The first question is where would you like to go? Remember Africa is a large continent. There are over 50 countries in Africa, nine of which are renowned for world-class safaris: South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and Rwanda. Do you dream of setting foot on the infinite plains of the world-famous Serengeti or Masai Mara? Are you keen to climb the ancient sand dunes of the Namib Desert or would you prefer a land and (seasonal) water-based safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta? Each country offers its own unique charms and wildlife encounters, so start dreaming of exactly what your ultimate safari should entail. Secondly, when can you and when should you travel? One must consider high/low seasons, rainfall patterns, wildlife migrations, and temperatures throughout the year when planning. Thirdly, how long do you want to be away? In our experience the average safari lasts about fourteen days, but that is flexible. Remember to factor in travel time and time/date changes from your home origin when looking at trip dates. The fourth question is how much are you going to budget for the trip, and what level of accommodation will you expect? We focus on luxury, comfort, service, and quality of game viewing, so our prices are going to reflect these. The fifth question is what are the interests of everyone in your travel party? Is game viewing going to be the focus? Is there certain wildlife you would particularly like to try to see? Are other experiences such as the wine tasting region, the beaches of the Cape, or other countries on your wish list? These are important questions to ask and determine before we start the planning process.
Africa offers so much to see and do, and each country offers unique safari opportunities and varied experiences. Your safari will be individually planned and customized to meet your expectations and desires. Our expert staff can guide you through the process and offer suggestions based on knowledge and personal experiences. First time visitors tend to focus on South Africa since it offers everything from great game viewing to the charm and picturesque beauty of Cape Town and the coast, as well as the wine region. However, other countries offer their own unique character and intrigue. Adding on visits to other African countries during your trip may be of interest, or they may become future safari destinations.
Keep in mind the seasons are reversed from North America. When it's hot at home during our Summer, it's mild in the southern African region. Temperatures and average rainfall vary by country and region within Africa. While you certainly can go anytime, our favorite time for travel is from February through October, due to comfortable temperatures and typically lower rainfall.
We offer varied lodging choices... traditional hotels, lodges, and tented camps. All offer great accommodations, gracious hospitality, wonderful cuisine, and unequaled game viewing. You can stay in one place or vary your experience by staying in multiple types of accommodations in different areas. Our staff can guide you through the choices by region, preference of type of accommodation, and budget.
South African Airways provides the only non-stop service to Johannesburg from Washington Dullus and direct service from New York's JFK. Delta also offers direct service to Johannesburg from Atlanta. We are a contracted wholesale agent for South African Airways, which allows us to provide you with inexpensive transatlantic airfares. We also have low-cost add-on fares from most US cities. For travelers headed to East Africa, Emirates offers high class service as well.
Every traveler needs a valid passport. Please plan in advance if you need a first time passport or a renewal. If you are traveling to South Africa you must have at least two blank pages in a US passport, and at least 30 days validity left on the passport. Other countries may have very different passport requirements, and we will advise you on these when you book with us.
Visas are required for US travelers to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We will advise you on whether these must be obtained ahead of time in the US or at port of entry, depending on your itinerary.
Yellow fever certificates are required if your journey starts from or passes through a country where yellow fever is prevalent. These countries include Kenya and Tanzania. A vaccine is easily available from a travel clinic in your hometown prior to your trip.
Not all regions of Africa are affected by malaria. If you are traveling to a malaria risk area, however, your doctor or travel clinic can prescribe anti-malarial medications and prevention tips.
Once in Africa, it is not difficult to travel domestically within a country or between countries. You will likely have to take a domestic flight from your hub city to the bush for safari. Modern planes are used for many destinations from the Johannesburg or Cape Town hubs, but turbo prop planes service smaller destinations. In some areas, especially Botswana, single and twin-engine charter planes are frequently used. Planning is important, because there may not be daily departures between some of your chosen destinations. Let us assist you with your additional air travel ahead of time and you'll be all set to easily navigate your flights once you arrive.
While each country has their own currency, dollars will work in most of Africa, or are easily exchanged for local currency in major areas. Major credit cards are typically accepted at any major lodge, hotel or restaurant. You may wish to have some local currency if you are visiting smaller villages or markets.
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We can assist you with your packing needs based on our own experiences, the time of year you will be traveling, your destination and itinerary. For example, some smaller domestic bush planes have weight restrictions for luggage. We want to make sure you are well prepared and comfortable during your travels.
"Our honeymoon was definitely the trip of a lifetime and one we will never forget. Thanks so much for making it perfect."
"There is no way I can express to you the sincere gratitude that my son, wife and I owe to you. We had the adventure of our lives, everything packed with new, exotic experiences, thrills and learning. The personal combination of food, service and unbelievable beauty were beyond compare."
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"I've been traveling all over the world for twenty years, but my trip this month to Africa put together by your firm was the smoothest and best planned trip I've ever made. The various places we stayed were outstanding and the uniqueness of each location added to the charm and atmosphere of the trip. The service I received from the guides, drivers and hotel attendants made me feel like royalty. The most impressive part was how smooth everything worked. Thanks again for your hard work, dedication and professionalism. I look forward to another trip with you."
"Thank you for a superb job of planning and organizing as everything went smoothly. The country of South Africa so captivated me that my husband and I are already planning a return trip next summer. The only thing to rival the bush and animals was the food. The experience of South Africa is like no other and its effect is difficult to express. I can only encourage others to make the venture."
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