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FAQs on Planning a Trip to Africa

Luxury lodge in South Africa featuring private accommodations with plunge pools.
Savanna Lodge, South Africa

Africa is at the top of many bucket lists. But planning a trip there can be daunting. There are different regions and so many countries you can visit. One thing is for sure, a trip to Africa is one of the most special and unique experiences you will ever have, so let’s make it perfect!

Below are a few factors to consider when first planning a trip to this magical destination…

Which Region to Visit?

Often the most difficult thing about planning a trip to Africa is where to go in this vast region. It really depends on your goals for the trip. Are you only interested in a safari experience? Would you like to also visit Cape Town or one of the African islands? You can have amazing safari experiences in East Africa or South Africa but the distances are very long and traveling between these 2 regions may require multiple flights. I generally recommend either East or South Africa but not both regions on the same trip, unless you have more than 2 weeks.

Where Can I Have the Best Safari Experience?

We start by learning about the animals clients must see on their safari experience. Different areas are known for spotting certain animals. Then we talk about the type of accommodations they prefer. For example, do they prefer glamping versus a luxurious lodge with private pool?

Lastly, let’s talk about a safari experience in a National Park versus a Private Game Reserve… In general, the public parks have less expensive accommodations, vehicles need to stay on the main roads and there is no limit to the number of vehicles that are out sighting. In contrary, the private game reserves have luxurious lodges with premium levels of service, vehicles can drive off-road to track animals thus giving you a better chance of seeing them up close.

When to Go?

Let’s focus on South Africa… A popular itinerary for many first-time visitors includes a safari, visiting Cape Town and the Winelands. Summer (Dec – Feb), is excellent for the city and Winelands but not so much for a safari. It is too hot for the animals to be out and about. The winter months (June – Aug) are best for game viewing but not so great in the other areas. So, my recommendation is to visit in the Fall (Mar – May). The foliage will be spectacular, and you will enjoy all the areas with pleasant weather.

How Far in Advance to Plan?

Planning a trip to Africa involves coordinating multiple long-haul flights, reserving a stay in a remote safari lodge, arranging visas and vaccinations. Most lodges are very intimate. You don’t have hotels with hundreds of rooms like you would find in large cities. Currently, the African lodges I recommend are completely booked for 2022. I suggest to plan at least a year in advance and preferably 2 years in advance for the best selection and pricing.

This Blog is a brief overview of the main things to consider when planning a magical trip to Africa. There are many other factors to the trip. As always, we specialize in designing private and highly personalized itineraries so you can create the most unforgettable memories with your loved ones.

I would be honored to help plan your magical African adventure. Email me to schedule your complimentary consultation.

Working with Distinct Vacations in reserving at any of our preferred properties, you may have access to flexible cancellation policies and special amenities (such as a spa credit, complimentary breakfast, and room upgrades).

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