Top of the list for many discerning travellers is a luxurious safari experience; the perfect marriage of two extremes of lifestyle – nature in the raw including the ‘Big Five’ and some of the most luxurious lodge-style accommodation, finest cuisine and most attentive personal services in the world.
Days on safari are long, varied and full. The un-holiday-like pre-dawn early starts are well worth getting out of bed for, because you’ll see animals about their daily routines before the heat of the day calls them to the shade. During that same heat you can rejuvenate with a spa treatment, laze by the pool, relax in the privacy of your fabulous suite or, if you’re feeling energetic, perhaps take to the bush on a walking safari. Having eaten your fill of a fabulous breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea it’s time to head out on a late afternoon game drive for more awe-inspiring sights and sounds.
Stopping for sundowners is a traditional highlight of game drives but one that never ceases to delight, the sounds of the bush seemingly amplified as the last vestiges of the sun’s warmth and light are finally lost below the horizon. As you drive on in darkness lit by moon and starlight there are still animals to be seen, spotted by the sharp eyes of your ranger or tracker. Finally the glow of your lodge’s lights welcomes you to a fine bush dinner, over which the day’s sightings are discussed, before you retire for the night, in eager anticipation of that next wake-up call.
Safaris can be enjoyed year round and favoured times vary slightly from country to country but the dry season, in South Africa, May to August, is often best because the bush is less dense and animals are more likely to utilise watering-holes, making memorable sightings much easier and more frequent. You could choose to incorporate a safari into a longer itinerary - or you could combine a few days in the bush with the white sand beaches of Mozambique or Mauritius.