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12 Top African Safari Tours

Cross this must-do activity off your bucket list.

Top African Safari elephant

(Courtesy of Micato Safaris)

Spot the big five on your safari adventure.

Safari tours in Africa are just as diverse as the continent itself, though these types of trips typically require a large sum of money. Whether you want to spend a few days gorilla trekking in Uganda or a couple weeks spotting the "big five" – lions, leopards, African elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalos – in South Africa, you'll find an array of tours to best suit your needs. To help you narrow down your options, U.S. News compiled a list of 12 can't-miss African safari tours. Read on to find your once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Note: Some of the African countries in this article may require travelers to get an entry visa and certain vaccinations in order to visit. Jump to the list of visa and vaccination requirements by country at the bottom of this page for more information.

&Beyond

African Safari vacation

(Courtesy of &Beyond)

Visitors who don't want to sacrifice creature comforts while on safari will appreciate &Beyond's offerings. During the tour operator's 10-day Kings of the Jungle safari – which starts at $11,340 per person – travelers will see breathtaking natural wonders like the Ngorongoro Crater and the Maasai Mara savanna. But the highlight of this journey is its four-night stay at Tanzania's Serengeti National Park . After watching animals like wildebeest and zebras partake in the great migration while also spotting lions, giraffes and more, vacationers retreat to high-end tents and lodges with private bathrooms.

[See more of Serengeti National Park: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Wilderness Safaris

African Safari camp vacation

(Courtesy of Wilderness Safaris)

For some of Africa's most jaw-dropping scenery, opt for the seven-night Namibian Adventure Safari tour offered by Wilderness Safaris. This weeklong trip features visits to the Namib Desert's dune-filled Sossusvlei region (which you may recognize from the film "Mad Max: Fury Road") and the mountainous Palmwag Concession – a protected area with springboks, giraffes, black rhinos and more. The package's per person fee starts at $6,725, which covers most meals, park entrance fees, and transfers from Namibia's capital Windhoek and between the safari destinations. It also covers your stay at properties like the fully solar-powered Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp and the five-star Little Kulala lodge amid the stunning desert.

Wild Rwanda Safaris

African Safari gorilla in Rwanda

(Courtesy of Wild Rwanda Safaris)

Adventurous travelers sticking to a more conservative budget should consider Wild Rwanda Safaris' Bwindi Gorilla Safari. The three-day package features a full day in southwestern Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable National Park (a haven for silverback gorillas) and an adjacent Batwa Pygmy community. Wild Rwanda Safaris allows guests to choose between midrange, luxury and super luxury accommodation, which can help keep costs down if necessary. The company's packages include the $700 permit required to visit the gorilla park. The round-trip journey by safari vehicle to and from Kigali, Rwanda, and English-speaking guide services are also covered in all rates. The tour can begin from Kampala, Uganda, as well, although you'll spend longer on the road to the park.

Nomad Tanzania

African Safari in Tanzania

(Courtesy of nomad-tanzania.com)

Sign up for Nomad Tanzania's Southern Tanzania safari and you're bound to get an up-close look at Tanzania's diverse wildlife. Offering eight days of activities, including game drives and boat trips in Ruaha National Park and Nyerere National Park, this safari gives you prime opportunities to spot lions, cheetahs, leopards and elephants, among other species. What's more, lodging at the company's campsites, select meals, and flights to and from Dar es Salaam are factored into the package's prices. Expect to pay a minimum of $5,700 per person; prices vary depending on the time of year, and the tour isn't offered in April and May.

Micato Safaris

(Courtesy of Micato Safaris)

If you want to explore multiple destinations while on safari with plenty of comfort (but a price tag to match), book the 15-day Micato Grand Safari. This outing by Micato Safaris starts with a two-day visit to Nairobi, Kenya, before continuing to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Maasai Mara National Reserve, and the Amboseli and Serengeti national parks for wildlife-viewing excursions. During your trip, you'll see Mount Kilimanjaro as zebras, gazelles and more roam in the foreground. The package costs at least $22,450 per person (based on double occupancy rates) and includes a hot air balloon ride, a camel tour led by members of the Samburu tribe, and lodging at upscale properties like Serengeti's Four Seasons outpost. The company also offers various extensions allowing you to explore other parts of Africa, from the island paradise of Zanzibar to the deserts of Namibia.

Rothschild Safaris

African safari vacation

(Courtesy of Rothschild Safaris)

If your ideal safari vacation consists of customizing your trip from start to finish, consider an outing with Rothschild Safaris. The company offers itineraries in locales like Zambia and Madagascar , but if you're hoping to catch a glimpse of the big five animals, the Essence of Tanzania safari is a good bet. This nine-day experience, which embarks from Arusha and returns there by plane, includes game-viewing drives in Tarangire National Park and accommodations like canvas tents and farmhouse lodges. Elephants, zebras and lions are just some of the animals you may spot during your journey. You'll also have the opportunity to go on a nighttime safari to spot nocturnal wildlife.

Lion World Travel

African safari vacation

(Courtesy of Lion World Travel)

As the trip name implies, Lion World Travel's 10-day Best of Cape Town & Botswana vacation package combines sightseeing in Cape Town, South Africa , with a classic safari in Botswana. During the latter half of the itinerary, visitors will explore Botswana's Okavango Delta (home to cheetahs, crocodiles, hippos and more) and Chobe National Park, which is believed to have Africa's largest elephant population. Prices start at $4,299 per person and cover game drives; many of your meals; and stays at luxury hotels, camps and lodges. You'll need to pay an extra charge for the flights within the tour (Cape Town to Botswana as well as Botswana to Johannesburg ).

[See more of Cape Town: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Bearded Heron Safaris

African safari vacation

Neil Heron | Courtesy of Bearded Heron Safaris

Travelers keen on seeing South Africa's Kruger National Park through the eyes of a local naturalist will appreciate the 15-day safari with Bearded Heron Safaris. Led by Neil Heron, a nature guide and wildlife photographer and writer, Bearded Heron Safaris' longest option features small game drives that may include lion, rhino, zebra and leopard sightings throughout all corners of Kruger. Rates are inclusive of in-park cottage accommodations and all breakfasts, dinners, snacks and drinks. Flights and park fees are not included. For a 15-day safari, expect to pay 76,900 South African rand (about $4,500) per person.

[See more of Kruger National Park: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Discover Africa

Black rhinoceros in the african savannah

(Getty Images)

For an inside-out trip through the natural wonders of Botswana, Discover Africa's nine-day Epic Botswana Adventure is a formidable option. You'll start out at a riverside lodge on the Chobe River – a great location for elephant spotting – before moving onto the marshy Okavango Delta, a wildlife-rich area where you can spot a huge range of animals from leopards to rhinos. The safari ends at the Makgadikgadi Pans National Park, a good place to admire wildlife like zebras and buffalo on the savanna as well as salt pans from a former lake. You'll stay in upscale lodges and campsites within close reach of the wilderness. All meals and transport along the tour are included in the price tag (which starts at $4,800 per person), but international flights are excluded.

Wild Wings Safaris

safari guide

If you're looking to have a broader experience that mixes in some history and beach time, consider Wild Wings Safaris' eight-day Battlefields, Bush and Beach Safari. You'll start off visiting some of South Africa's historic sites from the Boer wars, before moving on to the Phinda Private Game Reserve, which doesn't allow day visitors, so you should be able to look out for the big five without too many crowds. The tour wraps up at Thonga Beach Lodge, where you can snorkel or scuba dive near coral reefs in the Indian Ocean. As far as safaris go, this one is an affordable option, starting at about $2,795 per person with all meals included as well as a rental car; for the cheapest price, you will need to drive yourself between the destinations, but it's possible to pay an additional fee for a driver to guide you instead.

Cuckoo Safaris

Aerial few of the world famous Victoria Falls with a large rainbow over the falls. This is right at the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Southern Africa. The mighty Victoria Falls at Zambezi river are one of the most visited touristic places in Africa.

This tour company kicks off its tours from the majestic Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, with a host of safaris that range from two days to nine, across Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, including some family-friendly choices. For an affordable option, there's the four-day Discover Victoria Falls, Chobe and Hwange Park safari, which will take you on two full-day tours to Chobe National Park (across the border in Botswana) and to Hwange, Zimbabwe's largest national park, where you should keep your eyes peeled for lions, elephants and more. This safari also includes a sunset cruise on the Zambezi River. The price starts at $900 per person, which includes the tours plus breakfast, lunch and lodging in Victoria Falls; travelers will need to pay for entrance fees to the parks and dinner.

Compass Odyssey

safari guide

(Courtesy of Compass Odyssey)

Explore the savanna and deserts of southwest Africa with Compass Odyssey's eight-day Namibia Wildlife Safari. You'll visit a community-based conservation area in Damaraland – known for its desert-adapted elephants, oryx, giraffes and other wildlife – while staying in the rustic-chic Doro Nawas Camp. You'll also spend two days in Etosha National Park, seeking wildlife at the park's bustling waterholes by day and embarking on an evening game drive as well. Starting at $3,750 per person, the tour includes most meals and all park entry fees, but not flights; the company does allow the tour to be customized on request.

Vaccination and visa requirements for African countries

Some popular safari destinations may require you to have received certain vaccinations in order to enter the country as a tourist. Inoculation requirements can include vaccination against COVID-19 and yellow fever, and you'll need to get these vaccines before departing on your trip. Be sure to bring proof of vaccinations with you. If you are transiting through another country en route to your safari tour, you must check that you also meet immunization requirements for the stopover location.

Note that, outside of what's required, there are a number of other vaccinations that are recommended, so ensure you're up to date and fully protected before you travel. In addition, many safari locations are prone to malaria; you should consult with your doctor to see if you need to bring anti-malaria medication on your trip.

Safari countries have varying visa requirements for travelers from the U.S. – these are detailed below. Depending on your itinerary, you may need a single- or multiple-entry visa, and some visas require you to apply in advance of traveling and/or have a certain number of blank pages in your passport. Regardless of your destination, your passport should be valid for at least six months before you leave for your trip.

Here are the vaccine and visa requirements for major safari destinations as of November 2022:

Botswana: If you have recently visited a country where yellow fever is common, you will need to be vaccinated against this illness. This does not include the U.S. but does include a number of countries in Africa, Central and South America. Consult the World Health Organization's website for a list of countries with risk of yellow fever transmission, including Kenya and Uganda.

U.S. citizens and nationals can stay in Botswana for 90 days without a visa.

Kenya: Travelers to Kenya must have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with the last shot administered more than 14 days before arrival in the country. Unvaccinated visitors can enter with a negative PCR test, conducted no more than 72 hours before departure. Proof of COVID-19 tests or vaccines must be uploaded to an online system called Panabios. Kenya is a country where you'll be at risk of yellow fever transmission; it also requires those traveling from other places with yellow fever or cholera outbreaks to be vaccinated against these illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you protect yourself against yellow fever before your trip here.

Americans need an e-visa to enter Kenya. You should apply online at the eVisa government website no more than eight weeks before your trip, as visas are not available upon arrival in Kenya. See more on the U.S. Department of State's website .

Namibia: Those traveling from a country where yellow fever is common need to be vaccinated against it. No visa is required as long as you're staying for 90 days or less.

Rwanda: If you're coming from a country where yellow fever is endemic, a yellow fever vaccination is required before departure.

U.S. citizens and nationals can be issued a 30-day visitor visa on arrival in Rwanda or through the Rwandan Embassy in Washington, D.C. A single-entry visa costs $50, and it's recommended you bring sufficient cash in U.S. dollars to pay for this (although credit card payment may be accepted at Kigali International Airport). Consult the State Department website for more information.

South Africa: A yellow fever vaccination is required if you're traveling from a country with a risk of transmission. No visa is required for stays of 90 days or less.

Tanzania: Travelers must be able to present proof of COVID-19 vaccination with a QR code to enter Tanzania. Unvaccinated travelers must take a PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure, and the test results should be accessible by QR code. Yellow fever vaccines are mandatory if you're traveling from a location where yellow fever is present – including if you spend more than 12 hours in transit in such a country.

Visas are required for tourism in Tanzania. You can apply for a single-entry, 90-day visa online for $50 – and be sure to print a copy of the approval to bring with you. The processing period takes up to 10 days. You can also obtain a visa on arrival for a $100 fee; it's recommended you bring cash to cover this. Find more Tanzanian visa information on the State Department website .

Uganda: To enter Uganda, you must either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or present a negative test taken no more than 72 hours before departure. Like Kenya, Uganda is a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. All visitors must show proof of vaccination against yellow fever to enter Uganda, regardless of where you're traveling from.

American visitors to Uganda must apply online for an electronic visa before departure; arriving in Uganda without completing this process could result in your detainment. Visit the State Department website to learn more.

Zambia: Visitors who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 must show proof of vaccination but do not need a test to enter Zambia; unvaccinated travelers must undergo a PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure. Yellow fever vaccines are only required if you're coming from an area considered at risk.

Visas are required to visit Zambia, but these can be obtained online before your departure or at a port of entry. Check the State Department website for more details.

Zimbabwe: To enter Zimbabwe, travelers must either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or must take a negative PCR test no more than 48 hours before your departure. As with other countries on this list, visitors from countries with yellow fever outbreaks also require a vaccine against this illness.

U.S. visitors can obtain a 30-day, single-entry visa upon arrival in Zimbabwe for $30. If you're taking a tour that requires you to leave and reenter Zimbabwe, be sure to get a double-entry visa for $45. You can learn more from the State Department website .

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top Passport Wallets (That Also Hold Vaccine Cards)
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  • The Best International Travel Insurance Plans
  • The Best Zoos in the U.S.
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Tags: Travel , Vacation Ideas

World's Best Places To Visit

  • # 1 South Island, New Zealand
  • # 4 Bora Bora

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The 25 Best Safari Guides

By Graham Boynton

Image may contain Animal Wildlife Giraffe Mammal Nature Outdoors Savanna Field and Grassland

Safari guides hold it in their hands to make or break dreams, yet finding a good one can be vexing for the uninitiated. As a native Zimbabwean, Graham Boynton has spent decades on safari, and, most recently, 18 months traveling through the bush with guides in 6 countries to come up with this list of his 25 top safari guides. The guides listed with an asterisk (*) are affiliated with safari camps and may be requested as personal guides if you're staying at that particular camp (there's usually no additional fee involved, though generous tips would be expected). The other guides all work independently, and though some may be able to arrange your entire safari, it's usually simpler to book your trip—and the guide—through a tour operator (see "Your Guide to the Guides"). Rates below represent the cost per person per day.

15 Legendary Guides

1. *keraetswe bosigo (madala k).

Little Vumbura Camp, Botswana

Bosigo's nickname is Madala K, which, translated, means Old K. He arrived in the Okavango Delta by mokoro , a type of canoe, with his grandfather as a 15-year-old, and started out as a tracker for a hunting company before breaking away to guide photography safaris. Now in his mid-50s, he's acquired vast experience in the Okavango's Vumbura area. A Wilderness Safaris guide for almost 20 years, he is dry, laconic, and dead smart . He's also very involved in training the next generation of Botswanan guides ([email protected]; $450).

2. Gregg Hughes

SAFARI FOOTPRINTS, BOTSWANA

A biology graduate and former Wilderness Safaris guide, Hughes now freelances mainly in Botswana. He is a superb walking guide, a fact this author can testify to as he once saved my life and that of my daughter's when we were caught up in the aforementioned elephant stampede in the middle of an open plain. He combines academic expertise with immense charm , and although he often guides out of luxury camps such as Jao and Mombo, he enjoys trips closer to the soil. As proof, he's recently completed a three-month motorbike safari through southern Africa ([email protected]; $650).

3. *James "007" Pisetu

DUBA PLAINS, BOTSWANA

Pisetu began guiding at Duba Plains as the camp's first and only guide in 1996. He did all the game drives, nature walks, mokoro trips, and village tours, which gave him a unique and comprehensive knowledge of the area and its inhabitants, both wild and human. When new safari companies took over the camp—first Wilderness Safaris, then Great Plains—Pisetu served as mediator between the local communities and the companies. Perhaps his greatest skill is knowing the habits and behavior of Duba's large lion prides and buffalo herds , the dramatic, operatic interactions of which are the main reason for coming here ([email protected]; $550).

4. Paul Kiprono Kirui

MASAI MARA, KENYA

Probably Kenya's most distinguished guide, Kirui is chairman of the Kenya Professional Safari Guides Association (KPSGA), and one of only ten Gold standard guides (the highest ranking) in the country, not to mention a witty and cosmopolitan companion in the bush. He grew up in the Mara as a Masai herder and knows the ecosystem, flora, and fauna intimately . With the travel company CC Africa (now &Beyond), he established East Africa's first guiding school in the Serengeti. He remains an active Mara guide and is a major activist on vulture conservation ([email protected]; $200 plus shared $290 vehicle cost).

5. Saigilu "Jackson" Ole Looseyia

ReKERO NABOISHO CAMP, KENYA

Thanks to his appearances as a presenter on the British television wildlife program Big Cat Diary, Jackson is Kenya's best-known guide, and his charm and easygoing nature are underpinned by an intimate knowledge of his Masai homeland. As a boy, he hunted animals here with his father, a hunter-gatherer, and by the 1980s he was working as a spotter for his mentor, the safari operator/conservationist Ron Beaton. Now in his mid-40s, Jackson is a partner with the Beaton family in Masai Mara safaris, and remains an active and compelling guide ([email protected]; $500).

6. Bill Winter

Bill Winter Safaris, Kenya

A charming, urbane man, Winter grew up in Kenya and was educated in the United Kingdom and at university in South Africa. He specializes in mobile tented safaris in Ol Pejeta and the Masai Mara and is now taking clients into southern Africa. He says there is nothing better than parking his vehicle in a remote piece of wilderness, brewing up a pot of tea, "and just absorbing the smells and sights of what's going on around you . That's wilderness." ([email protected]; $1,650, including accommodations)

7. Christiaan Bakkes

PALMWAG CONSERVANCY, NAMIBIA

Bakkes is an author, novelist, and guide extraordinaire who, as a game ranger in Kruger National Park, lost his left arm when he was attacked by two crocodiles. He has a biologist's knowledge of the flora and fauna, and a poet's eye for the landscape (one of the highlights of a safari with him is his recitals of epic poems around the campfire). He is passionate about this remote desert wilderness, and although he's now the warden of Palmwag conservancy and not a day-to-day guide, he's always looking for excuses to take guests into the wilderness ([email protected]; $450).

Image may contain Tree Plant Human Person Nature Tree Trunk Landscape Outdoors Grassland Savanna Field and Animal

One of the great pleasures of a safari is an early-morning game drive followed by a breakfast feast in the bush. Here, a picnic on Masai land in southeastern Kenya.

8. Pokkie Benadie

SAMARA GAME RESERVE, KAROO, SOUTH AFRICA

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One of South Africa's three Master Trackers, Benadie is a Khoi (bushman) who grew up in the Great Karoo, joined South African National Parks at the age of 14, and helped in the creation of Karoo National Park. What he lacks in formal education he more than makes up for with his personal knowledge of this particular ecosystem and the wildlife. Mentored by Louis Liebenberg, the godfather of the science of tracking, Benadie became a Master Tracker at the age of 40. He is not a registered guide, but visitors to South Africa's Samara Game Reserve can sign up for a half-day training session at the Tracker Academy (just three miles from the lodge), where Benadie teaches city folk the art of animal tracking. His lessons are a rare and precious treat ([email protected]; donation based).

9. *Wilson Masiye and Juan Pinto

ROYAL MALEWANE LODGE, KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA

Masiye is another of the three surviving Master Trackers in South Africa. He's from the Shangaan tribe and speaks little English, so he works, almost telepathically, in tandem with Pinto, the erudite, multilingual, highly qualified head ranger at Royal Malewane, safari lodge to the stars. The couple have guided the likes of Elton John, Paul Allen, and Nicholas Sarkozy; Elton John in particular is a repeat guest. Pinto has also been active in fighting the current rhino poaching scourge ([email protected]; $1,245, including accommodations).

10. Richard Knocker

NOMAD SAFARIS, TANZANIA

Kenyan-born, British-educated Knocker is the first Gold-rated KPSGA guide in Tanzania. He's a founder of Nomad Safaris and guides primarily around Lamai Serengeti, his remote camp in the granite kopjes of northwest Serengeti. As with all the veteran guides, his fireside stories would work as great fiction, only they're all true, and his dry wit adds to the experience. A great walking guide—his preferred mode of safari transportation—he is also a formidable animal biologist and an activist in community conservation projects ([email protected]; $460).

11. Robin Pope

LIUWA PLAIN AND LUANGWA, ZAMBIA

Do not be deceived by his bespectacled, accountant-like appearance: Pope is a real man of the bush, and his knowledge of birds, animals, and flora makes him the best guide in his native Zambia . Honing his craft since the 1980s, he is a legendary walking guide who operates from four camps—Nsefu, Tena Tena, Nkwali, and Luangwa River Camp. He has single-handedly put Zambian safaris on the map, and although he's now based in the capital, Lusaka, he still leads walking safaris with the same passion as he did as a young guide. He's a great birder too ([email protected]; $675, including accommodations).

12. Andrew "Stretch" Ferreira

MANA POOLS, ZIMBABWE

Also known as the Elephant Whisperer of Mana Pools, Ferreira can be seen on many YouTube clips standing calmly in front of charging elephants. A tall, bearded, easygoing man of the bush, Ferreira is a former hunter who has lost the desire to kill animals but retains the hunter's bush instincts. Now he runs his own small tented-safari operation, Goliath Safaris, on the banks the Zambezi River, an area he knows so well that he can easily identify individual lions and elephants. Like Pope and Knocker, he too prefers walking safaris ([email protected]; $610, including accommodations).

13. Benson Siyawareva

NGOKO SAFARIS, ZIMBABWE AND BOTSWANA

A fully licensed guide in both countries, Siyawareva has run some of the region's most significant camps (Little Makololo in Hwange, Savuti in Botswana), in addition to helming his own guiding operation for ten years. He reads the bush brilliantly and is thus an expert tracker. His humor and bonhomie are a delight, but he takes community conservation seriously and believes that the education of African children is key to the salvation of the wilderness. He's based in Victoria Falls, where he is helping to build an orphanage ([email protected]; $400).

14. John Stevens

ZIMBABWE, BUT GUIDES IN KENYA AND TANZANIA

One of the standard-bearers of Zimbabwean guiding, Stevens is a former warden of Mana Pools National Park who led anti-poaching efforts throughout the region. He's most at home in the Zambezi Valley, and prefers walking and canoeing to traveling in a vehicle. Stevens has brilliant tracking skills and is noted for his boyish enthusiasm and unaffected, sweet disposition ([email protected]; $1,250).

15. Garth Thompson

Back in 1983, when Thompson gained his license, there were only eight such guides in the country. Today, he's widely regarded as the best African guide —he's certainly one of the most successful—due in large part to his high energy, boundless enthusiasm, and great storytelling. Though based in Zimbabwe, Thompson guides clients throughout seven countries in Africa, including the Central African Republic. He's currently taking bookings for the 2015 season ([email protected]; $1,000).

Image may contain Nature Outdoors Sky Dusk Sunset Dawn Red Sky Sunlight Silhouette and Water

Botswana's wildlife-rich Vumbura Plains.

10 Next Generation Guides

1. simon byron.

Byron is one of the Safari Footprints triumvirate (with Gregg Hughes and Matt Copham). Born and raised in Botswana, he's another guide who knew his calling from childhood. He's earned a master of science degree in environmental science and is a passionate conservationist who has set up a conservation and education trust in his homeland. During his university days, he guided for Wilderness Safaris during holidays, so he knows their Botswana camps intimately. He's charming and friendly and wears his intellect lightly (info@safarifootprints .com; $450).

2. *Florence Kagiso

KWETSANI CAMP OKAVANGO, BOTSWANA

Kagiso graduated from the Botswana Wildlife Institute at the top of her class--she was also the only woman in her class. Soft-spoken and knowledgeable, she developed a love of wildlife in early childhood (she resisted her parents' urging to pursue a career in fashion design). Her understanding of the mammals of the delta is outstanding, and she can identify every bird that flits past as she drives her boat through waterways of the Jao Concession ([email protected]; $450).

3. *Kitso Lademo

LITTLE VUMBURA, OKAVANGO DELTA, BOTSWANA

One of the youngest qualified guides working in the delta, 26-year-old Lademo has spent the past few years guiding at Little Vumbura, an area he knows like the back of his hand. Like many Botswana guides, he is a keen birder, not to mention a quietly impassioned conservationist who passes the message on at local schools ([email protected]; $450).

4. *Charity Jemutai Cheruiyot

KICHWa TEMBo/BATeLEUR CAMP, MASAI MARA, KENYA

Jemutai is one of just four female guides in the Masai Mara. A member of the Kalenjin tribe, she grew up in the Rift Valley wanting to be a travel consultant but was offered the opportunity to train at &Beyond's guide camp in Tanzania. Her passion for wildlife, she says, was learned from Paul Karui (see above). Jemutai reads voraciously and has a fine grasp of animal biology. Her favorite time in the Mara is in the months after the Great Migration when it is quiet and the grasslands are recovering ([email protected]; $600, including accommodations).

5. *Wilson ole Kasaine

PORINI AMBOSELI CAMP, KENYA

Kasaine has a very traditional Masai background: He's one of 24 children, and his father is a distinguished tribal elder who killed lions and leopards to protect his family and property. Sadly, economic circumstances prevented Kasaine from going to university, but his first love was the bush, and today he guides guests in an area that is barely ten miles from village where he was raised. His eyesight, hearing, and tracking ability are second to none —even among his fellow Masai (wilson.kasaine [email protected]; $310, including accommodations).

6. *Johnson Ping'ua ole Nkukuu (Ping)

MARA PLAINS CAMP, KENYA

Ping, who grew up in the Mara herding his father's cattle, has been guiding for 15 years and is head guide at the Mara Plains Camp—a dream come true. As amiable as he is knowledgeable, he has a great affection for hyenas, which he claims are misunderstood and demonized, and rates the Olare Orok Conservancy, where he guides, as the best cat viewing in the Masai Mara. His favorite quote is a line from William Wordsworth: "Nature does not betray the heart that loveth." ([email protected]; $385)

7. Humphrey Gumpo

Widely considered one of Zimbabwe's top young guides, Gumpo grew up in the Kariba area, trained under the brilliant Spike Williamson, and cites Williamson and Garth Thompson (see above) as his inspirations. Gumpo, who passed the exacting Zimbabwe guiding exams with flying colors, also has his river guiding license and led Wilderness Safaris' canoe trails at Mana pools for four years. Listening more carefully to the bush, he says, has made him a better guide (humphrey@ humphreygumpo.com; $600).

8. Paul Hubbard

MATOPOS, ZIMBABWE

Because Hubbard's area of specialty extends far beyond wildlife, he's quite possibly the most left-field inclusion in this listing. The 31-year-old is a polymath who grew up in rural Zimbabwe and graduated with a master of science degree in archaeology. He's immensely knowledgeable in a number of subjects, from the Matabele War and the local architectural history to the San rock art and the archaeology of the spectacular Matopos Hills. This last, a World Heritage Site, is well worth visiting for its dramatic landscape but even more so for the privilege of being guided by this brilliant young man ([email protected]; $300).

9. Ant Kashula

PRIVATE GUIDED SAFARIS, ZIMBABWE

Academic, tracker, and engaging companion, Kashula scored the highest marks ever in Zimbabwe's exacting guiding exams. He holds a master's degree in environmental and geographical science, and believes that getting out in the bush on foot is the best way to embrace the wilderness. He will guide anywhere—his small safari company operates in 12 African countries—but his area of preference is the Zimbabwean lowveld. Kashula is an academic with unique people skills, making him one of the most impressive guides I've traveled with in recent years (ant@private guidedsafaris.com; $400).

10. Beks Ndlovu

HWANGE AND MANA POOLS, ZIMBABWE

Born near Hwange and educated at an elite private school, Ndlovu went straight into guiding as soon as he could. He guided and ran camps for Wilderness Safaris for years both in Botswana and Zimbabwe, and has won many guiding awards, including the full Professional Guides License in 1998. Now the owner of luxury tented camps in Hwange and Mana Pools, he still guides select groups at his camps and is one of the most informed wildlife guides you'll find on the continent. Ndlovu is internationally traveled, yet his soul is still in the bushveld ([email protected]; $1,000).

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SafariBookings

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What Makes Great Safari Guides and Why Are They Important?

What Makes Great Safari Guides and Why Are They Important?

Heather Richardson is an award-winning travel writer, based in South Africa. She is interested in conservation stories, emerging destinations and adventure travel.

The safari guide is arguably the most important part of the whole safari experience. Get a great guide and you’ll have an incredible time – regardless of the wildlife, the weather or the lodge. Here’s why they are so important.

1. Great Safari Guides Know the Facts

Chimpanzee tracking guide at Kyambura Gorge in Uganda

First things first: a great safari guide will fill your head with information. Especially if it’s your first safari , there’s so much to learn and a guide with an encyclopedic knowledge of the bush will be able to answer all your questions – from the obvious to the obscure. Not only this, but they’ll supply the information readily, without waiting for questions.

Crucially, a great guide will also be able to admit when they don’t know – and then find out the answer later; a thirst for knowledge is a big part of being an excellent safari guide.

Beyond the facts and figures, good guides are great storytellers and can bring their wealth of information to life; using real-life examples helps guests to retain knowledge and it’s exciting for them to know what kind of things they might witness for themselves.

African Safari Tours

2. great safari guides are able to relate to people.

Street seller in Uganda

A good guide will have the same skills as a great host or anyone in hospitality: they will be able to read their guests and adapt accordingly.

For example, if guests arrive exhausted after a long journey, a guide will know to not overwhelm them on their first drive, easing the guests into bush life instead. If guests are a little nervous, a guide or ranger should make them feel comfortable and safe, and likewise, if a guest has been on a hundred safaris before, a guide will be able to keep it exciting for them. The most important thing to this end? Communication. The best guides make sure they know what guests want out of their trip: whether they are desperate to see their first lions, fascinated by the smaller creatures, or keen birders.

Communal Dining Table on an African Safari

One of the other perks of having a guide with a good read on people is reducing potential friction between guests. There’s no knowing who you will end up with in a safari vehicle or at a communal dining table – and sometimes personalities clash. Guides are there to quickly alleviate tension before it becomes awkward and, if necessary, subtly reduce the amount of contact guests have with each other.

3. Great Safari Guides Are Great at Making Conversation

African Safari guide talking to clients

It’s often up to a guide to keep conversation flowing – whether that’s during sundowners (unless of course it’s clear people are happy gazing off into the bush and enjoying the peacefulness) or at dinner. Knowing which topics to pursue is also something an experienced guide will be sensitive to, based on the personalities, ages, cultures, nationalities, etc. of the guests. If politics come up and it’s clear some guests are uncomfortable, it’s up to the guide to skillfully steer the conversation in a different direction.

4. Great Safari Guides Make Sure You Stay Safe

African Safari guide keeping his eyes on the road

Of course, having a good guide or ranger is not only important for making guests feel safe. A great guide will genuinely keep guests safe by knowing how to interpret animal signals. This is particularly important when on foot, especially if you unexpectedly encounter a potentially aggressive animal, such as a black rhino or buffalo. As well as theoretical knowledge, experience is very important in these situations.

They’ll also know how to drive safely and responsibly, reducing the likelihood of getting stuck – though sometimes it’s unavoidable, even for the best drivers! When it does, at least they’ll know how to quickly fix the problem and not panic guests.

5. Great Safari Guides Make It Interesting Even in Cases of Wildlife No-shows

African Safari Guide explaining symbiose between plant and ants

What happens when things just don’t work out? When you can’t find any of the big, iconic animals or when it pours with rain? That’s when a great safari guide really makes all the difference. They’ll switch tack and focus on the small things – how the trees let elephants know it’s time to stop browsing, inside the world of termites, birdlife, chameleons, dung beetles… Guides can keep the bush fascinating when the famous faces miss their cue.

6. Great Safari Guides Manage Expectations

Pack of wild dogs at Kwando Concession

Guides should know better than to tell guests what they might see or what was spotted that morning – there’s too much possibility of disappointment. Instead, a good safari guide will keep expectations reasonably low and promise nothing. That way, guests are thrilled with what they do find and not downcast when they don’t happen across a pack of wild dogs .

7. Great Safari Guides Know How to Keep Young Children Interested

African Safari Guide making snack stop near Hippos

Having young children on safari can be a challenge, but a good safari guide will know how to engage kids of any age – by finding out what interests them, asking questions and running the odd pop quiz on fun animal facts. If all else fails, guides know that kids of a certain age tend to love examining animal poop – and there’s plenty of that on safari!

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3-Day Serengeti Dreamscape Expedition

$1,397 pp (USD)

Tanzania: Private tour Mid-range Tented Camp

You Visit: Zanzibar (Start) , Serengeti NP, Northern Serengeti NP, Zanzibar (End)

Shengena Adventure

5.0 /5  –  37 Reviews

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6-Day Masai Mara-Nakuru-Amboseli Safari- Daily Departure

$693 to $913 pp (USD)

Kenya: Shared tour (max 7 people per vehicle) Budget Tented Camp & Hotel

You Visit: Nairobi (Start) , Masai Mara NR, Lake Nakuru NP, Amboseli NP, Nairobi (End)

Hyrax Safaris

4.9 /5  –  238 Reviews

safari guide

5-Day Uganda Gorilla and Chimpanzees Safari

$1,815 pp (USD)

Uganda: Private tour Mid-range Lodge & Resort

You Visit: Entebbe (Start) , Kibale NP (Chimps) , Bigodi Wetlands, Bwindi NP (Gorillas) , Lake Bunyonyi, Kampala (City) , Entebbe (End)

Dav Safaris

5.0 /5  –  76 Reviews

Where to go on your first safari in Africa

Dec 11, 2020 • 6 min read

safari guide

In the Masai Mara cheetah are known to use safari vehicles to help them hunt by getting a better vantage © Pedro Helder Pinheiro / Shutterstock

If you’ve never before been to Africa , you’ve so much to look forward to. But choosing where to go on your first safari can be quite daunting.

Which countries offer the easiest introduction to the continent for first-time travellers? Which countries are good for wildlife? We answer these questions and more in our country-by-country overview for your first safari.

Editor's note: travel restrictions may be in place due to COVID-19. Always check ahead and follow government health advice.

They’ve been doing safaris in Kenya since the very concept was invented, and safari actually means 'journey' in Swahili. Nowhere in Africa has a more professional safari industry than Kenya’s, and with that experience comes a rare combination of infrastructure and service. There are hundreds of excellent lodges and tented camps, standards of service from local staff are generally high, and they’ve mastered the logistics of moving between national parks for each leg of your safari itinerary.

Tens of thousands of wildebeest stand in the long green grasses of the Serengeti; they are so tightly packed that the grass is hard to see.

Kenya’s wildlife offering is also outstanding. The main safari circuit takes in the Masai Mara, Amboseli and Lake Nakuru , with Tsavo West , Tsavo East and Samburu popular add-ons. Any combination of these parks should ensure ample sightings of big cats, plenty of elephants, a few rhinos, and all of the plains game, such as buffaloes, giraffes, zebras and all manner of gazelle and antelope species. Extend your stay by a week and you could even scale Mt Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak.

Kenya has a downside, it’s Nairobi . Most travellers pass through without difficulty, but the city is a robust introduction to the continent with endless traffic snarls and questionable security in some quarters. Stay long enough to visit Nairobi National Park – an extraordinarily well-stocked park on the cusp of one of Africa’s largest cities – and then move on. And spend as little time as possible on Kenya’s roads, both because the combination of distance and traffic means you can take forever to arrive, and to minimise your risk of accidents. Flying from one park to the next makes better use of your time, although it does cost more.

Tanzania is similar to Kenya – fantastic wildlife parks across the country, an excellent safari industry – but its traffic is generally less stressful, prices are (for the most part) lower, and its mountain ( Mt Kilimanjaro , Africa’s highest) is even higher. Tanzania’s northern safari circuit is a terrific introduction to the continent, including as it does the Serengeti , Ngorongoro Crater and Tarangire National Park , as well as Mt Kilimanjaro. A ten-day to two-week jaunt around the north is a fine way to fall in love with Africa, especially if you add some days on the island of Zanzibar .

While there are other world-class wildlife attractions – the chimps of Gombe and Mahale out west, or the southern wilderness parks of Selous and Ruaha – these are probably best left for those on a return visit: distances are vast, and the infrastructure is a little less developed.

A long line of elephants walk along a sandy riverbed, with lush vegetation to their left.

South Africa

South Africa can be a good introduction to the African safari, not least because it allows you to combine watching wildlife with more sedate pleasures, such as wineries and Cape Town urban cool. Many of the safari offerings are also priced for the domestic market, which makes them some of the best value options on the continent.  Kruger National Park is a terrific place to get acquainted with Africa’s wildlife. The Big Five (lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and buffalo) are present in large numbers as are all manner of different mammal species, plus brilliant birdlife. The infrastructure is also excellent – the main roads are paved, there’s well-run accommodation across a range of budgets, and it’s very easy to get around. As for Kruger, so, too, for most of the rest of the country. South Africa’s safari operators, car rental companies and other service providers also rank among the most professional on the continent.

The only reason why many first-time travellers might hesitate before flying into Johannesburg is the country’s reputation for crime. Most visitors never encounter any difficulties, but there’s no denying security can be an issue in South Africa, particularly in urban areas. If you stick to South Africa’s parks and abundant private reserves, you’ll greatly reduce your risk of experiencing any problems.

A black rhino making its way through the grasses with Etosha's great salt pan in the distance

Often marketed as ‘Africa for Beginners’, Namibia is a fine choice for your first African journey. Like South Africa, many prices are aimed at the domestic (and South African) market, which makes them good value. For wildlife, Etosha National Park is simply wonderful and has excellent infrastructure, while the intimacy of wildlife-rich private reserves such as Okonjima and Erindi are ideal for first timers. Elsewhere, wildlife is pretty difficult to track down, but you could combine wildlife with other attractions – the shipwrecks and seal colonies along the Skeleton Coast , time spent with the Himba in the country’s north, and the sand dunes of Sossusvlei . If you’ve the time, it’s a long drive south to Fish River Canyon , which might not have much wildlife but remains one of the continent’s most dramatic hiking destinations.

Beyond these major attractions, most of which are accessible along the country’s well-maintained network of paved roads, some of Namibia’s other major attractions, such as Damaraland with its stirring mountains and desert-adapted elephants, consist of pretty rugged country that’s probably best left to more experienced Africa hands. If money is no object, you can easily fly into luxury camps in some of the country’s most beautiful and more remote corners. Getting there is far more difficult if you’re on a more modest budget.

The front of a mokoro (dugout canoe) is visible going through long reeds in the waters of the Okavango Delta; ahead, deeper in the reeds and moving past a tree is another mokoro being poled by the guide.

Botswana is one of Africa’s premier wildlife-watching destinations. The wildlife is prolific and extraordinary and the landscapes – the Kalahari, the Okavango Delta , the salt pans of Makgadikgadi – are likewise. As one of the wealthiest countries in sub-Saharan Africa and with one of the lowest population densities on the planet, diamond-rich Botswana is a pleasure to travel in, with empty roads, very few large cities and a highly accomplished safari industry. 

But Botswana’s appeal comes with a caveat, and it comes down to cost. Keen to avoid the pitfalls of mass tourism, Botswana’s government aims high, putting an emphasis on low-volume, high-cost safari experiences. You could rent a 4WD vehicle and go camping, but the price of doing so will still be out of reach for many budget and even midrange travellers.

A canoe with a guide sits in the Zambezi River with a large elephant on the bank.

Zambia & Zimbabwe

Victoria Falls , which is accessible from both Zambia and Zimbabwe , should be on everyone’s bucket list of African experiences. Provided you fly in and fly out, national parks such as South Luangwa (Zambia) and Hwange (Zimbabwe) are world-class for wildlife, although the cost of doing so can be prohibitive. But if you’re travelling by more traditional means and your budget does not extend to luxury camps and aeroplane transfers, the large distance between attractions in both countries make this a less-than-ideal choice for first timers. The potential for political instability and corruption in Zimbabwe is another potential turn-off. And a big part of these countries’ safari appeal – guided walking safaris (in Zambia) and even unguided ones (Mana Pools National Park in Zimbabwe) – are probably best left to those with more experience of the African wild.

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This article was first published October 2019 and last updated December 2020.

This article was first published October 2019 and updated December 2020

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Everything you need to know before booking your first African safari

​For many, a safari represents the optimal escape and lifelong travel dream. If you’re going to invest in turning this dream into reality, there are some things worth considering. Plus, we recommend five incredible wildlife itineraries for 2023.

From the first waft of dewy morning air to the gentle owl hoots that drift into camp after dark, there’s a satisfying natural rhythm to a day on safari in Africa. Even if you’re not normally an early riser, you’ll quickly fall into the routine of pre-dawn starts, lazy lunchtimes, active afternoons and mellow evenings, making the most of the best hours both for wildlife-watching and for chilling out. Deep at night, if you’re lucky, you may hear the distant whoop of a hyena, the rasping call of a leopard or the bassy roar of a lion.

But more often than not, you’ll sleep soundly, drunk on fresh air. Soon after you wake, you’ll head out into the wild, eager to discover what the day will deliver. Perhaps you’ll find yourself inching up on some rhinos, watching boisterous elephants bathe in a waterhole or spotting the youngest, cutest members of a mighty big cat dynasty.

If this sounds like the kind of escape you’ve been craving, but you’re puzzling over possible itineraries, what’s the best way to choose?

Green means go

While every luxury safari offers unforgettable wildlife encounters, there are plenty of options to consider. High-end African trips and settings vary hugely in their atmosphere and style.

Some itineraries, for example, are much greener than others. If you’re passionate about nature, you’ll want to make ethical choices, mindful of climate change and biodiversity, perhaps by minimising your time in the air. While every long-haul trip has a high carbon footprint, you can limit your safari’s impact by choosing a destination near an international airport and sharing a vehicle rather than continuing by taking domestic flights.

With superb wildlife-watching opportunities within driving distance, Nairobi makes an excellent starting point for a low-airmiles luxury safari. “You could head for the stunning mountains and waterfalls of the Aberdare range, where lions hunt giant forest hogs”, says Kenya specialist Richard Trillo of Expert Africa. “The tree-dotted plains of the Maasai Mara, which host East Africa’s annual Great Migration, are also within reach,” Richard adds.

There are other ways to dial down the net impact of your trip without compromising on quality, however. While carbon offset schemes can help compensate for your emissions, for a more targeted approach, you could book your trip through a specialist safari operator that has established working partnerships with African conservation charities. 

“We’re proud to support South Africa’s all-female Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, and Greenpop, a non-profit Sub-Saharan forest restoration and urban greening organisation,” says Marcelo Novais of luxury operator Ker and Downey Africa. 

“We give all our clients the opportunity to donate to these worthy causes, since leaving a positive legacy is one of our core values,” he adds. Other deserving organisations include African Parks, the African Wildlife Foundation, Tusk and the World Land Trust. 

Another effective way of maximising the benefits of your trip is to choose lodges that go the extra mile in their vicinity, doing more for environmental protection, community partnerships and rural development than  merely covering park fees and basic wages. In Tanzania, the Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge invites guests to visit the craft project they support, Shanga, where locals with disabilities upcycle glass, textiles and fishing wire into cute elephant cushions, jewellery and clothing.

When it comes to shortlisting properties, membership of Ecotourism Kenya, Responsible Tourism Tanzania, Fair Trade Tourism and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council are generally useful indicators.

Settling in

Once you’ve arrived in the bush, what will your surroundings feel like? Anyone who’s cautious about camping in the wilderness will be relieved to discover that most top-end operators put their guests at ease by focusing on creature comforts: cool drinks, gourmet dining, indulgently appointed private bathrooms and sumptuous beds, for example. As a rule, their staff — from the head guide to the housekeepers — are superb at their jobs. 

That said, there are significant differences between, on the one hand, intimate, minimalist camps with just a handful of canvas tents and, at the other extreme, sizeable lodges featuring swimming pools, gyms and perhaps even a spa, photography hide, editing suite, research centre, library and observatory. It’s a matter of weighing up how close to nature you’d like to feel — hearing all those thrilling sounds in the night, for example — against the range of facilities and creature comforts you’d like to enjoy.

When deciding, honest opinions from people who know the properties well can be invaluable. “Our safari specialists always have detailed conversations with our clients to understand their preferences and offer advice”, says Liberty Gilmour of Audley Travel. “Conventional aircon, for example, is rarely essential: Zambia in May and high-altitude destinations such as Ngorongoro can be quite cool, particularly at night. If it’s hot, natural ventilation may be sufficient, but many camps also have solar-powered cooling systems.”

Whether opulent, nostalgic or quirky, surroundings that suit your aesthetic aspirations can elevate your experience. The family heirlooms that decorate Camp Jabulani in South Africa’s Kapama Reserve, for example, create a uniquely cosy atmosphere, while Xigera Safari Lodge in Botswana’s Okavango Delta is so proud of its collection of original pieces by contemporary African artists and artisans that staff offer art and design tours of the premises. To strike a contemporary note, Loisaba Lodo Springs in Kenya’s Loisaba Conservancy has rooms dotted with hand-stitched West African textiles and elegant upcycled Edwardian furniture.

Peaceful days

Almost every safari programme revolves around guided excursions called game drives, a name dating back to the days of Big Five hunting trips, but the style of the vehicles you ride in isn’t discussed as much as perhaps it should be. While some outfits settle for basic open-sided 4x4s, others invest in supremely comfortable, easy-access vehicles with charging points, dustproof storage space and a fridge. If you’re a keen photographer, top quality private vehicles are a must. Electric safari vehicles offer a particularly smooth ride; while still rare, they’re the future, and are starting to catch on.

Ila Safari Lodge in Zambia’s Kafue National Park offers the rare luxury of total peace and quiet. Founder Vincent Kouwenhoven, who has pioneered electric transport at Ila and its sister lodges in Zambia and Malawi, explains: “Our love for Africa led us to develop technologies that enable guests to experience the bush in near-silent, pollution-free vehicles, charged by our own solar panels. It’s an ecologically conscious way to watch wildlife and very calming, too. Instead of the engine, you hear birdsong.”

Some safaris also promise near-solitude in a vast natural landscape — an intoxicating feeling. One way to dodge the crowds is to travel during low season, the dates of which vary from location to location; alternatively, you could choose private reserves where the only vehicles you’ll see will be those of your fellow guests. As well as providing daytime activities, guides may offer night drives, using spotlights to search for nocturnal activity, such as birds roosting or lions stalking their prey.

For the ultimate in exclusivity, it’s possible to book an entire camp or lodge, with the staff handcrafting everything to your precise specifications, from wake-up times to the cocktails and canapes. According to Ash Jarvis of Best of South Africa Travel, exclusive-use properties work particularly well for mixed-generation families: “With their private game drives, multiple living areas, private pool and the undivided attention of the whole staff, including the chefs (fussy eaters welcome), they eliminate stress and ensure that nobody has to compromise. That’s what good family holidays are all about.”

The ultimate adventure

If serenity is your scene, you may be dreaming of floating over herds of zebras and wildebeest in a hot-air balloon, or wandering across the savannah on a bushwalk or cycle ride. The most interesting safaris offer a mixed programme of imaginative guided activities such as these, enlivening the days with little surprises: picnics in beauty spots, perhaps, or lantern-lit barbecues. 

The possibilities depend, to a large extent, on your choice of location. In Kenya’s northern conservancies, for example, you could explore the semi-desert by camel, while in Rwanda or Uganda, the activity you probably won’t want to miss is venturing into the depths of the rainforest on foot for a precious one-hour audience with mountain gorillas.

On a gorilla trek, you’ll be guided by rangers at the top of their game — a hallmark of an excellent safari. A knowledgeable, communicative guide can transform any trip, keeping you safe, entertained and intrigued.

“The inside track is what you really want, whether that’s in guiding, photography or conservation”, says Will Bolsover of Natural World Safaris. “In-depth knowledge leads you beneath the surface, for true insights into how conservation works, how wildlife benefits and how you can contribute.”

Since quality time with experts is one of the ultimate luxuries you can enjoy on safari, some top-end safaris, particularly in Kenya and South Africa, include a philanthropic element, whereby in exchange for a substantial donation to a conservation fund, you gain access to specialists in the field, perhaps even helping collar predators or collecting DNA samples from juvenile rhinos. Conservation safari companies such as Great Plains and AWF Safaris can assist with this. There’s no better way to start unlocking the mysteries of the African wilderness.

Five luxury safari trips in Africa to try in 2023 and beyond  

1. low-carbon luxury in kenya.

After a night at Nairobi’s fabled Giraffe Manor, travel overland to Solio Lodge in the Central Highlands to explore Kenya’s oldest rhino conservation sanctuary, then continue to Sala’s Camp, in one of the least-visited corners of the Maasai Mara. Eight days from £8,400 with Expert Africa. expertafrica.com

2. Take to the skies in Tanzania

Flip from park to park in style on a SkySafari, travelling by private plane and touching down at luxurious Elewana Collection properties. This classic circuit takes in Arusha, Tarangire, Ngorongoro and the Serengeti, for blockbuster wildlife-watching. Ten days from £8,300 with Sky Safari. skysafari.com

3. Family adventures in South Africa

South Africa has a host of prospects to suit muti-generational families. Delightful safari properties such as Morukuru River House team well with Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and the Garden Route. Fourteen days from £4,500 with Best of South Africa Travel. bestofsouthafricatravel.com

4. Clock the Big Five in the safari heartlands

To experience some of southern Africa’s most exclusive wilderness retreats, string together Bushmans Kloof in South Africa’s Cederberg region, Sossusvlei Desert Lodge in Namibia, DumaTau in Linyanti and Xigera in the Okavango Delta. Twelve days from £24,797 with Beyond Green. staybeyondgreen.com

5. Meet mountain gorillas in Rwanda

Nothing can prepare you for the surge of emotions you’ll feel when, after an exhilarating trek, you first encounter a family of gorillas in the rainforest. Combine your hike with game drives in Rwanda’s Big Five national park, Akagera. Eight days from £7,493 with Jacada Travel. jacadatravel.com  

Published in the 2022 edition of National Geographic Traveller (UK) The Luxury Collection

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How to go gorilla hiking in uganda on a budget, how i got the shot: ben pipe on coming face to face with a lion, a self-guided campervanning safari through southern africa, 5 game drive alternatives, from cycling to horse-riding.

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Sundowner Safaris

Professional Safari Guides and the Benefits of a Private Guided Safari

In our latest post, we take a look at why working with a professional safari guide is critical to the overall guided safari experience, and why working with a professional safari company like Sundowner Safaris to plan your next guided safari or private guided safari is the right choice!

Professional Safari Guides

As the name would suggest, a professional safari guide is a trained and experienced professional who leads visitors on safari through African national parks and private reserves. Professional guides possess extensive knowledge of the local ecosystem, animal behavior, and cultural history, with many professional safari guides also having undergone intensive training programs that include education in conservation, ecology, natural history, bushcraft skills, first aid, and communication techniques. Put simply, your safari guide is a critical component of a successful safari and your overall experience.

A row of elephants walking in front of a safari vehicle operated by a professional safari guide

Here at Sundowner Safaris we only work with professional safari guides when booking your guided or privately guided safari. Which leads to the question, what type of safari is best? Read on!

Types of Safari

Whilst there are many ways you can enjoy a safari, there are three common types of safaris, namely:

Self-drive safaris

Guided Safaris

Private Guide Safaris.

Self-drive Safari

A self-drive safari is an essentially the DIY approach to exploring the African wilderness without help from a professional safari guide. With a self-drive safari, you will be responsible for all of the trip research, planning and making reservations for your travel party, including the rental of an overland vehicle for the trip. Whilst this approach is popular with African locals who know the region and have local knowledge, we don't recommend self-drive safaris for visitors to the African continent (and the reason here at Sundowner Safaris we only work with planning guided or private guided safaris).

Guided Safari

A guided safari on the other hand is a great way to explore and experience the African wilderness, without the hassle and work associated to planning your own self-guided safari. In general, when on a guided safari you will visit multiple lodges/camps where each lodge/camp will provide their own safari guide who will take you on your scheduled activities.

When working with a professional safari company such as our team here at Sundowner Safaris to book your guided safari, we focus on planning a trip for you that gives you an authentic, immersive bush experience and hence we only choose safari lodges and camps that we personally know and have enjoyed. These lodges and camps all have knowledgeable guides, focus on conservation and in addition give back to their local communities. Where possible we also steer away from lodges/camps which are close to large cities or towns, in an effort to avoid overcrowding of the reserves and dampening your safari experience (BBC recently ran this article about overcrowding in Kenya, something we aim to avoid on our safaris).

Private Guided Safari

With private guided safaris, you experience the wonders of the African bush with a more unique and enriching experience. The main difference between a private guided safari and a guided safari, is that on a private guided safari you have your own professional safari guide dedicated to your trip and who will travel from destination to destination with you.

Person taking a picture of an elephant up-close behind a private safari guide

What are the Benefits of Privately Guided Safaris?

Privately guided safaris offer you the most unique safari opportunities to experience the best of Africa. From unmatched wildlife sightings to discovering some of the most diverse cultures, privately guided safaris provide you with a more personalized and tailored experience than a guided safari.

Your Own Professional Safari Guide

On a private guided safari you also enjoy the benefit of having your own private safari guide for the duration of your safari (like our own Benson Siyawareva ), who is extremely knowledgeable and familiar with the terrain, local flora and fauna, ensuring your safety and experience throughout safari. Your professional safari guide will be chosen to suit your individual needs, and they will be familiar with your preferences and any specific interests by the time you go to Africa.

Private safari guide Benson Siyawareva

Having your own private safari guide also brings the ultimate in flexibility in the wilderness, allowing you to focus on the things you really want to see and do, and overall enabling you to have a continuous safari experience.

A Stress Free Experience

Traveling to Africa for the first time can be an intimidating experience, particularly for those not as well traveled (see also our informative first time safari tips and guide blog ). From unfamiliar cultures to unknown destinations, taking on such a journey can feel overwhelming. However, a private guided safari provides the ultimate peace of mind - everything is taken care of for you, allowing you to enjoy the experience without the typical stress associated to planning a big overseas adventure.

Perfect for Families and Small Groups

Private guided safaris are also ideal for small groups and families who wish to capture photographs of animals in their natural environment. An experienced guide can identify the right places and moments to observe the animals, drawing on years of knowledge, tracking skills and an understanding of fauna, flora and animal behavior.

Private guided safaris are also the perfect choice for couples looking for a unique and intimate experience, ideal for those special occasions or the ultimate African honeymoon !

safari guide

For more details on why we highly recommend private guided safaris please take a look at our dedicated private guiding page .

Why Choose Sundowner Safaris?

So why choose Sundowner Safari for you next guided safari or private guided safari? Here at Sundowner Safaris, we can help you create a personalized itinerary for a luxurious African safari in Zimbabwe , Botswana , Zambia , Namibia , Rwanda , and South Africa . Our team is committed to providing the best possible safari experience for our clients, which is why we have partnered with some of the world's best safari tour guides, including our very own Benson Siyawareva .

Meet Benson Siyawareva

Benson's extensive knowledge of African wildlife and his ability to identify even the smallest details of the environment make him an invaluable asset to any safari trip. As an experienced guide with over 30 years of experience, Benson is passionate about sharing his knowledge with his clients and providing them with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. With Sundowner Safaris, clients have the opportunity to book a private guided tour with Benson and other exceptional safari tour guides, ensuring an unforgettable safari adventure.

Book Your Safari Adventure Today!

If you are looking for a once-in-a-lifetime luxury safari experience with an expert safari guide, Sundowner Safaris is the perfect choice. With a team of highly experienced guides and a commitment to exceptional service, we offer an unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa's landscape and wildlife. From the thrill of spotting the Big Five to the breathtaking beauty of the African savannah, our team will take you on a journey you'll never forget.

Book your trip with Sundowner Safaris today and experience the magic of Africa for yourself!

safari guide

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The ultimate guide to planning your first safari adventure

By Lydia Bell

Couple on safari excursion in africa

Where to start when booking your first safari

For first-timers, starting to plan a safari may feel overwhelming, because of the sheer amount of choice. The biggest destinations in terms of infrastructure, variety of parks, breadth of lodges and big-five habitats, are South Africa , Kenya , Tanzania , Namibia , Botswana , Zimbabwe and Zambia . Before interrogating an operator, or going down a Google rabbit hole, it can be helpful to start with vision-boarding the basics.

Is it a classic Big Five East African safari you’re seeking (‘big five’ refers to the term coined by hunters to describe lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo)? Or something wilder and more undefinable? Ask yourself what you are seeking from the trip, and how you want to feel. Write down the wish list and get as specific as possible. Is it important to have the best guides in Africa and to sate your thirst for knowledge? Or is the focus sumptuous lodges and a soft landing, as much as wildlife? Will the safari be combined with Robinson Crusoe-style beach-time, or an epicurean road trip? Or is the dream to drill down into the different habitats of a single country, with a camp in each region? Do you crave the bloody drama of the great migration that passes through the Serengeti and Mara ecosystems every July and August ? Or is the answer a long chopper ride far away from CB radios and mobile reception, in a pop-up tent with a private guide? Is your ideal of wilderness the brutal expanse of the Kalahari? Or is the ideal landscape a watery delta, deep jungle, dense bush or grassy savannah?

Giraffes herd in savannah

How to book your first safari adventure

Now take it to a specialist operator . The Africa safari crew’s bread and butter is matching travellers’ nebulous desires with a concrete plan on the open grassy plains and acacia woodlands of the Masai Mara, amid the high drama of Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, in the oldest desert on the planet, Namibia’s Sossusvlei – or somewhere else way off the radar.  When it comes to safari, the expertise, knowledge and know-how of the specialists comes into its own. They know the granular details of animal migrations in various countries, the right seasonal information that will change the footprint of a trip, and can lead guests off the beaten track for a more remote, adventurous, or exclusive experience.

Major travel planners in the field include the likes of Journeys by Design, Aardvark Safaris, Africa Travel Centre, Green Safaris and Yellow Zebra Safaris. Expert Africa and The Explorations Company. They can advise with great expertise on lesser-known areas or parks to avoid the crowds, and may suggest game-rich countries that are less obvious – such as Zambia and Malawi, or even Congo, Gabon, Angola or Chad. They can tap into walking, horseback and bush-biking options, or air safaris, and know how to access the less iconic migrations – zebra crossings through Botswana’s Linyanti and Savute regions; or pink flocks of flamingos floating over Tanzania’s salt lakes. Major lodge operators (often booked by the operators listed further up) include Great Plains, African Bush Camps, Wilderness, andBeyond, Natural Selection, Ultimate Safaris, and Asilia Africa, representing some of the top echelon of lodge owners and operators.

Luxury Safari Tent in a Tented Camp in the Okavango Delta near Maun Botswana Africa under Large Trees

Sustainability and conservation

Fortunately, the safari field is populated with largely excellent, responsible operators and impressive lodge owners committed to sustainable travel and cultural integrity, and extending their conservation footprint to guard against poaching and the effects of climate change – the likes of Expert Africa, Aardvark Safaris, The Explorations Company and Journeys By Design. Most of the major lodge players have extensive conservation foundations and philanthropic wings to their businesses. But a good way to check on the ethics of lodges and operators is by requesting published reports on their work and sustainability policies to gauge their meaningful engagement in local culture, livelihood and community.

Where to stay

Safari options tend to be built lodges (bonafide buildings of stone, timber, or  concrete structures) or tented camps under canvas. There is also the possibility of mobile tented camps , or even pop-up tents on walking safaris led by private guides and trackers. In the past decade or so, some of the most glamorous camps have added exclusive-use villas serviced by private chefs, dedicated guides and vehicles. Multi-generational groups, privacy-hungry families and celebrities hiding from paparazzi tend to snap these up.

What happens on a safari day?

On a regular safari, days in the bush follow a predictable schedule. Expect to be awakened at the crack of dawn with a wake-up call and caffeine, before heading into the bush with a guide in an open-air game vehicle (probably wrapped in a warm blanket with a hot water bottle for warmth). In the early morning, the air is still cool and the big cats are heading home from a busy night on the prowl.

Breakfast or lunch is served out in the bush, or back at camp after the morning game drive. Then afternoons are for resting, massages, reading, or walking safari excursions, community visits or other cultural immersions, before heading out again in the late afternoon. Hot-air ballooning takes place at dawn or dusk and would take the place of the evening game drive .

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By late afternoon, the predators are waking up from their afternoon snooze, ready for action anew. There’s usually a sundowner at a beauty spot before the game vehicles return just before dark, in time for pre-dinner drinks and dinner. If it’s a private reserve and nocturnal game drives are permitted (which is prohibited in national parks), then a late-afternoon drive may morph into a night-time one, in search of more elusive night-time creatures such as leopards. Dinners can be private or communal, sometimes including a gathering or a celebration in a boma enclosure. There might be a fireside chat or a spot of astronomy. There may also be the possibility of bush or tree house sleep-outs, or star beds for galaxy-gazing. Whilst the days and nights are structured, each drive, day, moment and season is different – and that’s the beauty of safari.

Zebra and her cub crossing the road in Serengeti National Park .

The lowdown on safari guides

Being a top-notch safari guide is a life-long vocation of honed skill. These are the people who bring the experience alive with their lived knowledge and understanding of the ecosystem, its wildlife and the landscapes. The best lodges and ground handlers run ranger schools and training programmes across the continent that are second to none. Some of the top lodges host visiting experts and conservationists for even more magic.

Other practical tips

• When picking a safari lodge , think about how remote it is, and if other lodges are close by. Private reserves on the edge of parks tend to be more intimate, as there’s the chance to go off-road during the day (and night), instead of sticking to a pre-ordained track.

• Having a private vehicle is ideal and in terms of wildlife viewing, for some, it’s more important than the lodge, as it means being free to decide which sightings to prioritise.

• Think hard when it comes to getting from A to B. That perceived romantic road transfer might just be a nine-hour spine-shuddering journey from hell.

Luxury Safari Tent in a Tented Camp in the Okavango Delta near Maun Botswana Africa under Large Trees

• Check what the baggage allowance is and choose a suitcase accordingly: if travelling in a small plane such as a Cessna, luggage will have to be rationalised, possibly to between 12-15kgs.

• A safari (unless it’s a biking, riding or walking safari ) is not about exercise: there’s a lot of sitting around. Those who get restless when not able to do cardio should choose a lodge with a small gym or yoga on offer. One can’t go running off into the bush, and guests are accompanied by guides (Masai in parts of Kenya and Tanzania) back to the tent at night.

Taking pictures

Now is the moment to crack out that single-lens-reflex camera gathering dust in the wardrobe, and perhaps a 300mm lens, beanbag or monopod (easier to fiddle with in a game vehicle). Consider the season of the country as this will affect photography prospects. Zambia in the rain, for example, is green, lush, and beautiful, but the nellies like to hide in the undergrowth. In October , everything is the colour of mud and sludge, but the wildlife viewing is premium. Just pointing and shooting with an iPhone will produce incredible images and reels.

Kirurumu Manyara Lodge

Can I take my children on safari?

Bringing children on safari imbues in them a sense of grand adventure and an understanding of the natural world and the importance of protecting it. There are generally no hard and fast rules, but most lodges welcome children from about the age of six, though families may be expected to have a private vehicle. To simplify travelling with younger children , it may be easier to pick a malaria-free destination (to avoid having to medicate them), from Madikwe Reserve in South Africa to Etosha National Park in Namibia (but check the  NHS’s Fit For Travel web pages to check the malaria maps of each country). Ideally, choose a lodge with a kids' programme. Most of the major lodge players take children into account. Wilderness’ programmes, for example, are designed for ages 6 to 12 and include walking safaris, star identification, treasure hunts, football games, basket weaving, helping in the kitchen and drumming lessons. Fifth-generation family-operated Cottar’s 1920s Camp in Kenya’s Masai Mara, one of only nine accredited Global Ecosphere Retreats, recently developed a special Budding Conservationist experience for kids to join the female conservation rangers on their daily patrolling, identify vulture nests, join a Masai warrior “school” and visit a local primary. &Beyond has launched WildChild Eco-Guide Challenge Itineraries for teenagers (14-18 years) along with their parents, including trips to Botswana, Mozambique and South Africa . Stubborn Mule creates worldwide family-led adventures, including off-radar safari adventures from gorilla trekking in Rwanda to fly camping in the wilds of Northern Kenya. Whichever journey you choose, encourage the children to keep a diary for posterity.

A tipping point

As a rough guide, up to 10-15 per cent of the total cost of the safari should be budgeted for tips. The guide is generally tipped US$15-20 per person per day, which can also be handed directly to the guide at the end of the trip. Although voluntary, it’s routine to tip and lodge staff, from cooks to cleaners. This can be added to the bill at the end; lodges then distribute it to all staff members. Pre-check if the bill excludes alcohol, or includes tips, to avoid surprises or confusion.

Wild African elephant in the savannah. Serengeti National Park. Wildlife of Tanzania. African landscape.

Immunisations and medicines 

Some African destinations require yellow fever, typhoid or hepatitis A and B jabs. Malaria is a risk in some countries, but as this is a shifting scenario, it’s best to check the  NHS’s Fit For Travel web pages for the malaria maps of each country. A one-size-fits-all approach to a country is rarely needed. Refer to our safari packing list to find out more about what to pack and for tips from safari old hands.

Visa requirements

For current and up-to-date information about visas refer to the  government’s foreign travel advice pages .

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How to Plan an African Safari

The beginner's guide to a bucket list-worthy african adventure..

giraffe in zimbabwe

Ask most habitual travelers to rattle off their bucket-list adventures, and an African safari will enjoy repeated mentions. You can’t blame these jet-setters for their predictability—when organized properly, the unique formula of majestic wildlife, rugged luxury and far-flung enchantment can easily equal the trip of a lifetime. The challenge is, safaris are anything but predictable. In fact, no two excursions into the bush are even remotely the same, which is actually part of the allure, and why some adventurers come back for more on a regular basis—and I’m one of them. Here’s what I’ve learned from multiple experiences on African safaris, and what you ought to know to make the most out of your first foray.

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interior of Tembo Plains Camp in zimbabwe

Choose A Trusted Tour Operator

If you’re looking for some semblance of control or consistency, it matters how you plan, and, most crucially, who you plan with. Because there are so many logistics involved in building an itinerary in this part of the world, you’re going to want to enlist the help of professional tour operators. These specialized businesses work with you to organize flights, both to and within Africa, and they liaise with bush camps to reserve accommodations and guides, secure necessary permits and visas—the whole shebang. The operators then package it together into an all-inclusive total, so you won’t have any surprise fees come up. Typically, the only thing you’d have to pay on top of that figure is gratuity for hotel staff and guides on the ground.

For U.S. travelers, it’s best to choose a tour company based in the United States, for ease of communication while you’re in the planning phases. Should there be any hiccups along the way, you’ll want to know they operate a 24-hour phone line to smooth things out around the clock. For a boutique-y experience, go with Mango African Safaris . Based in Denver, it was founded by Teresa Isabelle Sullivan and Casey Gamba Hermansen in 1999, after the two college friends embarked on a seven-month-long adventure through Africa together. Their team takes great pride in working closely with customers to formulate a wholly bespoke adventure.

a lion in africa

Ultimate Africa Safaris is another excellent option, particularly if you’re keen on seeing the southern parts of the continent. Founder Ian Proctor has been exploring this part of the world since the late ‘80s, and has developed lasting relationships with some of the best operators on the ground there. He’s been to Botswana and South Africa dozens of times throughout the years, and provides valuable personal insight when building any itinerary; no matter where you’re thinking of traveling within this region, chances are good Proctor’s already been.

If you’re looking for the most trusted name in ultra-luxury safari, Micato is it. Native Kenyans Felix and Jane Pinto, who live in Africa full-time, have run this outfitter for over 50 years. They work exclusively with high-credentialed guides and high-end camps, and have an impeccable record when it comes to safety. They even guarantee you two guides to lead  game drives, as opposed to the customary solo experience. If your safari starts in Nairobi, they go a step above and beyond and invite you over to personally meet you before heading into the bush.

elephants in Mpala Jena, Zembezi Natrional Park, Zimababwe.

Prioritize What You Want To Experience

Africa comprises an incomprehensibly vast and dynamic landscape. It would take decades of traveling to truly get a taste of it all. Which is to say, you’re not doing everything on one trip. So, what do you want to see most?

If your answer is ‘an abundance of big game,’ it really is tough to beat Kenya. There’s a reason why the country’s famed Masai Mara National Reserve is among the most visited parks on the planet, as you won’t have any trouble spotting the so-called “Big Five”: lions, leopards, rhinoceroses, elephants and buffaloes are seemingly ubiquitous.

three cheetahs in Kenya

A lot of other tourists are going to have the same thought process, so consider something outside of the major park, too. Naboisho Conservancy is a fantastic option, and Mara Nyika Camp is the premiere destination for lodging therein. The Relais & Châteaux property is run by Great Plains Conservation , an organization that works with local governments to promote environmentally-conscious tourism, and to economically incentivize the protection of native wildlife.

Great Plains currently operates 18 safari camps across Africa, and this one is a feather in its cap. Tented suites feature multiple rooms fitted with antique furnishings and balconies, pointed directly at a crowded superhighway of giraffes, zebras and wildebeest. After your morning game drive, you’ll return to a delicious daily meal fashioned out of fresh produce from an on-site garden. And the high-speed WiFi is fit for the fiercest of digital nomads.

bed at lewa safari camp in africa

If you’re more interested in rhinos than roses on your bedsheets, head to Elewana Lewa Safari Camp , further north in Kenya’s Lewa Wildlife Conservancy. The sanctuary encompasses 62,000 acres of land and is home to 12 percent of Kenya’s entire population of black rhinoceroses, and the largest population of Grevy’s zebra in the world. Individual rooms at the camp aren’t as opulent as Mara Nyika, but you’ll hardly be roughing it. A massive common area includes a well-appointed bar, fireplaces and even a swimming pool.

cheetah cub on safari in botswana

Perhaps it’s a more varied landscape you’re after—in this case, Botswana is where you want to be. During a single trip here, you can migrate from the vast and verdant marshes of the Okavango Delta to the arid salt flats of the Makgadikgadi Basin, the remnants of a prehistoric lake the size of Switzerland.

Natural Selection manages the greatest breadth of camps in this part of the world; that includes everything from the refined luxury of Tuludi in the lush grasslands of Khwai Private Reserve, to the outdoor Skybeds , where you sleep on a remote three-story-tall deck underneath a canopy of stars. At San Camp you’ll overnight at the edge of the Nwetwe Pan, and can take ATVs out into the boundless desert beyond, for a sundowner at a makeshift bar in the sand.

gorillas on safari

Aspiring gorilla trekkers can arrange the trip of their dreams with Volcanoes Safaris . This eco-minded outfitter is the undisputed pioneer of primate encounters in both Rwanda and Uganda. While the former destination is pricier ($1,500 for a trekking permit as opposed to $700 in Uganda) it’s also slightly more accessible. Of the five luxury lodges it operates across both countries, Virunga probably affords the most stunning stay. Seated high on a spine between Lake Bulera and Lake Ruhondo, you’ll wake up to views of the distant volcano, stretching out beyond your private veranda, from the comfort of your own king-sized bed. The company sorts out all the logistics of getting you to and from the trek, of which there are many—it involves an hour-long drive to the trailhead, followed by a hike up and into dense forest, which can take an additional two hours. When your guide inevitably finds a family of mountain gorillas, you’ll have one full hour of intimate close-up time with the majestic and playful beasts. It’s a special experience, and even more so since there are only around 1,000 known mountain gorillas left in the wild.

Mpala Jena Camp in Zimbabwe

For those all about that river life, there’s no better destination than Zimbabwe. An unforgettable adventure awaits along the banks of the Zambezi, and Great Plains Conservation runs the best bush camps here. Most recently they opened Mpala Jena , just upriver from Victoria Falls. After landing at the local airstrip, you’ll arrive by riverboat, spying bloats of hippos and basks of crocodiles along the way.

The extraordinarily exclusive property is composed of a total of just three tented villas on-site in a riverside setting, meant to capture “barefoot luxury.” To wit, the thatched roof bar and common areas sit atop a bed of white sand. Staring out over the fast-moving Zambezi at night, you’ll lose track of whether you’re on safari or a tropical retreat.

bedroom at Mpala Jena Camp on safari in Zimbabwe.

But your sense of adventure will surely return in the morning during game drives through the surrounding terrain, chockablock with elephants, hyenas and hippos. If you want to check off one of the Natural Wonders of the World while you’re here, the guides at Mpala Jena can easily shuttle you over to the brink of Victoria Falls. The largest waterfall in the world by volume, it is a 5,500-foot wide, 355-foot tall cataract slicing diagonally across the river.

Tembo Plains Camp is tucked away into a thick riverine forest on the edge of the Zambezi River, in the private 128,000-hectare Sapi Private Reserve, east of Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park.

After a few nights at Mpala Jena, try to attach a few more days onto your itinerary at Great Plains’ other outstanding Zimbabwean outpost, Tembo Plains . This is another Relais & Châteaux property, perched along the banks of the Zambezi, and is a prime location for pampering.

All the creature comforts of a cosmopolitan luxury inn have somehow been transported to one of the most remote regions in Africa. Rooms here are equipped with a private plunge pool and exercise bike beside the riverbank, where an endless parade of hippos stare menacingly at you—from a safe distance, of course. There’s a spa, private butlers and your own personal boat, and there’s even an air-conditioned wine “cellar” showcasing South African viticultural. Just don’t oversleep past those pre-dawn game drives; there are plenty of land-based predators to spy here, and they are all early risers.

Wildlife, found in the 128,000-hectare Sapi Private Reserve, east of Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park.

Broadly speaking, the best time to go on safari is sometime between June and October, when you’re less likely to experience rain and more likely to see game. This is especially true in Kenya, as these are the months when you’ll catch the Masai Mara migration. In Botswana, the opportunistic window opens a touch more to include April and May, as well. For gorilla trekkers in Rwanda and Uganda, it’s mid-December to early February, as well as June to September, if you want to avoid getting wet. If you go at other times, however, you’ll be rewarded for braving the mud with far fewer crowds to compete with during your forays into the forest. Along the banks of the Zambezi, Zimbabwean adventurers can enjoy solid sightseeing from the end of April through mid-November.

view of cape town

The Layover

One final consideration that can often be overlooked in safari planning is how you bookend the adventure. This is hardly a trifling matter—if you’re heading to Africa directly from the U.S., you’ll be coming off a minimum of 16 hours in the air. You’ll likely be fraught with exhaustion, dehydration and jet lag, and that’s no condition in which to head off into the wilderness.

Try structuring in two days at the front end of your itinerary to acclimate, in whatever your first point of entry may be. This is another arena in which a skilled tour operator is really crucial. If they have a solid network of hotels and concierges on the ground in these respective cities, you’ll begin your safari in a much better state of mind.

If you’re flying through South Africa, endeavor to make Cape Town your first stop as opposed to Johannesburg, because there’s far more to do and see as a tourist in the former. That’s especially true if your operator is working with someone like Ozzy Yerlikaya, founder of a local company called Travel Designer . His team are experts at building the ideal day trip, including foodie tours with celebrity chefs, snorkel sessions with fur seals and kelp foraging excursions. Comparable experts exist in Nairobi, a worthwhile layover destination for those traveling to the Kenyan bush, and gorilla enthusiasts will find no shortage of cultural curiosities in Kigali. The Rwandan capital has enjoyed a contemporary renaissance and owns an expansive food, drinks and arts scene, which you could easily spend multiple days exploring.

How to Plan an African Safari

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Book your African Safari

Safari Guide Africa is an African safari and travel guide for both the traveler and the tourist. Our mission is help you compare and book safaris in all countries in Southern and Eastern Africa, on a budget that suits you.

We feature complete sample tours, which are customized for each individual holiday using unique hotels and safari lodges to suit each client. 

An enquiry with Safari Guide Africa is only a starting point so we can work with you to build something that suits your wishes.

SELECTED AFRICAN SAFARI PACKAGES

South africa safari and mozambique beach, 13 nights – from $7310.

A great bush and beach combination journey where you will travel in style and get to explore South Africa’s cosmopolitan city of Cape Town and a famous game reserve and stay on a tropical beach in Mozambique.

ROMANTIC LUXURY IN KRUGER

4 nights – from $4500.

Singita’s exceptional luxury makes this getaway a proper escape, with fantastic meals prepared for you each day, opulent accommodation and excellent facilities. Enjoy sunset cocktails on late afternoon game drives, or from the lodge’s beautiful balconies.

MASAI MARA & SERENGETI SAFARI

6 nights – from $7000.

The ultimate migration safari, this fantastic package takes visitors to two incomparable locations – the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. This migration adventure begins in the Masai Mara at Mara Bushtops, followed by the Serengeti Bushtops.

MASAI MARA SAFARI & ZANZIBAR ISLAND ESCAPE

9 days – from $3100.

This spectacular trip to Kenya and Tanzania brings visitors to two incredible locations: the Masai Mara for the Great Migration and Zanzibar, for a tropical island getaway.

BROWSE HOLIDAYS BY EXPERIENCE

We have separated our holiday options by experience for those who primarily want an experience over a location.

Custom Family Safari Holidays

Leading safari destinations, kruger park safari.

Kruger consistently delivers on both safari and high-quality lodging. We have visited and reviewed Kruger National Park’s best safari lodges to find those which are perfect for travelers who enjoy rustic five-star luxury in one of the world’s best national parks.

MASAI MARA SAFARI

The Mara is home for all big cats: leopard, cheetah and the rarely spotted lynx-like caracal, and prides itself with the largest lion population in Africa. Enjoy breathtaking views over savannah and gently rolling hills provide the visitor the rare opportunity of always seeing some game as there is little vegetation to block the view.

Serengeti Safari

The Serengeti is Tanzania’s best park to visit. Apart from the world famous great migration, there is abundant and exclusive fauna and flora to watch. The magical Serengeti is a highly-recommended location for top-class wildlife spotting and is accessible throughout the year.

Ngorongoro Safari

Ngorongoro Crater is part of the Serengeti-Mara-Ecosystem and offers the unique opportunity to see wildlife. The visitor will not regret their time in Ngorongoro which still evokes images of the Garden of Eden with animals of all kinds living side-by-side in this awesome and unique habitat.

BROWSE HOLIDAYS BY COUNTRY

There are a number of different safari destinations in Southern Africa.  We feature the best countries in the region for holidays, so select a country and start exploring.

SOUTH AFRICA

Top travel packages.

These are some of the holiday packages that we have recently sent our guests on. When clients sign enquires through Safari Guide Africa , we match your needs with the best tour operators for those holidays.

They are a great source of inspiration to see what is possible for a holiday in Africa.  If you see something that inspires you, send an enquiry and we will contact to you see how we can complement the package with your needs and to your budget.

Aquila Private Game Reserve Inside

Near Cape Town

Aquila Private Game Reserve

white elephant safari lodge

South Africa Packages

South African Conservation Safari Experience

belmond mount nelson pool

Botswana Safari Packages

Best of Southern Africa

More Quarters Bedroom

Cape Town Hotels

More Quarters Hotel

Belmond Mount Nelson Hotel

Belmond Eagle Island Lodge Suite terrace

Okavango Delta Safari Lodges

Belmond Eagle Island Lodge

tilney manor exterior

South Africa Holiday

twelve apostles hotel location

Twelve Apostles Hotel And Spa

TOP SAFARI LODGES

A safari lodge, the staff, the food, and the amenities make or break a safari experience.  We have visited these lodges, and keep in close communication with our guests to ensure that we include the best safari lodges in our packages.

These safari lodges are rarely the biggest, or the most expensive, but we will make sure that they meet exactly what you are looking to get from a holiday in Africa.

Kwazulu Natal Safari Lodges

White Elephant Safari Lodge

AM Lodge Suite & Terrace

Kapama Safari Lodges

Camp Jabulani - Standard Suite

Camp Jabulani

Ngala Safari Lodge Cottage

Timbavati Safari Lodges

Ngala Safari Lodge

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge - Villa Outside

Sabi Sand Safari Lodges

Lion Sands Ivory Lodge

Lion Sands River Lodge - Suite Pool

Lion Sands River Lodge

Rockfig Safari Lodge Welcome

RockFig Safari Lodge

HOW WE WORK

Your african safari, we partner with the top tour operators in africa so you get the best experience in the lead up to, and during your trip..

  • Tell us about your ideal African safari
  • We ensure that you are matched with the top tour operators for your holiday.
  • You book your holiday when you have exactly what you want .

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Safari Guide to Kenya and Tanzania: The Heart of Africa’s Wildlife

Introduction to the wonders of kenya and tanzania safaris.

In our “Safari Guide to Kenya and Tanzania,” we delve into the heart of Africa, a land of vast landscapes and untamed wilderness, holding the secrets of nature that many travelers yearn to uncover. Kenya and Tanzania, two countries at the core of this exploration, together offer an unparalleled safari experience. But what makes these nations stand out amid a continent renowned for its wildlife adventures?

Beyond the majestic wildlife and breathtaking vistas, Kenya and Tanzania boast a rich tapestry of culture, history, and hospitality. Whether you’re dreaming of a romantic wedding on the serene beaches of Zanzibar or seeking a vacation that melds adventure with relaxation, these destinations offer memories that linger for a lifetime. Dive deep into the rhythm of Africa and discover why Kenya and Tanzania are jewels in the crown of global travel destinations.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania - Safari Guide to Kenya and Tanzania

Why Venture on a Safari in Kenya and Tanzania?

Venturing on a Kenya and Tanzania safari isn’t just about witnessing wildlife; it’s an immersion into a unique abundance of nature and culture . With a trustworthy safari guide at your side, you’ll uncover hidden gems that go beyond the iconic Big Five .

Kenya safari offers vast savannahs dotted with acacia trees, while Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater serves as nature’s amphitheater, teeming with diverse wildlife. Opt for a Kenya-Tanzania safari tour, and you’ll bridge the beauty of both lands, gaining insights into their distinct environments and traditions.

Whether it’s the great wildebeest migration in the Serengeti or meeting the Maasai Mara tribes, the Kenya and Tanzania tours promise more than just sights – they offer transformative experiences. So, if you’re debating Tanzania or Kenya safari, why not choose both and double the wonder!

Picking the Perfect Season: Best Time to Embark on a Kenya Tanzania Safari

Safari in Kenya

The Ideal Time For Your Visit

Kenya and Tanzania, two gemstones of East Africa, offer varying climates throughout the year. As a safari guide might advice, the season you choose can drastically influence your experience. Dry seasons, from late June to October and January to February , offer optimum wildlife viewing with less vegetation obscuring your sight.

Serengeti National Park, Serengeti, Tanzania

The Great Migration Timing

The grand spectacle, The Great Migration , is a scene like no other. From July to September , a mesmerizing display of over two million wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles move between the Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya. If a Kenya and Tanzania safari tour is on your bucket list, timing it with this natural wonder is a must.

Yet, every season has its charm; a Kenya safari might allure with calving in February, while a Tanzania safari entices with predator action during migration. Regardless of when you plan your Kenya and Tanzania tour, nature’s raw beauty promises to captivate.

READY TO BOOK THE PERFECT TRIP?

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Highlights and Attractions: From the Serengeti to the Maasai Mara

Maasai Mara National Reserve Savanna at Africa

Maasai Mara National Reserve

Dive deep into Kenya’s pristine wilderness at the Maasai Mara National Reserve. Often highlighted by any seasoned safari guide, this reserve stands as a crowning jewel of Kenya safaris. Less commonly known, the Mara offers unique nocturnal safaris, unveiling a secretive world where nature’s nocturnes come alive.

Two Adult Lions, Serengeti National Park, Serengeti, Tanzania

The Serengeti National Park

Across the border, Tanzania offers the vast expanse of The Serengeti National Park. While many associate this park with the Great Migration, fewer realize that it houses one of the largest lion populations globally. A Kenya and Tanzania safari tour bridges the experience of both these iconic locations, showcasing diverse ecosystems.

Embarking on a Kenya Tanzania safari, travelers not only witness wildlife but also immerse in the age-old dance between predator and prey. Whether your heart is set on a Kenya or Tanzania safari, each destination offers unparalleled moments. Choose your adventure, and let the wonders of East Africa captivate your spirit.

Experiencing the Delightful Kenya and Tanzania Cuisine

Kenya’s Signature Dish: Ugali

Kenya’s Signature Dish: Ugali

A trip to Kenya isn’t complete without tasting Ugali, a staple maize porridge. Paired often with sukuma wiki (collard greens) or Nyama Choma (grilled meat), it captures the essence of Kenyan comfort food. Each bite not only offers a taste of home-cooked goodness but also provides insights into Kenya’s culinary heritage. It’s a must-try during any Kenya safari, adding a flavor-packed experience.

Zanzibar Pizza

Tanzania’s Culinary Gem: Zanzibar Pizza

Tanzania surprises with its Zanzibar Pizza, a delightful street food unique to the islands. Unlike any traditional pizza, this treat is a blend of meat, veggies, and egg wrapped in thin dough, fried to perfection. It’s a testament to Tanzania’s blend of cultures and flavors. Dive into this dish during a Tanzania or Kenya and Tanzania tour, and savor a piece of Zanzibar’s heart.

The heart and soul of Kenya and Tanzania aren’t just in their vast landscapes and wildlife, but also in their rich, flavorful dishes. As you journey through these lands, let your taste buds explore as fervently as your eyes do. Delight in the traditional flavors, and leave with a gastronomic memory as vivid as the safaris themselves.

Seeking Accommodations Amidst Wilderness: A Mix of Luxury and Budget Options in Kenya and Tanzania

Indulge in opulent lodges offering unparalleled experiences, with panoramic views and top-tier amenities. Alternatively, discover budget-friendly gems that provide a cozy touch, ensuring comfort and authenticity on every step of your African adventure.

Luxury Accommodations

amboseli serena safari lodge

Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge

For those on a Kenya and Tanzania safari, Kenya opens its arms with premium accommodations like the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge. Nestled amidst the Amboseli National Park, this lodge offers a vantage point to the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro while ensuring luxury and comfort. It’s more than just a stay; it’s an experience that a safari guide often touts as unmatched.

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge

On the flip side, in Tanzania, travelers are welcomed with distinct elegance, especially at places like the Ngorongoro Serena Safari Lodge. Strategically situated at the edge of the renowned Ngorongoro crater, this haven offers breathtaking vistas and an intimate proximity to native wildlife. It’s not merely a place to rest, but a destination in itself for those on a Kenya and Tanzania safari tour. Experience Tanzania’s splendor wrapped in luxury.

Budget-Friendly Stays

Kibo Safari Camp

Kibo Safari Camp

Kibo Safari Camp in Amboseli strikes a balance between budget and experience. With traditional tented accommodations set against a backdrop of the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro, guests can immerse themselves in nature without sacrificing essential comforts. The camp’s ambiance is perfect for those wanting an authentic yet pocket-friendly Kenyan retreat.

Panorama Campsite

Panorama Campsite

Panorama Campsite, located near Ngorongoro, promises visitors an intimate Tanzanian experience. Its rustic charm, with basic tents and campfires, allows travelers to connect deeply with the wild. The serene surroundings, coupled with starry nights and echoing wildlife calls, make it an affordable yet enriching choice for many.

Kenya and Tanzania have something for every traveler, with both luxury spots and budget-friendly places to stay. No matter where you choose to rest, the magic of the safari stays the same. Every place, whether pricey or affordable, adds to the adventure. Go on a journey that fits your budget, and make memories that last forever.

Estimating Your Adventure: Average Costs in Kenya and Tanzania Safaris

Embarking on a Kenya and Tanzania safari tour promises unforgettable encounters with Africa’s diverse wildlife. But, how do you estimate the expenses?

Key Considerations in Navigating Your Safari Budget

Kenya Safari

Typical Safari Pricing Breakdown

Safari costs in Kenya and Tanzania aren’t just about spotting majestic lions. You’re also investing in a holistic experience: from knowledgeable safari guides offering lesser-known wildlife insights to access to untouched natural parks. Additionally, prices incorporate park entrance fees, camping or lodge accommodations, and sometimes even meals. It’s essential to understand the full spectrum of costs to ensure a seamless, hassle-free safari experience.

Accommodation, Travel, and Guided Tours

Accommodation, Travel, and Guided Tours

When budgeting, consider three pivotal aspects: where you’ll rest after a day’s adventure, your travel logistics within and between Kenya and Tanzania, and the expertise of your chosen kenya tanzania safari guide. Opting for package Kenya and Tanzania tours can sometimes provide better value, merging accommodation, travel, and guided explorations into one cohesive, memorable experience.

Daily Costs and Budgeting Tips

nyama choma

Daily Expenses: Food, Travel, and More

When exploring Kenya and Tanzania, daily expenses are more than just accommodation. Savory local dishes, intra-region travel, and unexpected souvenirs can quickly add up. Sample traditional meals like “ugali” or “nyama choma” in Kenya, and perhaps “chapati” or “ndizi kaanga” in Tanzania. Additionally, consider the costs of short flights, local taxis, or buses connecting popular safari destinations.

Travel Budget Talk

Making the Most of Your Budget

Maximizing your safari budget means prioritizing experiences that matter most. Perhaps splurge on a hot air balloon ride over the Masai Mara but economize with budget-friendly lodges. Engage with local communities for authentic, cost-effective experiences. Remember, with careful planning and a keen eye for value, every penny can stretch further, enhancing your African adventure.

Estimating safari costs in Kenya and Tanzania goes beyond simple numbers—it’s about a rich, holistic experience. With Allied Travel , there’s no need for guesswork. We guide you every step of the way, ensuring your safari is not just an adventure, but a lifetime memory. Let’s journey together!

Tips and Tricks for an Unforgettable Kenya and Tanzania Tour

An exhilarating Kenya and Tanzania safari tour offers some of the most captivating sights in Africa. Yet, as with any journey, there are ways to elevate the experience. Dive into these insider insights for a more memorable encounter.

Couple Safari Travel

Maximizing Your Safari Experience

The magic of a Kenya and Tanzania safari lies beyond the well-trodden paths. Opt for dawn or dusk excursions; this is when wildlife is most active. Additionally, patience is key. Spend more time at fewer spots, allowing nature to unfold before you. Interestingly, many overlook the wonders of the smaller fauna and flora, so keep an open eye!

African Safari Guide

The Right Safari Guide and Company

Your safari guide is your gateway to the majestic landscapes of Kenya and Tanzania. Prioritize hiring experienced guides from reputable companies, such as Allied Travel , as they possess invaluable local knowledge. Did you know that the best guides have an uncanny ability to spot hidden creatures miles away, enriching your Tanzania or Kenya safari manifold?

The essence of an unforgettable Kenya and Tanzania tour is in the details. Savor each moment, trust expert guides, and let the unparalleled beauty of Kenya and Tanzania sweep you away.

Preserving the Environment: Sustainable Safari Practices

In the heart of Kenya and Tanzania, safaris allow travelers to witness the raw beauty of nature. However, it’s crucial that our passion for adventure aligns with practices that conserve these awe-inspiring habitats. Dive deep to learn how we can merge adventure with responsibility.

Eco-friendly Travel

The Importance of Eco-friendly Travel

Safaris have become synonymous with the Kenya and Tanzania tour experience. With the surge in popularity, the commitment to eco-friendly travel is paramount. It’s less of a commonly known fact that sustainable lodges and camps in these regions use solar energy and rainwater harvesting. Opting for such accommodations can significantly reduce your carbon footprint on your next Kenya or Tanzania safari.

Leave No Trace Principle

Leave No Trace Principles in Safaris

While the role of a safari guide is to enhance your experience, their teachings on Leave No Trace principles are golden. These guidelines, although simple—like not feeding animals or littering—ensure the pristine nature of the wild remains undisturbed for future Kenya and Tanzania tours.

When embarking on a Kenya and Tanzania safari tour, your choices matter. Through sustainable practices, every traveler can play a part in safeguarding the treasured ecosystems of Kenya and Tanzania.

Travel Considerations: Health, Safety, and Visas

Embarking on a Kenya and Tanzania safari tour is the stuff of dreams. Yet, beneath the majestic wildlife encounters, meticulous planning ensures your journey is magical and worry-free. Dive into the essentials that shape the perfect Kenyan or Tanzanian experience.

Smooth Safari Adventure

Ensuring a Smooth Trip

Navigating the diverse regions of Kenya and Tanzania may require specific permits and visas. While many are aware of tourist visas, fewer realize the special permissions some regions demand. But with Allied Travel by your side, you’re covered. We’ll undertake all the research, ensuring all necessary permits and visas are secured in advance for a seamless Kenya and Tanzania tour.

Preparatory Vaccination

Vaccinations, Insurance, and Local Norms

Before jetting off on your Kenya and Tanzania safari, certain vaccinations, like yellow fever, are essential. A lesser-known tip: comprehensive travel insurance can cover unforeseen safari disruptions. Furthermore, respecting local customs and etiquettes not only safeguards your experience but also deepens your connection with the destination.

Thorough preparation is the cornerstone of adventure. Let Allied Travel be your compass, guiding your Kenya or Tanzania safari to be an unforgettable, hassle-free journey.

Diving Deeper: Optional Safari Add-ons and Extensions

The quintessential Kenya and Tanzania safari tour offers an unparalleled wildlife spectacle. But what if you could amplify the experience, delving beyond the traditional? Let’s journey into unique, lesser-known safari extensions that elevate your adventure.

Safari

Beyond the Traditional Safari

Your expert safari guide might let you in on a secret: there’s more to a safari than the usual game drives. Some less-traveled paths in Kenya and Tanzania offer immersive experiences, providing intimate connections with nature and local communities.

Hot air balloon in Serengeti

Balloon Safaris, Beach Extensions, and More

Imagine floating over the Serengeti in a balloon, witnessing the Great Migration from a bird’s eye view. Or after your Kenya safari, unwinding on the pristine beaches of Zanzibar. These extensions are not just add-ons, but curated experiences that enrich the soul.

There’s a universe beyond the classic safari. With the right choices, your Kenya and Tanzania tour can become a tapestry of unforgettable moments.

Crafting Memories in the African Plains

As we conclude this guide, we’ve delved into preparing for your safari adventure: from ensuring health and safety to embracing sustainable practices. Now, we shine a light on the transformative experiences you stand to gain and the beckoning allure of the African wilderness. Before you immerse yourself in the wonders of Kenya and Tanzania, let’s anticipate the moments that will etch themselves into your memory. Poised for the journey of a lifetime? Let’s seal our preparations.

Mount Kilimanjaro

The Ultimate Safari Reflection

With every step led by a seasoned safari guide, the landscape unveils its secrets. From the rhythmic dance of the Maasai Mara’s wildebeests to the quiet majesty of Kilimanjaro silhouetting the Amboseli, this journey is more than sightseeing – it’s soul-touching.

Ngorongoro Crater Conservation Area, Tanzania

The Call of the Wild

In the hushed whispers of the Serengeti night or the lion’s roar echoing through the savannah, the call beckons. Not just to observe, but to connect, embrace, and remember. It’s a symphony of nature, from the cascading waterfalls of Tsavo to the vast plains of the Ngorongoro Crater, all harmonizing in perfect rhythm.

A Kenya and Tanzania tour transcends itineraries; it crafts eternal memories in the heartbeats of the wild. Ready to create your own tales? Allied Travel is your trusted partner for this journey, ensuring each moment becomes an unforgettable memory.

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safari guide

  • A Kubu Island Adventure
  • A Spot of Romance: Botswana Honeymoon Safari
  • A Wellness Safari with Robyn Sheldon
  • Botswana Conservation Safari
  • Botswana Explorer
  • Botswana Horse Safari on the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
  • Guided Botswana Cycling Safari
  • Kalahari Desert Woman’s Safari & Expedition
  • My First Botswana Safari
  • Uncharted Expeditions Botswana Mobile Camping Safari
  • Walk of Ancient Wisdom
  • A Desert Adventure
  • Journey through Northern Namibia
  • Namibia Flying Safari

Expeditions

  • Angola Expedition
  • Angola, Namibia & Botswana Expedition
  • Zakouma Expedition
  • North Island Okavango
  • Duke’s East
  • Duke’s Camp
  • Thamo Telele
  • Little Sable
  • Sable Alley
  • Okavango Spirit
  • Jack’s Camp
  • Jack’s Private Camp
  • Camp Kalahari
  • Meno a Kwena
  • Planet Baobab
  • Kwessi Dunes
  • Hoanib Valley Camp
  • Shipwreck Lodge
  • Safari House
  • Etosha Mountain Lodge
  • South Africa
  • GweGwe Beach Lodge
  • Lekkerwater Beach Lodge

Specialist Private Guides

safari guide

Travel with a private safari guide

Historically, the safari industry developed from privately guided safaris, and today you can still hire a specialist private guide if you have specific interests or to host you throughout your safari.

The benefits of traveling with a private guide are not just limited to their guiding abilities, but extend to encompass your whole safari experience.

Although hiring a private guide will add to the cost of an itinerary, the knowledge and experience that they bring with them is simply invaluable.

safari guide

What is a specialist private guide?

All Natural Selection camps have their own local guides who are friendly and very knowledgeable about their area. Specialist private guides on the other hand accompany your travel party throughout the duration of your trip.

Good private guides are made up of many parts; spotter, tracker, naturalist, interpreter of cultures, host, storyteller, trouble-shooter and concierge.

Good private guides bring continuity to any journey, ensuring your needs and desires are met at each stop. In short they make sure you are enjoying yourself every step of the way.

Benefits of having a private guide

  • You are guaranteed expertise in an area or special interest.
  • You will have peace of mind as the private guide takes care of the daily detail and can trouble-shoot if required.
  • You benefit from a flexible daily schedule with the guide knowing what you are looking for and able to adjust the day to your needs.
  • You benefit from the knowledge and company of an expert private guide who ensures you get the most out of your holiday.
  • Benefit from having continuity throughout your safari. Avoid hearing the same stories or information being repeated from different guides along the way. Having a private guide allows you to learn more from the different areas you have visited, and links various sightings from previous destinations.
  • Private guides are perfect for families and small groups who value a flexible daily schedule.
  • All of these elements can combine to create an exceptional safari experience.

Recommended Private Guides

Our reservations team will match you with the guide best suited to your itinerary and interests, below are the fantastic guides we have selected to work with:

super sande guide award

Super Sande

There are stories everywhere here. Like us humans, every individual animal has its own story. Every tree, every sunset. All their stories are part of every other story. They are all linked.

Super Sande has literally been living in the Botswana bush his whole life. Born in Senyawe, a village in North-East Botswana, he started working for Jack Bousfield as a teenager at Birds and Game, an animal orphanage in Francistown. After Jack passed away in 1992, Super started working for Ralph Bousfield and helped him build Jack’s Camp.

He started working in the Makgadikgadi Pans in 1991 and developed a deep and abiding passion for the pans. Ralph taught him a lot and introduced him to the world of guiding; this has made him a true specialist in this challenging and unique environment & ecosystem.

Super has incredibly good tracking skills and eyesight like a Meerkat, which combined, make him an expert on finding the Kalahari’s most elusive residents. He truly loves the Makgadikgadi Pans and the challenges that come with guiding there. There is nowhere on earth quite like this ancient super lake and no one on earth who knows it better than Super!

Areas of special interest

  • Conservation
  • Desert & delta ecosystems
  • Animal behavior

Regional Knowledge and Expertise

  • Kalahari Desert
  • Makgadikgadi Pans
  • Okavango Delta

Ideal for Accompanying

  • Adventurous families
  • Solo travelers
  • Small groups
  • Journalists
  • Photographers

See Full Bio

ralph bousfield best guide in africa 

Ralph Bousfield

There are always new frontiers to be explored. I’ve always liked places that are wild and dark, but most of all I like the places that have stood still forever. It is where I live my life and feel completely at peace.

Ralph Bousfield comes from a long line of African pioneers and adventurers; he went on his first safari at the age of three. His family has guided safaris for five generations.   His passion for the Kalahari and the Bushmen began at a very young age as he was very lucky to have one of the greatest teachers and mentors, his father, Jack Bousfield.

Growing up on safari, and hunting as a professional his whole life, his father worked with some of the greatest traditional hunters and trackers in Africa. Jack’s respect for the Bushmen rubbed off on Ralph, and from a very young age, he had the good fortune to spend all his free time on safari with his father and his team.  

Ralph has been guiding since 1976. In 1998 he co-produced and presented a sixteen part series for the Discovery Channel entitled “Uncharted Africa”, which was filmed in Botswana, Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania.  Ralph spearheaded the building of Jack’s Camp in the Kalahari Desert’s striking Makgadikgadi Pans. Jack’s Camp and Unchartered Africa were pioneers in tourism in Botswana.

  • Exploration
  • Archaeology
  • Following in the footsteps of Explorers
  • Southern Africa
  • East Africa
  • Multi-gen family travel

safari guide

Badapile Brooks Kamanakao

There's nothing quite like the adrenalin rush of finding spoor and then tracking your way with excited guests to find the prize. Even if you end up empty handed, there are so many other incredible wonders to unearth along the way.

Brooks started his career as a camp assistant, but determined to progress further in the tourism industry, he became a waiter, then a tracker, and then went on to qualify as a professional guide in 2000. Since then, Brooks has developed his bush knowledge even further, and has fine-tuned his guiding skills   working at premier safari camps including Mombo and Kings Pool.

Brooks has earned a reputation for always wanting to learn more, as well as never giving up the wildlife chase if he’s hot on a track! His deep knowledge on ‘simply everything’ is astonishing, and this, combined with his friendly manner, humor and special interests in flora and fauna, astronomy, photography, birding, and the diverse cultures of Botswana, makes him one very popular guide. The ultimate reference, however, is the sheer number of guests who come back specifically for another life-changing safari with Brooks.

  • Photography
  • Botswana cultures
  • Etosha NP Namibia
  • Kruger NP South Africa
  • Multi-gen families

safari guide

Peter Allison

I’m fascinated by humans’ interactions with wildlife, from the day we evolved to current times. It is also important to me that people learn how valuable wildlife in wild spaces is, even for those not so interested in nature. Most importantly though I enjoy having fun!

Peter’s story began on Antipodean shores, but a thirst for knowledge and passion for wild places and species brought him to Africa. His guiding career began in South Africa’s Sabi Sands in 1994, but a yearning for the wilderness saw him move to Botswana in 1996 where he guided in the Okavango Delta and Linyanti regions for many years. He progressed to head guide trainer for the region’s largest safari operator before crossing the border to lead safaris through some of Namibia’s most remote areas, including the far northern border with Angola and the infamous Skeleton Coast.

The intrepid guide went on to spend 2 years travelling through South America and has written three books about his experiences as a guide and a traveller. Peter guides trips anywhere and everywhere and has a particular interest in conservation.

Peter is known for his offbeat sense of humour and comprehensive knowledge of all things wildlife. He believes that the most complete safari is one where you learn while having fun and try a new experience every day.

  • Wildlife interaction with humans
  • Family safaris
  • Walking safaris
  • The Skeleton Coast of Namibia
  • The Okavango Delta

safari guide

Thuto Moutloatse

Each and every day I am grateful for the stories I get to share, the adventures I get to have and the incredible people I get to meet.

Voted “Seven Best Adventure Guides on the Planet” in Outside magazine’s Travel Awards in 2014, Thuto Moutloatse life has evolved around wildlife. His passion for nature runs so deep that one of his guests once observed: “He seems to really understand the profound position he is in – that he lives our “trip of a lifetime” every single day.”

Thuto’s privilege to live in and amongst the pristine natural areas of Botswana was due to his father’s involvement in tourism and conservation and a school career spent in the foothills of the Drakensberg Mountains in neighboring South Africa. In 2006 he started his career as a private guide.

Thuto is frequently requested by both tour operators and repeat guests from all over the world. As for his specialties, the list is endless and his larger-than-life personality makes for memorable family safaris. Going on safari with him will have your mind reeling from the experience and  you will return home having acquired a great deal of knowledge as well as a new friend.

safari guide

Kagiso 'Villa'Moatshe

Conservation is humanity caring for the future.

Kagiso – who’s known as Villa throughout the Natural Selection family, had his first environmental conservation experience at the age of 17 when he volunteered through an organization called Botswana Workcamps Association. The organization sparked a passion for the environment in Villa, and he remained with the setup, running conservation projects within communities and wildlife reserves until 2013 when he was offered the opportunity to facilitate high school workshops on conservation and climate change in Germany.

Villa returned from Germany with one dream: to become a safari guide. Newly qualified, Villa began his guiding career at Khama Rhino Sanctuary and then Modisa Wildlife Project before joining Uncharted Africa in 2018. He underwent intensive guide training from Ralph Bousfield (revered guide and founder of Uncharted Africa) before setting out to guide in the Makgadikgadi Pans.

Villa’s experiences have made him somewhat of a desert specialist and he’s particularly knowledgeable about the Makgadikgadi Pans. The love for the environment and its conservation that was first sparked at the age of 17 in Villa has endured to this day, and he’s passionate about sharing his knowledge and care for our planet with his guests.

safari guide

Boikaego (BK) Setlabosha

I like to engage my guests in every experience and fully participate in the natural world around them. It's all about an unforgettable safari experience that is unique to anything they have experienced before.

BK is a highly motivated guide who is a natural communicator and able to provide an entertaining and informative experience to guests. He has a flair for talking to groups of people along with a good memory for facts and figures. He has always been a fantastic storyteller with an infectious sense of humor and is an expert at thinking quickly on his feet. He provides guests with a unique, unforgettable experience that encourages them to fully participate with what is going on around them.

Through his career he has learnt how to lead guests through sites of historical and cultural interest. As a true professional he always displays a true passion for what he does.

He has guided with all the major safari companies in Botswana, and brings skills learnt from childhood, when he would join his father on subsistence hunting trips in the Okavango Delta. Learning the secrets of many of the most famous safari regions today. He is a master tracker and has the ability to spot wildlife at distance that barely seems possible.

  • Finding wildlife
  • Northern Botswana
  • Multi-generation families

safari guide

Chabba Selei

The balance of the unity of life in a desert coupled with the fun of having very keen guests and a lovely team, is a beautiful recipe for a happy jolly life.

Chabadimaketse Selei (universally known as Chabba) was born in Francistown, Botswana. In the early 80’s this area still had great biodiversity around it and Chabba would catch birds and reptiles and with the help of elders identify them, performing his first dissection with a broken bottle, not aware that this would lead to a path in science and education. Eventually Chabba undertook national service and taught in a bushman village named Salajwe in the southern Kalahari. From there he began his scientific studies at the University of Botswana, after two years transferring to the University of Oklahoma to complete his degree.

Chabba joined Uncharted Africa Safari Company in 2005 as a guide, also undertaking duties such as guide training and maintenance. He is currently based in the Okavango Delta but has a deep love of the Makgadikgadi Pans after many years based at the famous Jack’s Camp. Chabba enjoys showing guests how life and environments connect in an interesting and educational way.

  • Human evolution

safari guide

To me, Africa is where we all began. Each and every one of us has had their DNA crafted here in Africa. Getting to know what makes each of us tick and ultimately better understanding oneself can best be fully unlocked after spending quality time in remote, rural Africa. Travels to the continent leads to inner content – but be warned, it is addictive!

Colin has an impressive 41 years of guiding experience and operates anywhere in Africa.

He landed his first job as a safari guide in Botswana in 1977 after completing an economics degree at Wits University in South Africa.

In 1983 he co-founded Wilderness Safaris which, over the decades grew to own camps and lodges across seven countries, managing over 2 million hectares of prime wilderness lands. In 2017 he co-founded Natural Selection which was created as a conservation-driven tourism company.

Colin is a passionate wildlife conservationist and has co-authored two books on wildlife and the environment –   Africa’s Finest   and  The Last Elephants.  He believes that wildlife enriches our lives and makes us caring, nurturing, human beings.

safari guide

Ian McCallum

We can learn a lot about ourselves from the wild, if we are prepared to listen, to watch, to be still and to wait. The animals and the wild landscapes are in our blood and in our psyche. Who and what would we be without them.

To summarise Ian McCallum’s achievements inevitably does this gentleman a disservice, but in essence he’s a psychiatrist, analytical psychologist, writer and specialist wilderness guide. Ian qualified as a medical doctor in 1973 before going on to become a specialist psychiatrist. In addition to his work as a consultant at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital, he also served as an adjunct professor at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Graduate School of Business, and an honorary lecturer at the University of Cape Town.

Away from his medical work, Ian has always had a deep synergy with the natural world and has published two anthologies of wilderness poems: Wild Gifts and Untamed – in 2022 he was named The Wilderness Poet of Honour. Additionally, he wrote the award winning book Ecological Intelligence – Rediscovering Ourselves in Nature. It was Ian who contributed the written word for sculptor Dylan Lewis’ Untamed exhibition in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, and in 2012 he and journalist Ian Michler travelled 5000km by foot, bike and kayak across six Southern African countries, co-authoring a book on the experience.

So far so impressive, but this private guide is also a former rugby Springbok, an award winning wildlife photographer and co-founder of the safari company Invent Africa. Ian has been deeply entrenched in the world of conservation for many years, he’s a long-time associate of the Wilderness Leadership School and a trustee of the Cape Leopard Trust. In 2016 he was awarded the Wildlife and Environmental Association of South Africa Lifetime Conservation Achievement Award.

  • The human-animal interface
  • Science, poetry and nature
  • Ecological literacy

Mike Meyers 2

The fact that I was born in Africa has been the greatest gift I could ever have been given. From the youngest age I can remember being at peace in wild places. I loved being outdoors and that has always been enough for me. To this day, Africa’s wild places energize me and soothe my soul.”

Mike’s career as a guide started at Londolozi in the 70s. He was already trained as a commercial pilot and worked with John and Dave Varty at Londolozi until he moved to Botswana.

Once in Botswana he was flying and guiding, taking mobile camping safaris into the Okavango Delta which was exciting and truly wild. In mid ’95 he joined Wilderness Safaris as part of the team that built a great safari business over 23 years. While there, he started the Specialist Guide division and guided all over southern Africa. From the magnificent waterways and floodplains of the Okavango Delta to fishing off the vast dramatic Skeleton Coast. Up to the remote and ancient landscape of Damaraland in Namibia to the famous Victoria Falls, Hwange National Park, Matusadona and the Zambezi in Zimbabwe.

Africa’s wild spaces are now more important than ever, and their protection is so relevant to the well-being of our planet and humankind. Safari travel supports this and working in Africa’s great wild parks and places is where Mike gets to share his deep love and passion for Africa with like-minded travellers who are nourished by her magic.

  • Photographers.

safari guide

This world and all life is so completely intertwined, I regard vegetative plants as being the basis for all life on Earth. I also regard the complexity of adaptation in plants and animals to be of primary importance when trying to understand their success in survival on this planet.

Driven by a curiosity about the natural world, Map began his wildlife career in 1974 when he joined the Zimbabwe National Parks Department as a field ranger working alongside some of the true legends of wildlife management and conservation. Returning to Botswana in 1983 he discovered the Okavango Delta and began a lifetime of study and guiding.

Map has been a licensed Professional Wildlife Guide and conservationist in Botswana for the last forty years. He has organized and led safaris into the wildest parts of the northern Botswana wilderness, including the Chobe National Park, the Central Kalahari, the Linyanti system and his special interest, the great Okavango Delta where his knowledge of the geology, hydrology, geomorphology, and animal movements, have earned him a reputation as one of the very best guides in the region.

Map is acknowledged as a leading expert on the Okavango Delta, it’s various components and wildlife populations, and has also established himself as spokesman for the protection of this unique wetland of international importance.

  • Rhino conservation
  • Geomorphology
  • Animal movements
  • Plants adaptations
  • Kgalagadi area Botswana

safari guide

Michael Pohamba Haindongo

It excites me to take guests on safari and show them the beauty and diversity that Namibia and Africa have to offer. It's like discovering new gems each and every day.

Michael (Mike) was born in 1979, in Kwanza Norte, Central Angola during its long civil war. His parents were part of the Swapo Liberation and were exiled. He was raised in a refugee camp in Angola until the age of 9 when he left for Cuba and spent a few years in a school program run by UNICEF.

When Namibia gained independence he returned to Namibia to finish high school. Michael then went on to study Nature conservation and Management at the Polytechnic of Namibia.  He started his tourism career in the Damaraland region, where he was a student and a guide, dividing his time with Mike Hearn of Save the Rhino Trust and guiding safaris.

Mike craved further study and went on to do a FGASA course in South Africa and guided at Londolozi before returning to guide in Namibia where he gained  an in depth knowledge of the country’s many beautiful wilderness areas. He joined Natural Selection in 2019 and is currently based at Etosha Heights.

  • Kunene region of Namibia

safari guide

Alan McSmith

My personal philosophy as a guide is about creating and facilitating meaningful moments on safari, but also platforming conservation-based experiences.

After 30 plus years in the saddle, Alan continues to break new ground as a safari and wilderness guide. A lifetime of exploration and discovery, not to mention the traditional knowledge and wisdom of baYei, Bushman, Herero and Shangaan trackers and guides have made lasting impressions. Wilderness, therefore, is no longer a place but a way of life and he remains committed to share meaningful wildlife encounters, storytelling and old school hospitality, preferably around a remote African campfire.

For Alan there is no place like The Okavango Delta. His deep understanding of the wild and his readiness to share it with all who are interested makes him a much sought after wildlife and wilderness guide.

But it is not just his knowledge and experience that makes spending time on safari with him so special; it is also his gentle, self-effacing manner, sense of humour and relaxed character that makes it such a treasured event.

  • Elephant Conservation
  • Moremi Game Reserve

safari guide

Daniel Crous

I am here to do two things through my work; take the wilderness to the world in the form of my photography and any inspiration it brings, and of course, bring the world to the wilderness by leading people in life changing experiences.

Daniel Crous was raised in the Okavango Delta where his parents managed safari camps in the 90’s. The need to be closer to a school brought the young family to Maun, Botswana where they have lived ever since.

Daniel studied Hospitality Management in South Africa before starting a career in Tourism that has taken him all over the world. Private tropical islands, African rainforest, Okavango Delta, and the ski fields of the European Alps have all been temporary homes. Daniel also guided long overland tours through Europe that took him to all its corners, no matter how obscure.

When, at the age of 14, Daniel’s father gave him his old Konica Minolta Film camera, photographing the incredible world he lived in became a passionate pursuit. Daniel has not looked back and now finds as much joy in guiding others towards special natural experiences, both through the lens and through the unfiltered eye.

  • Natural history
  • Expedition travel
  • Hospitality

safari guide

Ndabona 'Bones" Thabologo

I really love being around people from different nationalities and backgrounds and enjoy seeing their reactions when we are on safari. I have a strong connection to the environment and love watching it change throughout the seasons. From a very young age I knew that the Makgadikgadi Pans would always be my home.

Ndabona was born in the Makgadikgadi area and aged 10 years old did his first crossing of the Makgadikgadi pans, on horseback, traveling from Xingara on the northern side to Rakops in the south. It was here, guided by elders and travelling at night under a full moon, that he decided he would one day be a guide in this unique region of Botswana.

He found this opportunity in 1999 when he became a guide with Uncharted Africa Safari Company, starting out of Planet Baobab and then heading the guides at Camp Kalahari. Ndabona (or Bones as he is known) has been guiding for 22 years and he has guided at Camp Kalahari, San Camp and Jacks Camp. He draws on a rare and comprehensive insight into the Makgadikgadi area, afforded by a lifetime’s commitment to his environment.

  • Makgadikgadi Salt Pans
  • Fauna & flora
  • Baobab trees
  • Solo travellers
  • Journalists.

safari guide

I guess what is unique about me is my guiding style combined with my passion for photography and all things natural. I have many years’ experience with a variety of different locations and habitat types. I like to turn an experience into an incredible journey.

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1961, David grew up in Zambia. He spent much of his youth in the bush accompanying his father who was Chairman of the Zambia Wildlife Society. He quickly developed a passion for the wilderness and its complexities and between him and his brother; they collected a menagerie of chameleons and snakes!

David started guiding in Zimbabwe in 1986 in Matusadona National Park. Moved to Malawi and guided guests on Lake Malawi doing kayaking and scuba diving trips to outlying islands from 1996 to 1998.

He moved to Botswana at the end of 1998. Besides guiding in Botswana, he leads privately guided trips to Tanzania, Madagascar, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, the Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda. He was very fortunate to have led expeditions in the Canadian Arctic in 2004 to photograph polar bears and other Arctic wildlife.

  • Linyanti Swamp
  • Elephant behaviour
  • Ornithology(migrations)
  • Republic of Congo

safari guide

Kyle MacIntyre

To me, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the wonder my guests feel from being out of their busy lives and in the stillness and wonder of nature. It's pure joy on both parts.

Kyle has a unique perspective when taking families on safari as he grew up in Maun and the Okavango Delta. Both his parents are also guides, his mother Karen in fact one of the first licensed female guides on the continent. Always active, Kyle climbed Kilimanjaro at the age of 11, and recently played for the national rugby team of Botswana.

He is qualified as a guide for armed walking, cycling, boat, and kayaking safaris and enjoys making everyone’s safari a completely rounded experience. His eagerness to explore continued with his father Chris as they pioneered unique cycle trips following century old elephant trails.

In 2020 Kyle completed a 1500km 50-day horse expedition for charity from the Okavango to the Chobe River and circumnavigated the Makgadikgadi Salt Pans following the Boteti River back up to Maun. Kyle’s divides his time between marketing and guiding, and has a special affinity for family groups and kids, sharing his world in an out of the ordinary way.

  • Biking safaris
  • Mobile safaris
  • Young children
  • Multi-gen family

safari guide

Murray McCallum

I love witnessing the beauty and complexity of wild places with my guests, and imparting the importance of protecting them.

Growing up in the Western Cape of South Africa, Murray’s fascination with nature began early and led to a long-standing interest in the interplay between environmental matters, community and conservation.

Murray is the Sustainability Advisor for Natural Selection and provides conservation and community support for the Natural Selection Trust and Foundation. He guides the Natural Selection Conservation Safari and has deep knowledge of the projects that Natural Selection support, and the importance of these projects in the face of pressures such as human-wildlife-conflict.

Formal education includes an honours in Environmental Science and undergraduate in Environmental Science and Anthropology. His thesis focused on community resource management and the pressures of poaching and impoverishment.

Murray previously managed lodges in Botswana and Zambia, and kayaked 300km across the Savuti Channel and Selinda Spillway with Track of Giants to bring attention to Elephant Conservation corridors and the importance of trans frontier park conservation. Murray is an avid birder and keen fly fisherman. As a father of two young boys, he also really enjoys the company of children and their exuberance and curiosity when on safari.

  • Community Upliftment
  • Bee Keeping
  • Individuals

gabby grieveson

Gaby Grieveson

There is nothing more exciting than seeing the look on my clients faces when I surprise them with an out-of-this-world experience. It’s such a happy feeling for families to be together in the African bush, surrounded by nature. To me it’s a daily adventure of incredible moments!

A family safari is the ultimate bonding experience, bringing together relatives of all ages through shared experiences, and Gaby is a master of family travel.

With two children of her own, Gaby has plenty of tricks up her sleeve to keep everybody happy and is adept at keeping life running smoothly. She has a wealth of knowledge about the Natural Selection camps. Gaby is fun, easy company and greatly loved by clients for her capable and kind demeanour.

Gaby has a passion for children and families – she thrives on transforming holidays into memorable adventures that stay with every family member for life. Gaby is adept at leading family groups through Botswana and Namibia and is sure to be a valuable member of your party as you journey through Africa.

  • Family adventure
  • Multi-generation family travel

Nadine Smith 2

Nadine Smith

“Africa has an everlasting effect on you and gets under your skin – in a really good way! Breathe it in… wonder at the star-studded skies… and embrace every aspect of what these wild open spaces have to offer. But mostly, enjoy the adventure, make memories, have fun, and leave with a renewed zest for life, knowing you will return. Albert Einstein said it best, ‘Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.’”

It’s hugely empowering for women to travel together through some of the Earth’s most remote corners, and as the mother of two daughters, Nadine’s a dab hand at making female travel a sheer joy.

Nadine’s safari career began in 1998 and since then her sparkling personality and natural curiosity have made her a popular face on the safari scene. Her extensive knowledge of the Natural Selection properties in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, as well as experience guiding in Rwanda makes her a remarkably rounded guide, in whose company fun is never far away. She’s also resourceful, professional and devoted to ensuring her guests have the best possible safari experience.

Nadine’s love of the wilderness has grown from a childhood spent fishing, camping and exploring with her family. Now she loves to share her passion with other women – any women! Single ladies, groups of girlfriends, generations of the same family… this effervescent guide will make sure they all have a blast, understand the value of the simplest moments and leave having forged deep connections to nature and their fellow travellers.

  • Horse back safaris
  • De Hoop Nature Reserve
  • Women on safari

safari guide

Robyn Sheldon

“It is true that humans are unbearably, unbelievably precious. When we drop beneath our stressed-out perceptions by tuning into the wise, patient rhythm of the earth, we increase our ability to be guided by our own inner wisdom and are changed on a profound level.”

Robyn’s passion for wellness and healing led her to establish the Okavango Healing and Wellness concept, a unique experience that reconnects us with ourselves and nature in the pristine wilderness of the Okavango Delta. With over thirty years intensive meditation practice, her transformational process work focuses on the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of her clients and all therapies are designed to promote deep relaxation and mindfulness, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance overall well-being.

Robyn has always had a deep connection to nature. She deeply believes that nurturing oneself, in nature, offers profound healing capabilities and brings one back to stillness. Her holistic treatments are designed so that guests can reconnect with themselves, reconnect with nature, and find inner peace and healing, whilst on vacation. A session with Robyn, is a truly transformative experience. She works around the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit and will support you throughout each session, as you release blockages and let go.

Why book a wellness safari with Robyn? This is not just a spa experience in the bush. It is the opportunity to come back into wholeness, healing, and a deep appreciation of life through mindfulness and deep process work, whilst in nature and on a restful vacation.

Through the therapy work that Robyn offers, guests are submerged into the tranquility of the Okavango Delta. It’s more than just about treatments and relaxation, but also about profound and transformative soul work, for healing.

  • Wellness and healing
  • Honeymoon couples

safari guide

Frances King

I feel strongly about conservation and sustainability and this all goes hand-in-hand with community outreach programs. The one cannot exist without the other.

Growing up in the Eastern Cape of South Africa infused Frances with a great passion for nature and wildlife. She went on to study Zoology, completing a post graduate degree in Wildlife Management before completing her FGASA qualifications and acquiring a guide’s licence.

Accolades in hand, Frances began her career on a South African game reserve where she ran a volunteer programme. From there she worked throughout East and Southern Africa filling positions such as Safari Manager, Resident Ecologist and Reserve Manager.

She now manages Khwai Private Reserve in Botswana’s Okavango Delta where she works closely with local rangers and communities. This has equipped her with a deep understanding of the complexities around human-wildlife conflict and the challenges local people face living in close proximity to wildlife.

safari guide

Sandra Naledi Rubins

Botswana’s wild places impact the health of our Earth. Our support alongside the community’s indigenous knowledge conserves iconic species and uplifts the communities who live alongside them and preserve the landscapes they all share.

Born and raised in Botswana, Sandra is passionate about making a change in the world and the lives of individuals. Travellers with an interest in community upliftment and empowerment will be in good company with her as their private guide.

Before she found her calling, Sandra worked in management for a variety of different tourism operators but always found staff welfare front of mind. In 2017, she and her equally philanthropic best friend founded Naletsana Charity Organisation with the shared goal of making a positive impact in the lives of others. Sandra is also very involved with the Maria Ramsden Learning Centre in the Khwai community.

Seven years in the non-profit sector has equipped this community-minded guide with impressive fundraising, outreach and program management skills, making her a valuable asset to our team, and to your safari. Sandra has played an integral role in the design and implementation of campaigns on educational accessibility, terminal disease, poverty alleviation and environmental conservation for a diverse range of charity organisations from international relief agencies to local grassroots initiatives.

Any journey in Sandra’s company is an inspiring one thanks to her dedication to create positive change and empower others to do the same.

  • Community Outreach & Upliftment

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The Scratching Post

Nature Notes and News From Africa

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Jack’s Private Camp – Unmatched Exclusivity Amid Botswana’s Makgadikgadi Pans

Jules Hadley | December 13, 2023

In the world of African safaris, Jack’s Camp is nothing short of an icon. For the past 30 years, this landmark destination has combined an immersive discovery of Botswana’s ethereal...

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Etosha Heights Private Reserve – An Eco-Tourism & Conservation Success Story

Pru Allison | November 01, 2023

Conservation means the world to us. When we first launched back in 2016, Etosha Heights Private Reserve in Namibia was one of the first projects we took on. With savannah...

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Predator Patrolling with the KPR Rangers

Jules Hadley | October 11, 2023

If finding predators is your main priority on safari, then we couldn't think of a better way for you to get up close and personal with them on our new...

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The best safaris to experience in 2024

Intrepid voyages into the wild: walking with elephants in Zambia, sleeping under the stars in South Africa and exploring the jungles of India

Whether you follow the Big Five – lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes and rhinos – by four-wheel drive in South Africa, sleep under the stars during a walking safari in Zambia, cross paths with tigers and sloth bears in India, or spot some of the world’s rarest creatures in Madagascar, a safari is a must for any intrepid traveller.

Embark on the ultimate bucket-list adventure with our selection of this year’s most exhilarating itineraries and camps, where you can see beautiful creatures roaming freely in their natural habitats.

scott dunn india

Explore spectacular, diverse areas of central India, starting with three nights sleeping in a treehouse high in the Bandhavgarh jungle, trailing Bengal tigers and glimpsing sloth bears on game drives. Then, take a meandering drive north to Pench Tiger Reserve – the park that inspired Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book – where you’ll find the eco-conscious, 10-tent Jamtara Wilderness Camp. Set under the sprawling branches of a banyan-tree, the camp is a superlative base to spy flitting butterflies, scurrying jackals and monkeys jumping from branch to branch. Make your final stop the secluded Reni Pani Jungle Lodge in Satpura National Park, untrodden by tourists and resplendent with ravines, forests and mountains.

madagascar, vakona forest lodge

Madagascar is home to plants and animals found nowhere else on Earth, including several species of lemur, which you can see in the Andasibe National Park, and rare tortoises, geckos and chameleons. Take a guided stroll through the Ifotaka rainforest after dark to glimpse nocturnal aye-ayes and see the cat-like fossas prowl; by day, head out on a canoe through the mangroves, and meet members of the Malagasy Antandroy tribe in their holy forests.

A 13-night ‘Classic Madagascar’ safari with Abercrombie & Kent , from £6,375 a person.

South Africa

lepogo south africa

The not-for-profit group behind Lepogo Lodges in northern South Africa offsets the environmental impact of each of its guests, starting from the moment they leave their homes, and all proceeds are invested back into the community or put towards conservation projects. Noka Camp in the 120,000-acre reserve in Limpopo Province can be easily reached from Johannesburg, and provides ample opportunity for spotting the Big Five. The off-grid camp – comprising a quintet of cliffside villas above the Palala River and surrounding bushland – generates all of its energy with a custom 250-metre solar walkway. Along with the usual game drives, you can visit Iron Age settlements and view prehistoric paintings by bushmen, assist with conservation efforts and, for the brave of heart, experience an unforgettable night sleeping out in the bush.

Lepogo Lodges ’ Noka Camp , from about £770 a person a night, all-inclusive.

sri lanka

Begin your adventure on a coconut estate an hour’s drive from the airport, and conclude it in Weligama, on the sandy shores of the island’s south coast. In between, visit the ruins of Polonnaruwa, discover the impressive architecture of Galle, stay overnight at one of the finest estates in tea country, and explore ancient fortresses and national parks, such as Minneriya (where you’ll find the endangered Asian elephant) and Yala, the roaming ground of the retiring Sri Lankan leopard. At the latter, Resplendent Ceylon’s striking Wild Coast Lodge, designed to mimic both the boulders on the beach and a leopard’s paw, will be your base. Along the way, you might also catch sight of dolphins, whales, macaques and langurs.

A 10-night Sri Lanka safari with AndBeyond , from about £5,195 a person.

travelbag tanzania

With the largest concentration of animals in Africa, Tanzania’s parks and game reserves are home to 120,000 elephants, 160,000 buffaloes and 2,000 rhinos. Travelbag’s itinerary will take you from the rocky mountains to the Serengeti grasslands, by 4WD or hot-air balloon – tailor your trip as you wish, either travelling independently or with an expert guide. Round off your voyage with a retreat to the nearby island of Zanzibar, whose warm beaches are the ideal setting for some R&R.

A 13-night Tanzania and Zanzibar safari with Travelbag , from £6,899 a person, including flights.

tide and tide zambia

After an hour’s flight from Zambia’s capital Lusaka, drive through the vibrant town of Mfuwe, past the bustling fruit and vegetable markets, to the unspoilt South Luangwa National Park. Renowned for its walking safaris, it is a spectacular wilderness to explore up-close, replete with tamarind-, ebony- and baobab-trees, upon which leopards perch and baboons frolic. At Mchenja, Time + Tide’s five-room camp on the edge of the Luangwa River, the grunting of hippos reverberates from the surrounding lagoons, on whose banks crocodiles sunbathe, and herds of elephants feast on seed pods as they pass through. The staff are unfailingly friendly, welcoming you by name with a refreshing cold towel and always at hand to share their knowledge of the local area – five per cent from each stay contributes to conservation efforts and the support of local communities through the camp’s foundation. Set off on foot in the cool morning with an expert guide, to the dawn chorus of more than 450 native bird species, and see impalas, zebras, wildebeest and giraffes grazing, as you walk towards neighbouring forests where lions and cheetahs rest during the heat of day. At night, sleep under the moonlight in Time + Tide’s luxurious net tents, set up in a wide sand valley around a campfire, where clear skies enable you to see the Milky Way while you hear fruit bats swooping, hyenas calling and big cats prowling in the distance. In the morning, wake to the smell of breakfast sizzling on pans, ready to fuel you for another adventure-filled day.

A five-night safari with Time + Tide, through the Ultimate Travel Company , from about £6,160 a person.

batoka

Just an hour’s drive from Victoria Falls, in the west of the Zambezi National Park, the newly opened Batoka Zambezi Sands houses 10 spacious and stylish tents – created by the South African designer Yvonne O’Brien – each with its own plunge pool. Lions, hippos and elephants walk the surrounding plains, making it the ideal base for wildlife-spotting on game drives and river-boat cruises. Batoka is Africa’s first Black-female-owned safari lodge, and a percentage of its profits are donated to its charity, the Tesse Fund, which supports local communities.

Batoka Zambezi Sands , from about £540 a person a night.

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African Safari Guide

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Africa Freak

Safari Guide Training Courses

Walking amongst Cape buffalo in the African bush

Ever dreamt of cruising African savannas , spotting lions in the golden sunlight , or witnessing a herd of elephants gracefully moving through the wilderness?

If so, becoming a safari guide might just be your calling.

Sure, experiencing Africa’s wild beauty on vacation is unforgettable, but what if you could make it your everyday adventure ?

That’s where a safari guide training course comes in — it’s your ticket to transforming those dreams into reality.

Envision yourself under the vast African sky , armed with a deep understanding of the wild , deciphering animal tracks like a pro, and guiding enthusiastic explorers to the heart of untamed nature.

Sounds like your dream job? Then, carry on reading to see how you can take the first step towards turning a passion into a fulfilling career, all while enjoying a normal bush holiday.

Tip : Check out these safari quotes to inspire you on your journey.

What to Expect on Safari Guide Courses

Observing African elephants on foot in a dry riverbed

The good thing about a safari ranger course is that the choices you have are as diverse as the African savannas you dream of exploring.

There are career courses made for enthusiasts who want to be nature guides as a profession.

Then, there are courses aimed at nature lovers who are considering being nature guides as a job or just love the thrill of being in the bush.

There are also online courses for people who can’t quite make it to the ground yet.

If you’ve got a busy schedule and a burning passion for nature, join one of the snappy courses , as short as six days, tailored for folks like you. These are quick, intense, and perfect for squeezing in between your busy lifestyle.

Now, if you’re thinking, “I’m ready to immerse myself fully”,  — the good news is that there are year-long courses waiting for dedicated souls like you.

During this year, you get a year’s worth of expert instructions , diving into everything from wilderness medicine to mastering the art of animal tracking, handling firearms, and even becoming a birding expert.

The training duration might differ, but the excitement? That stays constant. You’ll receive hands-on training in the heart of African savannas and reserves in South Africa, Kenya, and Botswana.

After all the adventure and learning, you walk away with more than just memories, with certifications from big guns in the wildlife guide industry — FGASA and CATHSSETA .

During your training, you’ll be in remote wilderness areas — just the way you like it, right? — and living in unfenced bush camps close to all things nature.

Benefits of Completing a Safari Guide Training Course

Students scanning the horizon for animals along the river

The benefits of completing any training for being a safari guide in Africa are endless .

The main advantage of some courses is that you leave with a tangible certificate that proves you can hang in the wild.

Completing a career course will mean you graduate with FGASA and CATHSSETA-accredited certifications . These generally allow you to conduct game drives with a newfound appreciation for nature as a pro safari guide.

The great thing is, a powerful piece of paper isn’t where the benefits end.

At the top of the other perks list is the incredible amount of knowledge you’ll gain from any course you join. These will bestow upon you the sixth sense that a professional African ranger has for finding elusive wild creatures.

Every rustle of leaves could lead to an incredible discovery when equipped with the teachings of the course.

Other benefits will include the time spent in the wild , learning how to drive a 4×4 for game drive purposes, learning about the creatures that roam the wild, and more.

Requirements for the Safari Guide Training Course

Field instructor teaching about the African bush

Now, you obviously may feel completely ready to sign up for some of the best wildlife training South Africa, Kenya, and Botswana have to offer.

Wait, hold onto your wild horses; you need to meet a few requirements before you can journey into nature.

Career courses

For career courses, you can join learning expeditions that take as little as 28 days or as long as an entire year . Most of these have a similar set of requirements.

You’ll need to be 18 years or older, plus you have to be able to communicate effectively in spoken and written English .

Students also need to be capable of walking at least 2 km daily without struggle, have a driver’s licence (preferably manual), and have a current first aid certificate or be willing to obtain it.

Courses like the 35-day practical field guide have an additional requirement for the prior completion of a FGASA Field Guide theory component. Luckily, you’ll get help in completing this.

For the shortest six-day course, you have to be 18 years and older and able to walk 12 km daily while carrying your backpack and supplies.

A driver’s licence and a current first aid certificate are also necessary, although you can obtain the latter later.

Wildlife enthusiast course requirements

An African leopard emerges in front of the dirt road

Likewise, the wildlife enthusiast courses have similar requirements regardless of length.

Generally, students will need to be at least 16 years old and be capable of walking for at least 2 km daily . They’d also need to be able to communicate effectively in spoken and written English.

However, some courses do allow people as young as 12 years old when accompanied by a guardian or parent.

Some are more strict with the requirements, like the 7-day wilderness photography course . These require students to be at least 18 years old and in possession of a driver’s licence and first aid certificate, as well as being able to walk up to 12 km per day.

Online courses

The online courses require just a stable internet connection , participants to be 18 years and older, and a basic understanding of English .

Some don’t even have age restrictions for budding African field guides.

Sign Up for a Safari Guide Training Course

Safari guide trainees and leopard tortoise

If you’re ready to start your journey towards being a master of the savanna or need to learn more, just sign up below , and you’ll be well on your way.

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A guide to safari guides

7th November 2018

What is a safari guide?

Getting the right safari guide is make or break for your safari experience. Luckily, most of our clients are very happy with their guide as the standard of guiding across the lodges and companies we use in Africa are very high. We like to work with lodges who are entirely focused on the overall safari experience and great guiding is crucial to this!

A guide to safari guides

©Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp

A guide is essentially what it says on the tin; your guide of the specific areas you are visiting. Your guide has acquired lots of experience and knowledge and depending on the country, has spent years learning all about the bush and all the wildlife, birds and fauna in Africa… it is not an easy job! They are there for you throughout your time with them and are essentially there to make sure you make the absolute most out of your safari.

You can get a private guide for your party, or you can go with other guests in the specific camp you are at. If you are a party of 6, you will automatically get a private vehicle and guide included in the cost of staying in camp. However, if you are less than 6, the only way to guarantee a private guide is to pay extra for one, which is usually around an added $300 per day. You may think you do not want to share the vehicle with other guests, but the camps are very good at matching you with people that have similar interests to you. For instance, they will pair guests who have never been on safari before together, and likewise, the more seasoned safari goers together too. This is because if you are a seasoned safari goer who has a huge interest in birds for example, you are going to want to stop and study them, and if you are a first-time safari-er sharing the vehicle, you may just want to get on and find the big 5! Some camps include a private vehicle in the cost though – it all really depends on where exactly you are looking at going!

How to make the most of your guide?

Ask questions! The more you ask, the more you learn. Although it can be tempting to want to rush around finding big cats, don’t overlook the smaller things your guide is pointing out. Some of the most interesting stories can be found in the tiniest of things such as the termites who build their impressive mounds, the dung beetles, or even the huge variety of the trees which are used for medicinal purposes throughout the continent. Even aside from the wildlife, ask about the culture, traditions and practices of the local area – your guide would most likely have grown up in a nearby town or village, and gaining their perspective can really enrich your overall experience.

A guide to safari guides

How much to tip your safari guide?

Generally, we would recommend tipping around $10 per person per day to your guide. Obviously, it depends entirely on you, but this is just a guideline.

Where are the best guides in Africa?

The camps and companies we use across Africa generally have a very high quality of guiding, as we think good guiding is of paramount importance to your safari (we can’t stress this enough!). In the office, we have all been to the camps we love to recommend and so we can request you our favourite guides from our previous trips. It is generally considered though that the best guides in Africa are in Zambia and Zimbabwe – here they train for 4 or 5 years and the guide qualification process is thought to be the most testing throughout the whole of Africa.

What if I don’t want a guide?

You won’t realise how much you want a guide until you have been on safari with one! Self-drives are popular in South Africa especially, but we really think that to get a the full safari experience, having a guide is essential. Otherwise, you may find yourself driving around, getting lost and not really learning about the animals you come across… Having a guide means you are utterly taken care of, constantly learning, and maybe even making a lifelong friend.

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  • Safari guide

Safari guide: how to become a field guide

The definitive guide to a safari guide.

In this definitive guide to the job of Safari Guide, I explain what a safari guide does, what makes a good one and most importantly, how you can train to become one.

I draw on my own story of giving up my job in London and heading to South Africa to train and become a qualified safari guide. This guide features examples, links to providers and videos to bring the subject to life.

If there are any words that don’t make sense or you don’t understand please check the Safari Glossary (coming soon).

Safari guide contents

What is a field guide, what is fgasa, what is a game ranger, what is a ranger, the safari guide in detail, my journey to becoming a safari guide, how to choose a safari guide course, ecotraining, do you need a visa, packing for your course, safari guide courses: frequently asked questions, what is a safari guide.

A safari guide is the person who leads the guest experience when on a safari. They interpret animal behaviour and will talk about other natural elements that they and their guests see, hear, smell, taste and feel.

The safari guide is a custodian of the natural environment and acts as a link between nature and the guest.

Here’s a video to explain what it is like to have your office in the middle of the African wild surrounded by all your favourite animals. Here’s a closer look at what it takes to become a safari guide.

A safari guide is also known as a field guide, in fact the association that overseas the guiding industry and awards the qualifications to become a professional guide are known as the FGASA, the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa.

FGASA, the Field Guides Association of Southern Africa , is the association that sets the standard for the level of professionalism in the guiding industry in the form of:

  • A standard outcomes-based syllabus
  • A code of ethics and a set of guiding principles
  • An assessment system based on high standards of competence
  • An effective training course endorsement system
  • A valid recognised first-aid certificate requirement

A game ranger manages the game reserve or national park. They ensure that the conservation area has biological integrity so that it works as an ecosystem.

As well as conservation management, they are responsible for many things including road maintenance, anti-poaching, erosion control, water supply, fire management, population control, alien plant management and research.

For further information check out the official website of the Game Rangers Association of Africa .

Back in 2012 I went to South Africa to spend two weeks volunteering on a couple of reserves where I undertook a range of game ranger tasks including wildlife monitoring and fire management. Here’s a blog I wrote at the time describing my experience with Enkosini .

Rangers are referred to as being on the front line of conservation. They are responsible for protecting the designated area where they work. This may be a private game reserve or national park. They are charged with protecting wildlife and natural resources.

Rangers are known for their anti-poaching role, particularly in the protection of rhino, elephant and gorilla. They also undertake anti-snare patrols to combat subsistence poaching.

Here’s a blog post which I wrote just before heading out to South Africa for my training. It explains the underlying cause of the surge in rhino poaching which went from 13 in 2007 to 1,004 in 2013. Here’s another blog article detailing the latest figures on rhino poaching .

Criminal gangs backed by wealthy foreign investors are making poaching big business in Africa. British soldiers are hoping to tackle the issue by helping rangers trying to save elephants and rhinos in Malawi. Radio 1 Newsbeat reporter James Waterhouse travelled to the country to join bush patrols as they look to stop a practice which has long threatened many species across the continent. Source: Radio 1 Newsbeat

What types of safari guide are there?

All safari guides do fundamentally the same thing, they lead the guest experience by interpreting the natural environment. However, guiding can be broken up by modes of transport. A typical guided experience will be vehicle based.

You also have guides who specialise in walking safaris , these are trails guides. Additionally you may have guides who lead canoe safaris and horse back safaris.

What makes a good safari guide?

A good safari guide is passionate about nature, engaging and inspirational to their guests. They are respectful of the environment and will make its protection their priority. They know the facts but will not just regurgitate them with no context, instead they apply them to the situation to explain animal behaviour.

They are prepared, will keep you safe and manage expectations to avoid disappointment. They bring all aspects of the ecosystem to life so in the absence of the Big-5 your safari will be an incredible experience.

safari guide

Twenty years ago when I left school there was no internet and therefore only a limited opportunity to find out about doing a safari guide course as a gap year.

But now school leavers or career breakers have no excuse. There are a plethora of suppliers out there that can be found through a simple Google   or a select few can be found here .

Throughout my yearlong experience of training as a guide and then working as one I kept an account, if you want to get a truie understanding of everything involved please take a look at Safari School .

What I learnt by becoming a safari guide

On returning from Africa I wrote a number of blogs about my experience, this is probably my favourite as it provides an overview in the  15 things I learnt while becoming a safari guide .

How to become a safari guide

To become a safari guide / field guide you will need to undertake a course and take the assessments accredited by CATHSSETA . A list of suppliers that are also accredited by FGASA can be found on their website . As well as qualifying as a guide you will need a valid first aid certificate to practice.

I’ve detailed a few training providers within this article including the provider that I trained through.

Based on my experience and preference here are a few things to look out for when choosing your course:

Course structure

The curriculum for each level one field guiding course is the same wherever you go or at least it should be as it will be built around the FGASA syllabus.

There will be a series of lectures and field activities. My recommendation would be that while lectures are important you can’t underestimate the power of getting out into the bush. So opt for the ones that major on the practical such as drives and walks.

Bush walk on trails course

Good placement opportunities

Some safari guide courses offer a whole year. This isn’t a full year of lectures and practicals in the field. Instead the second half is spent on placement as a qualified guide.

This can be just as fun if not more so. If you’re looking at trying to forge a career out of guiding then ask some direct questions as to what can come of your placement.

Walking safari

Only after you’ve been away and spent time in the pristine wilderness and then returned to civilisation do you understand how disruptive a phone and an internet signal can be.

I would urge you to opt for a camp with no signal. Even if you don’t want to spend all day checking Facebook, email and chatting on your phone others in your camp may wish to do so.

If needed the camp probably has a sat phone or a two way radio so there will always be the opportunity for incoming and outgoing messages.

There may also be phone runs so you can get signal to upload emails, blog posts and download messages from home. The latter is great because it’s not a rushed two liner status update, instead it is a considered letter like in the olden days  full of news and something to look forward to.

Feeding the mind

I enjoy cooking and at times I can be quite good at it. However, most professional safari guide courses are full on so you don’t want to be spending time locked in the kitchen when you could be studying or simply recovering from a hard day in the office .

I would thoroughly recommend a course that doesn’t require its students to do the cooking. That being said taking it in turn to braai is good fun. But as soon as someone has a pop at your technique, usually a South African, hand them the tongs and sit back.

Around the camp fire on safari guide course

Fence or no fence

The bush is your classroom so living in an unfenced camp means that you are gaining knowledge 24/7 for six weeks at a time.

And believe me there is a lot that you learn as you hold your breath whilst an elephant gently brushes your tent whilst feeding.

Even walking back through the night after a few beers at the camp fire can bring plenty of lessons – the colour of a nyala’s eyes in comparison to a leopard’s.

If you can, opt for an unfenced camp. But be careful, follow the advise and stick to the rules.

Young byala inspecting tent

Choosing a safari guide course: The podcast

In this episode of Safari Stories, Jomi and Hadley of Trunks and Tracks talk about the safari guiding courses they did as well as some of the many courses available today. If you want to spend more time in the bush, immerse yourself into nature, learn from the best or simply take a break from city living, this podcast is a must listen.

Safari Stories podcast – Safari guide courses

safari guide

Safari Stories podcast by Jomi and Hadley of Trunks and Tracks discuss the safari guide courses which they did to become qualified guides.

Why become a safari guide?

Your office will be the African wild outdoors, your meetings will consist of encounters with animals of all size and shape. Your job description is one of many valuable roles! A guide, teacher, friend, game warden, doctor, storyteller and sometimes even a cook for your guests, each day is never quite the same. Find out more in the short blog, why become a safari guide?

Course suppliers

There are a number of suppliers that offer safari guiding courses, enrol in one to make safari guiding a career or an educational and unique gap year / career break experience.

The courses provide a nature-based educational adventure for school leavers and those of any age seeking new perspectives in life.

EcoTraining students around the Landy on a sundowner trip, Selati Private Game Reserve

© Ulrica Vilen-Letts

EcoTraining positions itself as the pioneer and leader in safari guide and wildlife training in Africa. They have the history to back this up as several practising safari guides established EcoTraining in 1993.

I can personally recommend EcoTraining as they were the provider of the course that I took. Here’s a short blog entry on, A day in the life at EcoTraining .

As well as their flagship professional safari guide course , they run a range of courses , gap year and sabbatical programmes, nature programmes, high school and university study abroad programmes, and custom courses.

Where will you do it?

All courses are run directly from EcoTraining’s unfenced bush camps in prime wilderness areas across South Africa, Botswana, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

In real wilderness areas teeming with wildlife. When sleeping you hear the snap of branches under the elephants weight, hyenas whoop in the distance, the “sawing” contact call of a leopard and nightjars calling close by.

The first four to five months of theoretical and practical training (bush walks and game drives) will take place at four unfenced tented bush camps in Africa’s magical wilderness areas, including the  Makuleke camp in the pristine and untouched northern Kruger Park.

The following five to six months will be at a lodge where you will work with experienced guides and lodge managers, mentoring you and developing your newly acquired skills.

Over the course of the year you will be exposed to diverse ecological and geological terrains, landscapes, wildlife species and so much more.

Jomi and Ulrica watching elephants walkking through the Makuleke camp

© Jomi Krobb

What you will learn

  • Introduction to guiding in the natural environment
  • Basic bush and survival skills
  • Wilderness medicine
  • Geology and basic ecology
  • Basic taxonomy
  • Mammals and animal behaviour
  • Interrelationships of all species
  • Reptiles and fish
  • Animal tracks and tracking
  • Approaching dangerous animals
  • Rifle handling
  • Basic vehicle mechanics and maintenance
  • Conservation and communities
  • Guest communication and interaction
  • and much more… email [email protected] for the full details.

You could graduate with

  • FGASA Field Guide Level 1 (theory and practical)
  • FGASA Trails Guide Back Up (theory and practical)
  • Firearm Proficiency Certificate (with a SASSETA accredited provider)
  • Advanced Rifle Handling (FGASA accreditation)
  • Animal Tracks and Tracking (FGASA accreditation)
  • Basic Birding
  • Advanced Birding
  • Wilderness Medicine: Level 1 & 2
  • Navigation and Orientation
  • Lodge Placement Programme

To find out more do check out the professional safari guide course , review the full range of courses or get in touch via [email protected]

Safari guide students on a walking safari looking at a giraffe

NJ MORE Field Guide College is based at Marataba South Africa, within the ‘Marakele’ National Park. They are a FGASA endorsed training institute.

In all they have six courses to choose from, providing upskilling, career training and adventures of a lifetime. The trainers at NJ More are highly-qualified, respected industry experts and the college has an excellent pass rate.

Established by MORE Lodges & Hotels, they produce professional guides of an exceptional calibre. They offer students from around the world the opportunity to undertake internships with some being given the opportunity to begin their career at one of MORE’s five-star safari lodges.

I’ve not visited Marataba myself but my fellow back-up at EcoTraining worked there for a while and spoke very highly of them and the reserve.

Here’s a blog he wrote for Fascinating Africa on his first experiences as a newly qualified guide at Marataba .

I’ve also had dealings with the Marataba office and have found them to be incredibly professional and friendly.

Do check out their 6 & 12 month courses detailed in our courses section. Or email [email protected] to find out more.

Safari guide students working on a vehicle

Founded in 2006 Bushwise are sister company of GVI . They are a leading training provider with students routinely graduating the FGASA exams with the highest marks and are considered some of the best trained guides in the safari and tourism industry.

Located in the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve, a spectacular 26,000 hectares big five wilderness reserve in the Limpopo province adjacent to Kruger National Park.

The Bushwise campus  is a fully-fenced eight-hectare campus with many mod cons.

Bushwise offers extra qualifications to improve employability, with unique skills such as child and vulnerable adult protection policies.

23 week and 50 week professional field guide training courses allow students to achieve the FGASA Level 1 professional field guiding qualification with an optional 6 month work placement in a well respected safari lodge in South Africa.

I’ve not trained or guided with Bushwise but I have spent time on the Greater Makalali Private Game Reserve as part of a volunteer programme. The reserve itself is rich in biodiversity with plenty of opportunities to experience the big 5.

Take a look at their FGASA accredited 23 and 50 week professional training offer. Or email [email protected] to find out more.

For the year long professional safari guide course I required a student visa which required the following submission:

  • an eight-page form,
  • two passport photos,
  • proof of sufficient funds to cover my study,
  • a letter of acceptance from the place of learning,
  • police check certificate,
  • chest x-ray report,
  • medical certificate,
  • proof of medical cover,
  • my passport,
  • a processing fee and
  • a deposit of £600 to make sure I left the country at the end of my stay.

Once awarded the visa by the South African High Commission, I was permitted to proceed on a one-way ticket.

Technology can play an important part on the course, here’s my guide to what technology I took . I wrote this just as I finished so I’ve not included what I found superfluous.

ipad and Garmin running watch

A 13 minute video from EcoTraining covering off the most frequently asked questions about Safari Guide courses.
  • Get involved

Here are a select few courses , check them out for yourself. If you have a question please email us on [email protected]

safari guide

  • Introduction
  • Press & media
  • Blog for us
  • Fascinating facts
  • Invertabrates
  • Reptiles & amphibians
  • [email protected]

safari guide

Safari Support

Get to know safari.

safari guide

Safari profiles

Create separate profiles for things like home and work, so you can keep your browsing activities organized.

  • Watch the video

safari guide

Use passkeys

Passkeys replace passwords for an easier and more secure way to sign in to your accounts. And you can find them right on your device.

  • On your iPhone
  • On your Mac

safari guide

Add your favorite websites to the Dock for an app-like experience.

  • Learn how to use web apps

safari guide

Customize your start page

Choose a background image and other options such as Favorites, Siri Suggestions, iCloud Tabs, and Reading List.

  • Personalize your start page

safari guide

Add extensions

Safari extensions add functionality and are a great way to personalize and enhance your browsing experience.

  • Learn how to install extensions

safari guide

Privacy Report

See a list of known trackers who’ve been blocked from tracking you across all the websites you’ve visited.

  • View your Privacy Report
  • Manage your privacy

safari guide

Autofill passwords

Use the AutoFill feature to easily fill in saved user names and passwords, and suggest strong passwords when you sign up for websites.

  • Learn about Autofill

safari guide

Import bookmarks

You can import your bookmarks, history, and saved passwords from Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, and pick up right where you left off.

  • Import from other browsers

safari guide

Increase your online security

Learn how to identify and avoid  phishing and other scams , and how to get a warning if the site you’re visiting is a suspected phishing website. 

  • Update Safari Security preferences for Mac

safari guide

Learn about features and discover all that Safari can do.

  • Browse the guide

safari guide

Set up iCloud

Select and set up the iCloud features you want to use like Photos, Contacts, Calendars, and more.

Search for more topics

safari guide

Apple Communities

Find answers, ask questions, and connect with other Apple users.

  • Ask or search now

safari guide

Get Support

We can help you find the best support options.

safari guide

Support app

Get personalized access to solutions for your Apple products.

  • Download the Apple Support app

Animals Around the Globe

Animals Around the Globe

Tiger Safari: The Complete Guide

Posted: November 26, 2023 | Last updated: November 26, 2023

safari guide

0, <a href="https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49800835">https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49800835</a>

There was a time when you could see wild Tigers all over Asia, but now they are driven back into only 13 countries, with some projects in places like Africa to re-introduce them to the wild. The tiger remains the largest living cat in the world and is simply magnificent to observe.

<p>We looked at the best places for tiger safari or global tours. You can see tigers in the wild in 13 different countries, but these 5 offer the highest sighting probability. </p> <p>Do you want to find the best places to see tigers in the wild? Look at what we collected in the Tiger Safari or Tour guide.</p>

Best Places to See Tigers

We looked at the best places for tiger safari or global tours. You can see tigers in the wild in 13 different countries, but these 5 offer the highest sighting probability.

Do you want to find the best places to see tigers in the wild? Look at what we collected in the Tiger Safari or Tour guide.

<p>India offers one of the best Tiger spotting opportunities in the world, with over 50 Tier resorts called the "Tiger State." </p> <p>India is home to seventy percent of the world’s tiger population, with the Bengal tiger population at 2226 during the last census in 2014. The state of Madhya Pradesh is India’s Tiger State; it is located a few hours south of Deli. </p>

#1 Kanha National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India

India offers one of the best Tiger spotting opportunities in the world, with over 50 Tier resorts called the "Tiger State." 

India is home to seventy percent of the world’s tiger population, with the Bengal tiger population at 2226 during the last census in 2014. The state of Madhya Pradesh is India’s Tiger State; it is located a few hours south of Deli. 

<ul>   <li><a href="https://www.bandhavgarh-national-park.com/tiger-special-tour.html">Bandhavgarh National Park Tours</a></li>   <li><a href="https://www.tourindiawithdriver.com/de/IndiaDestinations164/Bandhavgarh-Nationalpark">Driver Tours India</a></li>   <li><a href="https://naturesafariindia.com/">Nature Safari India</a></li>  </ul> <p><strong>Tiger Safari Operators: </strong></p> <p><strong>How to get there:</strong> Durminskoye Reserve is about two hours drive from Khabarovsk, in the Southeastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai. </p> <p>To make a difference today, raise awareness for these beautiful animals and join a Tiger Safari or Tour.</p> <p>A white tiger was caught in this area in 1957, whose offspring can be seen in zoos and circuses worldwide. Other <a class="wpil_keyword_link " title="predator" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/top-predators-in-the-food-chain/">predator</a> species in the area include leopard, striped hyena, sloth bear, wild dog, reed cat, golden jackal, spotted musang, and Indian mongoose.</p> <p>The best-known animal species in the park is the Bengal tiger, of which almost 50 animals lived in the park in 1997. The big cats are not shy and can be observed particularly well here.</p> <p>The hilly landscape is dominated by a plateau on which once stood the fort of the Maharajas. Nearby are grasslands rich in game, originating from swamps once created to protect the fort. Some of these swamps still exist. Salt forests dominate the rest. </p> <p>The Bandhavgarh National Park is a national park in Madhya Pradesh, India. It covers an area of about 480 square kilometers and is located about 300 km south of Khajuraho in the Vindhya Mountains.  The park is considered one of the most reliable places to observe wild tigers.</p>

#2 Bandhavgarh National Park, Madhya Pradesh, India

  • Bandhavgarh National Park Tours
  • Driver Tours India
  • Nature Safari India

Tiger Safari Operators: 

How to get there: Durminskoye Reserve is about two hours drive from Khabarovsk, in the Southeastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai. 

To make a difference today, raise awareness for these beautiful animals and join a Tiger Safari or Tour.

A white tiger was caught in this area in 1957, whose offspring can be seen in zoos and circuses worldwide. Other predator species in the area include leopard, striped hyena, sloth bear, wild dog, reed cat, golden jackal, spotted musang, and Indian mongoose.

The best-known animal species in the park is the Bengal tiger, of which almost 50 animals lived in the park in 1997. The big cats are not shy and can be observed particularly well here.

The hilly landscape is dominated by a plateau on which once stood the fort of the Maharajas. Nearby are grasslands rich in game, originating from swamps once created to protect the fort. Some of these swamps still exist. Salt forests dominate the rest. 

The Bandhavgarh National Park is a national park in Madhya Pradesh, India. It covers an area of about 480 square kilometers and is located about 300 km south of Khajuraho in the Vindhya Mountains.  The park is considered one of the most reliable places to observe wild tigers.

<ul>   <li><a href="https://www.satpura-national-park.com/">Satpura National Park Tours</a></li>   <li><a href="https://www.pugdundeesafaris.com/tiger-reserve-tour">Pugdun Safaris</a></li>  </ul> <p><strong>Tiger Safari Operators: </strong></p> <p><strong>How to get there:</strong> The Satpura Tiger Reserve, also known as Satpura National Park, is located in the Indian district of Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh. </p> <p>This is a different kind of tiger sanctuary with many differences in altitude and gorgeous greenery, reminiscent of Robert Frost’s beautiful forests. There is a lot of wildlife here. It is undoubtedly an underestimated but wonderful place worth visiting. The drive to the place itself through the mountains is amazingly scenic.</p> <p>Even though the chances of tiger sightings in Satpura Tiger Reserve are not the highest, the park offers walking safaris, a unique way to experience wildlife. </p> <p>Saptura Tiger Reserve is a wonderful place in Madhya Pradesh. However, it is doubtful to see Tiger because there are only 50 tigers in the 1200 sq km National Park. </p>

#3 Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, India

  • Satpura National Park Tours
  • Pugdun Safaris

How to get there: The Satpura Tiger Reserve, also known as Satpura National Park, is located in the Indian district of Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh. 

This is a different kind of tiger sanctuary with many differences in altitude and gorgeous greenery, reminiscent of Robert Frost’s beautiful forests. There is a lot of wildlife here. It is undoubtedly an underestimated but wonderful place worth visiting. The drive to the place itself through the mountains is amazingly scenic.

Even though the chances of tiger sightings in Satpura Tiger Reserve are not the highest, the park offers walking safaris, a unique way to experience wildlife. 

Saptura Tiger Reserve is a wonderful place in Madhya Pradesh. However, it is doubtful to see Tiger because there are only 50 tigers in the 1200 sq km National Park. 

<p>Those who want to see a tiger in Ranthambhore with some certainty should have at least 2 days. Nevertheless, some luck belongs to it to get one of the striped big cats to face. It is an enormously exciting experience!</p> <p>The area is known for its Bengal tigers, which are not very shy and can be easily observed even during the day. Furthermore, it is one of the most western occurrences of the striped big cat at.</p> <p>The Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is one of 53 tiger reserves in India. The reserve includes Ranthambhore National Park, Kaila Devi Game Reserve, and other small units. In total, it covers an area of 1335 km².</p>

#4 Ranthambhore National Park, Rajasthan, India

Those who want to see a tiger in Ranthambhore with some certainty should have at least 2 days. Nevertheless, some luck belongs to it to get one of the striped big cats to face. It is an enormously exciting experience!

The area is known for its Bengal tigers, which are not very shy and can be easily observed even during the day. Furthermore, it is one of the most western occurrences of the striped big cat at.

The Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is one of 53 tiger reserves in India. The reserve includes Ranthambhore National Park, Kaila Devi Game Reserve, and other small units. In total, it covers an area of 1335 km².

<ul>   <li><a href="https://www.corbettnationalpark.in/online-corbett-safari-booking.htm">Corbett Tiger National Park Tours</a></li>   <li><a href="https://www.corbetttigerreserve.in/">Corbett Tiger Reserve Tours</a></li>  </ul> <p><strong>Tiger Safari Operators: </strong></p> <p><strong>How to get there:</strong> Durminskoye Reserve is about two hours drive from Khabarovsk, in the South-Eastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai. </p> <p>The main form of vegetation is the saline forests, at higher altitudes there are also some pine stands. In the lowlands there are riverine forests, whose stands are interrupted by grasslands called “chaurs” by the locals. It is only open from November to June.</p> <p>The largest river in the park is the Ramganga, which flows into a large lake at the western border of the reserve. The landscape is characterized by broad valleys and hills. A chain of hills runs east-west in the middle of the area. </p> <p>It was initially called Hailey National Park, but in 1957 it was renamed Corbett National Park after it was temporarily called Ramganga National Park from 1952. Corbett National Park covers almost 521 square kilometres. Together with the adjacent Sonanadi Conservation Area it forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve, established in 1973 as part of Project Tiger.</p> <p>Corbett National Park is in the Indian state of Uttarakhand at the foot of the Himalayas. It is named after the British hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett, who was instrumental in establishing the first national park in India near Nainital in 1936. Interesting for Tiger Safari or Tour.</p>

#5 Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand, India

  • Corbett Tiger National Park Tours
  • Corbett Tiger Reserve Tours

The main form of vegetation is the saline forests; at higher altitudes, there are also some pine stands. In the lowlands, there are riverine forests, whose stands are interrupted by grasslands called “chaurs” by the locals. It is only open from November to June.

The largest river in the park is the Ramganga, which flows into a large lake at the western border of the reserve. Broad valleys and hills characterize the landscape. A chain of hills runs east-west in the middle of the area. 

It was initially called Hailey National Park, but in 1957, it was renamed Corbett National Park after it was temporarily called Ramganga National Park in 1952. Corbett National Park covers almost 521 square kilometers. Together with the adjacent Sonanadi Conservation Area, it forms the Corbett Tiger Reserve, established in 1973 as part of Project Tiger.

Corbett National Park is in the Indian state of Uttarakhand at the foot of the Himalayas. It is named after the British hunter and conservationist Jim Corbett, who was instrumental in establishing the first national park in India near Nainital in 1936. Interesting for Tiger Safari or Tour.

<ul>   <li><a href="https://www.sunderbans-national-park.com/">Sunderbans National Park Tours</a></li>   <li><a href="https://www.sunderbannationalpark.in/royal-bengal-tiger-tour.html">Sunderbans-Park Tour</a></li>    </ul> <p><strong>Tiger Safari Operators: </strong></p> <p><strong>How to get there:</strong> The park is located in the Sundarbans in the Ganges Delta and borders the Sundarban Reserve Forest in Bangladesh.</p> <p>Also, look at our India <strong><a href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/where-to-see-the-big-5-of-india/">Big 5 Article</a> </strong>to explore Indian Wildlife.</p> <p>Among the <a class="wpil_keyword_link" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/mammals/" title="mammals">mammals</a>, the Bengal Tiger is also the absolute highlight in Sundarbans National Park. At present, there are estimated between 350 and 400 wild Bengal Tigers in the Sundarbans. This is the largest remaining tiger population worldwide!</p> <p>The name comes from Bengali and means “beautiful forest”. The Sundarbans cover an area of 10,000 square kilometers in the delta of the largest rivers in South Asia, the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. The Indian state of West Bengal shares the mangrove area with Bangladesh.</p> <p>The Sundarbans are the most extensive mangrove forests in the world and the only ones where Bengal tigers live at the same time, they have been a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site since 1987. </p> <p>West Bengal is home to one of the world’s largest tiger populations, with over 350 tigers in a 140,000-hectare mangrove forest close to the Bangladesh border. It is a world heritage site, and visitors can take boat safaris. A very famous place for Tiger Safari or Tours.</p>

#6 Sundarbans-Nationalpark and Tiger Reserve, West Bengal, India

  • Sunderbans National Park Tours
  • Sunderbans-Park Tour

How to get there: The park is located in the Sundarbans in the Ganges Delta and borders the Sundarban Reserve Forest in Bangladesh.

Also, look at our India Big 5 Article to explore Indian Wildlife.

Among the mammals , the Bengal Tiger is also the absolute highlight in Sundarbans National Park. At present, there are estimated between 350 and 400 wild Bengal Tigers in the Sundarbans. This is the largest remaining tiger population worldwide!

The name comes from Bengali and means “beautiful forest”. The Sundarbans cover an area of 10,000 square kilometers in the delta of the largest rivers in South Asia, the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna. The Indian state of West Bengal shares the mangrove area with Bangladesh.

The Sundarbans are the most extensive mangrove forests in the world and the only ones where Bengal tigers live at the same time, they have been a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site since 1987. 

West Bengal is home to one of the world’s largest tiger populations, with over 350 tigers in a 140,000-hectare mangrove forest close to the Bangladesh border. It is a world heritage site, and visitors can take boat safaris. A very famous place for Tiger Safari or Tours.

<ul>   <li><a href="https://www.chitwanjungleguides.com/">Chitwan Jungle Tours</a></li>   <li><a href="https://www.tigerresidency.com/about-us.php">Chitwan Jungle Safari </a></li>  </ul> <p><strong>Tiger Safari Operators: </strong></p> <p><strong>How to get there:</strong> The Chitwan National Park is located southwest of Kathmandu in the Terai. </p> <p>The Chitwan National Park is the best known in the country. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the first national park in <a class="wpil_keyword_link" title="Nepal" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/wildlife-in-nepal/">Nepal</a>. Dusk jeep safari is very popular, mainly in the morning and evening. The more relaxed parts of the day offer the best chance to see a Tiger. </p> <p>Due to increased conservation efforts, Nepal's Bengal Tiger population doubled in the last decade, with more than 235 individuals in the five national parks. </p>

#7 Chitwan National Park, Chitwan, Nepal

  • Chitwan Jungle Tours
  • Chitwan Jungle Safari 

How to get there: The Chitwan National Park is located southwest of Kathmandu in the Terai. 

The Chitwan National Park is the best known in the country. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the first national park in Nepal . Dusk jeep safari is very popular, mainly in the morning and evening. The more relaxed parts of the day offer the best chance to see a Tiger. 

Due to increased conservation efforts, Nepal's Bengal Tiger population doubled in the last decade, with more than 235 individuals in the five national parks. 

<ul>   <li><a href="http://bengaltours.com/trip-to-the-sundarbans-forest/">Bengal Tours (three-day)</a></li>   <li><a href="https://www.guidetours.net/location/sundarbans-magical-mangroves/">Guide Tours (three-day)</a></li>  </ul> <ul>   <li><a href="https://www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/10294/bangladesh-tiger-safari-holiday">Responsible Travel (eight-day safari) </a></li>  </ul> <p><strong>Tiger Safari Operators:</strong></p> <p><strong>How to get there:</strong> The sundarbans national park is located in the south west of bangladesh, around 6 hours drive from Dhaka. </p> <p>You can also see saltwater crocodiles, wild boar, languages and many birds.</p> <p>However, Tiger sightings in Bangladesh are <a class="wpil_keyword_link" title="rare" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/top-5-rarest-animals-around-the-globe/">rare</a>, compared to other countries.  Another interesting place for Tiger Safaris or Tiger Tours. Operators offer Boat tours from the city of Khulna in the southwest. Bed and Breakfast on the leading boat, track tigers on smaller boats or en foot (with armed security personal)</p> <p>It’s the home of more than 1120 Bengal tigers. </p> <p>Welcome to the world’s largest mangrove forest, starting in India and going through Bangladesh. </p>

#9 The Sundarbans, Bangladesh

  • Bengal Tours (three-day)
  • Guide Tours (three-day)
  • Responsible Travel (eight-day safari) 

Tiger Safari Operators:

How to get there: The sundarbans national park is located in the south west of bangladesh, around 6 hours drive from Dhaka. 

You can also see saltwater crocodiles, wild boar, languages and many birds .

However, Tiger sightings in Bangladesh are rare , compared to other countries.  Another interesting place for Tiger Safaris or Tiger Tours. Operators offer Boat tours from the city of Khulna in the southwest. Bed and Breakfast on the leading boat, track tigers on smaller boats or en foot (with armed security personal)

It’s the home of more than 1120 Bengal tigers. 

Welcome to the world’s largest mangrove forest, starting in India and going through Bangladesh. 

<ul>   <li><a href="http://www.russiatigertracking.com/">Russia Tiger Tracking</a></li>   <li><a href="https://www.visitrussia.org.uk/observing-the-tiger">Visit Russia</a></li>  </ul> <p><strong>Tiger Safari Operators: </strong></p> <p><strong>How to get there:</strong> Durminskoye Reserve is about two hours’ drive from Khabarovsk, in the South-Eastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai. </p> <p>Tourist tiger safaris are organized like science tours, tracking pug marks on snowmobiles and on food, setting camera traps reviewing footage. What else is there? You can see wolves, lynxes, badgers, foxes, and raptors. <a href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/asiatic-black-bear/">In the summer even Asian black bears</a></p> <p>However, with only around 540 individuals left in the wild, the chance to see one is slight. Most of the Tiger Safari tours are based in Durminskoye Reserve, it is a 50.000-acre wildlife sanctuary a three hours drive from Khabarovsk in southeast Russia. It is the last prime habitat for Siberian tigers.</p> <p>In the 1940s, they were hunted to the brink of extinction and only saved due to the new protection grant of tigers in Russia in 1965. </p> <p>The majestic Siberian Tiger, mainly found in eastern Russia or northern China, is our planet’s largest tiger species and cat. It is sadly also the most <a class="wpil_keyword_link" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/endangered-animals/" title="endangered">endangered</a>.  </p>

#10 Durminskoye Reserve, Chabarowsk Region Russia

  • Russia Tiger Tracking
  • Visit Russia

How to get there: Durminskoye Reserve is about two hours’ drive from Khabarovsk, in the South-Eastern part of Russia in Khabarovsk Krai. 

Tourist tiger safaris are organized like science tours, tracking pug marks on snowmobiles and on food, setting camera traps reviewing footage. What else is there? You can see wolves, lynxes, badgers, foxes, and raptors. In the summer even Asian black bears

However, with only around 540 individuals left in the wild, the chance to see one is slight. Most of the Tiger Safari tours are based in Durminskoye Reserve, it is a 50.000-acre wildlife sanctuary a three hours drive from Khabarovsk in southeast Russia. It is the last prime habitat for Siberian tigers.

In the 1940s, they were hunted to the brink of extinction and only saved due to the new protection grant of tigers in Russia in 1965. 

The majestic Siberian Tiger, mainly found in eastern Russia or northern China, is our planet’s largest tiger species and cat. It is sadly also the most endangered .  

<ul>   <li><a href="https://www.wildsumatra.com/kerinci/">Wild Sumatra</a></li>   <li><a href="https://www.trijaya-travel.com/destinations/west-sumatra/the-kerinci-national-park">Trijaya Travel</a></li>  </ul> <p><strong>Tiger Safari Operators:</strong></p> <p><strong>How to get there: </strong>The main entrance and the national park office are in Sungai Penuh. There you can get a visit permit and find hiking guides. Alternatively, accommodations in the Kerinci Seblat National Park’s surroundings often help their guests get a visit permit and reliable hiking guides. Look for a Tiger Safari or Tour.</p> <p>There are also about 200 bird species. Among the more than 4000 plant species that grow in Kerinci Seblat National Park are the giant reflower, the titan’s root, various orchids and the edelweiss.</p> <p>Numerous rare or even endangered species, such as the Sumatran tiger, the clouded leopard, the tree leopard, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the Malay bear, and the Malayan tapir, is at home in Kerinci Seblat National Park. </p> <p>Various species accordingly characterize the fauna and flora of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. </p> <p>However, the National Park offers another Sighting, the <a href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/sumatran-tiger-vs-nile-monitor/">Sumatran Tiger</a>. Around 200 Tigers roam in the wild, using Tourists as one factor to save their habitat and survival. </p> <p>The Kerinci Seblat National Park is twice the size of the famous Bali Island, which is well known for its tourists. </p>

#12 Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia

  • Wild Sumatra
  • Trijaya Travel

How to get there: The main entrance and the national park office are in Sungai Penuh. There you can get a visit permit and find hiking guides. Alternatively, accommodations in the Kerinci Seblat National Park’s surroundings often help their guests get a visit permit and reliable hiking guides. Look for a Tiger Safari or Tour.

There are also about 200 bird species. Among the more than 4000 plant species that grow in Kerinci Seblat National Park are the giant reflower, the titan’s root, various orchids and the edelweiss.

Numerous rare or even endangered species, such as the Sumatran tiger, the clouded leopard, the tree leopard, the Sumatran rhinoceros, the Malay bear, and the Malayan tapir, is at home in Kerinci Seblat National Park. 

Various species accordingly characterize the fauna and flora of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. 

However, the National Park offers another Sighting, the Sumatran Tiger . Around 200 Tigers roam in the wild, using Tourists as one factor to save their habitat and survival. 

The Kerinci Seblat National Park is twice the size of the famous Bali Island, which is well known for its tourists. 

<p><strong>Do you like Big Cats? </strong>Have a look at the best places to see <a href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/cats/best-places-to-see-iberian-lynx/"><strong>Lynx</strong></a>.</p> <p>Because humans hunt it and destroy its habitat, which once stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Pacific Ocean.</p> <p>Tiger habitats are pretty diverse and can be found in more places than you’d think! They live in Siberia’s dense forests and roam Malaysia’s jungles. But things are not going well for these elegant <a class="wpil_keyword_link" title="cats" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/cats/">cats</a> of prey. Although the tiger has no natural enemies, it is threatened with extinction. </p>

Get to know Tigers

Do you like Big Cats?  Have a look at the best places to see Lynx .

Because humans hunt it and destroy its habitat, which once stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Pacific Ocean.

Tiger habitats are pretty diverse and can be found in more places than you’d think! They live in Siberia’s dense forests and roam Malaysia’s jungles. But things are not going well for these elegant cats of prey. Although the tiger has no natural enemies, it is threatened with extinction. 

<p>Tiger habitats are pretty diverse and can be found in more places than you’d think! They live in Siberia’s dense forests and roam Malaysia’s jungles. But things are not going well for these elegant <a class="wpil_keyword_link" title="cats" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/cats/">cats</a> of prey. Although the tiger has no natural enemies, it is threatened with extinction. </p> <p>Because humans hunt it and destroy its habitat, which once stretched from the Caspian Sea to the Pacific Ocean.</p> <p><strong>Do you like Big Cats? </strong>Have a look at the best places to see <a href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/cats/best-places-to-see-iberian-lynx/"><strong>Lynx</strong></a>.</p>

Photo by and (C)2007 Derek Ramsey.

<p><strong>The <a href="https://www.iucnredlist.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener">IUCN</a> red list puts the Tiger status to <a class="wpil_keyword_link " title="endangered" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/the-10-most-endangered-animals/">endangered</a>: </strong></p> <p>Poachers are also a great danger. They hunt the tigers because they can sell the big cats’ body parts well. Because claws, teeth, brain, and other parts are processed into medicine in traditional Chinese medicine and are in great demand. Hunting tigers as trophies have cost many animals their lives, especially in the last century.</p> <p>The World Wide Fund For Nature (<a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener">WWF</a>) assumes that less than ten percent of the original habitat is left. The reasons are manifold. For example, mineral resources such as coal or oil are extracted in some regions. Deforestation of the <a class="wpil_keyword_link" title="rainforest" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/animals-in-the-rainforest/">rainforest</a> is also a significant problem, as is the development of inaccessible areas by roads.</p> <p>The South Chinese tiger is considered <a href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/23-most-endangered-animals-in-asia/" rel="noreferrer noopener">extinct</a> in the accessible wilderness. According to the WWF species lexicon, experts assume that there are only a few isolated individuals, if at all. Therefore, the last hope of preserving the species lies in the few animals in Chinese zoos. The remaining five species now live in only 13 countries in Asia. Most of them are native to India, where it is estimated that there are about 1700 tigers.</p> <p>A little more than a hundred years ago, there were still about 100,000 tigers living in large parts of <a class="wpil_keyword_link" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/asia-animals/" title="Asia">Asia</a>. There are still about 3900 animals; the Bali, Caspian, and Java tigers are extinct. Amazing animals for a Tiger Safari or Tour.</p>

Tiger Endangerment

The IUCN red list puts the Tiger status to endangered : 

Poachers are also a great danger. They hunt the tigers because they can sell the big cats’ body parts well. Because claws, teeth, brain, and other parts are processed into medicine in traditional Chinese medicine and are in great demand. Hunting tigers as trophies have cost many animals their lives, especially in the last century.

The World Wide Fund For Nature ( WWF ) assumes that less than ten percent of the original habitat is left. The reasons are manifold. For example, mineral resources such as coal or oil are extracted in some regions. Deforestation of the rainforest is also a significant problem, as is the development of inaccessible areas by roads.

The South Chinese tiger is considered extinct in the accessible wilderness. According to the WWF species lexicon, experts assume that there are only a few isolated individuals, if at all. Therefore, the last hope of preserving the species lies in the few animals in Chinese zoos. The remaining five species now live in only 13 countries in Asia. Most of them are native to India, where it is estimated that there are about 1700 tigers.

A little more than a hundred years ago, there were still about 100,000 tigers living in large parts of Asia . There are still about 3900 animals; the Bali, Caspian, and Java tigers are extinct. Amazing animals for a Tiger Safari or Tour.

<p>A little more than a hundred years ago, there were still about 100,000 tigers living in large parts of <a class="wpil_keyword_link" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/asia-animals/" title="Asia">Asia</a>. There are still about 3900 animals; the Bali, Caspian, and Java tigers are extinct. Amazing animals for a Tiger Safari or Tour.</p> <p>The South Chinese tiger is considered <a href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/23-most-endangered-animals-in-asia/" rel="noreferrer noopener">extinct</a> in the accessible wilderness. According to the WWF species lexicon, experts assume that there are only a few isolated individuals, if at all. Therefore, the last hope of preserving the species lies in the few animals in Chinese zoos. The remaining five species now live in only 13 countries in Asia. Most of them are native to India, where it is estimated that there are about 1700 tigers.</p> <p>The World Wide Fund For Nature (<a href="https://www.worldwildlife.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener">WWF</a>) assumes that less than ten percent of the original habitat is left. The reasons are manifold. For example, mineral resources such as coal or oil are extracted in some regions. Deforestation of the <a class="wpil_keyword_link" title="rainforest" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/animals-in-the-rainforest/">rainforest</a> is also a significant problem, as is the development of inaccessible areas by roads.</p> <p>Poachers are also a great danger. They hunt the tigers because they can sell the big cats’ body parts well. Because claws, teeth, brain, and other parts are processed into medicine in traditional Chinese medicine and are in great demand. Hunting tigers as trophies have cost many animals their lives, especially in the last century.</p> <p><strong>The <a href="https://www.iucnredlist.org/" rel="noreferrer noopener">IUCN</a> red list puts the Tiger status to <a class="wpil_keyword_link " title="endangered" href="https://www.animalsaroundtheglobe.com/the-10-most-endangered-animals/">endangered</a>: </strong></p>

How Dangerous are Tigers?

That is why wild animals respect them. But if a trainer, for example, stumbles and loses his position of power, it can become dangerous even for him. Also, to strange tigers, he would not dare to enter the cage. By the way, in the wilderness, animals only rarely attack humans. If, for example, a shark hurts a surfer, it is only because he mistakes him for a seal. You can see this because, unlike its usual prey, it does not eat it. 

Nevertheless, some people can go into a tiger or lion cage without being attacked, for example, tamers in the circus. They know their animals well and are something like the leader. 

For Tiger, a human being is a big animal. And when an animal is in its enclosure, the tiger wants to hunt it because he has an innate hunting instinct. 

Approximately 100 people die every year due to attacks by tigers. Probably, humans are often to blame for this themselves because they provoke the animals.

<p>The consequences for the animals are fatal: Massive damage to their health, severe behavioral disorders, and increased mortality.  This Tiger Safari or Tour guide should highlight only sustainable places to go.</p> <ul>   <li>Perform feats for which they are often trained by force,</li>   <li>Have to change venues 50 times a year on average,</li>   <li>Spend most of their time in small cages, inadequate enclosures, or in the transport wagon,</li>   <li>That essential species-specific behavior such as social contacts or movement are considerably restricted or made completely impossible,</li>   <li>that they have little variety or occupation,</li>   <li>that they are often not fed and cared for appropriately,</li>   <li>That veterinary control or care is often inadequate because there are only a few specialized veterinarians for wild animals nationwide or the circus cannot or will not afford the treatment financially,</li>   <li>that in many cases the circus operators lack the necessary expertise,</li>   <li>that there is no fixed winter quarters during the play-free period. Only about every tenth company can call a winter accommodation its own.</li>  </ul> <p>Nevertheless, animals of wild species can still be seen in many circus operations that travel around the world: Tigers, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, sea lions or monkeys – the range of animal species carried along is extensive. Wild animals suffer in the circus. <br><strong>They suffer massively, because:</strong></p> <p>Wild animals make exceptionally high demands on their keeping and accommodation. In a circus enterprise, responsible keeping wild animals is generally impossible.</p>

Tigers in Zoos and National Parks

The consequences for the animals are fatal: Massive damage to their health, severe behavioral disorders, and increased mortality.  This Tiger Safari or Tour guide should highlight only sustainable places to go.

  • Perform feats for which they are often trained by force,
  • Have to change venues 50 times a year on average,
  • Spend most of their time in small cages, inadequate enclosures, or in the transport wagon,
  • That essential species-specific behavior such as social contacts or movement are considerably restricted or made completely impossible,
  • that they have little variety or occupation,
  • that they are often not fed and cared for appropriately,
  • That veterinary control or care is often inadequate because there are only a few specialized veterinarians for wild animals nationwide or the circus cannot or will not afford the treatment financially,
  • that in many cases the circus operators lack the necessary expertise,
  • that there is no fixed winter quarters during the play-free period. Only about every tenth company can call a winter accommodation its own.

Nevertheless, animals of wild species can still be seen in many circus operations that travel around the world: Tigers, lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, giraffes, sea lions or monkeys – the range of animal species carried along is extensive. Wild animals suffer in the circus. They suffer massively, because:

Wild animals make exceptionally high demands on their keeping and accommodation. In a circus enterprise, responsible keeping wild animals is generally impossible.

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Best Android browsers in 2024

These are the best Android browsers to try out on your smartphone

best android browsers

The best Android browsers allow you to customize your web-browsing experience on mobile just like how Android lets you fine-tune the look and feel of your home screen.

Even though we still think Google Chrome is the best Android browser for most people, other browsers place a greater emphasis on speed, privacy or readability and some even offer their own VPN -like proxy services. Just like with Chrome though, many of the Android browsers on this list can sync with their desktop counterparts. This way, you can access your history, saved passwords or even send tabs you've opened on your computer over to your smartphone.

Whatever your needs and preferences, there’s likely an ideal Android browser for you among the best Android browsers we’ve tested and used on the best Android phones .

The best Android browsers you can download today

Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our writers and editors spend hours analyzing and reviewing products, services, and apps to help find what's best for you. Find out more about how we test, analyze, and rate.

Our expert review:

Specifications

Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

If you're happy living in the Google ecosystem and believe you've benefited from the company knowing everything about your online life, then it's hard to justify avoiding the default browser on most Android devices. 

Syncing between mobile and desktop editions of Chrome is helpful, giving you the option to access passwords you've stored in Chrome (provided you don't use one of the best password managers , that is). As the dominant browser on the market, Chrome is also the most reliable option, as every web developer considers Google's browser when building a website.

Chrome offers extensive additional features such as secure storage for payment methods, a "Lite" data-saver mode, automatic translation of dozens of languages, a malicious-ad blocker, a pop-up blocker and the ability to group tabs.

This doesn't quite match the abundance of features that you can get with Firefox or Opera, but Chrome definitely ticks most of the mission-critical boxes. The search giant's browser even has the ability to detect when you're using a compromised password as well as enhanced safe browsing.

If you want a glimpse at what's coming soon to Chrome, or you want to test out some features that may never make it to the main Chrome browser, there are three additional Chrome apps starting with Chrome Beta , then Chrome Dev and finally, Chrome Canary . 

Each step further into experimental territory is trading in a bit of reliability, so you will likely want to turn to the traditional Chrome browser for vital tasks. But it's fun to try out upcoming features currently working their way through Chrome's development cycle. 

And if you've been using Chrome for a while, you may want to check out our guide on how to speed up Chrome on Android .

Opera is another mobile browser with a desktop counterpart that boasts all the benefits for users of both versions. 

Opera stands out from the rest of the best Android browsers with a data-saver mode that compresses videos as well as standard web pages. As a result, pages load faster thanks to the reduced data, and if you don't have one of the best unlimited data plans , you won't burn through your monthly data allotment as quickly.

Opera also offers a built-in free VPN -like feature that gives you a virtual IP address, although notably, you can't use both the VPN feature and data-saver mode in tandem. (Technically, the "VPN" is a proxy service for the Opera browser app only. To encrypt other apps' communications, you'll need one of the best Android VPN apps .) It also now blocks web trackers.

Even with its many features, Opera was one of the fastest browsers that I tested, with only Chrome consistently outperforming it. One slight frustration with Opera is its convoluted interface: You may be distracted by the menus at both the top and bottom of the screen.

Opera also offers a few variants of its browser. Opera Mini is focused on the data-saving side of things, while Opera Touch is geared toward a one-handed browsing experience.

As with Google Chrome, there's a strong incentive to carry over Firefox to your Android phone if that's the browser in which you do the majority of your desktop browsing. 

Your passwords, history and bookmarks will sync if you create a Firefox account and sign into it on all your devices, and if you spend a lot of time on one tab on your desktop, Firefox on Android will highlight it for you on your phone.

For better or for worse, you can customize Firefox to an astounding degree, with different themes and extensions that can tweak just about every aspect of the browser. 

If you are the sort of person who wants to decide how the tabs display in your browser, what color everything should be and exactly which features you want accessible, then Firefox is for you. If that sounds like a nightmare, however, you should look elsewhere, as even a basic setup of Firefox warrants some tweaking.

Firefox fans who are particularly security-conscious should take a look at Firefox Focus . It drops some of the functionality of its elder sibling in favor of privacy protection. 

A Firefox update brought over the Firefox Focus feature to always open links in a private tab. Alternatively, there are more experimental versions of Firefox, Firefox for Android Beta and Firefox Nightly for Developers . There's also a separate app for a VPN run by Firefox parent company Mozilla , although the VPN costs $5 a month.

Speaking of that Firefox update, the browser now has a dark mode and a grid view for open tabs. The URL bar has been moved down to the bottom of the screen, which Firefox did to accommodate larger phones. (You can move the bar back to the top if you prefer.) A new Collections feature lets you organize and save tabs, which should help with research projects.  

4. DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser

DuckDuckGo, built around the DuckDuckGo search engine and based on Chromium (like Chrome and Brave), doesn't have all of the bells and whistles of the rest of the best Android browsers. 

Yet it makes up for this lack of features with its singular focus on keeping your activities private. A button to the right of the address/search bar will wipe all your tabs and browsing history at any moment with a tap.

DuckDuckGo also eliminates any ad-trackers that may be trying to follow you around the web and automatically will default to the highest encryption available on the site you are visiting. It even gives each site you visit a "privacy grade" ranging from A to F.

While the browser itself isn't reporting any of your activity back to the DuckDuckGo search engine, this protection still falls far short of a VPN. If you are looking to keep your activity secure from even your carrier or the Wi-Fi network you are connected to, then you will need a separate VPN app for that purpose. (You can check out our list of the best VPN services if you're looking for a VPN.)

DuckDuckGo doesn't offer any way to set up a DuckDuckGo account, so you won't be able to sync across devices but that's kind of the point of this privacy-minded service. However, it does now offer a desktop browser for those that want the same experience on both their phone and computer.

5. Microsoft Edge

Microsoft has delivered a compelling Chromium-based browser in the second version of Edge. The Android version has undergone a snazzy revamp to match the desktop browser (although you can customize its look and feel), and it's a decent option that syncs up with your Microsoft account.

Microsoft Edge has finally added extension support, and it also offers several extras that are extension-based in other apps, such as an ad blocker, translation services, password manager, tracking blocker, price checker, voice search and something called NewsGuard. That latter feature assesses news websites based on their “journalistic standards of credibility and transparency.”

Sadly, Edge has killed its reading-list feature, which delivered the full-page version of an article rather than an abbreviated or text-only version of an article. 

Unlike the desktop version of Edge, the mobile browser lets you swap out the default search engine easily, so you can use Google instead of Bing in your Microsoft browser if you want to — but we've found that Bing works pretty well too.

The Vivaldi desktop browser, developed by the original Opera team, offers extensive customization options, but its Android counterpart is more focused on delivering unique features. 

Vivaldi’s Speed Dial is your main view, which is a visually appealing and easy-to-use quick launcher for bookmarks. 

When conducting online research, you may appreciate the built-in rich text Notes tab, the native full-page screen capture, the Clone tab option that pulls up a duplicate of your current tab to avoid losing it, and the translation tool that can handles web pages in 108 languages. There's even a QR code reader to take you to websites without having to open a dedicated barcode-reading app, a fun built-in 2D shooting game, and a way to adjust the width of your tabs.

Regardless of your default search engine, you can do a quick switch to another search tool — eight popular options are supported — by just clicking in the address bar. The search icons will appear below; tap on one to use it.

Vivaldi’s overall performance was quick, though I would often see the placeholder for an image or whitespace for a video or ad as I scrolled, even a minute or more after I loaded a longer article. 

I appreciate this preference for delivering the text as quickly as possible, but waiting until I scroll to load the rest of the page's content is taking this too far and ultimately a worse experience.

While it lacks extension support or more powerful ad-blocking features found in some of the other best Android browsers, Vivaldi offers a compelling feature set that I hope to see its developers continue to build upon. 

Since I last tested the browser, an update has added support for custom ad-blocking lists, and you can now move the address and tab bars to the bottom of your screen if that's how you roll.

7. Brave Browser

Brave was one of the first browsers to offer a built-in mobile ad blocker, which is left on by default. The Chromium-based browser provides users with the ability to pay websites for their content using the company’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) system, and Brave's own privacy-minded search engine is now the default.

I found that that only a few sites that I read regularly were registered with Brave's BAT tokens, but this will obviously vary greatly from user to user. There’s no official list of Brave publishers, but a small checkmark appears on the Brave logo in the upper-right corner of the browser when you are on a supported site.

The browser itself covers all of the basics and adds a couple of nice touches, such as the ability to set different preferred search engines on standard versus private tabs and some fairly granular privacy settings. There aren't many options to customize the look or feel beyond turning on a dark theme or moving the address bar to the bottom of the screen, but Brave does let you group tabs.

There are other features that cater to privacy, including forcing secure HTTPS connections when possible, blocking cookies and browser fingerprinting, and even blocking JavaScript, which will cripple many websites. However, the option to easily use the Tor anonymizing protocol hasn't carried over from the desktop version of Brave.

As far as browsing goes, the initial load times on Brave are comparable to our other top options, which is odd given that Brave strips out ads and trackers which should in theory be slow components to load. 

Despite the claimed “estimated time saved” on the home screen for the app, I found no perceptible advantage even on sites with extensive ads and trackers.

If you use the Brave desktop browser, you’ll no doubt enjoy the Android version as well, as it will sync over your content and carries over your Brave Rewards. (In fact, a recent update looked to bolster Brave's syncing features.) 

As a standalone option, though, there’s little to recommend Brave over the other best Android browsers higher on this list.

How to choose the best Android browser for you

For most people, the best Android browser will be the one that comes pre-installed on their phones. If you have no problems with Google Chrome when surfing the web on your smartphone, you should probably keep using it and not really worry about having to find another option.

However, if you don’t use Chrome on your desktop or laptop, you may find it more useful to switch to the mobile version of the browser you do use. Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera,Brave and Vivaldi all have Android versions and they’re worth checking out if any one of them is your preferred desktop browser.

You’ll also want to consider privacy and ad-blocking features when deciding between the best Android browsers. Many of the mainstream browsers offer some version of these features but for an extra layer of privacy, you may want to turn to a browser that specializes in keeping your online activity safe from prying eyes.

Don't forget to check out our other guides on the best Android apps , the best ad blockers and the best Android antivirus apps. 

How we test Android browsers

We conducted our initial browser testing using a Pixel 3 running Android 9 Pie, though your experience won’t differ all that much from phone to phone. During our testing, we looked at more than half a dozen browsers and focused on ones that are regularly updated.

We also periodically go back and check the browsers we’ve reviewed for new features to ensure that the experience hasn’t significantly changed with subsequent android updates.

Our testing process involves using each browser as our primary way to surf the web on one of the best Android smartphones until we get an overall impression of current features and user experience.

We also test loading speeds and see how well each of the browsers on this list handles websites that aren’t suited to mobile devices like those for banks or local restaurants. At the same time, we also visit websites that feature a lot of ads to see how each browser performs when it comes to stopping pop-up ads . 

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Anthony Spadafora

Anthony Spadafora is the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to password managers and the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. Before joining the team, he wrote for ITProPortal while living in Korea and later for TechRadar Pro after moving back to the US. Based in Houston, Texas, when he’s not writing Anthony can be found tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home. 

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Escape From Tarkov: Tigr Safari Quest Guide

The Tigr Safari quest has players scouring Customs to mark a few vehicles for Peacekeeper. Here's where to find all three of the Tigrs.

General navigation is hard enough in Escape From Tarkov , but it only gets harder from here once you start taking quests that have you looking for very specific things. Tigr Safari is one such quest, and you'll need to know exactly where to go if you want to finish it.

Experience is the best teacher, and that's especially true for games like Escape From Tarkov . However, if you don't want to spend your next few raids running around naked, here's a quick guide showing how to complete the Tigr Safari quest.

Escape From Tarkov: Best Early Game Ammo (0.14)

All tigr locations in customs.

Tigr Safari is set in the Customs map, and your job here is to plant MS2000 markers on Tigr vehicles scattered around the map. Tigrs are white, armored cars that you can find in the main road outside the walled complex. If you spawn all the way back near the big red warehouse, you'll have to cross the bridge to get to the objectives. If possible, bring a rifle for mid-long-range encounters .

Tigr #1 and #2: Far Western Road

Two of the Tigrs are very close to each other. You can find them at the end of the road leading west, right between the New Gas Station and the Scav Checkpoint extract. Keep an eye on rooftops and smoke stacks as there might be some Scav snipers perched up on them. Also, Scav boss Reshala and his entourage of heavily-armed bodyguards occasionally spawn at the New Gas Station. When he does, things will get far more complicated.

Tigr #3: UN Checkpoint

This Tigr is near the bridge connecting the walled industrial park and the customs warehouse . If you're coming from the bridge, head toward the checkpoint directly in front of you. The Tigr is parked near a pole and a concrete barrier. Beware of a possible sniper spawn in one of the nearby rooftops as well as Scavs from the other side of the metal barrier. You can easily get caught in a crossfire here, especially if there are other players trying to cross the bridge or enter the construction site .

If you lose the free MS2000 marker Peacekeeper gives you while attempting this mission, you can always buy some more from Prapor or Ragman. Also, you can store them in your special pouch so that you don't lose them upon death. Keep in mind that after planting a marker, you have to make sure that the countdown finishes for them to count toward your objective.

Escape from Tarkov

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    Five luxury safari trips in Africa to try in 2023 and beyond 1. Low-carbon luxury in Kenya. After a night at Nairobi's fabled Giraffe Manor, travel overland to Solio Lodge in the Central ...

  9. The Practical A-Z Guide to Going on Safari

    Larger Illustrated Guide to Birds of Southern Africa, by Norman Arlott, Phil Hockey, Ian Sinclair, and Peter Hayman - Recently updated, this is the most comprehensive guide on its subject. The Safari Companion: A Guide to Watching African Animals, by Richard D. Estes - This book is like having a personal guide with you on safari, as it's ...

  10. Professional Safari Guides and Private Guided Safaris

    A self-drive safari is an essentially the DIY approach to exploring the African wilderness without help from a professional safari guide. With a self-drive safari, you will be responsible for all of the trip research, planning and making reservations for your travel party, including the rental of an overland vehicle for the trip.

  11. How to Find an Exceptional Safari Guide

    A good safari guide will always respond to the wilderness and adapt the route based on animal movement and action. A poor safari guide will follow a signposted route around a park and hope to encounter some animals. Like a guide in Berlin, a safari guide needs to have an incredible understanding of the destination. Except, things change a lot ...

  12. The ultimate guide to planning your first safari adventure

    The lowdown on safari guides. Being a top-notch safari guide is a life-long vocation of honed skill. These are the people who bring the experience alive with their lived knowledge and understanding of the ecosystem, its wildlife and the landscapes. The best lodges and ground handlers run ranger schools and training programmes across the ...

  13. A Beginner's African Safari Guide: How to Plan the Best Trip

    The beginner's guide to a bucket list-worthy African adventure. By Brad Japhe • 06/09/23 11:44am If you want to plan an African safari but aren't sure where to start, you're in the right place.

  14. Safari Guide Africa

    Safari Guide Africa is a website that helps you compare and book safaris in all countries in Southern and Eastern Africa, on a budget that suits you. You can find sample tours, safari lodges, travel tips, and holiday options for different experiences, such as family, luxury, beach, or migration safaris.

  15. Safari Guide to Kenya and Tanzania: The Heart of Africa's Wildlife

    Venturing on a Kenya and Tanzania safari isn't just about witnessing wildlife; it's an immersion into a unique abundance of nature and culture.With a trustworthy safari guide at your side, you'll uncover hidden gems that go beyond the iconic Big Five.. Kenya safari offers vast savannahs dotted with acacia trees, while Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater serves as nature's amphitheater ...

  16. Specialist Private Guides

    He landed his first job as a safari guide in Botswana in 1977 after completing an economics degree at Wits University in South Africa. In 1983 he co-founded Wilderness Safaris which, over the decades grew to own camps and lodges across seven countries, managing over 2 million hectares of prime wilderness lands. In 2017 he co-founded Natural ...

  17. The best safaris to experience in 2024

    At the latter, Resplendent Ceylon's striking Wild Coast Lodge, designed to mimic both the boulders on the beach and a leopard's paw, will be your base. Along the way, you might also catch ...

  18. African Safari Guide

    home African Safari Guide African Safari Guide © Shem Compion See African country maps and find out about Africa's best beaches, best seasons to travel and what to see and do while on safari in Africa. African Legends and Myths Explained

  19. Safari Guide Training Courses: Learn to Be a Safari Guide

    The benefits of completing any training for being a safari guide in Africa are endless.. The main advantage of some courses is that you leave with a tangible certificate that proves you can hang in the wild.. Completing a career course will mean you graduate with FGASA and CATHSSETA-accredited certifications.These generally allow you to conduct game drives with a newfound appreciation for ...

  20. A guide to safari guides

    What is a safari guide? Getting the right safari guide is make or break for your safari experience. Luckily, most of our clients are very happy with their guide as the standard of guiding across the lodges and companies we use in Africa are very high.

  21. How to Become a Safari Guide

    The safari guide's job is to assist the guests and keep them safe throughout their encounters with Africa's mega-fauna. Guides are required to rigorously follow safety rules and protocols acquired after months or even years of experience in the field. Safari guides play a pivotal role in bringing guests and nature together.

  22. Safari guide: how to become a field guide

    A safari guide is the person who leads the guest experience when on a safari. They interpret animal behaviour and will talk about other natural elements that they and their guests see, hear, smell, taste and feel. The safari guide is a custodian of the natural environment and acts as a link between nature and the guest.

  23. Safari

    Contact Apple Support Safari Support Update Safari Clear browsing history Manage your cookies Block pop-up ads Get to know Safari Safari profiles Create separate profiles for things like home and work, so you can keep your browsing activities organized. Watch the video Read more Use passkeys

  24. What is a Safari Guide? Explore This Wild Career with Bushwise

    What is a Safari Guide? Explore This Wild Career with Bushwise The best safari guides are wildlife experts and storytellers. They conduct guided experiences in wild landscapes and share knowledge with guests. The best safari guides are wildlife experts and storytellers.

  25. Safari Spotlight: Discover Tanzania's Native Birdlife At Little

    This idyllic Tanzanian safari lodge is a paradise for visiting birders. ... Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2024: The Most Romantic Hotel Dinners In New York City. Jan 20, 2024, 06:51am EST.

  26. Tiger Safari: The Complete Guide

    Tiger Safari: The Complete Guide. There was a time when you could see wild Tigers all over Asia, but now they are driven back into only 13 countries, with some projects in places like Africa to re ...

  27. Best Android browsers in 2024

    7. Brave Browser. View. (Image credit: Tom's Guide) The best Android browsers allow you to customize your web-browsing experience on mobile just like how Android lets you fine-tune the look and ...

  28. Escape From Tarkov: Tigr Safari Quest Guide

    However, if you don't want to spend your next few raids running around naked, here's a quick guide showing how to complete the Tigr Safari quest. Related Escape From Tarkov: Best Early Game Ammo ...

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