Safari travel guide

Winner Best Safari, wildlife and nature holiday company

Best Safari, wildlife and nature holiday company


Tips & advice on planning your Africa safari holiday

There are many ways to discover Africa’s wildlife – from taster experiences to off-the-beaten track wilderness adventures, no two safaris are the same. Choosing your safari holiday can seem overwhelming at first, but deciding how, where and when to safari shouldn’t be a chore. We’ve been creating tailor-made safaris for over 40 years so we can help you answer the all-important questions, like what a typical day on safari is like, how long you need to go on safari, or what the difference is between a national park and a conservancy. We can also introduce you to the best family-friendly lodges and some of the most luxurious camps on Earth.

We’ve covered the main things to think about in our safari travel guide below. If you need more, just pick up the phone or pop an email over to one of our safari experts; they’ll be happy to help plan the safari holiday that’s right for you.

Safari types

4x4 Safaris

See more of East Africa on a 4x4 safari. Mileages are quite long and road conditions can be poor on occasion, but you’ll get to see much more of your chosen destination and the wildlife viewing is unforgettable.

On our private 4x4 safaris, you’ll have your own vehicle with driver/guide, who will be with you throughout your safari adventure. It’s a great option for groups of friends or families travelling together. Even on our scheduled small group safaris we only allocate a maximum of 6 people per vehicle, ensuring that everyone gets a window seat for excellent wildlife viewing.


Fly-in safaris

Opting for a light aircraft fly-in safari rather than driving overland means that you'll be travelling in style, following in the footsteps of the early safari adventurers from the 1920s – the golden age of African aviation. This scenic way to travel between destinations offers a bird’s eye view of the national parks below, and reduced travelling times leave more time for wildlife viewing or relaxing in your luxury accommodation. In some destinations – like southern Tanzania where it’s too remote to travel to by road, or Botswana, where much of the region is surrounded by water – a light aircraft is the easiest way to get around.

Light aircraft flights land at airstrips right in the heart of the national parks and you’ll spot wildlife from the outset. At your chosen camps or lodges, you’ll then head out on wildlife viewing adventures in 4x4s, river boats or traditional mokoro canoes accompanied by expert guides and trackers.


Escorted small group safaris

We’re experts in tailor making itineraries, but we know that some of our guests may prefer travelling with a like-minded group on a scheduled itinerary. If you’re looking for a more sociable Africa experience, we operate a range of small group safaris throughout East Africa.

Our small group safaris offer a relaxed experience with insightful local driver/guides and quality accommodation. We use vehicles exclusively for Kuoni guests with a maximum of six passengers, all guaranteed a window seat. On our small group safaris, guide tips and park fees are included, as well as meals where most convenient.

We hand-pick each part to include everything you need to get the most out of a destination and extra touches you may not expect. And all of our advertised departures are guaranteed, no matter how early you book.


Tented camp safaris

Tented camps in Africa range from rustic and comfortable semi-permanent camps to the most luxurious tented suites. There’s something romantic about sleeping under canvas, being at one with nature, dining by candle-light under the stars and being lulled to sleep by the sounds of the wild. Many of our tented camps are unfenced and so close to the action that you might even spot an elephant passing through the grounds (guards are on hand to escort you after dark!).

While a tented camp never lets you forget that you are in the wild, there’s nothing primitive about our chosen tented accommodation. Some of the tents here can only be described as five-star hotel rooms under canvas. Many of our featured camps are intimate and exclusive, offering an authentic ‘Out of Africa’ experience and a throwback to the classic safaris of the 1920s.


Tips & advice

Getting there

You can easily reach East Africa with daily flights to Nairobi and Kilimanjaro airports, where most guests will stay for a night ahead of their safari. East Africa’s national parks and reserves are then just an adventurous drive or light aircraft flight away. In South Africa, there are direct daily flights to Cape Town and Johannesburg. Southern Africa’s safari regions are then just a short flight away, with connections to Kruger, the Eastern Cape, Victoria Falls and Botswana.

Getting around

Your main decision is whether to travel by road on an overland safari or by air on a fly-in safari. Overland safaris are great value, and while distances can be long and road conditions can be poor, you’ll get to see more of a country and soak up the scenery. To travel in style, opt for a fly-in safari. Flying in a light aircraft also reduces travelling times, allowing for more time to relax at your luxury camps.

How long do I need?

This depends on whether you’re looking for a taster safari experience followed by time exploring a city or relaxing on the beach, or a more extensive wildlife-viewing adventure. Two to three nights in each of your chosen national parks or reserves is ideal, with a little longer in ‘destination camps’ such as Bushtops or Governors’ camps, or if you simply want a more leisurely pace. With so much variety in Southern Africa, we recommend focusing on smaller areas and giving yourself time to really explore each destination.

Where to stay

Our hand-picked accommodation ranges from comfortable lodges to the most luxurious camps under canvas. Think about whether you’d like the at-one-with-nature aspect of a tented camp or would prefer a more conventional lodge; whether you want to be inside the national parks or in neighbouring conservancies. For families, choosing the right accommodation is really important – our Safari Experts can help you choose lodges that are suitable for all the family.

National Parks v conservancies

The big-name National Parks and reserves deservedly attract the most attention − they are the most easily accessible and often have the widest variety of wildlife and accommodation. But there are great benefits to staying in private reserves and conservancies outside the parks. They’re quieter, and as activities aren’t constrained by park guidelines, night drives and walking safaris may be possible.

Get the most out of your safari

Good walking shoes and socks are a must. Neutral colours (greens, beiges, greys) are best, with long-sleeved t-shirts to protect you from mosquitos and the sun, and a swimsuit if your lodge has a pool. Also bring sunglasses, a sunhat, sun cream and insect repellent. A day bag is useful to hold your camera, water bottle, books, spare batteries and spare memory cards. It’s also worth bringing your own set of binoculars.

Discover Africa brochure

Africa is wild and beautiful. Scorched open plains, rugged coastlines, vine-carpeted valleys and mile-high desert dunes.

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