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Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa South African Tourist Board

Africa is the continent that immediately springs to mind when looking for a safari, and the sheer diversity of terrain, wildlife and safari options makes an African safari one of the most memorable holidays you will ever take. Hearing lions roar through the night and seeing them up close is an experience you will not forget!

Across the continent the wildlife, landscapes and holiday choices vary immensely. A safari can be combined with walking and trekking, culture and sightseeing or a relaxing beach holiday. There is a safari experience for all budgets and expectations, from an inexpensive group trip to a tailor-made luxury camping holiday with a private driver-guide. Below is a snapshot of sub-Saharan Africa’s most popular destinations.

 

Kenya

Sitting across the equator, Kenya was the original safari destination and is still an ideal choice for your first safari. There is a good chance of seeing the Big 5 – lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo and to witness the Great Migration between July and October. A two-week holiday allows time to go on safari in the Masai Mara and combine it with a visit to the flamingo-filled lakes of the Rift Valley, the lush coffee plantations surrounding Mt Kenya or the palm fringed beaches of the Indian Ocean.

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Tanzania

A safari across the vast plains of the Serengeti and through the natural amphitheatre of the Ngorongoro Crater is a truly magical experience. For those who have time, the less visited reserves of the south open up even more special wildlife experiences. Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak is a tough, challenging trek. If you prefer relaxing after your safari the long sandy beaches of the spice island of Zanzibar await.

South Africa

There really is something for everyone in South Africa. Get up close to big game in Kruger National Park, and visit the Zulu Battlefields in Natal. Walk in the magnificent Drakensburg Mountain Range and enjoy the lovely scenery and beautiful beaches of the Garden Route. Wine and dine in the vineyards around cosmopolitan Cape Town and absorb the sublime views of the city from Table Mountain. Car hire is readily available and some of the world’s most luxurious trains journey through South Africa. 

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Namibia

It is the vast blue skies and the open landscapes that draw visitors to this unique area of southern Africa. The country straddles the Namib and Kalahari Deserts, and the dramatic red sands of Namibia stretch along the Atlantic Coast forming some of the largest sand dunes in the world. At Etosha National Park you can view the wildlife attracted to its waterholes, see ancient rock-art and meet the traditional Himba people. This is a great destination for a self-drive holiday.

Botswana and Zambia

A wildlife safari across these two countries falls into the high-end category, but they boast some of the most luxurious camps in Africa. Zambia is well known for its excellent and adventurous ‘walking safaris’ and of course the magnificent Victoria Falls. Explore the Okavango Delta of Botswana by mekoro (traditional canoe), spotting wildlife up close as you glide silently through the water. Take to the water again on a boat journey along the Chobe River to see vast herds of elephant.

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Uganda and Rwanda

Travel to this region of Africa to see the Mountain Gorilla in its natural environment. The trek to their mountain home can be tough, but this is a truly special experience and a privilege for those who see the gorillas. They can be seen in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest and Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park. Uganda is also home to large populations of Chimpanzees, so if you love primates and mountain scenery the natural beauty of this region is magical.

Ethiopia

Secluded and remote Ethiopia is unique and very distinct from neighboring African countries. It is renowned for the famous rock cut churches at Lalibela and its associations with the Queen of Sheba and the Ark of the Covenant. The landscape of the Ethiopian Highlands is some of the most breathtaking in the African continent. Take a memorable journey from the famous open market at Addis Ababa, via the Blue Nile and the castles of King Fasilidas and into the breathtakingly beautiful Simien Mountains.

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