South Africa, known for its vastly diverse landscapes and experiences with industry-leading, stylish lodges and world-class cuisine is a world leader in conservation and the restoration of wildlife areas. With great infrastructure, the trendy city of Cape Town; the stunning wine region; the beautifully scenic Garden Route, historic Zululand battlefields, the majestic Drakensberg, and the dramatic Blyde-river canyon are all easily linked together.
Well-managed, predominantly Malaria free private nature reserves bordering Kruger National Park offers some of the best wildlife sightings on the Continent, making South Africa an excellent choice for family safaris. Despite this undoubted popularity, there are still many hidden and uncrowded corners gems from the far northern Pafuri region, the vastly beautiful Karoo, and the dramatic southern Kalahari.
South Africa offers so much for seasoned travellers, first-time travellers and families with small children alike; we love South Africa for its diversity, ease of travel, quality of service, and stylish lodge designs. Traveling with Africa Unlocked will ensure you love too.
Bordering the magnificent Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe offers travelers up-close wildlife encounters in vast wildlife reserves with industry-leading guides. It is a country that provides first-class walking and boating safaris, Free from the crowds. This vast, wild, and inspiring country has emerged from political turbulence and is now well and truly on the map for operators, guides and travelers “in the know”.
For adrenaline junkies – Victoria Falls, Africa’s adventure capital with everything from bungee jumping, white-water rafting, gorge swings, helicopter flips over the falls and speed boating amongst the Zambezi cliffs. And for the more unhurried, there are stunning waterfall walks and sunset cruises on the Zambezi and birdwatchers can view some of the Continent’s rare and elusive species such as the Taita falcon.
With its iconic National parks; Hwange on the edge of the Kalahari in the west, the beautiful Mana Pools on the banks of the Zambezi and Matusadona along the shores of Lake Kariba still home to abundant herds of Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe, Zebra, antelope as well as the big cats lion, leopard, and cheetah.
Zimbabwe also offers some of the best places to search for the seldom-seen Sable and Roan antelope and track often on foot the rare and endangered African Wild dog. We love Zimbabwe for its wildness, the quality of guides, the natural beauty of its park scenery and the resilience of its people.
Botswana is a vast, breathtaking country of contrast. From the moon landscape and orchestral silence of the Makgadigadi pans, to the wildlife-rich Linyanti and Chobe riverfronts in the north, the predator stronghold of the Savuti marsh, to the enigmatic Tsodilo Hills where ancient hunter-gatherer artists left their rock art, still not fully understood by westerners.
Then, of course, Botswana’s main draw-card the Okavango Delta an annual flood formed by rains falling many months prior on the Angolan highlands thousands of kilometers away that have snaked across the Kalahari sands and emerged as the world-renowned wetland paradise. The seasonal delta is a naturalist home to an incredible abundance of wildlife, some rare and seldom seen.
Priding itself in low volume, high-quality safari experiences, Botswana can sometimes be considered expensive but is a destination suited to travelers seeking exclusivity and where they can disconnect and be captivated by an an experience like no other.
The stunning isolation, vastness of the landscape and otherworldly desert scenery make Namibia one of the most enchanting countries in the world. This sparsely populated desert country is remarkably rich in contrasts with the terrain changing from rocky plains, dramatic mountains and rolling sand dunes, all bordering the dramatic Atlantic coastline.
Truly a place of overwhelming yet completely captivating emptiness and silence. Remarkably it is not an area devoid of wildlife and is home to desert-adapted elephants, rhinos and lions as well as seldom seen Brown Hyena, Oryx, Springbok and for the lucky ones, Cheetah and Leopard.
Namibia is home to some remarkable national parks; the Namib-Naukluft National Park, the largest in the world as well as one of the most diverse, the wildlife-rich and enigmatic Etosha National Park. Journey to the far north-eastern reaches of Damaraland harbours home to some of the world’s strangest plants and wildlife on the planet and the homeland of the last traditional and nomadic people in the world, the Himba.
Tanzania is famed for its Iconic conservation areas such as the Serengeti, the scene of the most significant animal migration on the planet, the epic Ngorongoro Crater and snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, easily elevate Tanzania to the top of any safari list.
With seductive beaches, ancient ruins and archaeological sites where ancient man took some of its first steps, Tanzania promises much more. To the south, the untouched and pristine wildernesses of Ruaha, Selous and Katavi, with their vast herds of Buffalo and Elephant, Roan and Sable antelope, are home to healthy predator populations. This landscape scattered with mighty Baobab trees is the ideal stomping ground for intrepid Travelers in search of old Africa.
And to the western edge of the country, along the banks of Lake Tanganyika the forested slopes of the Mahali Mountains National Park, established for the protection of the regions thriving wild chimpanzee groups. Ongoing studies of these and other primates in the area have habituated the chimps to human presence. Today, travellers who venture off the main tourist routes can walk with these animals through their forested home.
Journey to North Luangwa, home to enchantingly isolated bush camps for some of the best walking safaris in Africa or South Luangwa for some of the highest leopard densities on the continent.
For the hardcore wildlife enthusiast, Zambia’s smallest National Park, Kasanka, home to one of the planet’s biggest mammal migrations as between 5 and ten million Straw-colored Fruit-bats arrive between November and December each year.
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The birthplace of the classic safari and the most revered of African safari destinations. It’s a country filled with the history and romance of intrepid pioneers venturing into the wild unknown, brimming with the thrill of adventure. It is here where the great wildebeest migration reaches its apex in Kenya’s Maasai Mara, where hundreds of thousands of Wildebeest and Zebra cross the snaking and crocodile-infested Mara river.
The pioneering spirit of adventure is still very much alive and well. The central Laikipia region allows guests to meet the locals, many of whom third generation-pioneering stock. Away from the confines of park rules, families or groups of friends can get out of the vehicle and explore the area on foot, on horseback, or even on a camel safari.
Mobile expeditions to the wild northern frontier of Lake Turkana offer a glimpse of authentic Africa where people still live largely unaffected by the touch of the modern era. Kenya not only promises a vast abundance of wildlife, fascinating local tribes, and beautiful scenery, but also insights into conservation projects and community works without which much of the wildlife areas would not be conserved.
North of Uganda, the famed Great Rift Valley splits around lake Victoria, creating the Albertine rift. This remarkable geological feature follows Uganda’s western boundary and is home to an incredible array of wildlife, many of which occur nowhere else on the planet. Forty-one species of mammals and birds, 19 species of reptiles and 38 species of amphibians are endemic to this region.
Home to some of the last remaining Mountain Gorillas, to thirteen other species of primates ranging from Chimpanzees to the obscure Potto (ever heard of that?), to all the big cats as well as Elephant, Buffalo, Giraffe, everything one could wish to encounter on a safari. Uganda is a beautiful country with landscapes ranging from snow-capped mountains, open savannahs, great rivers flowing into gigantic lakes and tropical forests. Travellers to this country will be reassuringly surprised at how safe, clean and easy to travel it is.