There is doubt that Africa dominates as a tourist destination. Drawing in travellers, adventurers and holiday makers from across the globe she has a well earned reputation for hospitality, comfort and adventure. However, whatever your individual taste, be it the beautiful cultures, art, music and food, the glorious weather or the majestic scenery that this vast continent abundantly provides, it is her wild spirit that calls to many of us.
Be it on land, under the sea, or even in the air, below we offer some considerations for the discerning traveller looking to catch some of those spellbinding African wilds.
#1.Papyrus Guest House Entebbe.The perfect introduction to Ugandan Hospitality. Uganda.
Airy, spacious and making full use of the Ugandan aesthetic, Papyrus Guest House Entebbe was the second lodge to be opened by Lydia Nandudu and the late Robert Briery as part of the Nkuringo Safari portfolio. Purpose built as a half way point between the Entebbe International Airport and the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the guesthouse serves as a perfect break for travellers who have just arrived at the airport and need some chill-time and a good night’s sleep before starting their primary adventure.
The fourteen rooms are divided into two categories, five are the standard rooms in the main-house and nine are on the garden. The lodge is designed and decorated with a classic safari touch while adopting the modern contemporary feel in the interiors. Each room is beautifully decorated using local Ugandan art and other antiques that have been collected from various parts of Africa.
#2. JorAfrica. Providing the best night sleep after a great safari. Kenya and Tanzania.
Accommodation comes in many different styles and flavours. For some people the chance to sleep in a safari tent is just too authentic to turn down, and for them, falling asleep to the sound of all the night creatures awakening at the departure of the sun is a lullaby.
For others, lodges and hotels are what they want. Seeking the comforts of four solid walls and windows between them and the outside world. While guests’ tastes may differ all of the places where JorAfrica clients lay their heads have a few things in common. They get the best night’s sleep possible after an amazing safari.
#3. Serengeti Balloon Safaris. Keeping Up Appearances. Tanzania.
As recognisable a sight against the Serengeti horizon as Mt. Kilimanjaro herself, the gold and green stripes of Serengeti Balloon Safaris, have become synonymous with boutique experiences. What better way to see the sunrise over the Serengeti than in the air above it all? In a recent article we caught up with the pioneers of the field and the very man who has written the book on balloon safaris in the Serengeti. Managing Director of Serengeti Balloon Safaris, John Corse.
Since the company was founded in 1989 to offer something out of the ordinary for the discerning traveller, over a quarter of a million visitors to Africa have had the privilege of seeing the sunrise over the wild savannah from the air. Serengeti Balloon Safaris have always been ahead, and above, the curve when it comes to providing truly unforgettable memories and experiences to visitors to the wilds of Africa.
Adventure is a part of a safari and having a touch of unpredictability is an amazing galvaniser to turn a good experience into a great one. One of the magical aspects of going in a balloon is that while the pilots have the experience to follow the nuances of the weather conditions, they can’t steer it. The pilot can control the altitude, and using this to splendid affect, to some degree control the overall direction but there is a certain amount of random-chance-adventure.
#4. Indigo Safaris. Under the stars or under the sea. Africa and the globe.
Founder of Indigo Safaris, Christopher Bartlett has been very busy. He spent a couple of weeks in Dominica with clients, swimming with Sperm whales. Then a week in St Eustatius checking out the diving. Earlier on, Director of Product and Sales, Ines Moosmann ,went on an eleven-night luxury camp and lodge inspection in Northern Tanzania.
Easily one of the busiest teams in the safari sector, Christopher and Ines believe that to offer truly authentic experiences it is best to experience them yourself first. And, as any avid adventurer would understand, this kind of active research and development into their trade is something they take very, very seriously and has given their tours a flavour that is uniquely their own.
In the sea, these include underwater photography trips to the sort of natural events that most people can only dream of seeing up close. Such as the manta mating season at Hanifaru Bay in the Maldives and the Humphead parrotfish spawning in Palau. And, not to be left out, In St Helena the opportunity to witness the only adult Whale shark aggregation in the world, where these mysterious and gorgeous giants of the ocean gather en masse.
#5. SafariDeal. Feeding the travel hungry appetites of the savvy safari adventurer. Africa and beyond.
Having brought together the cream of safaris, operators and locations from around the globe, SafariDeal’s founder and managing director Robin Cormack is confident with what 2022 has brewing for travel. Anticipating huge growth for this wild industry, he believes the future lies with the stamina of individual operators to take accountability and evolve.
OLD SAFARI TASTES
As SafariDeal specialise in supplying the savvy traveller of today with the finest businesses in the sector to book their trips, Robin and his team spend their time at the bleeding edge of the market. Thanks to this, he has seen what is becoming a predominant behaviour of first time and regular safari goers.
“People are seeking more content for their tours,” he explains, “More engagement, more experience and this has put a lot of pressure on many old-template safaris to evolve quickly and adapt their thinking.”
# 6. Founders Lodge by Mantis. South Africa.
Founders Lodge offers one of the best locations to see Africa’s Big Five and was founded by Adrian Gardiner in October 2016. The story begins with the Shamwari Game Reserve which he founded previously in the Eastern Cape. It was then that he discovered that the region was once teeming with wildlife and it became his vision to restore a vast tract of farmland to its former glory. With this in mind he successfully re-wilded this part of the Eastern Cape and brought explorers and discoverers from all over the world to enjoy luxury accommodation and intimate encounters with nature.
#7. Green World Safaris. Sustainable Eco-Safaris. Tanzania.
Green World Safaris combines wild life and natural landscape of Uganda, Rwanda and the DR Congo with the many cultures and communities living there. These amazing and unique safaris cater for all travellers including families, solo travellers, groups and volunteers and can be tailor-made or traditional depending on the needs and budget of the visitor.
The length of each safari depends on the client’s time and budget, but there is no actual limit. As an eco-tour operator, how their tours and safaris impact the environment is an important factor and clients can be confident that all the tours will follow an appropriate course.
There are a host of safari lodges where visitors will be able to stay as part of their tour and these destinations are carefully chosen by Green World Safari for their values and their standards of hospitality. Irrespective of the budget available, guests must feel comfortable and looked after.
#8. Hello Tanzania. Tanzania.
During an unrelated business trip to Tanzania in 2008, safari founder Sylwia Boniecka fell in love with the East African nation and decided that it was going to play a large part in the rest of her life. Prior to starting her safari company Hello Tanzania in 2010, she spent two years living in the country herself. During this time, she immersed herself in the local culture, spent time in the Shynjanga region and opened herself up to the vivid variety of life and beauty to be found there.
Authenticity in all things is important to Sylwia. So, she only works with born and raised African guides who know the language of the land both spoken by the people and the animals and whispered by the wind. Their tours bring people up close to wildlife, immerse them in local cultures and traditions and shares the secrets of East Africa.
Safari times span one day to two weeks and clients are brought as close to nature as possible while ensuring their safety and comfort. Their guides and their hospitality partners are selected for their reliability and standards. The tents and lodges are comfortable and provide a rich African atmosphere and aesthetics. Ensuring a perfect balance to the busy days of exploring.
#9. LEMALA NANYUKIE . Magnificently sublime
There is a very good chance you’ve never experienced anything like Lemala Nanyukie. It has been my experience that people who travel to Africa, do so because they yearn for adventure, long for excitement beyond their control and most importantly because they want to be moved.
Not everyone is a gadabout, who will throw themselves into adventures at a drop of a hat and happily sleep rough to the chance to see a unique sunrise. Instead, many of us want to have the best of everything. We want to see the magnificent and the sublime but at the same time we also want to know that we have somewhere comfortable to lay our heads and maybe juuuust the right amount of luxury.
#10. African Traits. Three Safari Essentials. Tanzania.
According to Godfrey Willy, founder of African Traits and a native Tanzanian, a great safari is comprised of three main parts. This trio of crucial elements form the foundation of his business which he created to support his local community and share the beauty of his home to those seeking that special “something else” in their holidays. Professionalism. Destination and Timing. Accommodation and comfortable vehicles.
Photography plays a large part in today’s travel world. Shareable images drive interest to new locations and there is the constant push for those elusive “one of a kind shots”. Whether you’re a professional or amateur photographer, a social media influencer or just want to have something uniquely yours to hang on your wall, a photography safari may be for you.
African Traits make use of special vehicles for photography tours that have been designed with photographers in mind. This is also backed up by experience and the abovementioned intuitive understanding of where to go to get those perfect shots.