Wild + Exhilarating Safari Experiences
When most think of safaris, they think game-drives. But in addition to those thrilling drives, there are so many other incredible ways to experience Africa. Our Destination Experts have been out riding, fishing, trekking, flying and quad-biking to bring our clients the very best experiences, that are tailored perfectly to them. Here are just a handful of the awe-inspiring experiences we can arrange in Africa.
A FLYING SAFARI, NAMIBIA + KENYA
Some of our best moments in Africa are by light aircraft. The continent is magnificent from the sky when it is able to show off its sheer scale. Haunting, otherworldly and eerily beautiful are just a few words that can describe Namibia’s isolated Skeleton Coast, and the best way to see it is by light aircraft on a Skeleton Coast flying safari with the Schoeman family.
Founded in the late 1970s by ecotourism pioneer Louw Schoeman – who was instrumental in the establishment of the Skeleton Coast National Park – it is now run by his four sons, Bertus, Andre, Henk and Leon, and their families. Your private pilot-guide will swoop the aircraft over the barren coastline past old shipwrecks and endless sand dunes, before landing at your camp, which is wonderfully cut off and completely inaccessible by road.
Accommodation, which will be in a different location every night, may be relatively basic, but there is nothing quite as thrilling as knowing that you are the only souls around for hundreds of miles. Head of our Africa team, Claire, recalls her flying safari as one of the most amazing things she has ever done, and remembers the excitement of flying at such low levels and being able to choose any spot on the beach to land on just for a cup of tea. It is only with the Schoemans that clients can gain this level of access to some of Africa’s most remote wilderness.
We can also arrange epic holidays by helicopter, exploring the deserts and lakes of northern Kenya. This truly extraordinary adventure will take you through the Suguta Valley from Lake Baringo to Lake Turkana, the largest desert lake in the world. You will soar above crocodile pools, saltpans, lava flows and sand dunes of this magnificent, far-flung region. It is completely tailor-made and private, meaning you are able to touch down wherever possible and other destinations can be included in your journey, such as the Masai Mara, the Chyulu Hills, Samburu and Laikipia.
A MARINE ADVENTURE, THE SEYCHELLES + SOUTH AFRICA
With all the attention on the Big Five, it can be easy to forget that Africa has some incredible marine life too. In the Seychelles, we can create an amazing island-hopping adventure between Mahé, Alphonse Island and the isolated atolls of Poivre, Astove and Cosmoledo. Here, you will experience some of the Indian Ocean’s most pristine white-sand beaches, lagoons and sea flats. On diving or snorkelling expeditions, you will observe a multitude of colourful fish, hawksbill and green turtles, manta rays and, if you're lucky, spinner dolphins and blue and melon-headed whales. On land, you might encounter a giant Aldabra tortoise – weighing a phenomenal 250kg – and numerous interesting bird species.
For something rather different, we can time your visit to Africa with South Africa’s great sardine run. Every year, between May and July, millions of silvery sardines journey north, with predators such as sharks, dolphins, whales and birds in hot pursuit. You can wait for days to see the aquatic version of the Great Migration, but seeing it from a small boat is a rare and remarkable sight. We can help you time it right and have helicopters at the ready to get you there as quickly as possible when the great feeding frenzy begins.
GORILLA TREKKING, RWANDA
Rwanda‘s Volcanoes National Park is home to the world’s largest and most easily accessible mountain gorilla population, and there are few more exhilarating ways to spend a day than tracking these magnificent creatures on foot among the active Virunga volcanoes. They can be rather tricky to find, but observing a family of gorillas is more than worth the walk through the dense bush. Clients have often returned saying that they found getting up close to a silverback intensely emotional, some even surprising themselves with how overwhelmed they were. Their sheer size and humanlike behaviour is extraordinary. It may be worth timing your trip to coincide with Kwita Izina, Rwanda’s gorilla-naming and conservation festival. Each year, a handful of baby gorillas are given names in a ceremony that attracts thousands of people from Rwanda and beyond.
These experiences are just the tip of the iceberg. We can organise anything, from canoeing and quad-biking safaris to horse-riding and fly-camping expeditions. Whatever your interests, we can organise those special experiences that will allow you to make the most of this incredible continent.
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