Get ready for a sensational safari. Selected by our tour leaders, check out our top ten list of “must visit” parks and reserves for 2018!
Namibia made Lonely Planet’s list of Best Value Destinations for 2018, the country’s currency pegged to the South African rand. A major plus, there are eight peak months of game viewing from May to December and you can watch the wildlife 24/7 at Etosha’s floodlit waterholes! The national park attracts a smorgasbord of plains game and four of the Big Five – even more exciting – lucky night owls might even spot a cheetah on the evening prowl.
After marking the 50th anniversary of the film adaption of Joy Adamson’s autobiographical book “Born Free,” demand for travel to Kenya was bound to make a tremendous comeback. Annual migration anyone? Movie buffs should check out the famous film, which follows the endearing story of how Joy and George Adamson raised Elsa the Lioness, an orphaned lion cub, to adulthood and released her into the wilderness of Kenya where she successfully made the transition back in to the wild.
Botswana celebrated its 50th anniversary of independence at the end of September, the media buzz surrounding the event securing its status as one of Africa’s leading safari destinations for 2018. The country is home to the Okavango Delta, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and we’re placing this watery wonderland in our top three, the available activities including walking safaris, thrilling delta swims and sunset rides across Africa’s last-remaining wetland wilderness.
South Africa also makes the hotlist, and not just because you can safari on the cheap. The country is literally chock-a-block with national parks and reserves and while you might be more familiar with the Kruger – 2017 will be the year to explore more of this wildlife haven and visit some of its lesser-known parks. Head for the Polokwane GameReserve and enjoy a walking safari on one of our small group tours.
Alternatively, include the Addo Elephant National Park (the only national park in the world to conserve the “Big 7” – the Big 5 as well as the southern right whale and great white shark off the Algoa Bay coast) and Hluhluwe (one of the oldest game reserves in South Africa and a magnet for the famous “Big Five”) on your overland tour.
Swaziland is an up and comer on the safari circuit, and while it’s the smallest country in the southern hemisphere there’s talk it could become Southern Africa’s next adventure capital. Visit the Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary and gain a more intimate appreciation of your surroundings and the resident game on a thrilling mountain bike safari.
Conservation will be on everybody’s bucket list in 2018, but what if you don’t have the time or budget for a voluntour? Head for Tanzania , the elephant population declining due to poaching or safari in Zimbabwe, as the country is dehorning its rhinos – a decision that was made after 50 rhinos were shot dead by poachers in the last year. A success story in the making, wild dog fans should get off the beaten track in Zambia and visit the South Luangwa National Park, experts recently claiming the pack sightings to be spectacular.