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African Safari Holidays

Love wildlife? Look no further than our African safari holidays. Spot the Big Five animals in Botswana or take a game drive in South Africa. Whichever safari tour you choose, you'll never forget your once-in-a-lifetime wildlife watching experience.
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Once-in-a-lifetime safari holidays in Africa

Explore has over 35 years' experience in creating ground-breaking safari holidays to Africa's most iconic national parks and wildlife reserves. There is no better continent than Africa for the wildlife enthusiast. From primates to predators, from the spectacle of the wildebeest migration to the miracle of the Okavango Delta, the Mother Continent always delivers wildlife in abundance, dramatic landscapes and the best wilderness experience.

However, Africa is no doubt an immense continent and encompasses an incredible variety of ecosystems, so making a decision on where to travel, can be rather challenging. 

A safari holiday in Botswana provides many with the ultimate 'off the beaten track' wilderness experience. Its low impact policy means that the numbers of visitors are strictly monitored, which gives a sense of real privilege to those who venture in to this remote territory. Miraculously in the heart of the Kalahari - one of the most inhospitable, vast and arid deserts on the planet - is one of the richest wetland habitats: the Okavango Delta. This sophisticated system of intricate canals, waterways, lagoons and grasslands is home to some outstanding wildlife and can be explored by 4WD, canoe or even from a house boat. 

A safari holiday to Namibia is popular for its deserts, canyons, enormous sand dunes and dramatic coastline. Namibia also features an enormous wildlife sanctuary, Etosha National Park.  Waterholes and huge salt pans are the main landmarks in the park and form an excellent backdrop for its prolific wildlife: zebra, antelopes, giraffe, rhino and of course, the big cats.

A South African safari tour always visits Kruger National Park. This iconic park has enabled generations of travellers to observe the “big five” from close-up, while the Western Cape is the best place to see humpback whales and even penguins!

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Safari holiday FAQs

Which is the best African safari destination?

Every African safari destination has it's own incredible things to see and do, but the best one for you will depend on what you're looking for. Here are a few examples of the best safari destinations for different types of traveller: 

  • Great for first-timers - the Serengeti, Tanzania
  • Great for safari buffs - Etosha National Park, Namibia
  • Great for families - Kruger National Park, South Africa
  • Great for bird-watchers - the Cape, South Africa
  • Great for couples - Okavango Delta Panhandle, Botswana

To find out more, visit our How to choose where to go on safari blog.


Where can I see the Big Five animals?

The Big 5 (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) are among the most famous species in the Animal Kingdom. Here are the best safari destinations to spot them: 

  • South Africa - Kruger National Park
  • Tanzania - Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater
  • Namibia - Etosha National Park and Waterberg Plateau Park
  • Botswana - Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park

Learn more in our Best African safari destinations to spot the Big 5 blog.


Why should I go on a small group tour for my safari holiday?

There is no better continent than African for wildlife enthusiasts. Our safari itineraries are expertly designed to take you to the best places for an unforgettable safari experience, at the best times of the year. 

Our small group tours take you into the heart of the national parks, with game drives at the best times of the day to spot the wildlife. Our local leaders have expert knowledge of the animals, including how to track them so you can get up close. 

We include unique accommodation in prime locations to immerse you in the animal kingdom (whilst also keeping you safe of course). Our accommodation includes houseboats in the Okavango Delta Panhandle  where you'll be surrounded by water-dwelling wildlife and exotic birds, and safari lodges and camps within the national parks where you can sleep under the stars and listen to the wildlife around you. 

Choose a small group tour for your safari and you are guaranteed an incredible wildlife-watching experience. 

Is a safari tour suitable for solo travellers?

Yes, definitely! All our small group tours, including our once-in-a-lifetime safari holidays, are perfect for solo vacations. You'll be joined by like-minded people in an average group size of around 11, and you'll have an expert local leader to scout out the animals and give you the best wildlife experience. 

What is a typical day on a safari holiday?

On a safari with Explore you will generally wake up early and be on a game drive as soon as the African sun rises. This is the best time to be out on safari in Africa as the animals are still active before the heat of the day sets in. As it gets hot, you will return to camp to have brunch and can take time to discuss the morning's wildlife sightings and like the animals, have a snooze. In the late afternoon as the heat subsides our groups usually get back in our vehicles to head out for a few more hours of safari.

What are the safari vehicles like?

Our vehicles for game drives are built for off road conditions and provide great viewing opportunities for visitors hoping to see some of the exotic animals that can be found in Africa. On a safari to Africa you should expect some rugged roads and wild conditions; it is in these real wilderness settings that we experience the best wildlife sightings. Your vehicles will normally have 4x4, roof hatches and a cool box for late afternoon sundowners.

When is the best time of year to go on a safari trip?

This depends on where you're going and what you want to see. We only run tours when it’s a good time to visit, but there may be specific wildlife you want to see and there will be better times to see certain species, largely due to migrations. If you don't like really hot temperatures, find out when the weather is cooler in your safari destination.

What should I wear on an African safari?

Most people expect Africa to be hot but it can be cold at times, particularly early in the morning and late at night. Pack layers, including a warm fleece or jacket. Neutral colours like khaki and green are best when on safari, but they’re not essential. Try to avoid wearing white though, as this will catch the attention of animals the most.

Protect yourself from the sun with a hat and sunglasses. Dust can also be a problem in the dry months, so sunglasses will protect your eyes. A lightweight bandana is good to wear, as you can pull it up to protect your face when the dust flies.

Get more advice in our 7 tips for your first African safari blog.

What should I pack for a safari?

  • Neutral coloured, lightweight clothing - long-sleeved shirts and long trousers
  • Warm clothing for cooler mornings and evenings
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • A lightweight bandana to protect your face from dust
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterbottle 
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and equipment, including a bag or pouch and a cloth or similar to protect it from dust
  • Torch or head torch
  • Anti-malarial tablets (depending on where you're going, ask your GP or local travel clinic)

Find out more in our What to take on a safari holiday blog.


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