Southern Africa, the southernmost region of the African continent, comprises of Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. And while each is magnificent in its own right, they are all quite different.
Zambia has awe-inspiring natural wonders, including Victoria Falls, an abundance of wildlife, huge bodies of water and vast open spaces, all of which make for unforgettable holidays!
Zambia is home to 17 glorious waterfalls and five massive lakes making it a very popular fly-fishing venue. You can choose an action-packed adventure-filled vacation or honeymoon with activities such as kayaking, white water rafting, bird watching or an exhilarating walking safari. If you would like a less active experience, there is always a river cruise where you can enjoy your favorite beverage at sunset while watching the wildlife at the edge of the river. I encourage you to try it all! Besides hippos and crocodiles, there are vast herds of wild game that come to quench their thirst on the great Zambezi River.
If you are into painting and conservation, you will love the Wild Horizons Elephant Sanctuary who teamed up with Art of Africa to create an eco-conscious and unique elephant experience. This is brought to life by the artistic strokes of your fingertips while surrounded by the African bush. Learn how these beautiful and gentle giants came to be adopted by this organization, followed by a delicious lunch.
Both Zambia and Zimbabwe safaris often include one of the world’s most intriguing destinations, Victoria Falls. This means that whichever of these two countries you choose as your safari destination, you will be able to include Victoria falls in your itinerary. Zimbabwe offers a large variety of scenery and has one of the African continent’s finest concentrations of wildlife, and a perfect climate with an average of seven hours of sunshine daily throughout the year. As the country with the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southern Africa, Zimbabwe’s hundreds of San Rock paintings and ancient ruins from the Iron Age satisfy even the most avid history buffs. You can enjoy incredible views from the infamous Knife-edge Bridge or walk through the rainforest that grows within the billowing spray. With so much to offer, Zimbabwe safaris are a popular choice with visitors to Africa.
This Country is a safari paradise with several options that highlight the unique destinations in ‘Old Africa’s Last Refuge’. These can include dry game drives, canoeing wet safaris, walking safaris and more. With a small human population, including some of the last remaining Bushmen, Botswana is truly a ‘wild’ safari destination.
To make the most of your time in Botswana, you can charter a private flight to take you between remote destinations. Imagine your safari kicking off with a bush pilot maneuvering the light aircraft over the vast Botswana wilderness at an altitude that allows for aerial game viewing. There is so much to experience, that we recommend guests spend at least two or three nights at distinctly different Botswana camps; each unique in design and personality and offer a variety of activities. ‘Water camps’ specialize in wildlife activities aboard boats and mekoros (canoes) and the walking safaris are also wildly popular. Whereas ‘land camps’ are geared to the pursuit of the Big Five on open 4×4 vehicles which allow you to get so close to the wildlife that you can leave your zoom lenses behind!
Namibia is a land of enduring tribes, timeless tradition, wild and ghostly coastlines littered with shipwrecks, fantastic geography and abundant wildlife.
Namibia boasts one of the greatest wildlife populations in the world including some truly unique and many rare species. In Etosha National Park, huge herds of springbok, gemsbok, zebra and blue wildebeest, as well as smaller numbers of red hartebeest, lion, cheetah and leopard gather at waterholes where they are easily spotted against the stark white background of immense salt pans. You can travel from the endless, rippling sands and towering dunes of Sossusvlei to the dolphin-filled waters at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. Then through the stark plains of Damaraland and onto the Etosha Pan. Etosha, meaning ‘Great White Place’, is made of a large mineral pan, where abundant wildlife has adapted to the wild and arid landscape. This is a truly unique African experience and not to be missed.
There are so many wildlife reserves, both private and government owned, that it can make your head spin. Choose the one that best suits your needs with the input of a travel designer and DMC familiar with the area, to help you maximize your travel spend. There are many gorgeous luxury lodges, tented camps, both luxury (if you prefer glamping) and basic, in South Africa. The Greater Kruger area includes Kruger National Park, where you can choose a self-drive experience. This is one of the premier game viewing areas in Africa. There is no shortage of exciting adventures, as this area is home to the Big Five. The magnificent scenery on the sunrise and sunset game drives in an open safari vehicle, guided by professional game rangers, will leave you mesmerized. The night drive is exhilarating, as is a walking safari. Or you can just relax at the camp overlooking the wilderness, from a pool or private deck.
Whatever your safari preference; whether lazing at the pool, spotting the animals on a game drive, camping out in the wild under the stars or enjoying the world-renowned South African wines with delicious authentic South African food… it will be an unforgettable experience.
South Africa has so much to offer! Aside from going on Safari and tracking the Big Five, you can also discover the charms and jaw dropping vistas of Cape Town, swim with the penguins or great white sharks, discover the incredible wines of Stellenbosch or experience a Cultural tour. There is truly something for everyone.
Romance in South Africa
South Africa is an ideal wedding and honeymoon destination. With luxury hotels, and a huge variety of restaurants and night spots in the cities, you are assured of endless adventures. You could have your destination wedding in Cape Town’s wine country, your honeymoon on safari and end your trip on an exotic island, just a few hours away. Maximize your time and return home with memories that will be the envy of everyone.
The lodges I recommend are & Beyond Ngala and Phinda, Singita, Thorneybush, Ulusaba by Virgin, Amakhala Woodbury Tented Camp, Londolozi, Sabi Sabi and Tswalu Kalahari Reserve. These are high end luxe lodges, but there are many other budget friendly camps that are truly wonderful and where you can also experience the adventure that is an African Safari. Here are a few: Kwafubesi Tented Safari Camp, Amakhala Woodbury Tented Camp, Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge and many more.
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It is not a question of, “should I go to Africa?” but rather, “Why haven’t I gone to Africa yet?” Safaris are a once-in-a-lifetime experience and an adventure that everyone should have! Whether you are a first-timer or seasoned safari aficionado, Africa’s spectacular wildlife legacy never fails to set the heart pumping and the cameras clicking.