To begin with, if you are considering going to Africa on a luxury safari, do take proper time to plan. Would you rush out and buy an expensive car in a hurry?
Everyone in the Africa team has personally run luxury safari lodges in Africa, plus we all have personal relationships with the owners and managers of the various safari properties, so we really can make sure that your safari exceeds all your expectations.
To go on safari is to experience the utmost outdoor African adventure holiday of them all and it is often a once-in-a-lifetime trip, possibly to celebrate a special occasion, so we really want to make sure that we get it spot on.
It’s also worth booking in advance as some luxury safari places can get booked up, up to two years in advance. With regards to the time of year, this is also critical to experience the best weather, game viewing and activities available.
In terms of length of time at each place, the longer you stay, the more time you have to get to know the staff and also to enjoy your surroundings. Ideally you need at least three if not four nights at each safari place.
Going on safari is one of life’s most memorable and magical experiences. A luxury safari is not necessarily all about what it costs, but the location truly is everything when deciding on where to stay, as nothing beats staying in remote and pristine locations, with stunning scenery that extends out towards the horizon.
Secondly the size of the lodge or camp you are staying in makes a real difference, as the smaller the camp, the more personal the service. Thirdly having the best possible guide is invaluable as they will make the bush come alive and they can make or break your safari experience.
You ideally want a local guide who knows the area like the back of their hand, as this will allow them to spot elusive animals, they are more than happy to tell you lots of interesting information and facts about the area, plus take you to visit otherwise unknown locations.
It’s often worthwhile to splash out and book a private vehicle and guide, as this means that you can go out at whatever time you like and spend as long as you like game viewing, without anyone wanting to get back for meals. If you have particular interests such as photography, birds, walking; then again a specialist guide can make all the difference.
To embark on a safari holiday one should know that it’s possible to do this without sacrificing a grain of comfort as the facilities are equivalent to any first class hotel and as for the locations, they really are second to none.
There’s certainly no having to pitch your own tent! Africa has some of the world’s most luxurious safari camps, where delicious cuisine, premium wines, incredible bathrooms with indoor and outdoor showers, fabulous spas, gyms, Wi-Fi, along with private plunge pools, have been created in the most out-of-the-way but fabulous locations.
Whilst you might be sleeping under canvas, the tents are fully equipped and offer pure luxury, with comfortable beds, wonderful bedding and all the usual hotel amenities, not to mention hot and cold running staff.
After a day of adventure and excitement, it’s perfect to be able to come back to a marvellous place where you can unwind and relax, ready for your next game activity. If you want to listen to the sounds of the bush at night, then staying in a tent offers this, plus it’s also rather romantic, whereas staying in a lodge will offer you more security, if you are at all concerned about sleeping in the bush.
For some total luxury is escaping the madding crown and having a private camp. For the adventurous who want something a little more wild, then a mobile safari really is unbeatable. The advantage of a mobile safari is the setting of your camp is selected depending on where the best wildlife is, plus it allows you access to the more inaccessible areas of the reserves, where permanent structures are not necessarily allowed.
Another different type of luxury safari accommodation is spending a night in a tree house, which is the ultimate bush sleeping quarters! You will arrive at sunset to a sundowner, followed by a delicious picnic dinner, and you can then spend the hours of dusk fully appreciating the enormity of the bush as it changes from day to night.
Sleep directly underneath the Milky Way where you can star gaze and lose count of all the shooting stars. Spending a night in a treehouses is perfect for the hopeless romantic, the wildlife fanatic, the adventurer, or the person who needs to get away from it all and completely disconnect with no Wi-Fi.
We obviously look for lodges and camps which offer the most superb game viewing opportunities and tend to prefer small and owner-run properties, which are more personal and provide guests with a home-away-from-home feel. We also look for the very best resident guides and, of course the most jaw dropping settings.
The best luxury safari experience isn’t just about your accommodation, it’s also the exceptional safari experience that comes with it. We like to call it “Wild Luxury”! A diverse range of activities is also great and whilst game drives are obviously wonderful, to get out and explore on foot is truly superb.
Whilst most safari goers are very keen to see the Big Five: rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and leopard, one mustn’t forget about the Little Five: elephant shrew, Buffalo weaver, leopard tortoise, ant lion and rhino beetle.
There are also night safaris, where you will spot different animals which emerge at night, with elusive creatures such as leopards, aardvarks and honey badgers who might make an appearance just as the sun is setting. It’s really important to take time to absorb and appreciate all the little things.
A safari doesn’t mean unappetising meals and exceptional food is one quality we check for when we choose our lodges. You can’t beat fresh ingredients which are sourced locally and beautifully prepared. Also dietary requirements are always taken into consideration.
Where possible we highly recommend meeting the locals and putting something back and we try and include this in all our safaris.
Taking the best possible equipment with you on safari, such as a decent camera, zoom lens and binoculars makes all the difference and having those wonderful photographs will remind you of your luxury African adventure in years to come.
A few of our favourite luxury safari places are Sandibe, Abu Camp, Zarafa Camp, Londolozi Private Granite Suites, Chinzombo, King Lewanika, &Beyond Matetsi, Bisate Lodge, Lion Sands Ivory Lodge.