African Safari: definitive guide 2020
Where did the word Safari originate from?
The word Safari is from the Swahili and it means “journey“. Originally, it’s from the Arabic adjective “Safar” which means “journey, travel, tour or voyaging”.
According to history, safari refers to the long journey people had for migration, trade purposes and so on but now, the game has changed, the experience has gone from the former underdeveloped experience to what we can term ” an evolutionary voyage i.e to describe a holiday tour to Africa in order to experience the wildlife parade and culture of the continent.
The redefinition of the word has come along with new innovations such as luxury safari lodges, beautiful wildlife viewings, open safari vehicles, land rovers and so much more. A safari experience that couldn’t be fathomed years ago is what we have now and not to forget that the new African Safari concepts were born in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s.
The new innovations, however, have not put an end to the pure African wildlife experience. The wilderness, beautiful and natural surroundings, the traditional African culture stays unforgettable and untamed and this is tipped to stand the test of time as far as humans travel from one place to another and tourism remains a thriving industry.
What exactly has changed in the Safari experience?
A modern Safari is no longer a hunting trip like the old days when it was just an overland journey aimed at hunting wild animals. Now, the definition has evolved to mean ‘a holiday trip aimed at seeing and photographing wildlife for fun’.
As against the old concept, modern safari has become a socially responsible voyage designed to interact ethically with local communities and villages. Not just that, but to have a positive impact on local economies making it a two-way beneficial endeavor.
First, for the locales, it’s a boost of economy, an opportunity to interact with the international communities thereby exchange of cultural values are done. Also, an increase in the creation of a
wildlife conservation center which also allows for the preservation of these animals and natural habitat.
On the other hand for foreigners and tourists, the enjoy game viewing, wildlife tracking, experiencing and partaking in the local African culture, exploring scenic places, touring historical places and sightseeing…Hence, it’s we gain, you gain a circle of experience.
What African Safaris are all about:
You are certainly not going to miss out on any of these Safari packages in your voyage:
- Having a solid experience of the African culture
- Exploring scenic wildlife places and natural habitats
- Paying visits to historical landmarks and places
- And most importantly, game viewing and wildlife tracking.
Where are the Best African Safari?
Now that we know all about the African Safari from the old days and now, the next question that might be popping in your mind is “where can i have the best African safari experience”?
Not to worry, let’s help you with a few lists:
1. MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE, KENYA
This reserve is home to the Big five, and it has a wide population of the African big cats. It’s also one of the best places to see lions.
2.CHOBE NATIONAL PARK, BOTSWANA
Here, there are a diverse array of animals and birds and most incredibly, it’s famous for its elephant estimated to be about 120,000.
3.KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA.
This is the most famous of all South Africa’s numerous game reserves. You will get to see the big five as well as cheetah and it is an ideal self-drive safari destination.
4.SOUTH LUANGWA NATIONAL PARK.
To see a teeming herd of antelope, elephant and several large lions’ pride with hippos and Nile crocodiles, the South Luangwa park has them all.
5. Okavanga Delta, BOTSWANA.
The Okavanga Delta is best explored on a traditional canoe or mokoro and of course, the best time to visit us during the animal flood. Since it has a unique water system created at the point where the Okavanga River flows into the Kahalan Resort basin.
6.Serengeti National park, Tanzania.
This shares borders with Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve. For a scenic view of zebras and antelopes, lions, cheetah here is a place to visit.
Other places are:
- Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.
- Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania.
- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, amongst others
Affordable and Budget-friendly Safari parks in Africa.
From our list of the best African Safari, we now give you another list of Affordable Safaris that won’t leave you bankrupt.
- Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
- Etosha National Park, Namibia
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Maasai Mara, Kenya
- Chobe National Park, Botswana
All these Safari game parks and Reserves are within the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa
Luxury Safari lodges in Africa.
Luxury is never too much to add to an exciting Safari experience when visiting Africa. We have compiled a good number of Safari lodges you will never regret spending your money on.
Here we go:
- Londolozi Private Granite suites, Kruger, South Africa
- Royal Malewane, Thorny Bush
- Singita Boulders Lodge, Kruger
- Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
- Serega Retreat, Laikipia, Kenya
- Chrizombo, South Luangwa, Zambia
- Thorn tree River Lodge, Vic. Falls, Zambia
- Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro, Tanzania
- Jao Camp, Okavanga Delta, Botswana
- Bisate Lodge, Volcanoes, Rwanda
- Singita Pamushana Lodge, Malilangwe
What are the Top Africa Safari operators?
To get the best Safari operators, you need not bother too much, we present just a few names you can trust.
- Ker & Downey Africa
- Rothschild Safaris Ker & Downey Africa
- Collette & Beyond
- off2 Africa
- Sansa Travel
- National Geographic Journeys
- wild dog Safari and a host of others
The Big five ‘5’ in African Safari
One way or the other, you must have heard of the term Big five ‘5’ when it comes to an African safari. Now, what does Big five ‘5’ mean? The Big five ‘5’ represents safaris Royalty and they are The African Lion, The African leopard, The African Elephant, The Cape Buffalo and The Rhino (white or black).
These Big five ‘5’ serve as the highest-selling points for many game reserves that gave them. The term Big five ‘5’ was coined by early game hunters who discovered that they were the hardest and most dangerous to hunt on foot. Now, in today’s safari escapade, the Big five ‘5’ are the most sought-after safari sighting.
Which African Safari tours/countries are the safest to visit?
Safety is important to any tourist visiting a country and it is no news that the rate of terrorist attacks on countries all over the world and the African continent has increased massively. But there are certain places still in Africa that are safe and peaceful as the heavens, we have:
- The Gambia
- South Africa and a few others, however, this is a good list you can trust
What time is the best to go on a safari voyage?
The time to go depends on individual interest but it is important we let you know the best seasons and times from our end:
- Kenya (January-March, July-October)
- Tanzania (February- March, June-November)
- Uganda (December-March, June-September)
- Zambia – (September-November, April-September)
- Zimbabwe (July-October, August-December, March, and April)
- Botswana (June-September, April, May, and October)
- Namibia (May and September, December-March)
- South Africa (June-September)
KRUGER PARK PRIVATE GAME RESERVES
There are many excellent accommodation options that offer superb safari and game viewing experiences in Private Reserves which share unfenced and unfixed borders with Kruger National Park, which means the animals move freely. It is much less congested; this means that your wildlife sightings will be up close and more intimate.
Accommodation is offered in luxury tented camps, bush chalets, authentic camps, luxury suites, and premier suites. There is a huge selection of options to choose from which is suitable for all travelers and it is also, a good choice for those sticking to a budget and prefer more flexibility in terms of activities in and around Kruger National Park.
- Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve
- Timbavati Private Game Reserve
- Manyeleti Private Game Reserve
- Balule Private Game Reserve
- Kapama Private Game Reserve and
- Thornybush Private Game Reserve
SABI SANDS PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Sabi sand is a large private reserve and it houses multiple lodges. This reserve features the most exclusive, luxurious safari accommodation in the country and delivers arguably the best Big 5 game viewing in Africa. Below is a list of some top lodges located in Sabi sand.
- Jock safari lodge
- Inyati game lodge
- Umkumbe safari lodge
- Dulini river lodge
- Tydon bush camp
- Royal malware
TIMBAVATI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Timbavati Private Nature Reserve shares a common unfenced border with the Kruger National Park allowing animals’ free-range and ensuring that guests have an opportunity to view the greatest diversity of wildlife that South Africa has to offer. It is also is known to house the rare white lion.
Accommodation at Timbavati is offered in colonial style game lodges, traditional thatched bush lodges, and luxury tented safari camps, providing a range of styles to suit your dream South African safari lodge holiday.
- Kings Camp
- Umlani bush camp
- Motswari private game reserve
- Simbavati river lodge
- Tanda tula safari camp
- Motswari-Gelger’s camp
- Kambaku river sands
- Simbavati hilltop lodge
MANYELETI PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Manyeleti’s prime location between the Kruger, Sabi Sands, and Timbavati means excellent Big 5 game viewing. It is famous for animal packed waterholes and clear night skies.
With just a few lodges in this pristine bush area, you can be sure to experience the best of South Africa Safaris far away from the mainstream tourist areas. Highly rated lodges in this game reserve include
- Hamilton tented camp
- Hoyo Hoyo Safari Lodge
- Tintswalo Manor House
- Honeyguide Mantobeni
- Pungwe Safari Camp
BALULE PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Balule Nature Reserve, shares a un-fenced border with the renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa and it is home to the Big Five, and famous for its abundance of African wildlife.
These private safari lodges in Balule offer you a unique African safari experience. You will stay in beautifully decorated lodges that offer you all the creature comforts in the heart of the bush and you will also be led by rangers who will help you track down the Big Five.
- Nyati Safari lodge
- Toro Yaka Bush Lodge
- Pondoro game lodge
- Mbizi bush lodge
- IsiLimela Game Lodge
- Masodini private game lodge
- Ezulwini game Lodge
KAPAMA PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
Kapama is 13000 hectares of open woodland and tangled riverine forest. Besides Big 5 game viewing, guests at Kapama’s lodges can enjoy hot-air balloon flights and sleep-outs under the stars.
Visitors can also enjoy elephant –back safaris and interact with them for a true wildlife experience. Some of the best lodges located in Kapama are listed below;
- Jabulani safari
- Kapama buffalo camp
- Kapama southern camp
- Kapama Karula
- Kapama river lodge
THORNYBUSH PRIVATE GAME RESERVE
This is a well-named reserve of open savannah woodland with dense patches of the tangled thicket and thorny scrub, Thornybush is a famous Big 5 reserve featuring excellent safari accommodations for families, romantic and wildlife enthusiasts. From an endless list, I picked out this Top five lodges.
- Thornybush waterside lodge
- Thornybush game lodge
- Thornybush jackalberry lodge
- Thornybush shumbalala game lodge
- Thornybush chapungu luxury tented camp
These are the best times you can visit the African Safari of your different choices.
We believe this page has been able to supply you with all the necessary information and Guides concerning the African Safari.
What are the Luxury Safari lodges in Africa.
Londolozi Private Granite suites, Kruger, South Africa
Royal Malewane, Thorny Bush
Singita Boulders Lodge, Kruger
Angama Mara, Maasai Mara, Kenya
Serega Retreat, Laikipia, Kenya
Chrizombo, South Luangwa, Zambia
Thorn tree River Lodge, Vic. Falls, Zambia
Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Ngorongoro, Tanzania
Jao Camp, Okavanga Delta, Botswana
Bisate Lodge, Volcanoes, Rwanda
Singita Pamushana Lodge, Malilangwe
The Big five ‘5’ in African Safari
Is African safari safe?
A modern Safari is no longer a hunting trip like the old days when it was just an overland journey aimed at hunting wild animals. Africa is a big continent with many countries – some have problems but generally the Southern African parks in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia are safe and peaceful.