Discover which safaris make for an unforgettable African getaway.
Safari vacations in Africa are just as diverse as the continent itself, though these types of trips require a large sum of money. Whether you want to spend a few days gorilla trekking in Uganda or more than two weeks spotting the big five – lions, leopards, African elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalos – in South Africa, you'll find an array of experiences to best suit your needs. To help you narrow down your options, U.S. News compiled a list of eight can't-miss safari vacations. Read on to find your ideal trip.
(Courtesy of Micato Safaris)
Visitors who don't want to sacrifice creature comforts while on safari will love andBeyond's offerings. During the tour operator's 12-day East Africa Safari – which starts at $10,775 per person – travelers will see breathtaking natural wonders like Lake Victoria and Ngorongoro Crater. But the highlight of this journey is its stops in Kenya's Masai Mara National Reserve and Tanzania's Serengeti National Park. After watching animals like wildebeest, zebras and antelope partake in the great migration, vacationers retreat to high-end tents, cottages and lodges with private bathrooms.
(Courtesy of andBeyond)
For some of Africa's most jaw-dropping scenery, opt for the Desert Dune Safari in Namibia, offered by Wilderness Safaris. This trip spans 10 days and features visits to the Namib Desert's dune-filled Sossusvlei region (which you may recognize from "Mad Max: Fury Road") and the mountainous Palmwag Concession (a protected area with giraffes and black rhinos). The package's per person fee of 90,170 to 108,139 South African rand (or about $7,100 to around $8,600) covers most meals, park entrance fees and road transfers, plus stays at properties like Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and the four-star Hansa Hotel.
(Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris)
Wild Rwanda Safaris
Adventurous travelers sticking to a more conservative budget should consider Wild Rwanda Safaris' Bwindi Gorilla Safari. The three-day package, which features a full day in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (a haven for silverback gorillas) and an adjacent Batwa Pygmy community, costs $1,250 to $2,200 per person, depending on the chosen camp or lodge. Round-trip transfers to and from Kigali, park permits and English-speaking guide services are also included in all rates.
(Courtesy of Wild Rwanda Safaris)
Sign up for Nomad Tanzania's Get Out of Town Safari and you're bound to get an up-close look at Tanzania's diverse wildlife. Offering eight days of activities, including game drives and boat trips in Ruaha National Park and Selous Game Reserve, this safari gives you prime access to lions, cheetahs, leopards and elephants, among other species. What's more, lodging at two of the company's campsites, select meals and flights to and from Dar es Salaam are factored into the package's prices. Expect to pay a minimum of $5,064 per person.
(Courtesy of nomad-tanzania.com)
If you want to explore multiple destinations while on safari, book the 15-day Micato Grand Safari. This Micato Safaris outing starts with a two-day visit to Nairobi, Kenya, before continuing to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Masai Mara National Reserve and Amboseli and Serengeti national parks for wildlife-viewing excursions. During your trip, you'll see Mount Kilimanjaro as zebras, gazelles and more roam in the foreground. The package costs at least $18,850 per person and includes a hot air balloon ride and lodging at upscale properties like Serengeti's Four Seasons outpost.
(Courtesy of Micato Safaris)
If your ideal safari vacation consists of customizing your trip from start to finish, consider an outing with Rothschild Safaris. This company offers itineraries in locales like Zambia and Madagascar, but according to Rothschild, one of its most popular options is the Essence of Tanzania safari. The nine-day experience, which can be customized according to personal preferences, starts at $8,230 per person and includes game drives in Tarangire National Park, internal charter flights and accommodations like canvas tents and farmhouse cottages. Elephants, zebras and cheetahs are just some of the animals you may spot during your journey.
(Courtesy of Rothschild Safaris)
Lion World Travel
As the trip name implies, Lion World Travel's 12-day Best of Cape Town & Botswana vacation package combines sightseeing in Cape Town, South Africa, with a classic safari in Botswana. During the latter half of the itinerary, visitors will explore Botswana's Okavango Delta (home to crocodiles and hippos) and Chobe National Park (which boasts Africa's largest elephant population). Prices start at $4,999 per person and cover international flights between New York City or the District of Columbia and Johannesburg, as well as game drives, most meals and stays at luxury hotels, camps and lodges.
(Courtesy of Lion World Travel)
Bearded Heron Safaris
Travelers keen on seeing Kruger National Park through the eyes of a local naturalist will appreciate the 15-day safari with Bearded Heron Safaris. Led by Neil Heron, a nature guide and wildlife photographer and writer, Bearded Heron Safaris' longest option features small game drives that may include lion, rhino, zebra and leopard sightings. Rates are inclusive of in-park accommodations, transfers to and from local airports, conservation fees and all meals and drinks. For a 15-day safari, expect to pay 53,250 South African rand (about $4,200) per person.
(Neil Heron/Courtesy of Bearded Heron Safaris)