Gorgeous views, original art, fine furnishings, discreet service, the very best in food and wine, design and location – not to mention awards galore: these are Africa’s 10 most ultra-luxurious accommodation options..
My first evening on Botswana’s Chobe River was the stuff of dreams. I sat on the roof of a game drive vehicle and watched in open-mouthed wonder as herd after herd of elephants poured out of the surrounding forest and down to the river to drink. Many younger ones broke into a run, their trunks and ears flapping in excitement; the older ones usually managed to keep to a dignified pace – at least until the last few yards. The countless trampling feet sent dust billowing into the air, turning the setting sun into a huge, hanging orb of fire.
What is your idea of an ideal holiday break? Maybe it's spending time with friends and family exploring new places. Perhaps it's meeting interesting people or trying exciting activities like hiking, horse riding and game viewing. Is it lazy lunches in beautiful surroundings and days spent soaking up the sunshine on a sandy beach?
When you think of a safari, you probably think of a big 4x4 Jeep, hunkered down on a dusty African road, with a host of excited passengers peering out of the windows, all eagerly trying to spot the next animal. While this is probably the most common style of safari and has its own perks and benefits, there are others that are definitely worth exploring:
In many ways, Port Elizabeth is a great place to end off your Garden Route self-drive holiday. Lying in the Eastern Cape province, it’s the place where the Western Cape’s lush forests and plantations start giving way to burnt orange aloes and the thicket bush that is the perfect terrain for kudu and one of the Eastern Cape’s main attractions: elephants. Addo Elephant National Park lies less than hour from PE – as it’s known to locals – and is ideal for first-time safari goers who are looking for a completely safe, malaria-free, family-friendly destination.
At Go2Africa, we don’t recommend anything to our clients that we haven’t tried ourselves – it’s our ‘we know because we go’ policy in action. This is especially important when it comes to recommending something as sensitive as an animal encounter. By ‘animal encounter’ we don’t mean observing animals on ordinary game-viewing experiences but when an interaction with the animal is the main focus of an activity, such as gorilla trekking or visiting an elephant orphanage.
There are travel deals and then there are travel deals. We know it can be tricky to recognise the genuinely good deals from the specials that make big promises but don’t deliver real savings. Always be wary of deals that seem too good to be true – in our experience, they usually are. On an African safari, you get what you pay for, which doesn’t mean there are no great travel deals to be had. It’s always important to know exactly what is and isn’t included in an all-inclusive safari quote. You should receive a clear list of exclusions and a current estimate of what those exclusions may cost you. If you don’t know what is excluded, you can’t compare apples with apples if you shop around.
Planning an African safari? Sometimes it helps to have someone do the hard work for you. We've made a careful selection of our best African safari tours, rated most popular by both our Africa Safari Experts and our customers, and have finalised our Top 10 tours in Africa.Iconic destinations - the Kruger National Park, Cape Town, Masai Mara and Serengeti - feature highly on these itineraries but so do off-the-beaten-path destinations in Tanzania and Botswana as well as tucked-away beaches in the Seychelles and Mozambique.
Private conservancies offer you a set of distinct advantages that are not available in national parks like:
November in Africa and the sun is setting later and rising earlier - summer is on its way! Now is the time to plan a beach vacation because Africa’s Indian Ocean island destinations – like the Seychelles, Mauritius and Zanzibar - are stunning in November. If you’re thinking of a November safari, choose your destination carefully: the start of summer also means the start of the rainy season in many African safari destinations.