Africa is the home of adventure, the wide open spaces, lakes, rivers and mountains lend themselves exceptionally well to those who want to add that bit extra to a trip. Of course many of the luxury safari properties themselves offer little excursions into the wilderness, which will absolutely blow your mind. Every year new and exciting things pop up in Africa which we feel are a must for those wanting to experience the feeling of being in one of the most remote parts of the world. Here are the top ten luxury safari bucket list experiences:
1. Helicopter to Lake Turkana, Kenya
From many of the luxury safari properties in Northern Kenya a very popular idea is to take a private helicopter and delicious picnic and do a day trip up to Lake Turkana. This lake is so remote, so stark and so beautiful that it is certainly something you’ll never forget. Enasoit offer particularly good helicopter excursions.
2. The Elewana road safari, Tanzania
Elewana operate several luxury safari camps and lodges in Northern Tanzania and their brand new safari sees guests take brand new Land Rover Discoverys and drive themselves (with the guide on a radio at the front) through some of the most remote and wild parts of Northern Tanzania, seeing a vast abundance of game on route.
3. The Malori sleep-out, South Africa
Many luxury safari properties have fantastic options for those wishing to sleep out under the stars but this sleep-out, located on the famous Tswalu Kalahari Reserve in South Africa is one of the best. Here you will find no expense has been spared in making this sleep out the stuff of dreams, and to wake up to a Kalahari sunrise is truly inspirational.
4. Quad biking across the Makgadikgadi Pans, Botswana
The Makgadikgadi Salt Pans in Botswana are so lunar in landscape that one really does imagine you’re Neil Armstrong – this amazing area comes complete with baobab oases, meerkats, ancient San bushmen and riding safaris – and of course the famous quad biking. Head out onto the pans for a dewless night spent under the stars on antique camp beds set up just for you. Camp Kalahari and San Camp offer the best and only quad biking.
5. Canoeing the Zambezi, Botswana
There are several canoeing trips in Africa; the Selinda Spillway in Botswana is one of the best and is a four night trip into the most remote part of the Okavango Delta, but if you’re not sure you want to canoe all the time head to the Lower Zambezi where you will see elephants and hippos up close on a morning or afternoon canoe safari. Sausage Tree in the Lower Zambezi is magical for canoeing.
6. Visit Liuwa Plains, Zambia
Liuwa Plains is the only other place (apart from the Mara and Serengeti) in Africa where you get wide open plains, and a wildebeest migration – yet it is hardly known of, and certainly never visited. Norman Carr are now offering set departures to this amazing place for four or five nights next year – this means you will experience amazing cheetah, hyena and wild dog sightings, and will truly know what it means to be ‘off the beaten track’.
7. Track chimpanzees in Tanzania
Not only can you track chimpanzees in the wild at Greystoke Mahale, Western Tanzania, but you can also enjoy staying in one of the most unique and quirky lodges in all of Africa – this really is a once in a lifetime destination with lazy days split between mobile camping on the beach, lunch on the lake and tracking the chimpanzees.
8. Para trike across Kenya
Team up with ex wounded servicemen who will guide your para trike safari across Northern Kenya – to fly at the same level as birds of prey and see the land from this perspective is nothing short of miraculous. Flying for Heroes took place this year and the wounded servicemen who took part so loved it that they are now guiding para trike trips around Kenya – no previous experience necessary.
9 . The Ibo dhow safari
What better way to experience the white sandy deserted islands of the Quirimbas Archipelago in Northern Mozambique, than on a private dhow, fully staffed, eating delicious fresh seafood every day. The beauty of this archipelago of islands is un-tangible and you will spend your days exploring deserted coves and enjoying complete privacy.
10. Mobile camping
Mobile camping is the most glorious way of getting out into the bush – no matter what level of camp you have from rustic to luxury you will always have a private camp, private guide and vehicle so it really is a very exclusive way of seeing Africa, and often means you get into the most remote parts possible. Uncharted Africa in Botswana run one of the most luxurious mobile safari options in the world.
Rose Hipwood is Managing Director of The Luxury Safari Company.