Safaris are right up there at the top on just about every South African holiday bucketlist. And no wonder! The South African wilderness offers a glorious kaleidoscope of wildlife, breathtaking landscapes, magical atmospheres, exciting adventures, and superb hospitality at the first-rate lodges. Safaris in South Africa come in all shapes and sizes, offering an array of speciality experiences. Here are some of the safaris that we at Exclusive Getaways can arrange for you:
The Authentic (But Luxurious) Electricity-Free Safari
‘An authentic bush experience since 1964‘, is what the fabulous Notten’s Bush Camp is all about. Notten’s is one of South Africa’s very frist private game lodges, rubbing shoulders with the early pioneers of private safaris in South Africa. It has pride of place in the Sabi Sand Reserve, a region bursting with wildlife and birds. The Notten’s experience is luxurious, yet in the absence of electricity, it is also in keeping with the “real” safaris of yesteryear.
One of the safari experiences that is super-special and not on offer at all – or even most – lodges, is an elephantback safari. CampJabulani in the Kapama Private Game Reserve, Limpopo, offers this awesome activity, and in fact Camp Jabulani is the only place on earth where you can ride an elephant after dark! A herd of trained African elephants has its home at Camp Jabulani, and these are the great beasts who will walk the wilderness with awed passengers on their backs. They were rescued by the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre and fortunate enough to be given a home in this special part of South Africa.
Many safari lodges in South Africa provide outstanding offerings to families, making safaris one of the most popular forms of family holiday in the country. Carefully tailored programmes offer fun and learning to all ages, and instil in children a sense of wonder about our precious natural world. From bug spotting to mask making, from clay-play to bush Olympics, our lodges have come up with some wonderfully imaginative activities for the young ones.
“Not even Tanzania’s famed Serengeti Game Reserve or the awesome Ngorongoro Crater fills your camera viewfinder faster with Africa’s legendary Big Five – at MalaMala, lion, leopard, buffalo, rhinoceros and elephant appear magically.” This was the thrilling experience of acclaimed wildlife photojournalist Geoff Dalglish, reported in a Sunday Times review, and appearing on MalaMala’s homepage. MalaMala is one of several lodges offering rewarding photographic safaris in South Africa.
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve offers magnificent marine excursions at Gansbaai. Take a whale watching boat cruise in Gansbaai to watch pods of dolphins and Southern Right whales showcasing themselves in the waves, or a great white shark going after its prey. The cruise also brings you close to seals and penguins in the zone between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock, also named Shark Alley because it’s one of the best shark cage diving spots in the world. Land-based whale watching is also excellent at Gansbaai. Grootbos guides will also accompany you on the walk that features the pre-historic Klipgat Cave. Additionally, at Grootbos there is also horse riding, forest walks amongst old Milkwoods, fynbos drives and birding tours.
White table linen perfectly crisp at the folds, gleaming silver mirroring the marula trees that play canopy to dinner, the warm amber glow of hurricane lamps … This is the spiff and polished safari capturing yesteryear’s explorer-heart and old-school bush charm. If you’re less inclined towards the ultra-mod feel of many modern-day safaris, we can offer you some superb and luxurious safari-of-yesteryear options.
The wilderness in South Africa has many gorgeously romantic lodges. Most safari lodges in the 4 and 5 star bracket are divinely romantic. Private bush-view decks, intimate bathtubs, his-and-her bathroom basins, gorgeous decor, scatterings of petals on your pillow, spa treatments for couples, private dinners in beautiful spots outdoors – these can all be part and parcel of your romantic safari. Romantic safari options are among the romantic getaways featured on our blog.
The winter months (May – Sep) are the best ones for safari specials in South Africa. This is the “secret season” during which most lodges drop their rates substantially, and they frequently also offer specials. Specials can take the form of discounted rates, or value-adds, or a combination of both. Secret season specials are sometimes offered specifically to South African residents, bringing luxury safaris within the range of a larger number of locals. View all our special offers.
A safari can be that much more exciting from the vantage point of a tent. The spirit of adventure may be heightened and nature feels especially close. Yet luxury need not be sacrificed either. Exclusive Getaways can recommend a number of tented safari camps in South Africa which are in the upmarket to luxury bracket. Many have all the mod cons such as air-con, mini-bar, en-suite bathroom and more. View the Tented Safari Posts on our blog.
Walking safaris are a precious experience. They provide such good opportunities for appreciating the smaller, but no less miraculous, things of the wilderness. Marvel at leaves, insects, the spoor of animals, and appreciate the many miracles of nature’s provisions and adaptations. Many safari lodges offer an optional guided bush walk, usually in the mid morning after breakfast. But for more extensive walking safaris and trails, as well as sleepouts, Plains Camp in the Kruger National Park is a good bet.
Some lodges – and there are several such destinations in KwaZulu-Natal – offer the wonderful combination of a bush- and water-based safari. It provides the best of two worlds and makes for a good deal of variety. So, for example, you could enjoy game viewing, bush walks, boat tours, fishing, animal tracking at one destination. View our blog posts on wetland and water safaris in South Africa.
Unique Safari Destinations
A unique safari destination is Kariega River Lodge in the Eastern Cape. What makes it unusual is its situation in an area where Big Five reserve meets the sea. The landscape features both bush and beach – and river, and supports a variety of outdoor activities. Daily ferry trips take lodge guests across the river to the appealing village of Kenton-on-sea and its wonderful beaches.
Mail us for safari and getaway bookings in South Africa, or call us on 0860 102 907 (local) or +27 21 797-7122 (international).