Many people simply don’t have the luxury of time which is why a private jet safari makes so much sense when trying to see key places on your safari in Africa in a limited period of time. These work especially well in the case of family safaris or friends travelling together.
Lauded by The Telegraph newspaper as one of the Top 50 Safaris in Africa for 2019 and the best flying safari in Africa, I am delighted to recommend this unique and ground-breaking private flying safari.
To add the cherry on the cake, this safari ensures that you are giving something back as each location benefits from your stay. All of the establishments run fantastic philanthropic and conservation programmes to protect these magnificent wild areas and their wildlife.
This safari incorporates adventurous experiences, off the beaten track, but the quality of the experience can always be assured – these are my favourite safaris because they all are committed to excellence, conservation, communities and the finest guiding in the most magnificent locations!
Stay at a luxury, private mobile tented camp located in a private concession in the midst of the wildebeest migration in the Serengeti, fly to the Republic of Congo to track the western lowland gorillas, then stay in the oldest desert in the world in Namibia, finishing at the heart of the Okavango Delta with its magnificent wildlife.
I recommend timing your travel to coincide with the wildebeest calving season, which takes place in the Serengeti during the month of February. However one could travel on this safari at any time of the year, and if you wished to see a different part of the Great Migration’s cycle, the safari could be customised to suit your interests.
Stay at a fabulous, luxury tented camp in a private concession in the Serengeti. The days will be spent experiencing this extraordinary wildlife phenomenon, where two million animals fill the Serengeti plains as far as the eye can see. There are 1.5 million wildebeest – all heading for the short grass plains where they can calve – along with 500 000 zebra and all the predators which follow in their wake.
Because this is a private concession one has complete exclusivity which is unheard of in the Serengeti itself, and for me, the best way to experience this region is to walk with the private guides, which allows one to get a real sense of this incredible event, the air thick with the sound of the wildebeest bellowing.
After three exhilarating days in Tanzania, fly to Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo; a wonderful, vibrant city with the amazing Sappeurs, Congolese dandies who have developed a fabulous style of dress and dance.
Fly next on to Odzala-Kokoua National Park where you spend three nights. Odzala, forming part of the Congo Basin, is part of the second-largest coherent rainforest on earth and has a significant impact on our global climate. It holds over 100 different mammal species and over 400 bird species have been recorded. It is also one of the few places that one can see the critically endangered western lowland gorilla.
The gorillas are arboreal, and when I tracked them I found that this was some of the most exciting gorilla tracking I have experienced, as they are always travelling through the trees and we had to move to keep up with them.
The lodge is situated within the home range of several groups of gorillas and trekking takes place directly from the lodge, so you tend to find the gorillas much more quickly than when one tracks mountain gorillas, and the trekking, being on flat ground, is usually much easier than elsewhere in East Africa. If you are lucky, you may see wild chimpanzees during your trek too.
After the trekking you return to the lodge, filled with wonder and questions as you discuss the group you saw. You will have the opportunity to talk with a top primatologist, and learn about the primates you have seen and their conservation.
The lodge is just beautiful and the food superb. The rooms are in the style of the pygmy beehive style huts, fashioned from local materials and set within the forest. One can sit on the decks, immersed in the forest, and listen to the bird life and watch butterflies flutter through the air.
Fly on to Namibia via Livingstone where you will see Victoria Falls and spend the night. Victoria Falls, the “Smoke that Thunders” is the world’s largest waterfall with a sheet of water over a mile wide. One can take a helicopter ride over the falls and watch the whole stretch of the great Zambezi River plummeting over 350 feet into the gorge.
There are breath-taking adrenaline sports on offer here too – why not try the longest zip line in the world? Suspended above the Zambezi River the zip runs for 425m across the gorge – guaranteed to get the adrenaline pumping!
The following day fly out to Namibia where you will spend three nights in the oldest desert on Earth, the Namib. This vast desert stretches along the coast of Namibia and features dramatic deep red dunes dappled with lime green grasses and vast open skies.
The days are spent exploring and taking in these magnificent surroundings. One can visit the incredible philanthropic projects that the owner, Stefan Bruckner has implemented. The lodge is magnificent and I never tire of waking to the magical, changing hues of the sand dunes.
One of the best experiences I have had here is waking early and taking a hot air balloon across the desert at sunrise. We saw the changes in colours as the sun rose, identified the tracks left by snakes as they move across the sand and marvelled at the mysterious ‘fairy rings’.
Finally fly onto your last stop in the Okavango Delta, a glistening jewel in Botswana after your stay in the extraordinary Namib Desert. The Delta is unique due to the geographical features of this part of Africa.
The floodwaters from the Angolan highlands flow inland into Botswana instead of towards the sea, fanning out across the desert into the vast delta which fluctuates in area between six and twelve thousand square kilometres with the seasons. This is one of the most beautiful and pristine areas in the world.
You take the fabulous, luxurious Vumbura Plains camp on a private basis for three nights. This camp is located on a private concession, where you can be poled by mokoro (dug-out canoe) across the floodplains, the heavy scent of water lilies permeating the air.
The wildlife here is extraordinary, and as well as from the water, one can spot many species on game drives. This region is rich in predators – leopard, lion, wild dog as well as elephant, giraffe, zebra, buffalo and many antelope as well as having magnificent birdlife.
At the end of your stay you will be flown back to Nairobi or Johannesburg for your onward international flight.
Travelling by private Citation 350 Jet and private charter flights, this safari allows travellers to reach some of the most inaccessible, unique wildlife areas quickly, without wasting time. This incredible journey takes in the finest wildlife and cultural experiences in Africa, all with complete privacy, freedom and exclusivity.
A professional wildlife photographer guide can accompany you too, to hone your photography skills. Private jet safaris can be customised to include anywhere in Africa that you would like to travel, involving as much culture and wildlife as you wish, providing there is access to the relevant runways.
This safari, in my mind, offers one of the best all-round safari experiences travelling in comfort and style and most importantly – efficiently! If you would like more information, feel free to contact me.
Images courtesy of:
Legendary Expeditions, Odzala Discovery Camps with Scott Ramsay, Kamili, Wolwedans Namibia with Martin Harvey, Wild Horizons, Wilderness Safaris with Kwedi.
**Jet image intended as example only.