At the top of many a bucket-list, an African safari is a travel experience like no other.
Those evocative images of exotic animals and burnt orange sunsets over sweeping golden plains play out before you – and stay with you forever.
If you’re dreaming of an unforgettable holiday in the wilds of Africa, then cast your eyes over this beginner’s guide to safaris.
THE ‘BIG 5’ AND MORE
Spotting the ‘Big 5’ is something that will be talked about from the moment you arrive at your safari lodge. Elephants, buffaloes, rhinoceros’, lions and leopards will be joyfully ticked off your list as you come into contact with each of them on your morning and evening safaris – then enthusiastically discussed over the campfire at day’s end.
But there are more animals in the neighbourhood than just the ‘Big 5’ to watch out for. Keep a keen eye out around the waterholes and dusty landscapes for encounters with giraffes, hippos, wildebeest (you will often hear them coming before you see them), zebras, baboons, meerkats and a huge variety of birdlife.
SUMMER OR WINTER?
While safaris are generally year-round, the seasons do present a different experience. The hot November to February summer months are considered the peak months of travel.
The hot and humid summer is birthing season for most species and the days are long with plenty of exciting ‘parents and newborns’ sightings to be had.
April to September are the drier and dustier winter months, but with shorter grass and thinned vegetation, wildlife spotting can be easier. While some waterholes will dry up, it means other waterholes and rivers will attract a more dense gathering of animals for your enjoyment.
The nights and mornings will be very cool, so multiple layers of clothing are key for the near-freezing temperatures. The days generally warm up nicely.
Safety is, of course, paramount on safari and throughout your African journey. Over the past decades, Africa’s governments have made huge strides in ensuring the wellbeing of visitors, with tourism numbers continuing to climb year after year.
In places such as Kruger National Park, fences are not permitted between properties or Game reserves enabling the natural, unrestricted movements of wildlife. There are patrolled entrance gates to the Park and security checks are common to prevent poaching.
Where to safari
Animals roam most of the mid to southern African continent and safari experiences range from lush thick jungles, to sweeping plains, raging rivers and desert sand dunes; each bringing a unique and wonderful safari adventure.
Africa’s economic powerhouse is also a place of enormous beauty and diversity. From the Garden Route in the Cape, one of the most spectacular scenic routes anywhere in the world, to Cape Town, the country’s international hotspot.
Whilst in South Africa, enjoy surprises of a different kind such as partaking in the region’s finest oysters in beautiful Knysna, to gaping at the beautiful Blyde River Canyon, and travelling the world-renowned Blue Train in 5-star luxury. You can also visit the world-renowned Kruger National Park. And those are just a few of the highlights.
Contrast seems to define this small, landlocked African democracy. Experience the Okavango Delta, with its unique waterways, and view the wildlife from a truly unusual vantage point – a mokoro canoe.
On top of this, you can look forward to Africa’s largest number of elephants, and bushland so remote some of the animals never get to see human beings.
The Namib and Kalahari Deserts are unlike deserts anywhere else. There’s something unique about the light, the colour of the sand, and the way the creatures that inhabit it behave.
You’ll spend quality time in the wide silence of one of the most remote wonderlands on Earth – a place where just looking up to the stars is a unique experience. Magnificent landscapes, throngs of wild animals, beaches as beautiful as they are severe, marine life the equal of any in the world, and remote colonial settlements unlike anywhere else – it’s all here, just waiting to be rediscovered.
The vast savannahs of Tanzania are populated with herds of antelope, magnificent predators, and epic stories of survival, where the age-old law of kill or be killed still prevails.
You’ll be treated to definitive Africa, and get to enjoy some of its very finest game lodges, from the world-renowned Serengeti, to the Tarangire National Park, and the Ngorongoro Crater.
Kenya is a land where open savannahs give way to deep valleys, and magnificent mountain ranges. Straddling Africa’s impressive Rift Valley, right on the equator, the weather tends to be ideal one day, and perfect the next.
Explore some of its distinctive indigenous Masaai culture and take forays into its unforgettable wilderness. In fact, in the Amboseli National Park, the Aberdare National Park, and the magnificent Masai Mara, you’ll get to experience unique game lodges anywhere in Africa.
Victoria Falls isn’t just a spectacular natural feature, the like of which you’ll find virtually nowhere else, it’s also a place of immense spiritual strength and beauty.
There’s nothing quite like standing in front of the world’s largest sheet of falling water. And while it’s quite impossible to measure exactly which is the world’s largest waterfall, from a technical point of view, for many this one has a very, very good claim.
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Travel to Africa with Scenic
With Scenic’s luxurious Africa tours, seeing the sights is just part of the adventure; it’s the luxurious lodgings, fine dining, exclusive experiences, authentic encounters and first-class service that sets their tours apart.
When travelling with Scenic, you will enjoy access to vehicles best suited to the terrain and tour the region in small groups limited to 36 people in South Africa and Zambia, and 24 like-minded travellers in East Africa.
Every detail is also taken care from transfers, entrance fees and all tipping and gratuities, allowing you more time to savour the sights and immerse yourself in the experience.
No one understands the lands more than the local guides who live there. Scenic will not only show you the expected highlights, but also the hidden gems that only locals know.
Scenic’s Africa tour inclusions
5-star hotels or lodges
Enjoy a range of luxurious 5-star hotels or lodges, or the finest available accommodation at that location on your adventure.
Choose from a range of sightseeing activities that interest you most, from desert tours to wine tasting or cruising – they’re all included.
Scenic Freechoice Activities
Mokoro Canoe Safari
There is no better way to explore the waterways of the Okavango Delta than by mokoro canoe. Encounter hippos and buffalo as they relax in the shallows.
Join your expert tracker for a two hour walk into the Okavango woodland, where close encounters with elephant, giraffe, baboons and buffalo are commonplace.
Cape Winelands Tour
Enjoy a guided tour of the beautiful Cape Winelands region. Tour Stellenbosch and selected vineyards including a cellar tour sampling local wines and cheese tasting.
Gain insight into the habits and instincts of wild animals that inhabit the Sabie River basin of Kruger National Park from an expert game ranger.
Scenic Freechoice Dining
Taste Africa’s cuisine with Scenic’s dining program. Enjoy a range of local specialties, fresh regional produce and the mastery of traditional cuisine.
Handpicked experiences, from a mesmerising display of Zulu dancing, to a visit to Nelson Mandela’s house and a local community to learn about Tanzanian culture.
Exclusive cocktail events in spectacular settings, where you’ll cap off a wonderful day’s exploration in the company of newfound friends.
The Nth Degree
They’ve thought about the details so you don’t have to, from personal airport transfers, first-class transport and local guides and all tips and gratuities are included.
Scenic Africa Brochure
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