3 ways to safari in southern Africa

Wheels, walking and water – there’s more than one way to spot a big cat on safari in southern Africa, reveals Isobel Turner


According to the African Travel & Tourism Association, safari providers in the continent’s south and east are reporting that travellers are booking in “record numbers”. From watching elephants from a 4×4 in the Kenyan savannah to sailing past basking hippos on the Zambezi or walking with gorillas in Uganda, there are many ways to see Africa’s wildlife.

By 4×4


This safari adventure covers the Tsavo West and East national parks, where elephants roam. Clients also visit Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary, a mix of mountains, forest and savannah, home to lions and leopards.

Book it: Newmarket Holidays’ 13-day Kenyan Beach & Safari tour starts from £3,463, including seven nights’ all-inclusive and four nights’ full board, with flights departing April 29, 2024.


The rich pasture of the Ngorongoro Crater supports more than 20,000 mammals, which can be observed with a 4×4 adventure and a stay at a crater-side campsite that’s frequented by wandering buffalos and zebras.

Book it: G Adventures’ 12-day Serengeti Safari & Zanzibar tour starts from £3,399, departing January 28, 2024. Includes accommodation, some meals and all activities, but not flights.

By boat


Get a new perspective of Zambian wildlife from the mighty Zambezi. From a canoe, watch elephants feed on the banks, crocodiles bask in the water and kingfishers swoop overhead.

Book it: Exodus Adventure Travel’s 10-day Zambezi Canoe Safari starts from £2,949, including accommodation, some meals, activities and flights, departing June 22, 2024.


As the sun sets on Chobe National Park, a safari boat helps guests spot crocodiles. Farther south on the Okavango River, watch hippos in the water from a traditional mokoro canoe.

Book it: From January to May (excluding Easter), Abercrombie & Kent’s 11-night Classic Botswana trip starts at £10,990, based on two sharing. Price includes full-board accommodation, activities and flights.

By foot

South Africa 

Leave the 4×4 behind and immerse yourself in the South African bush. Walks take travellers in search of the big five through Thornybush Game Reserve, where they’re encouraged to use all their senses.

Book it: Responsible Travel’s 14-day South African Safari tour, departing May 8, 2024, starts from £4,495 and includes accommodation, transfers, meals and activities, but excludes flights.


Intrepid travellers who tackle Bwindi Impenetrable Forest’s steep, muddy trails will be rewarded with up-close sightings of mountain gorillas. Hikers should also keep their eyes peeled for chimps and antelopes.

Book it: Explore’s 10-night Uganda Gorilla and Chimp Safari, departing January 6, 2024, starts from £4,775 and includes accommodation, some meals, transport and guides, but excludes flights.

Read more

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