So you know you want to go on a safari but what now? With years of first hand experience working in Africa and selling holidays and adventures there, I’m well placed to help you find the perfect safari … impartial, honest advice!
Africa truly awakens your senses, there is something earthy and primeval about being in the heart of the bush, listening to every snapping twig or munch of an elephant feeding outside your room ….
My recommendations to awaken YOUR senses would be to smell the earth in the morning after the rain … taste the home baked bread and steaks straight from your camp fire … hear the roar of a lion carry miles through the African night …. Feel the breeze in your face as you stand on a hill top and sense an incoming storm ….see the sunrise over a mist covered plain and experience the waking of another African day – step outside your comfort zone and immerse yourself into the magical other world that is Africa! Having lived in Africa for many years I am well placed to advise you on your safari holiday to Africa and the best way to get to Africa from the UK.
To experience the real Africa, you need to be in a small group or with a private guide, preferably in your own vehicle or open sided jeep and have the chance to get out on foot too! African Safaris can take place not just by vehicle but on a walking safari, horseback safari, boating safari or even by train or air! Safari is Swahili for ‘Journey’ … so let me take you on an unforgettable Journey to Africa and design a bespoke safari to fit your dream.
Yes, the Masai Mara of Kenya and South Africa’s Kruger National Park are iconic and certainly give the first time safari goer a great taste of Africa. But please ask me to advise you on what is best for you. There are a huge range of camps and lodges to choose from and an equally confusing number of tour operators or safari companies to book with! Depending on the number in your party, their ages and interests and the time of year you are going, many options are available to you. There are also specific African Safaris for honeymoons, families, single travellers or adventure groups. Gamewatchers Adventure Camping in Kenya offers an affordable, authentic option.
There are often long stay or honeymoon offers for African Safari camps and beach lodges, check out the offers page for more information. African Safari Honeymoons are very popular but the choice is huge! Take a look at my dedicated ‘experience’ page for safari honeymoons to give you a taste of what you can do and get in touch for me to tailor the perfect African honeymoon.
I recommend getting off the beaten track and experiencing real Africa. Use small, luxury tented camps and you will find that there is nothing like watching wildlife with no surrounding human noise or light pollution and sitting round a camp fire under the stars, with the noises of the night around you as you sleep under canvas…. ‘night safaris’ are also a unique experience, only offered in a few places – see the nocturnal world of wildlife for yourself! My personal recommendation for the best safari is Zambia – gorgeous tented camps, deep in the wilderness, walking, night drives, leopards, wild dogs, friendly people and stunning scenery, far from the crowds. Another great option and an up and coming safari destination is Mozambique, in particular Gorongosa which is fabulous for a ‘days of old’ adventure explorer type safari. Botswana offers the watery wonderland of the Okavango Delta and the fascinating salt pans and deserts of the Kalahari.
East Africa is always a good starting point, but there are quieter options than the main parks and reserves – just because you’ve not seen them on the TV it doesn’t mean they are not as good! In fact many of the lesser known areas are much better because of that – fewer visitors means a much better safari experience for you with less vehicles and tourists around. There are also private reserves and conservancy areas around parks which provide essential income for local tribal communities by paying them a lease on their land, employing them in tourism and supporting conservation projects too, by having their tented camps on land which is locally owned and has no permanent footprint. If you want to see the Great Wildebeest Migration, ask me about the best time of year and location to get there. In Tanzania, you may also want to head for the southern parks, away from the crowds and enjoy boat safaris in the Selous or some bush and beach time on the coast at Saadani National Park.
If you are an experienced safari goer and Africa addict (like me!) and want to experience something different, check out the newly emerging destinations such as Central African Republic, Congo and Sudan. Remote and challenging they provide a glimpse of wild areas as they were many decades ago. Keep an eye on safaris to Burundi too!
Of course you don’t have to go to East Africa, I’ve arranged safaris in the past for first time Africa visitors to Zambia, Botswana and other countries and they have been equally as smitten with it all as I was all those years back! Certainly in my view, a safari in Zambia or Botswana will offer top class guiding and superb camps and wildlife away from the crowds of the East African parks. Five star luxury fly in safaris do come at a price, but it’s money well spent to give you the best safari experience you can have.
I am an African Safari Specialist myself, having lived and worked in Africa for many years and with my zoological background can advise you on the best places to see a particular species of animal, or catch the best viewings of migrations, tell you when the many different breeding seasons occur, find out when hatching turtles can be seen, arrange gorilla trekking, or answer any other of the many questions I’m sure you have regarding the best time and place to go to for your perfect bespoke African Safari!
And after all that time in the bush, take a break and wash off the safari dust! There are some beautiful beach lodges, luxury spas and a hundred friendly places in Africa to enjoy the slow pace of life and unwind ….. try Mozambique, Lake Malawi or the Indian Ocean islands for starters!
African Safaris can be tailored for just you as an individual, couple or family, you can join a group ‘mobile’ safari camping along the way or you can fly in to luxury camps and lodges deep in the wilderness areas. There are safaris which are mainly jeep based, those which concentrate on walking and being in the bush far from roads and light pollution, even sleeping under the stars. Some safaris involve boating or canoeing and some can be taken after dark, watching nocturnal wildlife on a night drive. If it’s a family african safari you are looking for check out some of the options on the family holidays page or get in touch as I know the best places to send you depending on the age of your children, time of year and budget.
Ask me for the best safari option to suit your personal needs. Where you go depends on the time of year, what particular species or type of safari interests you and of course your budget! If you are travelling alone don’t let that be an obstacle – my first safaris in Africa were as a single female traveller so I am well placed to find you the best way to find an African Safari for solo travellers.
Thank you so much for all your hard work ! Our entire honeymoon to Malawi and Zambia was flawlessly planned from start to finish. The advice we received prior to booking was knowledgeable and invaluable upon arrival. Julie was generous and patient with her time and answered all our questions and concerns, regularly in communication out of office hours. We literally had the trip of a lifetime with so many ‘firsts’ in terms of experiences. The safari in South Luangwa was amazing, the village experience at Ntchisi Forest Lodge was a bit of a culture shock, but glad we went and Kaya Mawa was truly out of this world, we were looked after incredibly by the management team, the food was superb and we had our own little pool! We are currently booking our 2014 holiday through Julie and know the experience will be just as positive.
Nicola & Robbie Nolan – Malawi & Zambia (April 2013)
Julie organised our holiday to Zambia which more than met our requirements – the accommodation was excellent (we stayed with Norman Carr Safaris in South Luangwa, Mayukuyuku in Kafue and Waterberry at Livingstone), our guides for safari and birdwatching were the best available and all travel arrangements went smoothly. Julie’s attention to detail and knowledge of Zambia meant that our individual wishes were met throughout our holiday. Thank you very much!
The wildlife in Zambia is superb. We had great view of a pair of leopards walking very close to our vehicle on a night safari, a cheetah, 4 lions very close to our boat, lots of elephants walked right beside us, several different types of antelopes, 100s of hippos and crocs, as well as obliging porcupines, baboons and beautiful fireflies … and we really enjoyed getting soaked to the skin at Victoria Falls! Sunrise and sunset boat trips on the Zambezi and wonderful food. Had a lovely walk at the village and were pleased to visit the school and see the children learning with help from Waterberry Lodge. Not forgetting the great birds especially Pel’s Fishing Owl and a pair of Finfoot which were on the wish list we gave Julie before we planned the trip!
Gwynfryn & Kathryn – Zambia (February 2013)
We didn’t really know much about Africa when we decided we wanted to go on a safari holiday. Luckily we came across Julie’s website and discovered that Africa was her speciality. She went to huge lengths to provide us with different options that fitted our budget and wish list, and answered our endless questions with patience and enthusiasm. We are so grateful for all of her advice having just come back from an absolutely fantastic holiday to Kenya. We did the Exodus Classic Kenya Safari for a week and then 6 nights Porini Adventure Camping at 2 different locations in the Masai Mara and Amboseli.
We are so glad that Julie recommended the adventure camping – it was such an amazing experience and really made the holiday. All of our connections between camps were hassle free thanks to Julie’s organisation. We have already recommended Julie to some of our friends and will carry on recommending her to lots more. Hopefully she’ll be able to help us again in the future too! Thanks Julie.
Anne & Paul – Kenya (September 2012)
Having been to Africa several times many years ago, I wanted return to show my son what a wonderful continent it was. As a result of her extensive knowledge of Africa Julie fully understood my requirements and delivered a holiday which my son will never forget in Zambia. We could not fault the travel arrangements and were made to feel welcome where ever we went by all representatives and the staff of the camps we stayed at in South Luangwa and through their extensive knowledge of the local wildlife we truly experienced the magic of Africa. So many photos so many memories thank you Julie.
Chris & Izaak – Zambia (June 2012)
Small group authentic camping safaris in Kenya – Masai Mara, Amboseli & conservancies.
Affordable Safari to Southern Tanzania, bush and beach plus local culture and conservation. Fabulous rustic comfortable lodges and great people!
A wonderful community based conservation project in Northern Namibia. Authentic tribal culture and desert wildlife. Conservation tourism at it’s best!
A small group wildlife safari to Uganda with fantastic birdlife and game drives, boat trips and treks to chimps and gorillas.
Spend a week in the Kruger and surrounding area – great value small group South Africa Safari including Moholoholo Rehabilitation Centre.
A fabulous introduction to African Safaris, visit the Rift Valley Lakes and Masai Mara in Kenya. Big cats, rhinos & flamingos.
Kenya’s Masai Mara is the original and classic African Safari experience! Elephants, giraffes, zebra and thousands of wildebeest roam the plains followed by Africa’s Big Cats on the prowl. Hot air balloon safaris and Honeymoons.
A specially designed family safari holiday in South Luangwa. Learn about being a game ranger, visit the local school, play African drums, make clay pots and star gaze in the African night!
African Safaris are a perfect way to spend your honeymoon! Romantic star beds, treehouses, flickering camp fires and sundowner drinks looking out over winding rivers or endless plains …. hot air balloon safaris, horse riding, or luxury spa lodges..
Majete Wildlife Reserve in Malawi is an African conservation success story! Visit this beautiful park for a taste of real rural Malawi and stay at the wonderful Mkulumadzi Camp.