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The Ultimate African Luxury Safaris

Africa’s variety is astonishing, from its deserts to its paradise islands, or the diversity of its tribes and their engaging traditions. It’s what perpetually pulls travelers to its shores, to stay at luxury camps hidden in the tall grass of vast savannahs, to be dazzled by diversity (while also narrowly focused on that magnificent Big Five).

The modern approach to safari today is a demonstration of unwavering respect for the fragile ecosystems that you enter. Pelorus chooses to work with locally based rangers and communities whenever possible. Here’s our selection of those safari destinations that deliver a taste of real Africa.

ZIMBABWE

The UNESCO-listed Mana Pools is considered one of Africa’s finest parklands. You’ll join a leading wildlife filmmaker on a shoot, canoeing the Zambezi past hippos and crocodiles, striking ever deeper into the African bush. Crossing Matusadona’s epic plains and imposing ranges, you’ll search for the Big Five.

Begin your African adventure in Hwange—Zimbabwe’s largest park. Stay at Somalisa Camp where you’re embedded in the wilderness and astonishing animal encounters—by horseback or otherwise—are a regular occurrence. For a sighting of the rare black rhino, Pamushana Lodge is ideal for rhino encounters when in the Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve. Complete your journey in Gorges Lodge—just 10km from the cascading magnificence of Victoria Falls. See it from a helicopter or zip line, bungee jump, or white water raft near this natural wonder for a thilling finale.

Mozambique

Beautiful Mozambique offers safari opportunities on land and at sea. Take a helicopter transfer to the Bazaruto Archipelago and Benguerra Island which offers barefoot luxury with dolphins and turtles swimming among the neon fish just offshore. From eco-lodge Azura Benguerra gallop along the beaches with your horse before you both cool off with a swim, or canoe serenely along the Pungue River.  

Stay at a luxury mobile fly camp among the engaging cultural mix of the Quirimbas Archipelago. Seek dolphins by speedboat and join them for a swim or, with an expert guide at your side, experience spearfishing. Tackle an inselberg for a thrilling challenge before dining beneath the stars in the Niassa Reserve.

KENYA

One of Africa’s most storied safari destinations, Kenya’s borders are fringed by the opal blue shallows of the Indian Ocean and incorporate majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Through Pelorus’ special relationship with the Maasai Tribe, journey out with the Lion Guardians to discover how they’re conserving their stunning natural heritage.

In the Laikipia region, while staying at Borana Lodge, embark on an intense training session with rangers working at the heart of rhino conservation efforts here. At the Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy, also in Laikipia, take in the immensity and biodiversity of the Great Rift Valley, Mount Kenya and the Samburu in a helicopter. Nearby are the Lewa Wilderness lodges where you can tie up your horse and take breakfast in the bush before buzzing Mount Kenya in a yellow biplane for a unique afternoon experience. Round it off with two nights at Giraffe Manor where the resident herd of Rothschild giraffes have a gentle tendency to poke their heads into the building to say hello.

NAMIBIA

Namibia is a stark and fascinating destination. Fly over the infamous Skeleton Coast, discover the survival skills of the San Bushman tribe and take a walking safari in search of the elusive cheetah and rare black rhino.

Your Namibian adventure begins at elevation in the GocheGanas Nature Reserve, staying at the fantastic hilltop lodge of GocheGanas and visiting caves with evidence of the area’s Stone Age history. Accessed only by air, you’ll stay next at Serra Cafema, on the banks of the Kunene River, where you’ll encounter the semi-nomadic Himba tribe who have made stark Kaokoland their home. Onto the seductive duneland of the Namib Desert, tracking animals across the sand, and staying in the eco-lodge, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge. Finally to Etosha National Park for incredible game, even more incredible sunsets, and rooms at—yes, also incredible—Onguma The Fort.

RWANDA

Commence your adventure in ‘the Land of a Thousand Hills’ at One&Only Gorilla’s Nest in Volcanoes National Park. Through the bamboo rainforest, you’ll set out to find the country’s famous gorillas. Onto the terraced gardens of Virunga Lodge, renowned for its bird watching in the biodiverse Musanze region.

Also here is Singita Kwitonda Lodge, where you can immerse yourself in the interactive Conservation Room dedicated to preserving the country’s few gorillas. South of Musanze is Nyungwe National Park and some of Africa’s oldest rainforests. With One&Only Nyungwe House as your base, head out on a guided chimpanzee trek, shadowing this fiercely loud community through the forest canopy.  

 

SOUTH AFRICA

South Africa is a magnificent destination, from cosmopolitan Cape Town to its game-rich national parks. Journey to the Phinda Game Reserve and help Veterans for Wildlife with its anti-poaching program by notching black rhinos. Take a hot air balloon high above Sabi Sands Reserve and switch to a helicopter when seeing Blyde River Canyon. Encounter turbulence as you switch to white water rafting in Richtersveld National Park, riding the rapids on the stunning Orange River.

Your safari begins at Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Retreat in Western Cape. Alongside the wildlife, take an illuminating tour of the ancient bushman rock art that coats the rugged landscape. Spend a few nights at Tswalu Kalahari Reserve and spend the days spotting the Big Five in this exclusive nature reserve.

TANZANIA

Tanzania is another African country with an incredible breadth of adventure. Go to the Serengeti and see the Great Migration, immerse yourself in indigenous culture, and dive into the crystal clear seas fringing tropical Zanzibar. Seize the rare chance to help conservation initiatives in the Maasai Mara, whether collaring an elephant, wild dog, or a lion. Through exclusive Pelorus connections, witness the closeness developed between the researchers and the cheetahs whose habitats they’re helping to restore.

The Highlands, on the jungled slopes of the Olmoti Volcano in the Ngorongoro region, is a unique and remote luxury stay. Scale the Empakaai Crater in Maasai land, witnessing the soda lake and its pink haze of flamingos. Round off an incredible trip with some of the best game viewing in Africa on the Serengeti, while staying at the Singita Mara Camp.

ZAMBIA

Observe hyenas and cheetahs on the Liuwa Plains while in the company of leading conservationists. Witness the world’s second largest wildebeest migration, either from the land or in a kayak. With a little luck, you might see a cloud of eight million giant fruit bats descend on the Kasanka National Park as they crowd in to feed. Fly in a helicopter over lagoons and exotic bird colonies and experience a traditional braai on the Luwi Riverbed before sleeping beneath the star-washed night sky.  

In the Livingstone region, only 15km upstream of Victoria Falls, stay in the sumptuous Tongabezi Lodge. Here in the ‘Adventure Capital’ of the continent, rappel down sheer cliffs, bungee jump from incredible heights, white water raft and appreciate the majestic falls from a scenic flight. For the summit of style and elegance in this region, stay at The Royal Livingstone. Cruise the Zambezi River at sunset in a restored steam ship. On this dinner-safari, you’ll dine on fabulous cuisine while spotting animals along the water’s edge—a wonderful conclusion to an outstanding Zambian experience.

GABON

One for the off-grid explorer, Gabon is for many an unknown quantity, full of untouched beaches edged by golden savannah, emerald forest and atmospheric mangroves.

Explore the Atlantic beaches, where elephants roam, hippos surf, and migrating humpback whales and orcas breach offshore. Before sunrise, venture out from your luxury tented camp to Sette Cama and a wild fishing experience among its remarkable biodiversity. Chopper over Ivindo National Park to explore its landscape, with a focus on the Langoué Baï forest clearing, which draws a huge variety of species during the daylight hours. Through our unique Pelorus bonds with the Lambarene community, we have access to experience the Bwiti rituals and the renowned Albert Schweitzer Hospital encircled by lakelands and the Ogooue River.

BOTSWANA

With its fewer crowds and strong conservation programs at work, Botswana offers a fantastic safari experience. Cruise the Okavango Delta on a boat safari before relaxing in your luxury camp beside the Boteti River. See the cheetahs of the Kalahari Game Reserve and take a culture safari with nomadic Bushman, walking with them and learning about the San people. Enjoy a spectacular picnic in the stunning, game-rich Deception Valley.

In the Moremi Game Reserve, stay two nights in the secluded Khwai River Lodge. With its incredible dark skies, search the diamond-bright constellations of the southern hemisphere with a telescope. Revel in the exuberant 1940’s design of Jack’s Camp on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans. Unwind from your bush experience in the plunge pools, private verandas, and salt pan views of this iconic African camp.