Talk to anyone about what’s on their travel bucket-list and one of the things you’re sure to find is an African Safari. In this guide, we’re highlighting six African adventures all of which are guaranteed to put a big tick on that list.
With an area of almost 31 million square kilometres, the African continent can be a daunting prospect when selecting the right safari. Coupled with the desire to choose a trip that reflects the conscious values of the modern traveller, where community and environmental contribution is fundamental, choosing the right journey has become ever more complex.
To make things easier we’ve selected our favourite journeys in Southern Africa, chosen for their unforgettable experiences and proven contributions to both the surrounding communities and the environment they share.
See below for some traditional African Safari’s and less traditional options to suit all types of traveller.
Africa’s finest bush and beach experience for families – the NEW Cheetah Plains, South Africa and Azura Benguerra, Mozambique
Guests start their adventure at Cheetah Plains, an exclusive-use lodge in the heart of the South African wilderness.
Enviably positioned in the Sabi Sands Reserve, close to the border of Kruger National Park, Cheetah Plains showcases exceptional game viewing, with leopard, lion and elephant – along with the rest of the ‘Big Five’ – right on the doorstep. Each of the three private-use villas is designed to encapsulate the very best of contemporary South Africa.
Modern art adorns the walls from acclaimed and up and coming South African artists and each villa boasts its very own temperature-controlled wine cellar comprising of the very best South African wines for the taking – the private sommelier is on hand for tastings when the mood carries.
The property is entirely off-grid and powered by a series of solar panels that cover every inch of the roof. The all-electric safari vehicles, exclusively designed for the property, are virtually silent and result in a safari experience like no other. Guests hear the whispers of their expert guide and tracker, listen to the rustle of the bushes to locate camouflaged animals and marvel at the birds on the branches as they pass.
For the second part of their trip, families can rest and recuperate on the Mozambican coast at Azura Benguerra. Situated within a Marine National Park there is still plenty of neighbouring wildlife and guests have the opportunity to visit projects that are supported by property’s registered charity, Rainbow Fund.
A different kind of safari experience – Boschendal’s NEW tented camp and South Africa’s whale route
For those who are no longer satisfied with viewings of the traditional ‘Big Five’, Boschendal offers a surprising safari experience. The new luxury tented camp, set in the shadow of the Simonsberg Mountain, resembles the traditional safari lodgings but guests have no need for camouflage.
The impressive 1,800 hectares is made up primarily of agricultural land, with free-range Angus-cattle, forest-fed pigs and free-range chickens roaming the landscape. Farm to fork dining is central to the philosophy here as guests are invited to sample the very best the land can provide. South Africa’s second oldest wine estate, Boschendal offers expert wine tastings and vineyard tours for discerning connoisseurs and keen amateurs.
From Boschendal, head to the coast and cruise along the lesser-known Whale Route. Between June and November, whales are seen frequently off the coast as they make their annual migration. The area is also known for its favourable conditions for champagne-style sparkling wines and traditional fishing villages.