Tag Archives: African safari

The Okavango Delta: A paradise surrounded by the parched Kalahari

One would be forgiven for being completely and utterly awed by the Okavango Delta. This  unique wetland spans between 6000 to 1500 square kilometres, depending on the season. Situated in the northern reaches of Botswana, the Okavango Delta is a lush paradise made up of islands, woodlands, and floodplains, surrounded by the parched sands of the Kalahari Desert.

This natural masterpiece is the largest inland delta in Africa, and hosts hundreds of bird and animal species. This includes red lechwe and sitatunga. The area provides excellent safari opportunities, with not only a variety of wildlife to observe, but also several ways of going on safari. These include mokoro canoes, hot air balloons, and boat cruises- you are spoiled for choice. With Moremi Game Reserve situated on the eastern edge of the Okavango, even traditional game drives are on offer!

There are dozens of Okavango lodges to stay in, allowing for a unique experience when visiting different parts of the delta. These Okavango lodges strive to provide the best experience for their guests, making sure they enjoy this stunning World Heritage Site to the fullest.

Gunn’s Camp is one of the last few remaining luxury vintage safari camps, and maintains a fine balance between comfort and a true bushveld experience. Overlooking the legendary Chief’s Island, this Okavango lodge is set on raised platforms, giving it superb views over the delta plains. The dense wooded island on which it is situated gives Gunn’s a discrete and intimate atmosphere, perfect for honeymooners and couples.

Xugana Island Lodge is situated on a private concession. This Okavango lodge takes full advantage of its majestic location. Xugana has an expansive deck, which allows guests to dine under the stars while overlooking the pristine waters of the delta. Xugana is a wonderful place to relax. The swimming pool and garden are perfect for cooling off after a long day on safari.

Camp Okavango is our next Okavango lodge on offer. It is an authentically African safari camp, situated on the remote Nxaragha Island.  This Okavango lodge is a hidden gem, offering individual safari tents raised on platforms. They all enjoy private open-air viewing decks.

There are a plethora of Okavango lodges to choose from, each offering something unique and wonderful, just like the Okavango Delta itself. Visit this luxurious location for yourself- contact us to book your stay at one of our Okavango lodges.

Something Different: Non-motorised Safaris

The mention of an African safari usually conjures up images of bushveld landscapes, gravel roads, and 4x4s. While traditional game drives in open safari vehicles are still one of the best ways to experience a classic African safari, a variety of new safari methods are now on offer. These non-motorised safari techniques offer fresh and unique ways to explore the African wilderness.

Walking safaris

Walking safaris are undoubtedly one of the most thrilling ways to experience a safari. Being on foot allows to you experience your surroundings up close and in a much more personal way than you would in a vehicle. You are able to take in every little detail; you can see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste your surroundings! Encountering wildlife on foot will bring an unforgettable rush of adrenaline.

Plenty of safari destinations now offer guided walking safaris- but one of the best places for this experience is the South Luangwa in Zambia.

Horseback Safaris

Explore the African wilderness in the same way that early travelers and explorers once did- on horseback! As with a walking safari, a horseback safari allows you to get much closer to your surroundings than a vehicle would. There is a wonderful variety of parks and reserves that offer guided horseback safaris, catering for everyone from young children and beginners to experienced riders. Explore iconic safari destinations like the Kruger, the Masai Mara, and Victoria Falls on horseback, or chose to visit places such as the Tswalu Kalahari or Ant’s Nest Reserves in South Africa. You can even choose to do a multi-day horseback trail in the Mashatu region of Botswana.

Mokoro Safaris

A mokoro is a traditional dugout canoe that is mainly used for water-based safaris in the Okavango Delta region of Botswana. The guide stands on a flattened platform at the back of the boat, propelling it using a long pole. You are taken on an exciting journey along the waterways and channels of the area, using your unique vantage point to help you spot wildlife species.

While Botswana is the prime mokoro safari destination, a number of other regions where you can enjoy them as well, including Victoria FallsKafue National Park in Zambia, and Mana Pools in Zimbabwe. Excellent camps in Botswana to visit include Pom Pom Camp, Machaba Camp, and Pelo Camp.

Gorilla Safari Tour

For many nature and wildlife lovers, an African safari is top of their must-do list. When most people think of an African safari, what comes to mind are images such as vast savannah plains, fearsome predators on the hunt, and spectacular bushveld sunsets. But there are so many more life-changing safari experiences to be had on the incredible continent of Africa. One such experience is a gorilla safari tour.

On a gorilla safari tour, you are given the chance to trek through the dense rainforests of central Africa, as you search for the magnificent mountain gorillas that are only found in a handful of African countries. You are led by armed and experienced guides and trackers. When you finally come upon the gorillas, you spend some time in their presence, observing them as they go about their daily activities. Being in the presence of these gentle giants in their natural habitat is an awe-inspiring experience that will resonate with you on a primal level, and is one that you won’t easily forget.

There are only three African countries in which it is possible to do a gorilla safari tour: Uganda, Rwanda, and the Republic of the Congo. These countries are home to a host of game reserves and national parks, each protecting and conserving the dense rainforests that house the endangered gorillas. Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda is the prime destination for a gorilla safari tour, with several well-established lodges offering comfortable accommodation and excellent guided treks. In Rwanda, Volcanoes National Park offers exceptional gorilla safari tours, as well as a chance to see a host of other species, including buffalo, forest elephant, and giant forest hog. Odzala-Kokoua National Park in the Republic of the Congo is lesser-known, but is still a fantastic destination for a gorilla safari tour. This remote park is perfect for those seeking true wilderness, and its luxurious safari lodges complete the experience.

African Budget Safari

Who said that going on an African safari is only for the rich and famous? You can go on an African budget safari and still have an exceptional safari experience with incredible stories to tell.

There are many African budget safari options available. You can tailor-make a fantastic affordable safari with the help of the team of seasoned safari experts from the Safari Index.

First, there are a few things that you need to iron out when planning your dream African budget safari. Let’s take a look at a few questions you can ask yourself when planning your African budget safari:

  • Where would you like to go? South Africans often say that “local is lekker”- some of the best holiday destinations are often right on your doorstep. Southern and East Africa are home to so many parks and reserves that it is safe to say there will be a park or reserve within a couple of hour’s drive of you at any time.
  • Once you know where you would like to go, you need to decide what type of accommodation you would like to stay in. For the very budget-conscious, camping is always popular. For those wanting to sleep under a roof, self-catering chalets in national park camps are a great and affordable option. The facilities at these camps include basic kitchen equipment, linen and towels, and braai (barbeque) areas in which to cook your meals under African skies. When camping and staying in self-catering camps, you will generally travel in your own vehicle and self-drive around the various national parks.

  • Those looking at travelling without any can opt for full-board lodging at a private game lodge. Although these lodges cost more than self-catering camps, they offer an amazing safari experience, as the rate usually includes one or two guided game drives each day. These affordable and cost-effective private lodges offer great value for money, especially to international travellers on their first trip to Africa.
  • Those looking to get the most bang for their buck can also look for last-minute deals and great specials (such as local resident rates), where meals and game drives are often included at a very low rate.

  • Then there are alternative budget safari experiences which offer great value for money. 3 to 4-day wilderness walking trails are an incredible way to get truly in touch with nature at budget-friendly rates.
  • An affordable budget safari tour or overland safari tour is another way to see a lot for very little. If you have 2 to 3 weeks or more to spare, then this is the best bet for you.
  • A cheap safari doesn’t have to be a bad safari. Draw up a budget and give yourself enough time to save up for that trip. One dream trip a year is worth more in memories then several rushed holidays to cheap and nasty destinations.

The Safari Index Africa has some great African budget safaris and budget-friendly game lodges which they recommend in some of Africa’s best game parks and nature reserves. The majority of game lodges, bush camps and safari tours in Big 5 areas are generally expensive, given the costs of getting the various first-world luxuries into the lodges and camps, which are located in remote wilderness areas.

Visit the Safari Index’s list of recommend affordable safari lodges and budget safari tours today – click here to see more.