Well known as one of the great safari destinations in Africa, Botswana offers some of the most beautiful, luxurious, and active safari experiences in Africa.
A Botswanan safari can never be long enough, and never experienced often enough. Although one of the flattest countries you will ever visit, Botswana is blessed with an incredible variety of landscapes and eco-systems.
It is the very flatness of Botswana which has created some of the world's most special wilderness areas, and exploring the Kalahari, Okavango Delta and Makgadikgadi Salt Pans rewards you with memories for a lifetime.
Easily accessible from Johannesburg, and simply combined with Victoria Falls, Botswana needs to be on your safari list if you are planning a visit to Southern Africa.
As soon as you land in Maun or Kasane, you will know that you have arrived in a country which operates like nothing you have experienced before.
With the warthogs running through the streets of Kasane, and the hippos grunting in the Chobe River, your welcome to Botswana is one which tells you straight away you are in Africa's wilds.
Kenya - The grand old dame of African safaris, Kenya has been at the forefront of the industry for decades, and with iconic reserves such as Masai Mara, Amboseli, Samburu and Tsavo, it has earned its place in safari royalty.
Kenya's wildlife is legendary, as is its hospitality, friendliness, and scenic beauty. With the Great Rift Valley running through the country, Kenya is home to some stunning landscapes, with lakes, valleys and mountains adding to the beautiful plains of the Masai Mara.
To add to the spectacular wildlife, Kenya is one of the best countries to experience the local tribes and cultures, in particular the Masai and Samburu.
Kenyan roads are notoriously bad however, so the majority of safaris we recommend are fly-in options to the various parks. The small group scheduled safaris all operate by road, so you would need to be prepared for what is called "the African massage".
The diversity of areas to visit in Kenya is astounding, with each game reserve offering something truly unique. And to top it off, the country has a splendid coastline which invites some pure relaxation after spending time in the bush.
The island of Madagascar is full of varied traditions and cultures, mixing sacred places, particular arts and protected natural areas where a multitude of endemic animals and plants are living. The beaches of Madagascar, with warm and crystalline water that borders kilometers of white sandy coasts, also offer a multitude of activities.
Located in the southwestern Indian Ocean, Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world. It is separated from the African coast by the 400km wide Mozambique Channel. The island consists of three parallel longitudinal zones—the central plateau, the coastal strip in the east, and the zone of low plateaus and plains in the west.
Most inhabitants of Madagascar speak Malagasy, a standardized version of Merina, an Austronesian language. French is also widely spoken and is officially recognized. English is also spoken and its use has increased.
The climate is governed by the combined effects of the moisture-bearing southeast trade and northwest monsoon winds as they blow across the central plateau. The east coast has a high rainfall, reaching nearly 3,800 mm at Maroantsetra on the Bay of Antongil. As the winds cross the plateau, they lose much of their humidity, causing only drizzle and mists on the plateau itself and leaving the west in a dry rain shadow. The southwest in particular is almost desert, with the dryness aggravated by a cold offshore current. The hot, wet season extends from November to April and the cooler, drier season from May to October.
The animal life and vegetation of the island are in many respects unique. About 40 species of lemurs are indigenous to Madagascar. Several unique hedgehoglike insectivores, such as the tenrec, have evolved there, and there are also many kinds of chameleons of varying size. Birds are numerous and include guinea fowl, partridges, pigeons, herons, ibis, flamingos, egrets, cuckoos, Asian robins, and several kinds of birds of prey. There are about 800 species of butterflies, many moths, and a variety of spiders. The only large or dangerous animals are the crocodiles, which occupy the rivers. The snakes, including the do, which is 3 to 4 metres in length, are harmless.
Azure waters, endless white beaches, silent sailing dhows, wonderful hospitality, tropical islands, luxury retreats, gorgeous coral. Need we go on?
Mozambique is an excellent destination in its own right, but is even more appealling as a beach add-on to an African wildlife safari. After spending time exploring the wild interior, with early morning walks, late night camp fires and thrilling game viewing, it is marvellous to stretch out on the sands of a white beach, with a cool drink with a little umbrella, and dark glasses perched on the nose, listening to nothing but the sound of the sea.
The coastline of Mozambique offers mile upon mile of stunning sand and turquoise water, with tropical islands beckoning you to remain and relax.
With its Portuguese history, and availability of scrumptious seafood, prepare yourselves for an absolute feast when journeying through Mozambique, and get your peri-peri taste buds ready!
Out-of-this-world landscapes and panoramas make Namibia a photographer's dream destination. While not as much of a wildlife destination as other countries, Namibia makes up for this with phenomenal scenery, cultures and activities.
Namibia is a desolate and largely uninhabitable country, well-known mainly for its deserts and coastline. However, there is far more to the destination.
Namibia is home to some fascinating people, and in the right season, can provide you with some of the best game viewing on the continent.
When travelling Namibia, the distances are vast, and often you will go without seeing another vehicle, or person, for hours.
Around every bend of the road awaits another breathtaking landscape, with wide open spaces and incredible colours giving you photo opportunities at all times of day.
Below are a few of the popular areas frequented by travellers to Namibia, and they are places which will remain in your memories forever:
Rwanda - "The Land of a Thousand Hills." Combining the staggering scenery of this beautiful country with the wonderful people who call it home makes Rwanda a magical destination.
Although Rwanda's tragic history is widely known, and the country makes no effort to hide it, the country has been pulling its way back strongly into the tourism market, thanks largely to the lovely locals, astonishing scenery, and the majestic mountain gorillas which live along the slopes of the volcanoes.
With the location of the Volcanoes National Park being so close to Kigali, Rwanda is the perfect add-on to any safari itinerary in Africa, in order to complete your holiday with an exciting gorilla trek.
Travelling to Rwanda you will be blown away by the distance the country has moved in the 18 years since 1994, and are hugely excited about promoting Rwanda as more than just a gorilla trekking destination.
For a varied, diverse, exciting and fulfilling holiday, one would be hard pressed to find a country in Africa, or the world, which offers more. South Africa has it all, including wildlife, mountains, deserts, beaches, forests, numerous cultures, first world cities, untouched landscapes, casinos, amusement parks, exciting activities, excellent roads and infrastructure, off road 4 x 4 routes, fantastic food, good wine, great sports stadiums, incredible people and a triumphant history.
A land full of icons, with the names Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro and Zanzibar immediately evoking images of exotic locations and abundant wildlife. A Tanzanian safari is an experience for all of the senses, and caters for every kind of traveller.
Tanzania is a country which was seemingly designed with the word "safari" in mind. There are enough national parks and different safari activities to keep travellers coming back year on year, with the added benefit of easily combining beautiful tropical beaches with the wildlife rich plains.
A Tanzanian safari is a journey in the true sense of the word, with each itinerary feeling like an exploration out into the wilderness. Moving from park to park, either by road or air, the countryside offers something new at each stop.
The plains of the Serengeti have become synonomous with an African safari, and by visiting the right areas and camps, you will be able to see the legendary wildebeest migration as it moves across the grasslands in constant search of fresh grazing and water.
To the south of the country are the remote reserves of Selous and Ruaha, while in the west you can trek into the mountains to witness chimpanzees along the shores of the mystical Lake Tanganyika.
Uganda - The "Pearl of Africa." Uganda offers a vastly different experience from the standard safari itinerary, with lush jungles, volcanic mountains, plenty of primates, and the Nile River all creating a fabulous adventure.
Uganda has earned the well-deserved reputation of being the friendliest country in Africa, and you will be delighted by the local hospitality. While having quite a turbulent history, the people of Uganda have remained warm and welcoming.
With wonderful birdlife, a vast array of plains game, and the most extensive species list of primates, a wildlife safari in Uganda offers something special.
As asked on Uganda's Tourism website, "where else but in this uniquely lush destination can one observe lions prowling the open plains in the morning and track chimpanzees through the rainforest undergrowth the same afternoon, then the next day navigate tropical channels teeming with hippos and crocodiles before setting off into the misty mountains to enjoy viewing the unique mountain gorillas?"
A land competing with the best when it comes to wild and action packed safaris, Zambia offers a world of exploration and adventure.
While sharing the mighty Zambezi River and Victoria Falls with Zimbabwe, Zambia also has some truly wild and spectacular destinations of its own. With some magical national parks offering great wildlife experiences, Zambia has developed a name for its excellent guides, and exciting safari activities.
Accessed by air via either South Africa or Kenya, or by road from Botswana or Zimbabwe, Zambia offers full safari itineraries, or can be a great combination with other East or Southern African countries.
In general, due to the remoteness of the parks in Zambia, fly-in safaris are popular, although mobile road safaris are available. A major highlight of a Zambian safari is the isolation of many of the luxurious camps.
Zimbabwe - Making its way back into the tourist market, Zimbabwe is able to offer some incredible wilderness and exciting wildlife, along with the wonder that is Victoria Falls.
Zimbabwe's political climate and issues have been well documented through the world's media, and it is no secret that tourist numbers to the country have dropped substantially.
However, everything which made Zimbabwe one of the most popular safari destinations is still available, with operators moving back into the world famous areas of Hwange, Mana Pools, the Lower Zambezi and Lake Kariba.
Victoria Falls thunders mightily on the Zambezi River, and the canoeing and rafting experiences are as exciting as ever.
The people of Zimbabwe have always been one of the major highlights, and it is particularly pleasing that tourists are filtering through the borders again, rewarding the patience of the fantastic guides and conservation workers who have remained dedicated to Zimbabwe's wildlife areas.