South Africa has a diverse cultures, hence its nickname "The Rainbow Nation." Cape Town is one of the most exciting and sophisticated cities in the world with endless natural beauty, distinct architecture and food and wine culture. Wildlife areas are exceptional, including the world renowned Kruger National Park and neighboring private reserves with numerous lodges to choose from ranging in style from rustic to the ultimate in luxury. Johannesburg is the starting point to most safaris in this region.
Botswana is a top choice as a safari destination with its great game viewing in open vehicles, uncrowded wildlife areas and small intimate camps. The Okavango Delta is a incredible wetland within the Kalahari Desert, receiving its water from rain falling over a thousand kilometers away, and sustaining a huge diversity of plant and animal life. In the north-east, the Chobe and Linyanti Parks are renowned for their predators and large concentrations of game. Watch video.
Namibia, sparsely populated and famous for its stark beauty, has one of the most spectacular desert ecosystems on earth. Nevertheless, an astonishing amount of wildlife exists here. Attractions include Etosha National Park, Ongava Game Reserve, the Skeleton Coast, the highest sand dunes in the world at Sossusvlei, the remote and astonishingly beautiful Kunene Region, rock art and interactions with the primitive Himba people.
Zimbabwe's game viewing is exception at Hwange National Park and Mana Pools National Park. The country is exquisite with diverse wilderness areas and the breathtaking Victoria Falls, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Accommodation varies from rustic thatch-roofed lodges to luxury tented camps to the classic colonial style Victoria Falls Hotel.
Zambia is a friendly, peaceful landlocked country with a mild, pleasant climate. It has plenty to offer visitors, including safaris in open vehicles, walking and canoe safaris and a swim at the top of Victoria Falls in Devil's Pool. It is one of the least traveled and most rewarding wilderness destinations, that includes South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi and Kafue National Parks.
Mozambique's long Indian Ocean coastline is dotted with white sand beaches, baobabs, palm trees and offshore marine parks. The Quirimbas Archipelago, and the Bazaruto Archipelago farther south have reefs which protect rare marine life including dugongs. It has a tropical climate with two seasons: a wet season from October to March and a dry season from April to September.
The mast famous region in Kenya is the Maasai Mara Game Reserve and its surrounding conservancies, but the country has plenty more to offer. Laikipia conservancies offer an array of activities with views of snow-capped Mount Kenya. Meru National Park was once home to the lioness Elsa, made famous by Joy Adamson's "Born Free." Interact with the Masai people and visit the Sheldrick elephant orphanage in Nairobi.
Attractions is Tanzania are numerous and include the Ngorongoro Crater, the spice island of Zanzibar, Africa's highest mountain (Kilimanjaro), largest lake (Victoria), Tarangire National Park, Rhuaha National Park famous for its big lion population and Serengeti National Park to see the Great Migration of hundreds of thousands of animals.
Rwanda & Uganda
Rwanda's main attraction is mountain gorilla trekking in Parc National des Volcans. Akagera National Park is characterized by woodland, swamps, low mountains and savannah. The varied terrain shelters wildlife including zebras, giraffes, elephants, lions, hippo, crocodiles and hundreds of bird species, such as the rare shoebill stork. Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest offers gorilla trekking, while chimps can be seen in Kibale National Park.
Rates at safari camps and lodges are normally fully inclusive of all meals, drinks, laundry service, park fees and daily game viewing activities. Accommodation ranges from rustic safari tents to high-end luxury villas. Activities on safari revolve around game drives led by an experienced guide, normally twice daily, or a full day with a picnic lunch. Other activities include guided walking safaris, cultural visits, night drives, boating and hot air balloon safaris, but this varies from camp to camp.
African riding safaris are as adrenalin packed as they are luxurious, offering some of the most exciting game viewing on horseback and in open 4x4 safari vehicles. The horses are a variety of breeds including thoroughbreds, warmbloods and boereperde that are acclimatized to riding in wildlife areas. The horses have been individually selected for their temperament and ride-ability and are schooled to very high level in the classic English style, responding easily and lightly to the aids. They are well loved, well mannered and in excellent condition. Since you are riding in an area of dangerous game you need to be an experienced rider and may be required to gallop out of trouble! On arrival, riders will have their riding skills assessed and the facilities reserve the right to deny a rider participation on the horseback safari if they do not meet the required criteria. The weight of a rider is restricted to a maximum of 210 lbs (95 kg). If you weigh more than this you will need to enquire, but only if you are an advanced rider. Bring your own helmet, boots/chaps and suitable trousers, as they are usually not supplied. Good quality Australian stock saddles, South African McClellans and a selection of English saddles are available. Rider should be 12 years and over. Non riding friends and family are welcome and can enjoy many alternative activities such as game drives, seasonal boating, walking and fishing.