THE PICK OF AFRICAN SAFARI DESTINATIONS
• Cape Town
Africa’s most beautiful city. Picturesque, historical, fantastic wines and foods, cosmopolitan, close to some rewarding wildlife and whale-watching areas, two different oceans to choose from, it’s hard to beat. Europe with an African flavour. And it has that iconic mountain!
Where Big Five game viewing all began. A plethora of excellent lodges to choose from, just an hours flight from Johannesburg, and done in style. A quick and easy option for busy people or a wonderful way of staring your safari journey
• EASTERN CAPE
The well-known Garden Route from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth. Whales, wines, farm foods, riveting scenery with easy driving, wonderful game reserves and shining blue Indian Ocean with it’s wonderful beaches. Malaria-free, so it suits those with children who want to give them a wildlife experience
• VIC FALLS
Everyone wants to see Vic Falls! It’s a busy little town with its famous colonial hotel and iconic bridge, the mile-wide Falls (one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world) and plenty to keep you occupied: sightseeing flights over the falls, game reserves right outside town, adrenalin sports, even elephant-back riding if you fancy it. And it is a great jumping-off place to the Zimbabwe reserves of Mana Pools and Hwange.
Mana Pools National Park is the jewel of Zimbabwe. The great Zambezi river rolls past open woodland dotted with herds of elephants and other wildlife. You can spend the day canoeing by them, watching for wild dogs or lions on the banks. Hippos and crocs are everywhere. Walking is highly encouraged!
On the north bank, in Zambia, the Lower Zambezi National Park offers excellent game viewing and is famous for the size of the ancient elephant bulls that walk its banks.
• OKAVANGO DELTA
The largest inland delta in the world, a place of miracles where water flows in to the Kalahari desert..and stops! The delta is a place of plenty: verdant, and rich in wildlife of all kinds. Completely unique, and with so many options. Top class safari, possibly the best in Africa.
• NAMIB DESERT
Abounding in wildlife and stunning scenery, the largest dunes in the world and the fog-shrouded Skeleton Coast, this is the home of desert-adapted lions, elephants and rhinos
• KALAHARI DESERT
A vegetated Botswana desert where cheetahs, brown hyeanas and the famous African Honey Badger live. It is an alluring savannah landscape
Zambia’s secret and its largest national park. Riverine woodlands and inundated plains filled with rare antelopes such as roan and oribi, and their attendant predators such as wild dogs, lions and cheetahs.
Excellent walking area amongst the towering woodlands and watercourses of Zambia’s most well-known wildlife area. Abundant game with several ‘specials’ such as the Crayshaw’s zebra and Cookson’s wildebeest.
• NGORONGORO CRATER
Totally legendary ancient volcanic crater. The game viewing is concentrated and the scenery is mind-boggling. A side-trip to the Oldupai Gorge where the Leakey’s discovered fossil evidence of ancient man is well worth the effort.
What everyone expects of Africa: open grassy plains dotted with flat-crowned thorn-trees and rocky hills, and a myriad wildlife herds as far as the eye can see. The classic safari
• SOUTHERN TANZANIA
Lesser known area of Tanzania graced by massive national parks supporting a large diversity of wildlife of all types. Wonderfully diverse scenery and not crowded
• MAASAI MARA
Kenya remains one of Africa’s most visited destinations and the Maasai Mara is still perhaps the best known safari destination on the continent. Depending on when you travel, it can be crowded…for good reason. The animals fill your view, especially during the Great Migration. But there are so many other wonderful reserves in Kenya too.
Africa’s spice island, redolent with history and fragrant with atmosphere. It’s exotic markets and white beaches are a brilliant place to finish an east African trip after the busy-ness of safari
If you haven’t seen the mountain gorilla yet, just go. It is an intoxicating and haunting experience, one golden hour where you come face to face with Africa’s gentle ape, and our closest relative. But there is much more to the area besides. Especially in Uganda, you can watch tree-climbing lions and the largest concentration of hippos in the world.
• NEW DESTINATIONS!
New safaris on the horizon in 2015
1. Malawi: Liwonde and Nyika
2. Mozambique: Gorongoza
3. Congo: Odzala (lowland gorillas)
SPECIAL INTEREST SAFARIS
Add a new dimension to the safari experience by walking and camping in the wild. This can be a single or multi-day experience, and it is thrilling to be on foot in Africa. Led by an armed guide, you’ll get to know the micro-fauna of the African bush. It is exhilarating! Lloyd is well known for this aspect of his business. Link to Plan my Safari/walking
I love birding! There are over 1000 bird species in southern Africa alone, and thousands more across Africa. To find more than 100 birds in a single day of safari is not unusual. What are you waiting for? Africa is the ultimate destination for enthusiastic birders, and there is no one season for it: you can enjoy birding at any time of the year. I have been an extremely keen birder all my life, and have a long life list; and I love adding to it! Whatever else is happening on a safari, the birds are always there to be sought out and admired.
Birding groups are wonderful to guide because they are indefatigable; the fun never ends! Groups range in size from singles to up to twelve. Special itineraries to take in focus areas and associated species are commonly arranged, and if it is rarities you are after, LCCA knows where to find them. Africa has every kind of habitat and terrain, from deserts to vast wetlands to mountains, oceans, shores and savannah: the possibilities are endless. Pelagic trips can also be arranged for those who are keen on the birds of the shore and open seas.
• Gorillas and chimpanzees
An unforgettable experience! The Mountain Gorilla is now one of the rarest mammals on the continent, but due to the foresight of their protectors in Uganda and Rwanda, it is possible to see these incredible primates at very close range in the tropical jungles of the volcanic mountain chains of central Africa. For many, this is an incredibly personal and emotional event. It is a true privilege to visit these gentle giants in their natural environment, and to understand the commitment of the wildlife authorities to conserving their last refuge.
Chimpanzee viewing is equally rewarding. There are several areas where wild habituated chimps are available for viewing as they go about their normal lives in the equatorial forest.
There is much else to see in central and east Africa, and a primate safari is best coupled with a visit to the wildlife areas of the Great Lakes, or the abundance of the savannahs of Kenya or Tanzania. Uganda alone will easily occupy you for ten days to two weeks, with its astonishing waterways, tree-climbing lions, herds of Kob (antelope) and the famous Murchison Falls.
For the more adventurous, the mountains of Africa await: Kilimanjaro, Meru, Mount Kenya, Mulanje in Malawi, the Ethiopian Highlands, Namibia’s iconic Brandberg, the Natal Drakensberg and many others. These trips are usually more robust, but many people choose to do day walks instead. You choose the intensity of the experience.
If you are serious about taking great photos, you would profit from a private guide, and preferably a private safari vehicle so that you and your group are at liberty to take your time over creating your images. It is a huge advantage to have a guide with you who understands your equipment, your particular needs, and most particularly the shot you are trying to get. Your guide will ensure that the vehicle is properly positioned, that you are in the right place at the right time, that you are taking maximum advantage of you time on safari; and he will undoubtedly teach you a few tricks along the way. Years of experience have taught me to predict accurately the behaviour of wildlife; this allows me to anticipate the shot, and get you into the perfect position to get it.
Not everyone wants to try to take the National Geographic front cover shot, however: and keen photographers at every level are accommodated. You dictate the intensity of the experience.
• Big Five
Easily achieved over the course of a weekend if that’s how you choose to do it but the iconic Big Five (lion, elephant, rhino, buffalo, leopard) are found in innumerable locations across Africa. They’re a great starting point…but you’ll find that there is so much else to see too.
Usually combined with a great game viewing experience, it is fascinating to visit the villages and ancestral lands of people such as the Maasai of Tanzania (Ngorongoro Crater Lodge), Himba of Namibia (Serra Cafema Camp), Shangaan of South Africa and Zimbabwe (Singita Boulders and Pamushana), the bushmen of Namibia (Nhoma Camp), the Riemvasmakers of Namibia (Damaraland Camp), the Zulus of South Africa (Phinda Reserve) and others. This is typically an add-on to a great bush experience.
Famously, the Great Migration of east Africa: the Serengeti and the Mara. 2 ½ million animals on the move! And all the predators that follow them.
• Big Cats
If you want to focus on the Big Three Cats (lions, leopards, cheetahs), there are several options. Cheetahs are usually the toughest to find but there are places to go that offer a great chance.
Despite the alarming decline in their numbers, South Africa in particular has impressive numbers of White Rhinos in several parks, and they are relatively easy to find. Black Rhinos are more elusive. By far the best place to see them is Namibia, especially by tracking them on foot at Desert Rhino Camp.