AfricaTours Inc.

Planning your perfect safari


The hardest thing about planning your trip is also the best thing about it. Abundant choice. Diversity. Africa has so much to offer, so it helps to start with a few basic questions such as: How long do I have to travel? What is my budget? What do I want to experience? What do I want to see? Take a look at the regional profiles below to get started.

In brief: East Africa

Kenya and Tanzania, our main country destinations in East Africa, are known for its prolific, magnificent game, spectacular wide-open savannahs, beautiful lakes and tropical coastlines. A safari in East Africa encompasses more than just game viewing; East Africa is home to strong ethnic traditions, hospitality and incredible artisanship. In East Africa, you will discover a modern, yet ancient land.

Typically in East Africa there are no night game drives and no game walks in the National Parks (Except if you go to a private game reserve like Lewa Downs, Borana, Losiaba, Saruni & Klein's Camp). Game drives are done in closed-topped vehicles with pop-up roof. In East Africa, you will travel long distances to get from one park to another and the roads are terrible. It's dusty, it's bumpy, but it is an adventure! You also have the option of doing a fly-in-safari or a mobile-tented camp safari to add to the excitement.

Top three reasons to visit East Africa.

  • It offers a diversified abundance of game, with a never-ending view of wilderness at its finest.
  • East Africa offers affordable, yet amazing African safari options.
  • Interaction with a variety of ethnic tribes.

In brief: Southern Africa

The Southern Africa region consists of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. There are some similarities amongst these countries, but each one is unique in its own right.

Generally, in Southern Africa game drives are done in open topped vehicles. You can participate in game walks with game viewing in canoes or by riverboats depending on the area. Southern Africa tends to be more expensive than East Africa. The accommodation is of a higher caliber, the properties are much smaller and you generally fly from area to area.

Top three reasons to go to Southern Africa.

  • It offers a diversified experience, from game viewing, to cosmopolitan cities, white sandy beaches, culture, traditions, fine wines and exceptional dining.
  • It delivers an intimate experience, staying in small upscale lodges with more personalized service.
  • Travel between destinations is easier and faster. So your possibilities are limitless.

What's a typical day like on a safari?

East Africa: For starters, no day in Africa is ever typical! Africa is an adventure in discovery; each day is an immersion in a living, breathing classroom where lessons learned can be unpredictable, surprising and profoundly moving.

Your day will begin with an early wake up call at approximately 5:30 am. You will be served tea, coffee and cookies in the Lodge before you set off on your early morning game drive. Game drives are usually conducted in safari mini vans or four-wheel drive vehicles with pop-up roofs. You will return to the lodge at approximately 10:00 am where you'll enjoy a full, hearty breakfast. The rest of the morning is yours to enjoy, either catching up on your sleep, swimming in the pool or browsing in the curio shop. Lunch is served at around 1:00 pm. At 3:00 pm you will set out on your afternoon game drive. Different animals are active at different times of day, so expect each drive to be unique. You will return to the lodge at sunset (approximately 6:00 pm).

Night game drives and walks are not allowed in the National Parks of Kenya and Tanzania. If you are staying at one of the private game reserves in Kenya or Tanzania like Lewa Downs, Borana, Losiaba or Klein's Camp, your activities will be slightly different, and you can participate in night game drives, camp walks, game drives in open-topped vehicles and horseback riding to name a few.

Southern Africa: Your guide will awake you at sunrise. As day breaks over Africa, you will be served tea, coffee and cookies in the lodge to prepare you for your day of adventure. Your morning game drive will begin at 5:30 or 6:30 am depending on the time of the year; and you will return to the lodge at around 9:00 - 9:30 am for a well-deserved, hearty breakfast. The rest of the morning is at your leisure. You'll be free to participate in an optional game walk, relax around the pool, catch up on your sleep, browse in the curio shop or have a spa treatment.

Lunch is served around 12:30 - 1:00 pm. At 3:30 - 4:00 pm you will have afternoon tea and coffee before setting out on your afternoon/early evening game drive. In true "Out of Africa" style, while out in the bush, your guides will prepare a sundowner for you to sip as the sunsets and the noctural animals begin to stir. You will return to the lodge around 7:30 pm in time to get ready for dinner either in the lodge or boma (reed enclosed outdoor eating area).

In South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia you will have the choice of game drives or walks. In Botswana you will have the choice to go on a mokoro ride (dug out canoe) on the Delta. In both Zimbabwe and Botswana you can also view game via riverboat. Most game drives in Southern Africa are conducted in open-topped four-wheel drive vehicles.

What is a "Fly-In" safari?

A Fly-In Safaris means you'll be traveling between camps aboard a light scheduled charter flight. Flying in affords you the advantage of saving time and avoiding the rough roads of Africa. The disadvantage is that you will not experience the vast landscapes and the personality of the country as you travel from one park to another.

What's the difference between a permanent tented camp and a mobile-tented camp?

A permanent tented camp is a luxury tent with all the accommodations of a 5-star lodge. Each tent is equipped with an attached bathroom (hot and cold showers and flush toilets) and is furnished in the traditional safari style. You get a close encounter with the sounds and ambiance of wild Africa without sacrificing safety or comfort.

A mobile-tented camp is fully-serviced camping safari with walk-in-tents. Each tent is equipped with its own flush toilets, shower tent, and bed cots with mattress and linens. First class meals are prepared by the camp cook and served in the dining tent. The mobile camp moves with you from park to park.

What are the accommodations like?

Africa has a wide variety of luxury tents, hotels, and lodges. They range from a standard, pleasant hotel room to some of the most outrageous, luxurious accommodations anywhere in the world. They all have attached bathrooms, and most of the lodges have swimming pools. At AfricaTours, we make sure that you get the accommodation that suits your personality.

What are semi-customized itineraries?

Semi-Customized itineraries follow pre-planned itineraries, but are not group tours. They can begin any day of the week and you can add on extra nights at any point during the trip. If you need to take a night away to shorten the trip, or change the accommodations, you can do so and customize the itinerary to your liking.

What is an AfricaTours scheduled safari?

Scheduled safaris are carefully considered itineraries with a specific departure date and a set number of days and accommodation. Scheduled safaris cannot be changed. However, you can add days at the beginning or end of the trip, but the main part of the itinerary cannot be changed.

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