From tented camps to luxury lodges, whether to self-drive or take a tour? Should you incorporate a safari with a holiday to South Africa or add on a week at the beach? There are so many different options to choose from when booking a African Safari holiday, check out my favourites.
When I went on my first African safari it was like nothing I had ever experienced before. I know this may sound like a cliché but it was really more of a life experience than a holiday. We loved it so much that we booked a safari in Tanzania for the following year. Nothing compares to seeing wild animals in the African savanna, where you are the guest in their home. There are so many different safari experiences available and each one has a unique landscape, some with rivers, mountains and thick vegetation, while others will have wide open plains. The experience you have with each one is completely different and that is why many choose to try two or three different safari options within one holiday. Remember it is going to be a trip of a lifetime so make sure you do it right. Go in a 4×4 and not a small mini-bus, ensure you have a window seat for optimum viewing and at some stage opt for a tented camp or eco lodge to give the most authentic experience.
I have teamed up with Tropical Sky, who offer a wide selection of African Safari holidays. All prices include flights, accommodation and transfers or car hire. Safaris include two game drives per day and all meals. Here are some of my favourite African Safaris, hopefully there will be one here to suit you 🙂
Luxury Cape Town, Winelands & Five Star Safari, Self Drive, 10 Nights €4799
A South African safari is one of the most popular for Irish holidaymakers. It was where I was introduced to it and is ideal for first timers. Of course it is not just the safari that attracts people to South Africa. During this luxury self drive holiday you will encounter many highlights, including a four night stay in Cape Town. Climb to the top of Table Mountain, drive out to the Cape of Good Hope or spend a day in Robben Island. Evening times can be spent along the cosmopolitan waterfront or at some of the trendy bars and restaurants in Camps Bay.
After an action packed four days you will go to Stellenbosch for a three night stay in the Winelands, before finishing off your holiday at the five star Shamwari Game Reserve. This has been voted the World’s Leading Safari and Game Reserve and Conservation Company for many years. Enjoy two game drives per day searching for the Big Five, (lions, leopards, elephants, rhino and buffalo) and stay in luxurious accommodation in an authentic African setting, with all meals included. As this is situated on the Eastern Cape, it is malaria free, so there is no need to take malaria tablets before you travel. The icing on the cake is that there are are no lengthy bus journeys back to the airport, as you will fly home from Port Elizabeth.
Cape Town, Garden Route & Luxury Kruger Safari, Self-Drive, 11 Nights, €2879
Another South African classic, this time incorporating the Garden Route and Kruger National Park. Start your holiday with a three night stay in Cape Town before overnighting in the wine town of Montagu. Stays in Oudtshoorn, Kynsna and St Francis will ensure an action packed few days, seeing the highlights of the Garden Route. Drive as far as Port Elizabeth where you will return your car and fly to Hoedspruit. You will be met at the airport and transferred to Thornybush Private Game Reserve. Another one of South Africa’s finest, you will be staying in a luxury tent for three nights and will experience a truly authentic African safari. You will have the opportunity to spot the Big Five from your open top safari vehicle and enjoy tasty African meals which are included the price of your stay.
Magical Kenya Safari, 4 x 4 Safari, Full Board, 7 Nights €2299
The Magical seven night Kenya Safari departs every Thursday and is one for the purists. There is a maximum number of seven passengers on each safari and you will visit the Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru, Samburu and Aberdare National Parks. You are guaranteed a window seat in the 4×4 vehicle and if travelling as a family, you are able to pay a supplement to book a private vehicle.
After a quick overnight in Nairobi you will drive North to Samburu National Reserve where you will spend two nights. The Ewaso Ngiro River here attracts elephants, zebras, giraffes and lions in large numbers. You will then drive to Aberdare National park where you will stay in the Ark Tree Lodge. There is a waterhole beside the hotel where animals come at night time; you will no doubt be viewing wildlife into the small hours. Your next stop is Lake Nakuru National Park where you will overnight. Expect to see white rhinos, lions, leopards, hippos and the endangered Rothschild’s giraffes. Your last two nights will be spent in the Masai Mara National Game Reserve, where you will overnight in Keekorok Lodge. This world famous reserve is not only home to incredible wildlife but you will also have the opportunity to see the Masai villages, a sight that is worth a trip to Kenya alone. You will then drive back to Nairobi where you can return home, or choose to extend your stay in Mombasa, Zanzibar or even Mauritius.
Taste of Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar, 12 Nights, €3349
Safaris in Tanzania are so diverse. From the wide open plains of the Serengeti to the natural wonder of Ngorongoro Crater, it has been almost 20 years since I visited, but it is a holiday experience I will never forget. For anyone who has been following me, you will know that my safari in Tanzania was the best holiday experience I have ever had. This once in a lifetime trip combines the Taste of Tanzania tour with a stay in the paradise island of Zanzibar. Your holiday will include over-night stays in Ngorongoro Conservation area and the Serengeti National Park, as well as a game drive through Lake Manyara, in search of the iconic tree-climbing lions that frequent there.
You will have picnics in the bush and stay in unique accommodation. You can opt for luxury tented camps which offer a more immersive experience or luxury lodges with stunning views. After your five night safari tour you will be flown to Zanzibar for a seven night stay in the luxurious Dream of Zanzibar resort. Chill out on the beach, scuba dive in the Indian Ocean or explore the sights and sounds of StoneTown.
The above are just a small sample of the African safari holidays that Tropical Sky feature. They can add on stays in cities, at the beach or even combine safaris in South Africa, Namibia or Botswana. Call Tropical Sky on 01 6649999 or click here for more details.