South Africa: Combine game drives with Cape Town and coastline
- Choice of excellent lodges in Big Five reserves.
- Classic safari mixed with whale-watching in Hermanus, walking on the Garden Route plus Cape Town and Winelands.
- Game drives from a single lodge makes it great for first time safari.
- Perfect for combining all that South Africa can offer.
South Africa is a favoured destination among safari lovers, and Kruger National Park is the country’s iconic safari destination, with excellent game reserves bordering the Kruger itself, as well as some private fenced reserves nearby. Although not as iconic as the Kruger, the Western Cape also offers some excellent game-viewing opportunities in a malaria-free Big Five reserve on the Garden Route, not far from Cape Town.
What to expect in Kruger National Park
The Kruger National Park is the largest national park in South Africa, almost the size of Wales, and conservation within the park is run by the South African government. There is excellent game viewing in the area, with varied and plentiful wildlife. The Kruger area offers classic safari scenery with a great variety of species, including the Big Five. Like in Botswana, there are two game drives per day, each lasting around three hours, although this can vary, with meals enjoyed at the lodge. Game drives are in open vehicles, so it can be chilly in the early mornings and evenings. On each game drive you will be accompanied by a guide and a tracker, who know their reserve well. They will observe the tracks, sounds and sights to find out where the animals are congregating. Additionally, in many reserves lodge vehicles are in constant radio contact with one another about locations of sightings, ensuring you see as much as possible.
The mornings start early, often before sunrise, with a light snack, before setting off on a morning game drive to spot numerous species of animals and birds. When possible, there is a tea and coffee break in a scenic location during the drive. You return to the lodge in time for a hearty breakfast. During the warmest part of the day, you relax and unwind at your lodge and have lunch. You then have an afternoon game drive which can stretch into the evening. Often you will enjoy a scenic sundowner drink whilst out as the sun sets, before the bush comes alive with hunting animals such as leopards and lions. After sun down, you return to the lodge for drinks and dinner, and a relaxing evening. We offer three lodge options in and around the Kruger National Park. All have a similar itinerary, although the game drives will be local to the lodges. For a comparison of the Kruger lodges we offer at Llama Travel, read this blog.
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Gondwana Game Reserve, South Africa
- Visit Cape Town, Hermanus, Oudtshoorn and the Winelands then continue to the Western Cape.
- Spot the Big Five in Gondwana, a 11,000 hectare malaria-free reserve near the Garden Route.
- Stay in a well-equipped lodge, with all meals and activities included.
What to expect in Gondwana Game Reserve
Although the Kruger is South Africa’s iconic safari destination, it is not the only option. The Western Cape is an excellent option for those who want to go on safari a convenient distance from Cape Town, in a reserve on the Garden Route. Spread over 11,000 hectares, Gondwana Game Reserve boasts a malaria-free climate and exceptional year-round game viewing. The Big Five (although leopard are rarely seen) can be found here, as well as giraffe, hippo, zebra and eland, against a backdrop of the Langeberg and Outeniqua Mountains. Gondwana has re-introduced many species in a continued conservation effort to sustain endangered animals, including the Cape mountain zebra and south-central black rhino. The 14 stand-alone suites offer the perfect place to relax, with skylights for stargazing, fireplaces, bathrubs and panoramic views of the surrounding bush. There are numerous activities on offer including cycling in the protected species section of the reserve, home to giraffe and zebra, but no predators. Facilities at the lodge are fantastic, with an infinity pool, spa and outdoor boma.
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Kenya: World-famous wildlife spectacle + great for families
- A stunning journey through Kenya's diverse landscapes in a classic safari vehicle with a maximum of six people.
- Visit multiple destinations, finishing at the Masai Mara to witness the Great Migration.
- Big Five game drives and high-quality lodges around Aberdares, Samburu and Lake Nakuru.
- Great-value holiday focusing on the variety of game in each area.
- Make the most of our 'travel in a bubble' special offer where you can have the safari vehicle to yourselves for no extra cost - perfect for families
The newest addition to Llama Travel Africa holidays, Kenya is the birthplace of safari holidays and the destination that many have on their lists after watching the iconic ‘Out of Africa’. The greatest density of game resides in the Masai Mara National Reserve on Kenya’s southern border, renowned for the wildebeest migration which happens every year between June and September.
What to expect in Kenya
On our core itinerary you travel from the elephant-filled Aberdare National Park to Samburu, where the rarer ‘Samburu special five’ species reside. Meet the world’s last two remaining northern white rhinos in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, and admire flamingo-filled lakes around the Great Rift Valley. The trip ends in the classic Masai Mara where the world-famous Great Migration takes place each year and where you can spot the Big Five, including lions, leopards and elephants. Offering more than just game drives, this fantastic adventure gives you a taste of daily life and lets you give back to the local communities too, with visits to a school, a women’s cooperative and a tea plantation.
One of the many beauties of a safari trip is that all your meals are included, so you can sit back, relax and fill up on hearty meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Each day on safari will follow a similiar pattern, with early morning and late afternoon game drives to ensure optimum wildlife-spotting opportunities, and time to relax around the lodge during the warmest part of the day. The vehicle is designed to ensure maximum wildlife-spotting opportunities, with a pop-up roof and all passengers enjoying a window seat for unobstructed views of the game. For the majority of your trip you will be in a comfortable four wheel drive vehicle with a maximum of six passengers, plus your driver who will be your guide and accompany you for the duration of the tour, looking after your every need and filling you with interesting facts and anecdotes about the animals, scenery and culture.
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Botswana: The ultimate safari in the bush
- Real adventure with the best wildlife viewing and few tourists.
- Mobile camping deep in the bush so you are surrounded by nature.
- Water-based activities in the Okavango Delta.
- Beautiful lodges in Chobe, home to the Big Five.
- Extended mobile camping safari options available for getting further into the wilderness.
If a true African safari experience is what you are after, Botswana will deliver. Sparsely populated and full of vast nature reserves, it is blessed with some of the greatest wildlife viewing in the world. Those who are up for an adventure will be rewarded with the simplicity and serenity of the mobile camping in the Okavango Delta - early mornings, abundant wildlife, relaxation around the campfire, starry night skies and a bedtime soundtrack of the bush. In Chobe National Park, you stay in beautiful lodges, with game drives and other activities offered during the day.
What to expect in Botswana
Our Botswana itinerary includes six nights camping in the Okavango Delta* (three in Moremi National Park, three in the Khwai Concession), two nights near Chobe National Park, and ends with two nights at the spectacular Victoria Falls. There is also an extended version, with three extra nights of camping in the delta.
Mornings in the bush start early. You will be up before sunrise for a simple breakfast, followed by a game viewing excursion. After the sun is up you will stop in a picturesque spot for a tea break, later returning to camp for an early lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free to read or relax. In the late afternoon you head out for a second game drive, returning to camp for a simple but tasty three-course meal, enjoyed under the stars with the fire crackling in the background. On the fourth day of the safari you take a full day game drive through the park to the second camp.
After camping in the Okavango Delta, you stay for two nights in a lodge in Kasane, a small town spread along the banks of the Chobe River, forming the gateway to Chobe National Park. As there are no boundary fences, game such as elephant and hippo can be spotted around the hotels. The optional Chobe Wildlife excursion starts with a game drive to spot Chobe’s spectacular elephant population and other game including lion, leopard, giraffe, buffalo and a variety of antelope. Part two of the excursion is an afternoon game viewing boat ride on the Chobe River, with the chance to spot large pods of hippos as well as some of the biggest crocodiles in Africa, and other game along the river banks. If you stay at Chobe Bakwena Lodge, all excursions are included.
*A mobile tented safari is an adventurous way of experiencing the Okavango Delta. With a maximum of seven guests, you will be well looked-after by a guide, chef and up to two general staff. The camp consists of a campfire area for guests, a covered dining area with a table and chairs, and open sides, and individual sleeping tents. Safari tents are thick canvas with mesh windows and doors which can be left open to let in a breeze, or zipped closed with canvas to keep out the cold. There is no air conditioning or fan so tents can get hot during the day. There are single camp beds inside and a small shaded porch with foldable camp chairs. There is a private bathroom area with a bucket shower and pit toilet. Single, twin and family tents are available. There is no phone signal or WiFi when camping. The camps are not fenced, so wild animals can wander through camp, so you should not leave your tent after lights out.
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Nambia: Incredible wildlife in dramatic landscapes
- A proper African road trip through the incredible scenery of the Kalahari, the world's highest dunes and the desert coast.
- Fantastic wildlife and otherworldly landscapes in one of the world's most sparsely populated countries.
- Three nights in Etosha, home to lions, leopards, elephants and rhinos.
Although different from the classic experience, Namibia also offers some great safari opportunities. The two-week overland trip takes you through the Kalahari Desert where you can spot desert-adapted wildlife whilst enjoying a sundowner, to Sossusvlei where you climb the world's highest sand dunes and walk amongst ancient trees. Continue to the coastline for a marine boat trip with chances of spotting dolphins, whales, pelicans and seals, go rhino-tracking on foot in the rugged wilderness of Damaraland then continue to Etosha National Park, home to four of the Big Five (there are no buffalo) and numerous other species of game.
What to expect in Etosha National Park
Named after the Etosha Salt Pan, so large it can be seen from space, Etosha National Park offers excellent game viewing in a unique setting. The arid nature of the desert provides a striking backdrop for a safari, and the limited water sources mean that animals congregate around waterholes, making good sightings almost a given. Popular activities include game drives, guided nature walks and watching the sunset over this magnificent landscape. The game drive in southern Etosha is done in a tour vehicle with a maximum of 17 other passengers. The benefit of this is that you are protected from the heat and dust, although views are slightly obstructed and you won’t have a wildlife spotter. After having spent a night in southern Etosha, you will spend a full day driving through the park to reach the eastern part. Here, there is an optional open vehicle game drive which gives a more classic safari experience as you will be in an open safari vehicle rather than the usual tour vehicle. The lodges in Etosha are full of character, with plenty of facilities and areas to relax in-between activities.
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Victoria Falls: A Natural Wonder of the World
- Visit the mighty falls in the heart of Africa at the end of your trip.
- Included on all Botswana holidays or optional extension from Namibia or South Africa.
- Take a guided tour of the falls and sunset Zambezi cruise.
- Enjoy game drives in Chobe in Botswana, home to the world’s largest elephant population.
- Combine wildlife-viewing with a Natural Wonder of the World.
If your Africa holiday doesn’t include a safari but you still want a taste of it, the Victoria Falls extension is a great option, with an optional daytrip into Botswana’s Chobe National Park.
What to expect in Victoria Falls
While the falls themselves are the main attraction of the Victoria Falls extension, there is also excellent wildlife viewing in the area, whether it is from a boat on the Zambezi Sunset Cruise, or on a day trip to the Chobe National Park in Botswana, about 90 minutes from Victoria Falls. This two-part excursion to starts with a morning boat ride cruising along the Chobe river, with excellent game viewing opportunities including some of the biggest crocodiles in Africa and large pods of hippo. After lunch, take a game drive to view the large herds of elephant (up to 85,000 during the dry season), as well as to look for lion, leopard, buffalo, antelope, hippo and crocodile, before being transferred back across the border to Victoria Falls.
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Still undecided on which safari option is the best for you? Read our blog to find out what to expect on a typical day on safari.
Browse all our Africa holidays here and call one of our safari experts on 020 7263 3000 when you're ready to start planning your once-in-a-lifetime adventure.