African Safari Travel Guide

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Set in some of the most spectacular locations on Earth, an African Safari gives you an intimate look into a whole different world.

You will encounter mesmerizing wildlife, stunning landscapes, and blissful luxuries, and understanding your options will maximize your experience.

Use our Africa Safari Travel Guide to make it the best it can be as you connect with one of Zicasso’s safari experts for access to off-the-grid preserves, the best big game experiences, and so much more.

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Giraffes in Kenya with Mount Kilimonjaro in the background
Best Time to Go on an African Safari
The best time for an African safari is during the southern hemisphere’s winter months of June, July, and August, leading into spring in September. Temperatures are lower and the drier climate unveils...
Observing elephants while on safari game drive in Kenya's Rift Valley
How to Plan an African Safari: Frequently Asked Questions
Embarking on an African safari is exciting and should flow with ease, so knowing how to plan your experience is important. We have the answers to some of the common questions asked by travelers before...
Wildebeests crossing the Mara river
6 Best Places to Visit in Africa on Safari
Safaris plunge you into untamed wilderness, with a sense of tranquility, surprise, and unexpected luxury found at the following six best places to visit in Africa on safari. The African continent could...
Elephants walking through water during sunset at the Moremi Game Reserve in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
How to Choose a Safari Destination for Your Trip
Little compares to the excitement of planning a much-desired vacation, but before you pull down your favorite suitcase and double-check that your passport is valid, these five safari considerations can...
Travelers on safari photographing two leopards in Kruger National Park, South Africa
Our 10 Best African Safari Trips
An African safari opens the mind and soul to an experience unlike any other, with diverse locations and experiences on offer, and our best African safari trips will whet your appetite for adventure and...
Zebra and wildebeests walking along a lake filled with flamingos in the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania
9 Best Countries in Africa to Visit on Safari
Africa is home to conservation parks and canyons, deserts and deltas, and rivers and ravines which create an ideal canvas for a dream adventure across our best safari countries. Focus is given to East...
Hot air balloon safari in South Africa
10 Types of African Safaris: Different Ways to Experience a Safari
There are countless ways to experience a safari, from open-vehicle game drives to guided walks and horseback riding, and we have compiled 10 types of African safaris you can choose from. From open savannahs...
Orange sunset with silhouette of safari vehicle, trees and elephants
7 African Safari Tips for Planning Your Trip
An African safari is the ultimate adventure, and as you consider your dream trip, our top African safari tips can help you personalize your experience for an unforgettable wilderness vacation. A perfect...
Mother and kids on African safari enjoying elephants at watering hole
7 Tips to Plan a Family African Safari
An African safari offers all ages the opportunity to embrace nature and wildlife by the most incredible means and our tips for planning the best family safari on the continent offer ideas that can seem...
7 Reasons You Should Choose Botswana for Your Safari

Botswana is one of the most desirable safari destinations in Africa and in this article we highlight seven reasons you should choose the country for such a vacation.

Waterways, vast desert pans, and dense forests are alive with wildlife, presenting an opportunity to discover Botswana’s fascinating topography and treasures.

The diverse landscape lends itself to drama and the range of options means the Botswana safari circuit is ideal for mix-and-match game escapes. Here, explore the reasons to consider Botswana for a safari.

7 Reasons to Choose South Africa for Your Safari

The seven reasons to choose South Africa for your safari demonstrate how the country pairs miles and miles of outstanding wilderness and game reserves with sensational natural beauty.

Remarkable national and private wildlife parks and reserves deliver quality safari experiences that include sightings of the Big Five, a plethora of other game, and incredible birdlife.

As one of the best safari destinations in Africa, with breathtaking scenery, idyllic lodgings, and the opportunity to combine city and beach escapes, every kind of traveler can find and pair the ambiances they desire when choosing the country for a safari.

10 Reasons You Should Choose Tanzania for Your Safari

Synonymous with outstanding safari experiences, Tanzania boasts diverse landscapes and huge numbers of wildlife, and below we highlight 10 reasons you should choose the country for such an adventure.

Witnessing wildlife in famous and lesser-known game reserves and national parks is the highlight of such a trip, as is the Swahili tradition and culture found in every one.

Discover a variety of ways to enjoy your safari, from luxury lodges to humble fly camps. With the white sandy beaches of Zanzibar close by, enhance your experience by creating a bush and beach vacation that will leave you with lasting memories.

Why You Should Choose Kenya for Your Safari

When you think of an African safari, a vision of vast open savannas, dramatic scenery, and a plethora of wildlife may immediately come to mind, all just a few of the reasons you should choose Kenya for your safari.

The country is captivating year-round, with specific sightings prominent at certain times of the year and highlights such as the Great Migration a definite pull. Immerse yourself in Swahili culture as you get to understand this rich heritage, learn the Maa language from the Maasai, and indulge in cuisine with Arab, Indian, and African influences.

A bustling capital city connects one to wildlife, with savannas, forests, lakes, and mountains forming a breathtaking and biodiverse landscape. Feast your eyes on the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro from one of the best viewpoints ever. All this makes Kenya the perfect place to safari, and below we highlight why.

10 Romantic Places to Honeymoon in Africa

There are many romantic honeymoon destinations in Africa for those looking to embrace adventure, safaris, history, and beach experiences with a romantic twist.

Enjoy the natural beauty of hidden landscapes and local culture, and witness breathtaking wildlife. Mythology captivates every visitor along the rolling sand dunes of the Sahara Desert, while historical trade routes reflect the combination of culinary traditions from India, Europe, and the Middle East.

There is no end to the exciting, surprising, and majestic destinations on the continent for a unique honeymoon, and the following list offers a few top destinations for an unforgettable experience.

Great Migration in Africa: Where, When, and How to See It

The Great Migration in Africa is one of the greatest wildlife shows on Earth and we share where travelers can experience the spectacle, when to visit Africa for the Great Migration, how to see it, and the best time to book for it.

From the thundering sound of pounding hooves to the endless sea of parading wildlife, the wildebeest migration across the African savannas, bushveld, and plains is an unforgettable highlight of an East African safari that falls within the prime migration time. With smart planning and our travel advice, you can ensure a front-row seat to this extraordinary wildlife performance.

Discover the best places to view the migration, the right time to plan your trip, and more with our ideas of how to get the most out of your Great Migration experience in Africa.

7 Amazing African Safari and Beach Holidays

The thrill of an African safari is perfectly complemented by a relaxing beach break, and these seven African safari and beach holidays present the ideal combination of “beach and bush.”

The excitement of game viewing and lodge hopping gives a sense of being on the move, taking in unique sights, sounds, and experiences. Unwinding on a white-sand beach or at a remote seaside location after a safari or before offers the opportunity to reflect on the previous experience or prepare for the adventure ahead.

Showcasing two aspects of a destination, these African safari and beach holidays share inspiration for your adventure.

What to Pack for an African Safari: 12 Tips as You Plan for Your Trip

With your itinerary set and your tickets purchased, you may be wondering what to pack for an African safari. The following 12 tips will help answer some of those questions.

Questions such as how much luggage to take and what type of clothing and colors are appropriate for the bush? How much money will I need at the destination and what do I need to know about interacting with locals are just a few thoughts to work through as you prepare and pack.

Many online packing guides complicate matters with a seemingly endless list of “essential” items. This can be an issue when confronted with the luggage weight restrictions of light-aircraft flights to remote destinations or the logistical challenges of packing too much. Here is a simple guide on what and how to pack.

3 Types of Safari Accommodations and How to Choose

An African safari is defined by the properties you select and we take a closer look at the three types of safari accommodations to help you choose where to stay in Africa.

Most travelers have an idea of what they hope to see on a game drive, but few anticipate the quality and variety of safari accommodations available. Across the continent, African safari accommodations tend to exceed expectations.

Lodges and camps are not just a place to sleep, but “art galleries in the bush”, boutique spaces that inspire and enchant with African influences that cannot go unnoticed. There are three main options for the luxury safari traveler and good reasons to try them all.

When & Where to See the Big 5 & More

An African safari is the adventure of a lifetime, offering a chance to see incredible wildlife in its natural habitat. The highlight for many travelers is spotting the iconic Big Five, the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, and Cape buffalo.

There is also the Little Five, the buffalo weaver, leopard tortoise, antlion, rhino beetle, and elephant shrew. These smaller creatures may not get as much fanfare, but they are fascinating additions to any safari sightings list.

In this article, we'll look at the best places and times to see both so you can plan the ultimate African wildlife viewing experience.

7 Things to Do in Africa Beyond Safari

An African adventure doesn't start and end with a safari, and the seven things to do in Africa beyond safari boast colorful, charming, and unique experiences.

With over 10,000 miles of coastline, resplendent snowy mountains, vivacious cities, indigenous tribal lifestyles, and stunning marine life, each destination revels in its own sense of vibrancy and authenticity. From meeting with local communities to diving deep into the grandeur of untamed nature, venturing to a mountain peak, or lounging on a white-sand beach, you can find endless surprises when in Africa.

No matter the kind of experience you prefer, you can create an elegant addition to a safari itinerary to uncover how much more there is to your Africa trip.

Best Beaches in Africa

With pristine shores and inviting waters, the best beaches in Africa will complement the dramatic interior landscape and wildlife wonders on a safari and beach vacation.

The beaches can range from indelibly tropical, fringed by coconut palms and postcard panoramas, to epic in scale, with forests and mountain backdrops that feel guarded by the natural habitat. From fine sands to warm waters, boulders to curling waves, the beaches across the continent are diverse and mesmerizing.

Spending time on Africa’s best beaches can immerse you in the beauty of the Indian Ocean coastline for the perfect way to accentuate your adventure as you explore or unwind under the African sun.

7 Best Cities & Towns to Visit in Africa

Africa is intriguing, with vibrant, characterful, and charming cities and towns waiting to be discovered.

While some metropolises have grown skywards, many have expanded outwards, creating villages and suburbs in urban gems. Main streets buzz with a sense of organized chaos, while local traditions take precedence in rural areas.

From towns seemingly off the beaten path to cities nestled below mountains or on a coastal curve, Africa’s best cities and towns delight visitors with bustling marketplaces, monuments, and museums that pay homage to their past, with authenticity a key component of any African itinerary.

7 Natural Wonders of Africa

Africa is full of incredible natural wonders, from breathtaking canyons to copper sand dunes, thundering waterfalls, and mighty mountains, all of which you can discover on a trip to see the natural wonders of the continent.

It is easy to feel as if you have been transported to a fantasy land, as Africa compels visitors with dynamic landscapes that beg to be explored, blending picturesque scenery with ultimate experiences, such as safaris and city escapes.

These unique natural wonders of the world are regular parts of an African itinerary, with famous lakes providing serene days, while tumultuous rivers offer adventure. Here are the seven not-to-be-missed natural African wonders.

National Parks, Conservancies, Private Concessions, & Private Game Reserves: What’s the Difference?

The inventory of safari destination types, from national parks to private concessions, can be baffling, and understanding where to safari requires knowing what each park or reserve has to offer.

National parks, private concessions, conservancies, and private game reserves are all fantastic, yet come with key differences. National parks are a country's flagship protected areas, filled with unrivaled animal abundance, while national conservation areas see wildlife and locals coexist. Private concessions lie within a national park, belonging to an area's broader ecosystem, and a private game reserve is smaller and standalone, offering fewer restrictions on activities and proximity to animals, and a more intimate safari.

In this article, we discuss the differences in more detail to help you understand how to plan your dream African safari experience.

6 Landscapes and Habitats to Explore on an African Safari

The inherent idiosyncrasy of safari is fueled initially by the diversity of the African landscape and habitats that you can explore during your safari.

Wild, untrammeled, redolent, and vivid, it creates canvases of eclectic spectacles that extend in a variety of directions, showcasing a patchwork of colors. Open landscapes allow you to see more of the wildlife quickly on the horizon. Closed habitats offer a more hidden wildlife view. Find a salt pan that blinds nature's antiquity or a tangled forest scarred by rumbling elephant herds, a mammoth baobab tree, or the babble of snaking waterways.

Understanding the landscape and habitat is essential for what you will see and the intimacy of your experience when on safari, which will brim with infinite possibilities.

8 Mountains in Africa You Should Explore

From Mount Kilimanjaro to the wild trails of the Great Rift Valley and the breathtaking views from atop Table Mountain, our list of the top eight mountains in Africa to explore reflect crisscrossing topography and offer a series of trails and hiking expeditions.

Many African countries display a unique range of towering mountains that set the scene for a dramatic landscape or form the backdrop to cities, game parks, or lakes, and all offer an opportunity to hike, admire from afar, or even sleep under the stars.

Whether embarking on one-day excursions with primates or 10-day treks into the clouds, there are a few rocky masterpieces that stand out, and discovering any of them will leave adventurers truly reaching for the stars.

Top 7 Diving and Marine Destinations in Africa

Thousands of miles of coastline offer breathtaking beaches, colorful coves, and magnificent marine life, all captured in our list of the top seven diving and marine destinations in Africa. The cool Atlantic merges with the warmer Indian Ocean, unveiling a dynamic underwater world.

From diving with great white sharks to swimming with dolphins and watching whales breach in a deep blue sea, the ocean and its inhabitants offer adventurers an unforgettable experience above and below the water.

Certain sites and experiences stand out when it comes to diving, snorkeling, and general marine-life wonders, and we want to share some of Africa’s gems with you.

5 Reasons to Plan Your Safari with a Travel Specialist

Planning your dream safari experience can be challenging and knowing there is someone to walk you through each step, from the initial, introductory conversation about your destination right down to the last detail, is a great comfort when working with a safari travel specialist.

Such experts are dedicated to working with you to create your ultimate travel experience, listening to your desires, offering sound advice about parks, reserves, and styles of accommodation, and ensuring good communication is adhered to at all times.

Trusting someone in the know will ensure your safari planning process goes smoothly. Here are some key reasons you should consider booking with a travel specialist.

7 Things That Affect the Cost of an African Safari

How much does an African safari cost is an important question as you consider embarking on one of the world's greatest adventures. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of several components that play a role in determining the overall cost.

Understanding your priorities allows you to maximize your budget and creating your customized adventure with a safari expert will ensure you gain the most from this truly remarkable adventure.

From when to safari to where to go, the following information will guide you on which factors impact cost as you prioritize what is ideal for your journey.

Glamping on Safari: The Thrill of the Wild Paired with 5-Star Comfort

With so many properties and regions to select from on safari, our three reasons to stay at a luxury tented camp explore how glamping on safari pairs the thrill of the wild with five-star comfort.

Classic glamour under canvas, set in secluded and idyllic locations, best describes a luxury, tented camp safari. A step up from a safari lodge and more opulent than a mobile camp, this level of accommodation stands out as a unique and exquisite glamping experience.

Mostly built on a solid foundation, perhaps with solid walls, the high-ceilinged, spacious rooms in such camps provide a completely different perspective of the surrounding bush and quickly reveal why they are a popular choice with seasoned safari-goers.

4 Reasons to Stay at a Safari Game Lodge

There are many options to consider when it comes to where to stay on safari and the four reasons to stay at a game lodge include the luxury and comforts expected on this type of journey.

Most game parks and reserves will offer lodge-style accommodations only, splendid hotel-style establishments that blend in with their surroundings and offer service and facilities you would expect to find at any high-end hotel.

Ranging from small and intimate to large and expansive, lodge options vary in size and facilities to offer guests the perfect blend of style and safari in Africa. Our four reasons for staying at a safari game lodge can help you decide the type of experience you want and expect to have during your trip.

What to Expect From a Day on Safari

A day on safari is a unique experience that feeds your soul from sunrise to sunset. What to expect on an African safari can be different each day, depending on the season and location, but the general logistics are similar.

Go on safari and experience heart-pounding intensity one moment, followed by long stretches of searching the landscape for wildlife the next. All this is intertwined with quality downtime in some of Africa’s most luxurious and unique accommodations.

What is an African safari like? Going on a safari is unpredictable, with experiences that offer panoramic views of plains or rampaging herds, often at the same time. The following guide covers what a day on safari is like, illustrating how each may be similar in design, but with experiences that differ.

6 Ways to Protect Endangered Rhinos on Your Next Safari

Viewing an endangered rhino in the wild is one of the most sought-after safari experiences and there are six ways to make sure you do not inadvertently help poachers find their next target during your African safari.

Finding a rhino in its natural habitat captures the animal’s surprising grace and fantastic size, but poachers can use information from your photos to find the animals in the wild. When on safari, you want to photograph as much of the wildlife as possible for your memories and to share the experience with your family and friends.

Social media may provide you with an immediate connection to do so, but comes with an ecological cost that you can avoid by learning how to project the necessary wildlife during and after your trip.

Where to Go Based on Your Safari Experience: From Novice to Enthusiast

While delivering an experience of a lifetime, a safari does not have to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Deriving from the Swahili term meaning “journey”, a safari encapsulates the essence of an extraordinary adventure of wilderness and wildlife discovery which can be appreciated once, twice, or several times.

Visitors embarking on their first safari will aim to include at least one safari experience during their travels, visiting national parks such as the Kruger in South Africa or smaller, private reserves like Sabi Sands. The second-time wildlife adventurer will look to spend more time on safari, often combining various regions, among them Tanzania’s Northern Circuit. A seasoned safari-seeker might indulge in lesser-known or off-the-beaten-track destinations, such as reserves in Zambia or southeastern Kenya.

There are three levels of safari, each offering its own unique allure. Here, we unravel the secrets of the African bush, where the rhythms of nature reign supreme and the whispers of the wild beckon you to embark on a personalized wildlife odyssey.

How to Plan Your Zicasso Trip Budget in 3 Easy Steps

Knowing your budget is an essential component of any trip-planning process. Whether the sky's the limit or you have specific parameters, Zicasso is here to help you set your priorities to maximize your investment.

Your interests and preferences on a couple’s trip will differ from a family-friendly vacation, while a highlights tour will result in wildly different experiences than one designed to take you off the beaten path.

There are three steps in considering the costs of your trip, as a vacation that has been customized for you allows maximum flexibility with your spending.

How to Plan Your Zicasso Trip in 4 Easy Steps

Explore the world with Zicasso by working with top travel specialists who will bring your dream vacation to life.

Our primary goal is to make the planning, booking, and traveling process easy and enjoyable as you create the vacation experience you want most. No matter where you go and what you do, Zicasso can help you experience the best of travel without the stress.

Working with our destination experts, you can plan a trip to anywhere in the world and suit your travel style. Using insider knowledge of your chosen destination, itinerary ideas, and planning strategies, your Zicasso travel specialist can guide you through the following four steps.

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