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The best African wildlife holidays for 2019 – whatever your budget

By Brian Jackman - 31st January 2019

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Whatever your budget, situation or level of ability, there's a wildlife holiday waiting, and for animal magic you can't do much better than Africa…

The best flying safari ever

Take off from Kilimanjaro Airport in your own private jet for the trip of a lifetime. First stop, the Serengeti with the wildebeest calving season in full swing. Spend three nights here and continue to Brazzaville in the Congo for three nights’ trekking in search of western lowland gorillas. Next, to Namibia for three nights in the desert and three nights in the Okavango Delta before flying home from Nairobi. Try not to flinch at the jaw-dropping price…

Thirteen nights on the ground cost from £45,220 pp, based on six people travelling. Price includes private charter flight with pilot guide, private guides and vehicles and exclusive camps.

Contact - The Explorations Company (01367 850566; explorationscompany.com).

 

Travel advice | How to stay safe on safari

Malaria is the biggest health threat on a safari holiday – but antimalarial tablets reduce the risk by at least 90 per cent.

Antimalarials are unsuitable for under-fives, but Paediatric Malarone is available for children weighing 11-40kg.

Avoid bites by wearing long trousers and long-sleeved shirts and using a DEET-based insect repellent. In the dry season (see table, top right) there are fewer  mosquitoes. Most malaria-free areas are in South Africa, including the Waterberg, Madikwe, Tswalu and Kwandwe. In Namibia, the Kaokoveld and the Skeleton Coast should also be safe.

Make sure immunisations are up to date – for hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus, diphtheria and yellow fever.

Jet lag is rarely a problem as there is little time difference between the UK and Africa.

The tropical sun is fierce, so always wear a hat, sunglasses and sun cream – and drink at least two bottles of water a day.

If travelling to Kenya or Tanzania, sign up to Amref, Health Africa’s Flying Doctors service (flydoc.org) which provides evacuation in medical emergencies.

Consult Fit For Travel (fitfortravel.nhs.uk) or Nathnac (travelhealthpro.org.uk/), used by GPs to assess health risks abroad.

Once you are in the bush, always listen to instructions from your guide.

In camp, zip up your tent and never take food into it.

On a game drive, remember that animals are used to vehicles; but don’t be noisy or make sudden movements.

Stay inside the vehicle (ask your driver or guide if you need to make a “bush stop”).

Don’t sit on the vehicle’s roof. In transit watch out for thorns and overhanging branches.

If travelling on foot, don’t run. Only prey animals run!

Obey the safety rules in your camp or lodge.

Don’t walk around the camp at night. Carry a torch and make sure you are escorted back to your tent or room after dinner.

Respect every animal’s private space – and never ask your guide to drive closer for a photo.

Check the latest FCO advice before travelling.


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