Our Safari Portfolio is quite extensive and varied, seeing as Safaris are generally the main reason for an international traveller’s visit to Africa. Depending on the region, budget and preference, there are different ways in which visitors can experience Africa’s Wildlife.
Many official National Parks in South Africa, such as the Kruger National Park, Pilansberg National Park, Addo Elephant National Park or Hluhluwe National Park allow the public to self-drive through the park, in exchange for a daily conservation fee which is payable upon entry. This is a great option for low-budget travellers, as official game drives can be costly. These parks also offer public restcamps, where low-cost, self-catering Bungalows offer cheap accommodation within the wildlife parks. This option is generally preferred by travellers, who are already comfortable in the country, with its’ people, customs and who know when, where and how to get any required supplies such as food and petrol. In these public parks, off-road driving is not allowed, and game viewing is restricted to what can be seen from the official park roads. Also, there is no restriction on the amount/allowed time of vehicles at any given animal sighting. The game viewing experience may suffer a little due to this and due to easy accessibility via well-maintained highways, this can become a rather crowded experience.
Private Game Lodges are generally located on private concessions of land, either adjacent to or within the larger national parks of South Africa. As part of conservation efforts, a new trend of re-introducing wild animals to South Africa’s Garden Route, in smaller private reserves, has also seen a number of luxury lodges being built near Port Elizabeth, Mossel Bay and Oudtshoorn. In general, these private game lodges offer a more personal, luxurious and educational safari experience than the self-driving options do. They blend comfort and luxury with the wild, and offer package rates that include all daily meals and early morning and afternoon game drives . This has essentially become the across-the-board standard offering of private game lodges, with slight variations from game drives to walks or river safaris, depending on the area/season.
At first glance, nothing really sets them apart from each other, beyond the star gradings that are based on their amenities and service levels, however this is not the case, as a game lodge’s quality is actually based mainly on the quality, quantity, variety & regularity of animal sightings, paired with the exclusivity of the experience. The location of the lodge plays a major role here, as the size, age and restrictions of a reserve, obviously determine animal numbers and types. The animal’s freedom to move around, the natural vegetation of an area , as well as the nature of adjacent areas, do very much affect the game viewing. The exclusivity in terms of vehicle numbers on the reserve at any given time, maximum passenger numbers on the vehicle, whether or not there is a tracker and a ranger, versus a ranger only, who simultaneously needs to do the tracking.
Whatever the game count at any given luxury lodge is however, they all share the advantage of the simple fact that their game viewing takes place on private land, instead of public roads. Over-crowding of vehicles at animal sightings does not exist, which is naturally much more pleasant. Furthermore, off-road driving, driving after dark, as well as walking safaris are not forbidden, the way that they are in the public parks. This means that you are able to get closer to off-road animal sightings, experience some of the nocturnal wildlife species on a night drive and feel the rush of meeting wild animals on eye level during a bush walk. At the end of the day, it comes down to personal preference and requirements of what you desire from your Safari.
While Botswana also offers Wildlife Parks and restcamp/camping options in a similar way, the country itself is largely untouched and uninhabited, with a total lack of infrastructure and roads, making accessibility difficult and costly. Self-drive Safaris here, should only be considered by travellers with extensive knowledge of the route and terrain, as well as excellent 4×4 driving skills. While this is also the cheapest option to go on Safari in Botswana, the Game viewing is incomparable to any other, in terms of it’s authentic wilderness. Self-driving in this destination offers you the unique experience of feeling totally isolated and immersed in untouched nature, with hundreds of square kilometers in all directions, containing nothing but fields, rivers, forests, lagoons and wild animals. In your own 4×4 , the sky is literally the limit in terms of animal tracking, as you can turn in any direction at any time, stay and watch a particular animal for however long you wish, your movements are totally uninhibited. All the amazing reasons why this option is so very epic, are however also those that make it so very dangerous for in-experienced self-drives. Getting stuck, lost or having a medical emergency in such a remote region is no joke, and we suggest to rather consider mobile camping tours in groups, that are led by an experienced field guide and travelling along a planned route, with overnights at official restcamps.
The ultimate Safari experience, which is essentially the upgrade to South Africa’s private game lodges and parks, are Botswana’s private luxury lodges located in such remote parts of the country, that many of them are accessible purely by air. If you are looking for an extraordinary safari experience Fly in safaris are the perfect option for you. We are able to create unique Fly-In Safaris, with our trusted suppliers, that will take you to the most remote lodges in the varying eco-systems of Botswana. The game viewing in these untouched areas offers each visitor unparalleled wildlife-bliss, while the exclusive lodges ensure that all your comfort needs are taken care of, and you do not have to miss-out on luxurious amenities, regardless of how remote the lodge’s location is!
The varying types of game viewing experiences offered, based on the area each lodge is in, offers the very best of open vehicle game drives, walking safaris and the traditional Mokoro and Motorboat safaris, that Botswana and its Okavango Delta are famous for! If your budget allows for this option, then there is no better way to experience an African Safari in style! Contact us today for a detailed offer for your ultimate African wildlife experience.
For tailor-made guided tours, self-drive tours, fly-in safaris, beach holidays and any enquiries for your African dream holidays. Contact Us