If you were born somewhere between the 1940s and '70s and you’re looking for the best senior safari travel advice, you’ve come to the right place. African safaris for baby boomers are very popular and the demand for senior travel in Africa is growing rapidly.
Since 1998, we’ve tailor-made African safaris for thousands of retirees from across the globe. Our experts know the ins and outs of every safari destination, they will provide unbiased advice based on first-hand experience, and they can curate an itinerary that matches your personal travel needs.
If you are retired and finally have time on your hands for that dream vacation, Africa is your oyster. Here is our best travel and destination advice on African safaris for seniors…
Best African Safari Destinations for Seniors
Thanks to its outstanding tourism infrastructure network, South Africa offers some of the best African safaris for seniors. Daily commercial flights link all the country’s major cities, while chartered airplanes can get you to the Kruger National Park easily. OR Tambo International Airport is a major travel hub and the gateway to the rest of Africa, which makes it really simple to combine a trip to South Africa with a visit to other fantastic destinations like Victoria Falls and Botswana.
Kruger National Park is South Africa’s biggest and best-known safari destination and home to the country's greatest diversity of animals, including the iconic Big 5. The Kruger’s private game reserves offer senior travellers in Africa superior comfort, and world-class service and amenities at luxurious lodges.
A visit to Cape Town is also highly recommended during an African safari for seniors. South Africa’s Mother City is truly one of those 'have-it-all' destinations. Surrounded by beautiful mountains and beaches, historical landmarks, and the bottle-green valleys of the Cape Winelands, Cape Town is easily accessible from the Kruger and offers a relaxed combination of South African culture, city life, and exquisite culinary experiences. It’s also an easy city in which to move around and explore on your own.
If you’re anxious about taking malaria prophylactics on top of any other medication, then consider a senior safari in one of South Africa’s fantastic malaria-free destinations like Madikwe Game Reserve, or any of the Eastern Cape’s safari parks.
Why We Love South Africa for Senior Safaris
- Getting around is easy and comfortable
- Luxury safari lodges offer world-class service and amenities
- Easy to combine a safari in Kruger with a visit to Cape Town or Victoria Falls
- Award-winning culinary experiences in the Cape Winelands
Victoria Falls is positioned at the heart of the Southern African safari experience and combines easily with incredible wildlife destinations like South Africa’s Kruger National Park, Botswana’s Chobe and Okavango Delta via daily flights.
During high-water season (February to July), about 700 000 cubic metres (25 million cubic feet) of water thunder over the falls every minute – that’s about 280 Olympic swimming pools per minute! Taking a guided tour of the world’s biggest waterfall is a truly soul-stirring experience and a bucket-list item on most African safari itineraries for seniors.
Accommodation options in Victoria Falls are also superb. From romantic riverside suites to grand hotels serving G&Ts on manicured lawns, Vic Falls caters to every style and budget. Staying on the Zimbabwe side of the Falls means you’re close to the waterfall and the bustling markets, while staying upstream on the Zambia side offers more tranquillity.
Best Things to Do on a Senior Safari in Vic Falls
- Guided tour of the waterfall
- Sunset boat cruise on the Zambezi River
- High tea at Victoria Falls Hotel
- Shopping at the vibrant outdoor markets
- Helicopter flight over the waterfall
Thanks to a mild climate and an abundance of wildlife in heavyweight destinations like the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park, Botswana delivers superb African safari experiences for seniors any time of the year.
The country has dedicated airports that service the Okavango Delta and Chobe regions via quick and easy air transfers. We recommend fly-in safari itineraries for seniors, meaning you won’t have to spend time on long and uncomfortable road transfers.
Because of regular flights and accessibility to other blockbuster destinations like South Africa and Victoria Falls, it’s easy to augment your Botswana safari. Some of the best African safari itineraries for seniors will combine Botswana with a visit to the award-winning Cape Town, an encounter with the gigantic Victoria Falls, or a different safari experience in the legendary Kruger National Park.
Best Things to Do on a Senior Safari in Botswana
- Guided game drives in Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park
- Sunrise or sunset boat cruises on the Chobe River
- Birdwatching in Linyanti’s private reserves
- Staying at excellent riverside lodges along the Chobe River
- Up-close meerkat encounters in the Kalahari
If you are flexible with your dates, Africa is your oyster. You can choose to travel outside of the peak seasons to enjoy benefits like fewer crowds and lower rates. You can also set the pace of your itinerary to match your needs.
– Kate McIntosh, Africa Safari Expert
Kenya is a wonderful African safari destination for seniors. We do, however, recommend opting for a fly-in itinerary, as distances between safari areas are large and road transfers can get rather long and uncomfortable. If you are mobile enough to step onto and off small airplanes, flying between camps and lodges will offer a great deal of comfort and more time on safari.
Kenya’s flagship safari destination is the Masai Mara National Reserve. Its wide-open plains provide a sanctuary for an abundance of animals like elephant, buffalo, zebra, giraffe, hyena and the Mara’s famous big cats: lion, leopard and cheetah. Thanks to its high numbers of resident wildlife and temperate climate, the Mara is widely regarded as a fantastic year-round safari destination. Its wide and open plains mean there is virtually always something to see – no matter what time of year you visit.
The Mara’s private conservancies (conservation areas owned by local Maasai that border the national reserve) provide travellers with exclusivity, excellent game viewing in sole-use areas, and activities like night drives, bush walks and off-road game viewing – not permitted in the national reserve. When the annual Wildebeest Migration makes its turn in the Masai Mara between about August and November, the neighbouring private conservancies offer a tranquil retreat from the spectacle (the national reserve can get rather busy), yet you’re still close enough to all the Migration hot spots.
Another fantastic destination for a senior safari in Kenya is Amboseli National Park. With its perennial wetlands flourishing beneath towering Mount Kilimanjaro, Amboseli National Park is the best place in East Africa to see massive herds of elephant. And if you’re looking for that iconic postcard image of wildlife against a Kilimanjaro backdrop, this is the place to get the shot.
Best Things to Do on a Senior Safari in Kenya
- Guided game drives in the Masai Mara
- Witnessing the Great Wildebeest Migration (August to November)
- Staying at luxury safari camps in the Mara’s private conservancies
- Staying at The Giraffe Manor while visiting Nairobi
- Seeing East Africa’s biggest elephant herds in Amboseli
From the Wildebeest Migration and the Big 5 to tropical beaches, Tanzania offers senior travellers in Africa a wonderful diversity of wildlife, landscapes and experiences. Furthermore, the country’s popular 'northern safari circuit' (Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire) is a convenient route and a fantastic way to see the best of Tanzania. Like Kenya, we recommend opting for a fly-in itinerary to save you the long and uncomfortable road transfers.
The Serengeti National Park is arguably the most famous safari destination in the world. It is the place to go in Tanzania for game viewing at its most dramatic. It hosts the lion’s share of the annual Wildebeest Migration (January to August) and is home to one of our planet’s greatest concentrations of wildlife like zebra, buffalo, elephant, giraffe, lion, leopard and cheetah. Serengeti's sheer size, accessibility, top-quality lodges and camps, and year-round abundance of wildlife make it one of the best African safari destinations for seniors.
The Ngorongoro Crater was created about 3 million years ago when a big volcano exploded and collapsed on itself. Today, it’s the biggest intact volcanic caldera on Earth. It’s one of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders and supports over 25 000 animals, including the Big 5. It offers senior safari travellers the most reliable Big 5 sightings in East Africa – you can see all five members in one day! Throw in some out-of-this-world cliff-top accommodation, and the result is an unforgettable senior safari experience in an unbelievably unique setting.
Why We Love Tanzania for Senior Safaris
- Easily accessible 'northern safari circuit' offers a convenient way to see the best of Tanzania
- Sensational game viewing in the Serengeti
- Top-quality lodges and camps
- Home to the lion’s share of the Wildebeest Migration (January to August)
Step aboard the world’s most luxurious train and experience the old-world elegance of Rovos Rail. Although not a destination, Rovos Rail focuses more on the journey and delivers some of the best African safari tours for seniors.
There’s something very special about long-distance train travel, and Rovos Rail offers a series of bespoke train journeys that encompass the spirit of the luxurious safaris of old. These luxurious train journeys could be a short 2-day trip from Cape Town to Pretoria in South Africa, or an epic 15-day odyssey from Cape Town to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania – complete with off-train excursions and safari sojourns at some of the continent’s finest lodges.
Sit back and relax as Africa’s most glorious scenery passes you by. Enjoy discreet and friendly service, delectable cuisine, and a wonderful selection of award-winning wines.
Some of the Best Rovos Rail Vacation Tours for Seniors:
Our Best African Safari Travel Advice for Seniors
How Important is Fitness When Planning a Safari for Seniors?
Your level of fitness is totally dependent on the type of safari you want to plan. Strictly speaking, you don’t need to be fit to go on safari and if you have minor mobility issues, these can also be catered for.
The more activities (guided walks, etc.) you want to add to your itinerary, the fitter you should be. But fitness is not important when it comes to an African safari for seniors – being agile enough to step aboard a 4x4 safari vehicle, boat, small airplane, or hot-air balloon is more than adequate.
For a gorilla trekking safari though, fitness is essential. The high altitudes and unpredictable movements of gorillas, coupled with thick vegetation, can make for a strenuous experience that tests all fitness levels. That being said, travellers with mobility issues can experience this one-of-a-kind animal encounter – some porters are trained to carry you. In most cases, preference is given to senior travellers in Africa to trek to a gorilla family that is closer to the starting point of the wildlife park.
If you’re planning an East African safari for seniors, it’s important to remember that distances are vast, so a fly-in safari will be much more comfortable than a road safari – especially if you have back problems.
At Go2Africa, we tailor-make safari vacations based on your personal travel needs. Whether that’s securing a room close to public areas at a lodge with no stairs, or booking suitable accommodation for mobility-impaired travellers, our experts know the ins and outs of planning unforgettable African safaris for seniors.
Are There African Safari Tours for Seniors Who Want to Travel Solo?
Absolutely! If you work with a travel agent with regular, first-hand safari experience and a tried-and-trusted network of suppliers, Africa is a fantastic destination for a solo adventure. A great travel agent will know exactly which lodges and camps to book for your solo trip, and slot in seamless transfers and activities.
Again, rather opt for a fly-in safari during which you’ll easily meet fellow travellers as you share exciting charter flights and game drives.
Going on a solo senior safari with Go2Africa also means you have a direct, 24/7 phone line to get help or advice at any time once you are in Africa.
Are African Safaris for Seniors Escorted or Guided?
When you travel with Go2Africa, every single detail of your trip is taken care of. 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. When you’re on a senior safari, you will always be in the safe and competent hands of professional guides: highly skilled and trained individuals who ensure that your trip is as memorable as it can be.
It is also possible to arrange VIP meet-and-greet packages, as well as private guides who will travel with you every step of the way.
Have fun, make friends and be open to new experiences. If you are agile and mobile, go on that guided bush walk! Know that your Africa Safari Expert is a phone call away and on standby 24/7. In Africa anything is possible – all you need to do is ask. We can make some incredible things happen here!
– Lauren Johansson, Africa Safari Expert
I’ve Never Been on an African Safari Before. What Are Some of the Most Important Things to Know?
Travel insurance is always a must for the safe keeping of your vacation. It can take into account any pre-existing medical conditions you might have, and also cover you in case of any medical treatment you might need on an African safari for seniors.
If you travel with prescription medication, it’s always a good idea to have a note from your doctor about the various medications and what they treat. That’s in case you can’t get your usual medication in another country or need assistance while travelling.
Take note of the various safari vehicles, boats, and small charter aircrafts you will have to use during your safari, so that you have a good idea of what to expect of your agility.
Ready to Start Planning Your Trip of a Lifetime?
Get in touch with our Africa Safari Experts to help tailor-make your senior safari adventure: