2021 certainly didn’t begin as we were expecting, and it would be far too easy to become bogged down in the negativity that is constantly thrown our way; however, do not stop dreaming of the beautiful adventures that await you once the storm has cleared.
Whether you are a looking for a family holiday, that once in a lifetime honeymoon or just wanting to escape everyday life for a couple of weeks, there are some must-visit safari destinations across Africa that you should consider.
Whilst Rwanda and Uganda dominate the headlines when it comes to primate viewing, mainly for their gorilla populations, in the West of Tanzania is a beautiful lodge called Greystoke Mahale situated on the banks of Lake Tanganyika. Comprising of six thatched bandas, the camp is small, intimate and is a slice of luxury within this tropical paradise.
Here you will have an experience like no other. Apart from the crystal-clear waters of the lake that allow afternoons of boating and relaxing, the mornings are dedicated to chimp trekking. Search the surrounding forests in the hope of gaining an insight to our closest relatives where any time spent with these creatures is captivating and magical.
From Mahale, combining a safari in one of Tanzania’s iconic parks is pretty easy. Bet it the watery landscape of the Selous, the isolated and secluded Katavi or the world-famous Serengeti, no matter where you choose, the game viewing will be exceptional and the lodges beautiful.
Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
Amongst the red dunes of the Kalahari Desert, Tswalu is one of South Africa’s most luxurious lodges, and it caters for everyone. Ideally set up for families as well as couples, you are guaranteed a private vehicle for your game drives as well as your own private guide and tracker. The suites are massive and the private lounge area at the front allows for relaxation in between game drives.
Not your typical safari destination, Tswalu prides itself on its ‘elusive 5’ status. Here you will go in search of those lesser seen creatures like the pangolin and aardvark, normally on foot, which provide some incredible photographic opportunities. Whilst the elusive five are the main attraction to Tswalu, other activities such as horse riding and helicopter rides also add to the adventure. Also home to the very rare African painted Wolf (wild dog) as well as the black maned Kalahari lion, those seeking the bigger carnivores will also be satisfied.
Daily flights operate directly from Johannesburg and Cape Town meaning Tswalu can be combined with either another safari lodge or some time in the city, sampling some of Africa’s finest cuisine.
The Linyanti, Botswana
When people think of safari in Botswana, they are instantly drawn to the Okavango Delta and as a side note, many people add Chobe onto their trip. However Chobe National Park is often very busy, filled with day visitors and many boats along the waterways, and with no off-roading permitted game viewing can be limited. The Linyanti is the perfect solution for this. located to the West of Chobe it is a private Reserve run by Wilderness safari that not only offers exceptional game viewing like Chobe, but the freedom of off-roading and less rigorous rules and regulations that restrict the National Park.
Duma Tau and its sister camp Little Duma Tau are the pick of the camps here not only provide some of the best hospitality and service but opulent and lavish accommodation. The positioning of the camps allow great access to the Savuti Channel, the Linyanti Swamps and mopane woodlands which give rise to a variety of fauna and flora. Other optional activities include fishing, specialist birding walks and star beds whilst night drives and game walks are often permitted allowing you to get an all-round safari experience.
South Luangwa, Zambia
The South Luangwa in Zambia is a safari enthusiasts paradise. The off the beaten track safari on offer is hard to find elsewhere and not only are the camps beautiful, the game viewing is also some of the best on the planet.
The South Luangwa is famed for its leopard sightings which are not only very frequent but offer some amazing photographic opportunities, as does the arrival of the carmine bee-eaters. Every year these colourful birds migrate to next in the banks of the Luangwa and Zambezi Rivers and the camps’ photographic hides ensure you have a front row seat to capture some spectacular photos.
A beautiful camp here is Chikunto Safari Lodge. Owner run, the private and intimate lodge provides beautiful views across the stunning landscape as well as giving guests the opportunity to experience game drives, walking safaris and boating safaris in the search of Africa’s most iconic animals.
Lewa Conservancy, Kenya
Whilst the Masai Mara gets all the attention for a safari in Kenya, in the north of the country lies a beautiful area called Laikipia. Within Laikipia is the Lewa Conservancy, formally a cattle ranch, it is one of the greatest conservation success stories. It is now home to the highest population of black and white rhino in East Africa whilst also having the second highest game density, behind the Mara.
Whilst game drives bring about sightings of the famed big five, plus much more, it is the extra activities and flexibility of exploring the surrounding areas that make Lewa such a special destination, and great for families. Elewana’s Lewa Safari Camp can offer almost anything from camel treks, horse riding, quad bikes and micro-light flights to your standard safari game drives and walks. The possibilities are endless, and you can be sure that there will be something for everyone.
Marc Harris is Managing Director of Africa Odyssey. Africa Oydssey is run by a team of award-winning experts offering tailor-made African safari holidays.