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Our Top African Safari Tour Picks For 2017

Are you planning a trip to Africa and not sure how to join the dots or how to choose a safari perfect for you? We thought we’d outline some of our best African Safaris and tell you why we like them and why our clients give these particular tours 5 star reviews every time. Over the 20 years that we have been putting trips together for our predominantly American clientele, we have gotten a feel for what works and what doesn’t, which destinations pair well and how to coordinate the smoothest logistics. We pride ourselves on providing seamless transfers between hotels and safari lodges, assigning the best local guides to you and designing your itinerary so that each location and experience surpasses the one the day before.

Our most popular African safari tours tick a range of experiences: multi-generational families will love our sought-after South African and Namibian tours, whilst honeymooning couples and romantics will adore our blissful ‘bush and beach’ combinations. They also feature some of Africa’s most iconic destinations from Cape Town (voted one of the most beautiful cities in the world) to wilderness areas teeming with animals such as the Kruger National Park, the Serengeti and the Masai Mara, as well as the stark desert beauty of Namibia and remote and exclusive corners of Botswana and the iconic Victoria Falls.

On safari in one of Africa’s most iconic destinations – Tanzania’s breathtaking Serengeti

Here are a few of our best African safari tours for 2017, as rated by our clients and top consultants:

Family Safari Tour

More and more multi-generational families (one of our top travel trends for 2017) are travelling together to Africa where they are guaranteed beautiful sunshine, raw nature, warm local hospitality and quality time together around a crackling boma fire under the African stars away from all the modern day electronic distraction. The best tours for 2017 also need to tick as many bucket list experiences as possible, including a range of activities to suit all ages – from grandparents who will want access to luxury and downtime in a lodge with great views to busy kids who need constant stimulation.

This is one of our top rated tours that we would be ideally suited for families or a small group of friends travelling together:

Botswana & Zimbabwe Family Safari Tour

  • 3 nights on safari in the Okavango Delta staying at Khwai Tented Camp in a family tent.
  • 3 nights on safari in the Chobe region staying at Linyanti Ebony Camp in a family tent.
  • 2 nights on safari at Victoria Falls staying at Elephant Camp situated on the Zimbabwean side of the Falls
  • 3 nights on safari in Hwange National Park staying at Somalisa Acacia Camp in a family unit.

With Botswana becoming more expensive these days, we are finding great value in destinations like Zimbabwe and Namibia. Safari travel to Zimbabwe is on the up and we are seeing more camps opening in stunning locations as well as established safari lodges being refreshed. In general Zimbabwe is making a big effort to get back onto the safari tour circuit for 2017. The opening of the international airport at Victoria Falls has certainly attracted more interest to the region by making it more accessible for international flights. For example Emirates flies directly into Victoria Falls. So be sure to consider putting Zimbabwe on your bucket list for 2017.

Zimbabwe is ideal for doing exciting activities such as canoeing on the Zambezi and getting up close to the animals Victoria Falls Elephant Camp ZimbabweCombining Botswana with a visit to Zimbabwe’s Elephant Camp offers both great value for money in a stunning location set in close proximity to the Falls

Honeymoon Safari Tour

Honeymooning in Africa is still popular. Besides the wide range of wild luxury safari lodges and boutique hotels, there is also great value especially when it comes to wining and dining, the generous proportions of honeymoon suites and the added complimentary extras. The locals love to spoil romantic couples and celebrate LOVE in so many fun colourful African ways. There’s adventure to be had too, animals to encounter, bucket list items to check off plus loads of stunning sunset selfie photo opportunities!

Most weddings in the Northern Hemisphere take place in May/ June and this coincides perfectly with the best time to go on safari (June to July and August).

A top-rated honeymoon safari would look something like this:

Cape Town/ Winelands/ Kruger National Park/ Mozambique 

  • 3 nights in Cape Town staying at Kensington Place Boutique Hotel.
  • 2 nights in the Cape Winelands staying at the culinary epicentre of Franschhoek, Le Quartier Français.
  • 4 nights on safari in the Kruger National Park staying at Tinga Safari Lodge (with one surprise night in a luxury treehouse).
  • 4 nights in Mozambique for the ultimate island getaway staying at andBeyond Benguerra Lodge

One of our senior consultants at African Safaris, Camille Rowe, recommends this tour saying ‘it’s the perfect honeymoon as it starts in sexy Cape Town where there is so much to see and do, even in the cooler winter months. Kensington Palace is a chic, romantic boutique hotel at the foot of Table Mountain, close to lots of trendy cafes and the best restaurants. Two nights in the Cape Winelands is a ‘nice to have’ if the couple has enough time on their hands and especially if they are fine wine lovers! Le Quartier Francais is an eclectic blend of quirky style and award winning gourmet cuisine. Tinga is great for honeymooners with river-frontage suites where you can watch the animals wander past from the privacy of your own deck. A definite highlight is to spend one night in one of the amazingly kitted out Lion Sands Treehouses – a thrilling and romantic sleep-out under the stars. If you are the groom or bride reading this we suggest booking it as a surprise! And to top off a honeymoon made in heaven, there is nothing nicer than (after all the exciting safari action) chilling on the beach or snorkelling, diving and sailing in a traditional dhow.’

Africa is the ideal honeymoon destination and your first port of call should be one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Cape Town Benguerra Island MozambiqueTop off your dream honeymoon by staying in Mozambique’s Benguerra Lodge for sheer island getaway bliss

Self-Drive Safari Tour

Namibia is one of the most re-visited destinations in Southern Africa. First time travellers typically only spend a few days in Namibia and then make plans to return as soon as they discover how much more there is to see!

Flying from region to region is of course the best way to see Namibia as the distances between highlight destinations such as Sossusvlei and Etosha National Park and Damaraland are vast. But if travellers have time, then a self-drive tour through Namibia is excellent value. There are more and more quality lodges being opened, the tourism infrastructure has matured nicely, the Namibian Dollar is pegged to the South African Rand, and therefore not very strong, there are so many unexpectedly fascinating aspects to Namibia in terms of wildlife, dramatic landscapes, plant life and culture.

This is one of our recommended self-drive tours through Namibia for 2017:

Namibia Self-Drive Safari Tour

  • 1 night Galton House, breakfast
  • 2 night Frans Indongo, DBB
  • 2 nights Mokuti, DBB
  • 1 night Andersson’s, DBB
  • 2 nights Camp Kipwe, FB and 1 activity
  • 2 nights Strand Hotel, BB
  • Tour in Swakopmund
  • 2 nights Desert Homestead Outpost, DBB, a tour of Sossusvlei and a sunset drive or horse ride
  • 1 night Bagatelle, DBB and sunset drive
  • Rental of a VW Amarok with premium insurance and unlimited milage.
  • Approximate Cost: $4240 per person

Camp KipweCamp Kipwe is the perfect self-drive destination in Damaraland and offers visitors a glimpse into Namibia’s stark beauty and endless expanse Sossusvlei DunesSossusvlei is one of Namibia’s most spectacular attractions and features the world’s highest sand dunes in incredible shades of red

Even though we tailor each trip to our customer’s wishes and tastes, it’s worth having a look at our Top 10 Safari Tours and iconic destination combinations that are tried and tested and have gotten good reviews. These itineraries have been chosen by our expert safari planners and our customers, are good value as well as a great source of ideas.

We feature the tours that combine popular regions such as Cape Town and the Kruger National Park or Victoria Falls and Botswana, and that have been designed to suit either honeymooners or an active multi-generational family. We have designed itineraries that showcase the best of Namibia by air as well as South Africa by luxury train. We generally include private guiding, transfers and local flights, but you can choose to self-drive between destinations like the Garden Route and the Winelands.

Our Top selling tours offer inspiration and ideas as to how to combine bucket list places like the Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti and Zanzibar. As well as provide insight into how to go Gorilla Trekking, when to see the Great Migration, and how to combine a walking safari in Zambia with time on the beach in Mozambique. Browse these tours, make contact, and one of our expert consultants will put together the perfect Africa trip including flights, transfers and all the nitty bitty details.

Masai Mara Migration photo credit Tatra Photography newOne of our top selling African tours is a visit to the Masai Mara for the sheer natural spectacle that is the Great Migration (Photo Credit and Copyright: Tatra Photography)

A combination of destinations like Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Namibia is great for getting a taste of authentic Africa and where one can mix lots of fun and educational adventure activities with amazing landscapes, thrilling wildlife encounters and excellent hosting by local guides.

Victoria Falls from Zimbabwe sideZimbabwe with its landmark waterfall as well as prime game reserves  is amongst 2017’s top destinations

We like to create itineraries based on our client’s bucket list wishes, comfort requirements, energy levels, travel dates and of course budget. We don’t put together ‘do it yourself camping trips’ I’m afraid, quite the opposite … we are very skilled at designing programmes that include quality safari camps and lodges that we have visited ourselves, that introduce you to interesting local people, include fantastic wildlife experiences, that will WOW you and make you want to take a thousand photographs and provide you with life long special memories of unique once-in-a-lifetime moments together in Africa.

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