentic experience that will reveal their hunting and survival skills and the culture and crafts of the San people.  We highly recommend Deception Valley Lodge as the walks are a real highlight.   Or even walk with expert trackers of the nomadic Himba tribe in the Kaokoland region of Namibia for a fascinating insight into their daily lives.

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Safaris Crossing Borders

Safaris Crossing Borders

Safaris Crossing Borders

Safaris Crossing Borders

We are specialists in Safaris to Southern Africa covering Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, Namibia and South Africa. But don’t just stop at one country, try crossing borders!

This part of the world has such diverse habitats and wildlife that it would be a pity to travel that far and only see one country!!

A stay at the Victoria Falls whether it be on the Zimbabwean side or the Zambian side of the gorge, is surely at the top of most people’s wish lists.  From these two countries, combinations of travel into Botswana, South Africa, Malawi or Mozambique works seamlessly.

A combination of South Africa and Victoria Falls is highly recommended, with the first stop in Cape Town, then safari in Kruger, before finishing at the Victoria Falls.  This is an astounding adventure trip combining city chic, wild bush and awe inspiring thrills at the Falls.

Bush and Beach holidays are irresistible too. One of our Top Journeys would be to combine a safari in the Kruger with a paradise island within the Quirimbas and Bazaruto Archipelagos off the coast of Mozambique. 

Alternatively combine Zambia and Malawi – a classic safari in one of Zambia best wildlife parks and a stay at a romantic lodge on Lake Malawi for excellent water sports, cultural interest, nature and indulgence!

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Wild & Remote<br>Tented Mobile Safaris

Wild & Remote
Tented Mobile Safaris

Wild & Remote<br>Tented Mobile Safaris

Wild & Remote
Tented Mobile Safaris

A luxury tented mobile safari adds a nomadic twist to life in the bush. It is the most authentic form of safari providing an off the beaten track and at one with nature experience.

Moreover, it provides an opportunity to explore untouched areas of wilderness with unrivalled access to game viewing.

Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe offer some excellent Mobile Safaris – just perfect for family travel or a small group of friends who want a wilderness experience and at less cost than staying in a more expensive lodge. 

We offer a range of set departure or tailor made options.  Accompanied by a professional guide, camp will generally move every 2 or 3 days to make the most of the diversity of these rich wildlife areas. 

Accommodation can range from comfortable sleeping in a dome tent, to the luxury of a Meru style tent with en-suite bathroom facilities. Guests arriving at a mobile campsite will find all the tents set up, cold drinks on hand and an abundance of delicious food will miraculously appear to tantalise your taste buds – it all makes for a relaxing and unbeatable experience in the bush.

Activities can include game drives, walking safaris and boating safaris. The sense of freedom and adventure will sustain you long after your adventure has ended.

See this video for a Zambian mobile safari experience.

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Self Drive Road Trips

Self Drive Road Trips

Self Drive Road Trips

Self Drive Road Trips

By far the two most popular southern African self-drive destinations are South Africa and Namibia.

South Africa is made for exploring by car. With excellent road networks even a 4×4 is not absolutely essential, even if you are visiting a game reserve or staying at a safari lodge.  One of the most popular self-drives is Cape Town, Cape Winelands and along the Garden Route.  This journey encompasses dramatic scenery of mountains, vineyards, arid (karoo) desert, bush and seashore.  Try Route 62 to experience all of this.  For more adventurous drivers, then the Kruger National Park offers you the opportunity to be your own safari guide, whilst strictly keeping to the tarred and gravel roads.

A self-drive journey in Namibia is an ideal adventure, exploring the country’s natural highlights, from its rich wildlife areas to its charming coastal towns and the wonders of the Namib Desert. It’s fun, the roads are in good condition and it is the cheapest and most popular option.  With the freedom to explore this extremely vast and beautiful country, there are plenty of sights to break up your journey.  And if you want the services of a guide, then most lodges can organise guided game viewing in 4×4 vehicles, scenic flights and dune adventures. 

 

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Unique Safari Experiences

Unique Safari Experiences

Unique Safari Experiences

Unique Safari Experiences

Whilst a Safari is about game viewing in 4×4 vehicles and the wonderful journey of discovery you’ll have in the bush with your guide and tracker – the experiences don’t have to end there.

Different countries offer their own unique experiences that will enhance your holiday.  Here are just a few unique experiences, that will turn your journey into an exceptional Safari:

  • Helicopter  – Flights out of camp for exhilarating aerial views of the wildlife
  • Hot Air ballooning – for a bird’s eye view over majestic plains
  • Quad biking over the Salt Pans of Botswana’s Makgadikgadi
  • Meeting unique tribes – like the Himba in Namibia
  • Rhino notching with a Conservation team in the Eastern Cape
  • Whale Watching in South Africa – the southern right whale and the humpback from June to October
  • Photographic hides – stay in the same camps where the wildlife film makers get their footage.  Ask us about the options.
  • Photographic workshops to improve your photography whilst on safari
  • Up close encounters on foot – nerve rackingly close to bull eles, lion and African wild dogs in Zimbabwe – Vundu Camp is a great camp with a pro guide with more than 30 years experience
  • Walk with zU’hoasi san bushmen in the Kalahari and re-discover your hunter gatherer skills
  • Bat Migration – a top event in the wildlife calendar!  10 Million “straw coloured fruit bats” converge on Kasanka National Parks in Zambia – occurs mid November.
  • Combine safari and history by discovering rock art and cave paintings with a geologist in Botswana’s Tuli Block

 

 

 

 

 

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Romance of Rail

Romance of Rail

Romance of Rail

Romance of Rail

A luxury rail trip taking in the spectacular scenery of Southern Africa ticks so many boxes on a bucket list of unmissable experiences. 

This is a wonderful way of celebrating a special occasion by adding a 2 or 3 night rail trip into your African itinerary that will have you feeling like Royalty in no time.  The two most luxurious and famous offerings in South Africa are Rovos Rail and The Blue Train.  Both journey between Cape Town and Pretoria (or vice versa).  Below we give you the run down on their differences.

Rovos Rail has been termed as the world’s most luxurious train. Its vintage trains have a classic colonial décor with rolling stock dating back to the Edwardian age with an observation car at the rear. Its most popular route is between Cape Town and South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria but also travels further afield with routes to Victoria Falls, Namibia and Dar es Salaam. 

Excellent cuisine is paired with fine wines and beautifully presented in the signature dining car – the atmosphere of grandeur and tradition suitably complemented by the transitory landscape. The train’s sedate pace allows stops for professionally operated walks, game drives and tours.

The Blue Train is comparable to the world’s finest hotels, it’s the fastest and perhaps poshest of the two trains where each suite on board the train offers five star luxurious accommodation with private en-suite bathroom facilities.

In 2019 this legendary Blue Train has extended the journey between Cape Town/Pretoria to a 2 night slow travel experience.  Highlights of this trip include sipping bubbly in the bath, watching the changing vistas through the panoramic window as the train makes its journey through wide open farmlands, rugged mountains, semi-arid desert, dams pink with flamingos, Cape Winelands, gold and diamond mining landscapes, an abundance of wild flowers and of course Table Mountain. Off train excursions are visiting Kimberley Open Diamond Mine Museum and The Big Hole.

 

 

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Paradise Combo<br>Bush & Beach

Paradise Combo
Bush & Beach

Paradise Combo<br>Bush & Beach

Paradise Combo
Bush & Beach

A safari and beach holiday really is the best of both worlds. The thrill of bush walks and game drives through the African bush followed by a relaxing wind down on a pristine beach is the perfect holiday combination. 

This blend of experiences is a particular favourite amongst couples and honeymooners.

We usually recommend doing the safari part of your holiday first and ending your trip on the beach, so that you are fully enriched and chilled out in time for your return home.

South Africa is blessed with both phenomenal wildlife and stunning coastlines. We also highly recommend one of our Multi Country Top Journeys, combining a safari in the Kruger with a paradise island off mainland Mozambique.  But there are lots of other options, so please don’t hesitate to talk to us for more ideas.

 

 

 

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Laid Back Luxury

Laid Back Luxury

Laid Back Luxury

     

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Laid Back Luxury

Laid Back Luxury

 

 

 

 

 

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Travel with a Purpose

Travel with a Purpose

Travel with a Purpose

Travel with a Purpose

It is a fact that travellers journeying to the wild places of Africa ensure their protection and conservation whilst at the same time benefiting the local communities.

There may come a time when you want a completely different Safari experience – one that has you learning more or taking part. Trips that really making a difference allowing you to actively participate in conservation projects and community initiatives. So do get in touch for more information on these possibilities. 

Small group set departure trips are perfect for those who are looking to travel with purpose. These journeys offer a fantastic opportunity for growth and learning, in an exciting and stimulating environment with still time for fun and relaxation in breath-taking locations.

Typical Experiences include:

  • Meet up with wildlife Research Technicians – monitoring and research programs such as Rhino ear notching or participate in dehorning to protect from poachers
  • Learn to use telemetry equipment
  • Sleep out under the stars and navigate back to the lodge
  • Learn tree and plant identification
  • Visit a school and make a short presentation
  • Discover what a guide and tracker training programme is like
  • Delve into the fascinating area of Marine Conservation in Mozambique learning about reef ecology, participate in turtle nest surveys

 

 

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Days in the Saddle

Days in the Saddle

Days in the Saddle

Days in the Saddle

For nature lovers keen to get close to the amazing wildlife there can be no better way than on a horse back safari.

Southern Africa boasts several horse back safari operators, who will conduct rides for both novice and experienced riders in the bush.  

Botswana offers some fantastic opportunities to ride in the bush on safaris usually of a 3 to 7 night duration. The camp will own a string of horses, all are well schooled, well fed and cared for and acclimatised to the area and to the game that you will encounter.  

South Africa also offers some superb horse riding in malaria free areas, in family friendly camps that allow for safe riding in the bush for both novice and the more experienced rider.  Any non riders in the party can enjoy 4×4 game drives or bush walks.  Ant’s Hill & Ant’s Nest offer some of the most exciting game viewing in Africa on horseback.

Tip: – To suit all levels as the pace and riding can be tailored to suit individual needs – Book a 3 night Makgadikgadi Horse Safari, Makgadikgadi Pans National Park and explore this unspoilt wilderness old-school, the way many of the early explorers and hunters did – on horseback. Activities include game drives – Camp Kalahari – Call us for more details. 

 

 

 

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Zambezi Canoeing & Okavango Mokoro Safaris

Zambezi Canoeing & Okavango Mokoro Safaris

Zambezi Canoeing & Okavango Mokoro Safaris

Zambezi Canoeing & Okavango Mokoro Safaris

Exploring the waterways of Africa is perfect for the adventurous traveller who wants to spend time on Africa’s rivers and get deeper into the bush than is possible by vehicle.  Getting up close to game and viewing it from a different perspective is an added bonus.  

The Lower Zambezi is flanked by two national parks, one in Zambia and one in Zimbabwe.  Whilst Zambia tends to offer shorter half day canoe safaris, Vundu Camp in Mana Pools in Zimbabwe offers 3 day guided trips that are broken up by nature walks and game drives.  No previous canoe experience is required and paddlers are available should you prefer.  Each night you stop at a different campsite set up for you where you will enjoy firelit evenings under the stars listening to the calls of the wild.

Botswana’s Selinda spillway also offers canoe safaris, subject to the ebb and flow of the waterways.  This is a spectacular area for buffalo, elephants and amazing birdlife.

A Mokoro safari is unique to Botswana’s Okavango Delta.  A mokoro traditionally was a dugout wooden canoe, nowadays made out of fibreglass, it’s propelled along by an experienced punter who will also act as your guide.  Exploring the delta in this way is a peaceful and rewarding safari that gets you close to riverbank wildlife and jewel like birdlife such as the malachite kingfisher and often exotic painted reed frogs. 

 

 

 

 

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Family Safaris

Family Safaris

Family Safaris

Family Safaris

A Family Safari has got to be one of the most exciting and memorable holidays you could possibly experience. Mind blowing wildlife encounters on game drives, visiting local schools, climbing high sand dunes and experiencing the traditional ways of the San Bushmen will certainly broaden horizons.

South Africa has long been a child friendly safari destination with a whole host of activities, in addition to the abundant wildlife.  There are malaria free game reserves, kid’s bush programmes, special menus and not least safety conscious family accommodation; fenced to keep any dangers at bay.

In more recent years, Botswana and Zambia have joined in, offering luxury family tented units with private plunge pool where the kids can frolic under your watchful eye.  Activities to suit all ages are designed to educate and inspire.

Superb villas and private houses in the South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and at Victoria Falls for your exclusive use provide a totally indulgent family experience. This is not as expensive as you might think and is ideal for a family celebration with several family generations joining the party. Your own chef, private vehicle and guide, along with baby sitter, will mean you live in the lap of luxury surrounded by the most amazing wildlife on the planet.

Not least Namibia is a superb family destination.  Value packed, self-drive adventures with unique activities thrown in make this a must-see destination with your kids.  See the video!

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The Big 5 Safari company is a supporter of the The Zambezi Society and support its vital conservation work and anti-poaching patrols.

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