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A Complete Guide to African Safaris for Solo Travellers

More and more solo travellers are wanting to explore Africa. We know that, coupled with long-haul flights, transfers, activity fees and other expenses, a safari can be a pricey vacation. Especially if you then also have to pay a single supplement rate on your accommodation because you're a solo traveller.

What is a Single Supplement for Solo Travellers?

Safari accommodation rates are often calculated for two guests sharing one room or tent. Factored into the cost are your meals, what it takes to maintain your room and operate the safari lodge, as well as a proportion of staff salaries.

Instead of paying the full accommodation rate, which can be very expensive for a solo traveller, some lodges and hotels charge a 'per person' rate with a single supplement to ensure they can cover their costs. This single supplement for solo travellers can be anywhere between 25% and 75% of the 'per person' rate.

What is Single Occupancy on Safari?

Most rooms or tents accommodate two guests sharing, aside from family rooms. Double occupancy means there are two guests per room, while single occupancy on safari is only one guest per room. But that doesn't necessarily mean the room has a single bed – it's usually a queen- or king-sized bed.

Essentially, single occupancy on safari is when a room or tent is used by a solo traveller that could have occupied two guests. A camp or lodge may charge a solo traveller a small fee to cover the cost of an 'empty bed'.

Can You Go on Safari Alone?

Absolutely! We've been tailor-making Africa tours for singles since 1998 and have helped to create unforgettable trips for solo travellers. Read on to discover all you need to know about solo travel in Africa…

"I was met by someone who got me to my next location"

I visited four countries in East Africa over a two-week period... When I arrived at each of my destinations, I was met by someone who got me to my next location... I was able to tailor my city tours because I had a solo tour.
- Mary

Planning Tips

Top Tips for Planning Africa Tours for Singles

Our experienced Africa Safari Experts have crafted thousands of tailor-made itineraries for many types of travellers from all over the world. Here is our best advice on Africa tours for singles:

1. Book in Advance

Lodges and camps that waive single supplement charges will often only do so on one room or tent. The earlier you begin planning, the better your chances of securing that room for yourself.

2. Choose Your Season

You are far more likely to get affordable safaris for solo travellers in low or Green Season, when both rates and demand are lower than high season. Green Season has plenty of advantages, not least of which are more options for single travellers.

3. Opt for a Tailor-Made Itinerary

Not all safari accommodation makes allowances for singles. That's why it's handy to work with a travel agent with regular, first-hand safari experience and a tried-and-trusted network of suppliers. With Go2Africa, you can rely on your Africa Safari Expert to know exactly which lodges and camps to book for your solo trip, and slot in seamless transfers and activities.

4. Be Upfront About Your Expectations

Let your travel agent know your preferences so they can craft the best possible itinerary for you. Consider the following:

  • Do you want to dine alone or communally? Do you want a choice of who you dine with?
  • Do you want to join a scheduled departure tour with a group or be fully independent?
  • Is there a specific reason for your safari such as spotting a significant bird or photographing a wildlife event?
  • Are activities like hot-air ballooning or cultural interactions important to you?
  • Do you want to be around young children or do you prefer a more mature environment?
  • The same for being around honeymooners – do you prefer a less romantic atmosphere or does it not matter?
  • Do you prefer bigger establishments or smaller, more intimate accommodation?

A great safari starts with great communication. There should be no detail too small for your travel agent to know while they are building and costing your solo trip to Africa. Let them know anything that concerns you, what you hope to achieve from your holiday and what your budget limitations are.

"All lodges, guides, transfers, meals and activities were just wonderful"

Rikke was very helpful with arrangements and answered very quickly all my concerns during the booking process for my trip to Uganda and Tanzania. She worked with my budget and I was not disappointed at all. On the contrary, all lodges, guides, transfers, meals and activities were just wonderful. As a woman and solo travel I'm always a bit concerned before booking a trip but my experience was great and will definitely book my next trip to Africa with this company.
- Maria

Travel Tips

Best Tips for Travelling Solo in Africa

1. Safety

When you travel with a full-service partner like Go2Africa, every single detail of your trip is taken care of. Flights, activities, accommodations, transfers… everything from A to Z. Meet-and-greet services and transfers organised by a full-service travel agent ensure there's always someone to meet you every step of the way.

Share your travel itinerary with your friends and family, so they know where you are and can check in with you regularly.

Travelling solo with Go2Africa also means you have a direct, 24/7 phone line to get help or advice at any time once you are on safari.

When travelling solo in Africa, it's sensible to adopt the same safety precautions that you have at home. For more tips, we've rounded up our top travel tips on safe travel in Africa.

2. Activities

Many activities can be done as a group or on your own. If you want to meet fellow travellers, it's never a bad idea to join group activities like wine tours, boat cruises or guided city tours.

If you're somewhat of an adventure traveller, Victoria Falls is a great destination. A thrilling microlight flight over the waterfall or a group white-water rafting expedition are popular activities, as well as visiting the local markets or a traditional village.

What about going on safari alone? No problem! You'd automatically join in with group activities like game drives and guided walks. Most solo travellers go on safari purely for the wildlife, to get away from the hustle and bustle, or to make new friends. It’s easy to either immerse yourself into meeting new people, or just relax and be private.

3. Timing

Try to travel in the mid to high season, as this can help to reduce excess charges on transport. For example, most charter flights on safari require a minimum of two passengers to operate. So as a solo traveller, you might have to pay for an extra seat on the flight if you're travelling during low season. In high season, there's less chance of this happening with so many people travelling.

That being said, if you don't have to rely on charter flights between camps, the low season offers some of the most affordable safaris for solo travellers. Accommodation rates are low and you can have the wilderness all to yourself.

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Many safari activities are offered for a minimum of two to four guests (bush meals, nature walks, etc.). Tailor-making an itinerary based purely on your interests is the best tip I can offer for solo travellers looking for more of an independent experience. This means you can get as fully inclusive as possible, without relying on others being interested in the same activities. Booking customised Africa tours for singles assure the best kind of safari with the most experiences possible.

– Lauren Johansson, Africa Safari Expert

Destinations & Accommodation

Best Safari Destinations & Accommodation for Solo Travellers

The following is a selection of accommodation that waives or lowers single supplement rates under certain conditions. Please note that strict terms and conditions may apply, such as only being able to travel in low season or only one single room per lodge or camp being available at any one time, among others. The single supplement is not always waived; in some cases, it may simply be lowered.

NOTE: the following information is subject to change without notice. Please get in touch with one of our Africa Safari Experts for the most up-to-date information.

Botswana

From lunar-like desert landscapes and open grasslands to riverine forests and papyrus-lined canals, Botswana delivers the very best in land and water safari experiences for solo travellers. And thanks to a mild climate and an abundance of wildlife in heavyweight destinations like the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park, you'll enjoy incredible game viewing any time of the year.

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Botswana is a good choice for solo travel as there are no inducement seats or minimum passenger requirements on charter flights.

– Kate McIntosh, Africa Safari Expert

The Best Safari Destinations for Solo Travel in Botswana

1. Linyanti Wildlife Reserve

Reasons to Visit:

  • Consists of three private game reserves – activities like off-road game viewing and walking safaris are permitted
  • Excellent game viewing, especially wild dog sightings
  • One of Southern Africa's best bird watching destinations
  • Great land- and water-based safari activities

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

2. Nxai Pan National Park

Reasons to Visit:

  • Great mix of desert and savannah animals in an easy-to-access environment
  • The sole, dry-season waterhole makes game viewing simple
  • Home to the famous Baines' Baobabs, a stand of huge baobab trees marooned on a salt pan island
  • Home of Baines' Baobabs, a grove of these huge 'upside-down trees'

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

3. Central Kalahari Game Reserve

Reasons to Visit:

  • Second biggest wildlife reserve in the world – the size of Belgium
  • Off-the-beaten track adventure
  • Stunning array of Kalahari species like honey badgers, African wild cats and jackals

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

4. Okavango Delta

Reasons to Visit:

  • The world's largest inland delta
  • Botswana’s most exclusive wildlife area
  • Astounding accommodation featuring star beds, treehouses and suites on stilts
  • Water activities like boating and sunset mokoro (canoe) rides
  • Unusual species like Pel's fishing owl, sitatunga and red lechwe

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

Congo

The Republic of the Congo has opened Africa's equatorial rainforests to solo travellers, which are now more accessible than ever before. The rainforests of the Congo Basin are an important biodiversity hotspot and home to western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, forest elephant, buffalo, hippo and extremely rare bongo antelope. The undisturbed primary rainforest of Odzala-Kokoua National Park offers some of the best Africa gorilla tours for singles.

Reasons to Visit:

  • Some of Africa's easiest trekking of lowland gorillas, thanks to flat terrain
  • Completely unspoilt rainforest experiences
  • Very exclusive and immersive stay for wildlife lovers, photographers and birders
  • Once-in-a-lifetime adventure holiday in fantastic forest lodges
  • Authentic cultural experiences

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

Kenya

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Considered the birthplace of safari, Kenya offers its visitors incredible natural beauty, unforgettable cultural encounters, and exquisite tropical beaches. Affordable safaris for solo travellers include seeing the Great Migration in the legendary Masai Mara, Amboseli’s unforgettable views of Mount Kilimanjaro, and Samburu’s fascinating culture.

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East Africa offers fantastic tours for singles. One can book a scheduled safari (these can be by road or air), which means you travel with the same group from start to finish and make new friends from all over the world.

– Lauren Johansson, Africa Safari Expert

The Best Safari Destinations for Solo Travel in Kenya

1. Masai Mara National Reserve

Reasons to Visit:

  • Witness the Great Migration between about July and November
  • Excellent, year-round game viewing
  • Hot-air balloon safaris at dawn over the plains
  • Cultural encounters with the Maasai
  • Easy add-on to Amboseli, Diani Beach, Meru, Laikipia and Samburu

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

2. Amboseli National Park

Reasons to Visit:

  • See some of East Africa's biggest elephants in a variety of habitats
  • Move between wetlands, woodlands and classic savannah for different species
  • The best views of snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa
  • Good proximity to Nairobi for a shorter transfer time

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

3. Laikipia

Reasons to Visit:

  • One of Kenya's best-kept safari secrets
  • Home to encouraging conservation success stories like Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ol Pejeta Conservancy
  • Among the best places in East Africa to see rhino
  • Visit a sanctuary for rescued chimpanzees
  • Superb accommodation with access to star beds and special activities like guided walks and camelback safaris

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

4. Meru National Park

Reasons to Visit:

  • Experience a lush park with riverine forests and verdant swamps
  • Numerous rivers and mountain streams provide plenty of water for large concentrations of game
  • Lovely views of Mount Kenya and the Adamson's Falls
  • Former home of Joy and George Adamson who raised Elsa the lioness of Born Free fame

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

Rwanda

Small, compact and easy to travel around, Rwanda is a friendly country that offers solo travellers a hard-to-gain insight into Central African cultures, wildlife and breathtaking environments. It also delivers Africa's easiest and most accessible gorilla trekking adventures – after arriving in the capital city of Kigali, you're only a few hours' drive from the country's flagship gorilla reserve, Volcanoes National Park.

Reasons to Visit:

  • One of only two countries where mountain gorillas can be seen safely in the wild
  • Africa's most accessible gorilla trekking destination
  • You can easily combine a primate trekking adventure with a Big 5 safari in Akagera National Park
  • Experience a unique sense of history and very inspiring atmosphere in Kigali

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

South Africa

There's not much that South Africa doesn't have to offer its solo visitors. The Kruger's private reserves deliver Africa's most reliable Big 5 game viewing, while Cape Town and its surrounding wine valleys provide an elegant, Mediterranean twist to a safari itinerary. July to November sees South Africa's Whale Coast hum with activity as migratory whales arrive. And then there are the gorgeous beaches…

Most hotels in Cape Town charge a standard room rate (no single supplement for solo travellers), and there are lodges in Kruger offering single occupancy on safari.

– Tankiso Ngidi, Africa Safari Expert

Reasons to Visit:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Fantastic logistics and tourism infrastructure, especially for first-time visitors to Africa
  • Reliable Big 5 sightings and award-winning accommodation
  • World-class service and amenities
  • Easily combine Cape Town and its Winelands with the Kruger

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

Tanzania

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Few destinations in Africa can rival Tanzania's diversity of wildlife and landscapes. From the Serengeti's never-ending savannah to the astonishing natural wonder of the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania delivers one massive safari experience after another. And that's before you discover the gorgeous tropical beaches of Zanzibar!

Kate-Lion-Sands-Ivory-Lodge

I would recommend Tanzania and Kenya for solo travel as you can do a couple of destinations, combining wildlife and diverse landscapes. Scheduled group tours offer affordable safaris for solo travellers, and fly-in itineraries are ideal Africa tours for singles with bigger budgets.

– Kate McIntosh, Africa Safari Expert

The Best Safari Destinations for Solo Travel in Tanzania

1. Tarangire National Park

Reasons to Visit:

  • Easy access – part of Tanzania's popular Northern Safari Circuit
  • Can easily be combined with the Serengeti
  • Known for populous elephant herds and huge baobabs
  • A beautifully diverse wilderness featuring riverine forest, huge swamps and open woodlands

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

2. Serengeti National Park

Reasons to Visit:

  • Witness the Wildebeest Migration between about November and June
  • Enjoy excellent year-round game viewing
  • Huge variety of accommodation, from mobile tented camps to stately lodges

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

3. Ngorongoro Crater

Reasons to Visit:

  • One of the most popular wildlife attractions in East Africa
  • Easy and reliable Big 5 game viewing
  • An intact volcanic caldera keeps the animals contained in a diverse landscape
  • The mineral-rich soil provides plentiful grazing
  • Very convenient for all-day safaris

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

Uganda

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Boasting a 90% success rate at finding gorilla families in the extraordinary Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, gorilla trekking in Uganda has become one of Africa's most profound wildlife experiences. Mountain gorillas can survive only in their natural habitat, so trekking into their native forests is your only chance to see these gorillas in the wild. Uganda's trekking permits are among the most affordable in Africa, which makes it ideal for affordable gorilla safaris for solo travellers.

Reasons to Visit:

  • Superb, affordable gorilla trekking
  • Convenient add-on to an East Africa big game safari
  • Excellent chimpanzee trekking in pristine rainforest
  • Boating on large lakes, surrounded by breath-taking scenery

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

Zimbabwe

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Follow footpaths through ancient rainforest and get face-to-face with our planet's biggest waterfall. Stand in awe of Mosi-oa-Tunya (which aptly means 'The Smoke that Thunders') as the roaring water makes the ground tremble beneath your feet and dazzling clouds of mist float as high as the Empire State Building.

But there's more to Zimbabwe than just Vic Falls. Hwange National Park is the country's flagship reserve and a short flight from Victoria Falls. It offers incredible big game viewing and is renowned for its massive herds of elephant. The beautiful Mana Pools National Park delivers outstanding aquatic safari activities like kayaking, boating and fishing, and is a safe haven for rare wild dog.

The Best Safari Destinations for Solo Travel in Zimbabwe

1. Victoria Falls

Reasons to Visit:

  • See the world's biggest waterfall
  • Adventure activities like white-water rafting, bungee jumping and microlight flights over the Falls
  • Swim in Devil's Pool on the precipice of the waterfall
  • An easy add-on to Hwange, Lower Zambezi National Park or Botswana's Chobe

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

2. Lake Kariba

Reasons to Visit:

  • Exquisite sunsets over the world's largest artificial freshwater lake
  • Boating, fishing and water safaris to see hippos, crocodiles and aquatic birds
  • A relaxing end to an action-packed safari in Hwange or adventure activities at Vic Falls

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

3. Hwange National Park

Reasons to Visit:

  • Zimbabwe's flagship conservation area and largest reserve
  • Easy add-on to Victoria Falls
  • Incredible big game viewing
  • Some of Africa's best-trained guides

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

4. Mana Pools National Park

Reasons to Visit:

  • Right on the glorious Zambezi River in northern Zimbabwe
  • Plenty of water activities including guided canoeing
  • Ramsar wetland of international importance for birders
  • Four large permanent pools or small lakes support good populations of elephant, Nile crocodile and hippos
  • A haven for rare wild dog

Camps With No Single Supplement Fees for Solo Travellers:

Ready to Start Planning Your Solo Trip to Africa?

Get in touch with one of our Africa Safari Experts to help tailor-make an itinerary that's right for you: