Planning an African Safari: Everything to Know

Giraffe and zebra in the Serengeti

Planning an African Safari: Everything to Know

Africa is a continent of contrasts, one full of endless possibilities and breathtaking exquisite landscapes. The sheer variety of experiences available is what lures curious travelers but it can also be daunting when seeking to plan the ultimate African safari. That’s where an on-the-ground specialist with a lifetime of experience becomes invaluable.

When planning an African safari, there is a lot to consider. From overarching decisions on where to go and what to see to the minute details and nuances that can transform an experience completely. It’s always important to keep in mind your expectations and any factors that may be holding you back from experiencing your dream journey.

Read on to learn more about how to plan an African safari and how ROAR AFRICA can provide you with a meticulous, hand-crafted, grind-free experience that’s perfect for your travel DNA.

Xigera Lodge-Suite Airstrip Botswana Unkown

Planning the Itinerary for a Luxury African Safari: The Basics

Planning an African safari is a delicate dance. There is so much “noise” to filter through. Not only do you need to consider the budget, the logistics and the location, but also allow for unique excursions to maximize your immersion in the wild. It is about finding the perfect balance between deep relaxation and adventure in the wild.

Let us begin with the basics of how to plan a safari. While there is no right or wrong way to craft an itinerary, this expert advice can serve as a foundation for your adventure.

How Many Days Do You Need for An African Safari?

Safari options can ultimately be curated to suit your schedule. However, we have found that ten days is an ideal amount of time for an African safari. This allows you time to acclimate to a new time zone and accounts for jet lag. We recommend a minimum of two safari experiences, possibly three-to-four nights at each destination. This allows for diversity of experience and wildlife, without rushing you.

Can You Combine Multiple Destinations on Safari?

Of course! It is completely possible to travel to multiple destinations during your visit, but it is important to be realistic. Bear in mind that Africa is the second largest continent on our planet - going from Southern Africa to East Africa can be upwards of a five-hour flight.

When is the Best Time to Go on an African Safari?

This depends on where you go on safari and what you want to see. Many agree that the best time for game viewing in Southern Africa is during the dry season, typically from June through September. However, there is plenty of magic to be found during the shoulder season, too.

It’s important to bear in mind that a safari planned by experts who know the areas intimately is possible year-round with incredible wildlife encounters and spectacular scenery throughout the continent all twelve months of the year. That being said, certain iconic experiences, like the annual Great Migration crossings are season-dependent.

When is the Best Time to Book an African Safari?

For the best opportunities the more time in advance the better. You will have more choices. Should you want to gorilla trek in Rwanda or Uganda, a year or more in advance is optimum. A safari over the holiday season and new year also requires more than a year in advance to book.

How Should You Create a Luxury African Safari Itinerary?

Planning an African safari is a balance between adventure and relaxation. It is important to give your body time to adjust to long travel days and soak in the small moments of wonder and beauty as you discover a new place. The experienced team of travel experts at ROAR AFRICA is here to hold your hand every step of the way, removing any stress and grind from your travel. By understanding what luxury means to you, whether that be the setting, the service or the seamlessness, we can plan the ideal itinerary for your expectations, activity level, family dynamic and more.

RA Leopard Steven Lake

Choosing the Perfect Destination for Your African Safari

Another important aspect of planning an African safari is choosing where to go. From private game reserves in South Africa to the savannah on steroids in Kenya and the flowing delta in Botswana, to Zimbabwe, Namibia and beyond. There are extraordinary experiences to be found in every country.

Best Places for Safari in Africa

For a first-time safari and excellent value, South Africa and Kenya offer a superb mix of wildlife viewing, cultural immersion, top-tier lodges and camps and unique experiences from heli-safaris to hot air ballooning as well as horseback riding safaris. These countries are easy to travel to with major airports serving most airlines and direct flights from the USA.

For a return trip to the continent, the call of the wild may beckon you further afield and deeper into the bush. Botswana, Rwanda, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe offer exceptional remote luxury experiences with pristine reserves and an array of exceptional wildlife and conservation initiatives.

There are also options for unique island getaways in Mozambique, Mauritius and the Seychelles. These are wonderful options to unwind and relax and soak up the ocean after days out in the bush. All are easily reached with exceptional places to stay.

When choosing where to go on safari, keep seasonal considerations in mind in addition to wildlife diversity, landscapes, accessibility and transportation options. We can of course advise you on all of this and cut through the noise for you.

Selecting Luxury Accommodations 

Where to go on safari also includes choosing luxury accommodations to suit your needs. Africa is home to a variety of safari lodges, tented camps and private villas that cater to individuals, couples, families and big multi-generation groups. The choice of where to stay is ultimately yours and we handpick only the best of the best so you are never disappointed.

When choosing your lodging for a safari keep in mind proximity to wildlife, amenities and services, privacy and environmental sustainability. Price is driven by real estate and what that means is access to wildlife. Many lodges look equally luxurious online, but this is rarely the case. It takes experts who know the lay of the land intimately to advise you and ensure your experience is maximized.

Planning African Safari Activities

While an iconic game drive is the order of the day in the early morning and evening we always encourage a bush walk to get up close and personal with wildlife. It’s a totally different experience and puts you right into the moment.

Additional chapters in our guide are dedicated to the variety of safari activities and excursions you should consider including in your itinerary depending on your location. From hot air balloons, helicopters with doors removed (if you wish), horseriding, mokoros (traditional dug-out canoes), boats, cultural and community engagement to wildlife conservation and dining experiences – it's in these moments that Africa leaves her mark.

Planning a Luxury African Safari With ROAR AFRICA

Planning an African safari with ROAR AFRICA removes all stress and puts you directly into the care of the very best experts in the industry. With decades of experience on the continent, our on-the-ground team of Navy SEALS knows what it takes to make luxury travel to Africa accessible, exceptional and life-changing. Most of all they appreciate the value of your time and will not compromise on anything.

Our team takes pride in designing luxury African safaris to make the impossible possible. Client safety and well-being are always a top priority, in addition to crafting an unforgettable experience.

Explore our luxury African destinations and experiences at ROAR AFRICA.

Subscribe to receive the latest updates