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Elelphant Herd Ss

Top Nine Places to Encounter Africa's Elephants

Watching elephants on a safari is pure joy. We’ve compiled nine of our favourite elephant spotting locations from the savannahs, deserts and great rivers of Africa. Watching elephants on a safari is pure joy. We’ve compiled nine of our favourite elephant spotting locations from the savannahs, deserts and great rivers of Africa.
Watching elephants on a safari is pure joy. We’ve compiled nine of our favourite elephant spotting locations from the savannahs, deserts and great rivers of Africa. Watching elephants on a safari is pure joy. We’ve compiled nine of our favourite elephant spotting locations from the savannahs, deserts and great rivers of Africa.
Game Drive Elephant Kings Pool
Our location picks are in no particular order, as each earns its place in the list for the way it reveals a different aspect of these remarkable creatures:


  • Lower Zambezi, Zambia
  • Namib and Skeleton Coast, Namibia
  • Tarangire, Tanzania
  • Amboseli, Kenya
  • Chobe National Park, Northern Botswana
  • Ruaha, Southern Tanzania
  • Kwandwe Malaria-Free Reserve, South Africa
  • Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
  • The Luangwa Valley, Zambia
Om Canoe Ele Crop
Lounge Interior Old Mondoro Camp
Om Boat Ele Trees
1. Lower Zambezi, Zambia
An elephant is an amazing creature! She can shove over a tree with a butt of the head. Yet using her trunk, patiently help a baby through a mud pool.

Listen to a breeding herd communicate as they roam ancestral routes across the savannahs. You’ll be awestruck by the combination of social intelligence and raw power.

From June to early November in Zambia, water sources on the Zambezi floodplain dry up obliging the elephants to head for the river.

We recommend Old Mondoro Camp as a great place to see elephants on your trip.
The four cottages of Old Mondoro Camp sit by the water’s edge and the elephants simply carry on as if it were not there.

As you’re shaving you’ll see one wander past, dwarfing your cottage.

You’ll be amazed that a creature so large can move so silently. At lunchtime they sometimes come right up to the dining lodge to satisfy their curiosity.

Later, sit on the riverbank and watch them swimming and playing in the Zambezi at the end of a long dry day in the bush.

Of course Old Mondoro offers safaris too, on the river, on foot and by vehicle. But what’s happening in camp can be just as interesting.
Hero Image Family Tent Old Mondoro Camp Lower Zambezi
Hero Image Family Tent Old Mondoro Camp Lower Zambezi
Lower Zambezi
Old Mondoro Bushcamp
Old Mondoro Bushcamp is a family-run camp in the Lower Zambezi National Park that provides an authentic safari experience without compromising on luxury or service. Fantastic views of the Zambezi and unbeatable wildlife encounters await your arrival, as you escape your routine and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Park.
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Swimming Pool View Mowani Mountain Camp
Elephants Mowani Mountain Camp Damaraland
Game Drives Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp Skeleton Coast
2. The Desert Elephants of Namibia
Watching elephants touches the emotions. We admire their power and beauty and instinctively understand that these animals are intelligent, social survivors in a tough environment.

Nowhere is this more poignantly apparent than in the deserts of the Namib and Skeleton Coast.
The first thought as you watch them trudging across the desolate dunescape is “why on earth do they choose to live here?” Desert elephants are smaller than other African elephants and have adapted to live in these seemingly waterless deserts.

Yet in Namibia you always have to look deeper and your guide will unlock the ways plants, animals and these magnificent, defiant elephant have found a way to thrive here.

Mowani Mountain Camp and Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp are two of our choices for seeking desert elephant.
Hero Image Exterior Of Property Mowani Mountain Camp Damaraland
Hero Image Exterior Of Property Mowani Mountain Camp Damaraland
Accommodation
Mowani Mountain Camp
Nestling among rugged boulders on a ridge that provides panoramic views over the surrounding area, Mowani creates the impression of an African village. The asperous landscape is a magnificent backdrop to the camp’s thatched cottages, and the desert-adapted wildlife remains completely undisturbed as its environmental footprint is so light.
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Hero Image Exterior Of Family Tent Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp Skeleton Coast
Hero Image Exterior Of Family Tent Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp Skeleton Coast
Accommodation
Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp
This luxury tented camp is situated close to the Hoanib River and straddles both the Palmvag Concession and the Skeleton Coast National Park. The Hoanib Valley is a truly unique environment, strikingly beautiful and remote. Staying at the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp you will see the valley at its finest, and get close to the wonderful wildlife residing here.
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Olivers Camp Game Drive Elephant Hr
Walking Safari For Kids Olivers Camp
Game Drives Swala Camp Tarangire
3. Tarangire, Tanzania
African elephants can drink 50 gallons a day so they need to keep following the water. From dry June to October the reliable waters of Tanzania's Tarangire River draw 3,000 elephants in a huge local migration.

Tarangire is a delightful area where beautiful sausage, candelabra and yellow fever trees line the river bank.
It’s quiet and often overlooked by travellers, yet it has a big variety of wildlife including leopard and giraffe.

Long established Oliver’s has the authentic charm of a traditional camp and a superb location just outside the National Park, allowing its veteran guides to take you on fascinating walking safaris.

Deep inside the southern reaches of Tarangire, Swala is another outstanding camp overlooking a precious waterhole which sees plenty of dry season action.
Hero Image Exterior View Of Bedroom Olivers Camp Tarangire
Hero Image Exterior View Of Bedroom Olivers Camp Tarangire
Tarangire, Tanzania
Oliver's Camp
Oliver’s Camp was established in 1992 by Paul Oliver. His vision was to recreate the old-world charm of a traditional African safari. We can confirm that he and his wonderful team have more than achieved this. Here you look forward to an intimate and exclusive safari experience, with direct access to nature.
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Hero Image Boma Swala Camp Tarangire
Hero Image Boma Swala Camp Tarangire
Tarangire, Tanzania
Swala Camp
We find the main dry season (between June and October) to be one of the most exciting times to be in Tanzania and stay in the luxury of Swala Camp. The waterhole within sight of the camp is one of the few permanent sources of water for many miles, attracting a regular procession of elephant, antelope, lion and giraffe.
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Photography Experiences Angama Amboseli Amboseli
Tortilis Camp Main Areas Michael Poliza Photography
Bush Walk From Tortilis Camp
4. Amboseli, Kenya
One of the iconic African images is of Amboseli elephants roaming against the backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Although Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania, Amboseli offers some of the best views and its swamp, grassland, lake and forest habitats allow elephants to thrive.

Conservation and anti poaching efforts have seen Kenya’s elephant population increase from 16,000 in 1989 to a currently estimated 36,000.
Also, Amboseli is the home to some of the last Super Tuskers, a bull elephant with tusks that can grow up to 2.5m long and weigh up to 45kg (almost 100lb).

Very few populations still carry the gene for these massive tusks as they have been targeted by poachers over the decades.

Check out the newly opened Angama Amboseli and stunning Tortilis as two of several outstanding camps on private conservancies where you can enjoy Amboseli to the full, while also benefiting from the privacy and multiple activities afforded by staying on a conservancy.
Exterior Of Guest Suite Front Angama Amboseli Amboseli Kenya Sammy Njorogeg
Exterior Of Guest Suite Front Angama Amboseli Amboseli Kenya Sammy Njorogeg
Amboseli, Kenya
Angama Amboseli
Opened in late 2023, Angama Amboseli is an intimate, luxurious lodge in Kenya’s very first community-owned conservancy. High concentrations of wildlife roam here and you can expect complete privacy for game viewing and sightings of Super Tuskers - elephants so large their tusks reach the ground.
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Hero Image Dining Area Tortilis Camp Amboseli
Hero Image Dining Area Tortilis Camp Amboseli
Amboseli, Kenya
Tortilis Camp
More than 1,000 elephant reside in Amboseli, overlooked by the breathtaking snow-capped peak of Mt. Kilimanjaro. As a guest at the Tortilis Camp - a Gold Eco-Rated property - you’ll have stunning views, gorgeous accommodation, and a superb activity programme.
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Elephants On A Game Drive Chobe Game Lodge
Chobe River Boat
Elephant Chobe Chilwero Lodge
5. Chobe National Park, Northern Botswana
The long dry season in Botswana reaches its climax from July to November. Zero rain falls. Countless waterholes run dry across the savannahs of Linyanti and Chobe.

Tens of thousands of thirsty elephants head for the rivers, creating Africa’s greatest elephant spectacle.
If we arrange for you to be sitting on a boat on the Chobe River late afternoon, you’ll see elephants and more elephants emerging from the plains.

As they near the water, they start to run then plunge ecstatically into the cool water. Drinking, swimming, playing — it’s bath time for babies and adults alike.

This season is also prime time for all safaris in northern Botswana. All animals need the water, and the big cats know it.

We have highlighted three exciting accommodation options below:
Hero Image Pool Suite Chobe Chilwero Chobe National Park
Hero Image Pool Suite Chobe Chilwero Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Chobe Chilwero Lodge
Perched atop a hill on the banks of the Chobe River, lies the sophisticated Sanctuary Chobe Chilwero. With panoramic views across the island-dotted floodplains - which many big game, predators, smaller mammals and birdlife call home - the lodge offers a memorable safari experience infused with plenty of luxury.
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Hero Image Aerial Shot Chobe Game Lodge Chobe National Park
Hero Image Aerial Shot Chobe Game Lodge Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Chobe Game Lodge
Chobe Game Lodge offers five-star luxury in the wilds of the bush. A haven of peace and tranquillity, the lodge overlooks the winding Chobe River, which is frequented by a whole host of bird species and wildlife including the world’s largest remaining population of elephants. Fully Ecotourism-certified, Chobe Game Lodge is sure to provide an unforgettable experience for couples, small groups and families alike
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Hero Image Exterior Image Chobe Under Canvas Chobe National Park
Hero Image Exterior Image Chobe Under Canvas Chobe National Park
Chobe National Park, Botswana
Chobe Under Canvas
One of the most authentic ways to visit Chobe National Park without compromising on luxury, Chobe Under Canvas offers excellent service, delicious ‘bush’ cuisine and an unmatched atmosphere. The camp is repositioned regularly to give you exceptional game viewing of the rich wildlife inhabiting the Chobe Riverfront.
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Walking Safari Elephant Lalibela Kichaka Camp
Wildlife Elephants Ruaha Lalibela Kichaka Camp
Elephant In Ruaha Istock 184936802 By Brittak
Walking Safari Ruaha Sunset Lalibela Kichaka Camp 14554
6. Ruaha, Southern Tanzania
Ruaha is over 20,000 square kilometres of pristine rivers, savannahs, forests and mountains and one of the few relatively untouched safari regions left in Africa.

It’s a complex, beautiful home to over 10,000 elephants and incredibly diverse wildlife including some of Africa’s largest lion prides and great herds of plains game.

Kichaka Expeditions offers a private safari to remember. Since 2007 founders Moli and Noelle share their passion on traditional walking and camping safaris where the camp follows the animal concentrations.

Explore the rustic simplicity of their flycamp or the luxury of their permanent tented camp for the opportunity to explore and fall in love with this truly remote wilderness.

Talk to us to start planning.
Kichaka Safari Camp Bedroom
Kichaka Relax In The Cozy Dining
Kichaka Safari Camp Flycamp
Kwandwe Kids Safari Game Drive Stop
Kwandwe Safari Boat
Elephantdustbathing
7. Kwandwe Malaria-Free Reserve, South Africa
Nearly all of Africa’s malaria-free wildlife reserves are in South Africa and you can encounter elephant in all of them.

If you’re planning a holiday in Cape Town and the Garden Route you might think that you’d have to fly miles into the interior of Africa to find an authentic safari lodge.

Actually there are several superb Big Five reserves right on the Garden Route.
Kwandwe is a prime example with a choice of outstanding accommodation including family villas.

There is no lower age limit and plenty of children’s safari activities, so this is one for all the family.

The landscapes are wild and pure “Africa” and you can see big cats galore, rhinoceros, plains game and of course elephant.

There are lone bulls, playful adolescents and impressive breeding families and you can learn all about them from your expert friendly guide.
Hero Image Exterior View Of Private Pool Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Garden Route
Hero Image Exterior View Of Private Pool Kwandwe Ecca Lodge Garden Route
Garden Route, South Africa
Kwandwe Ecca Lodge
Set in spectacular African wilderness surrounds, Ecca Lodge is a unique safari property boasting a revolutionary design where penthouse chic meets the bush. Nestled into a gently sloping, densely vegetated hillside, the Lodge is airy and open with barely a barrier between indoors and the African bushveld.
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Elephant Outside Lodge Chikwenya Mana Pools
Rukomechi253
Elephant At Poolside Ruckomechi Zimbabwe
8. Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
The World Heritage Site of Mana Pools is surely one of the most beautiful places for an elephant safari in Zimbabwe.

This floodplain on the southern bank of the Zambezi has curved lagoons, grassy pans and gorgeous trees: Sausage trees with pendulous pods, Natal mahoganies and magnificent winter thorn trees.
We know several superb little camps where you can track magnificent elephant on foot with some of Africa’s finest guides.

You can watch them from a boat or canoe from the vantage point of the Zambezi as they play and drink in the water before sunset.

Sometimes they stand on hind legs to reach their favourite succulent pods. For more comfort, Chikwenya and Ruckomechi lodges have occupied their prime positions in Mana for over 30 years and have become part of the magnificent scenery.
Hero Image Pool Views Chikwenya Mana Pools
Hero Image Pool Views Chikwenya Mana Pools
Accommodation
Chikwenya Safari Lodge
Chikwenya is one of the longest established and most remote safari lodges in Zimbabwe. The lodge is set on the edge of the spectacularly beautiful World Heritage Site of Mana Pools. The surrounding setting is one of open grassland, shallow Zambezi tributaries and some of the most beautiful woodlands in central Africa which makes an ideal habitat for a rich variety of wildlife.
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Hero Image Pool Deck Ruckomechi Zimbabwe
Hero Image Pool Deck Ruckomechi Zimbabwe
Mana Pools, Zimbabwe
Ruckomechi Camp
Imagine views overlooking the broadly drifting Zambezi River and stretching beyond to the 2,000 ft peaks of the Rift Valley escarpment. Ruckomechi is an intimate camp with just such spectacular views and situated on a large, private concession within Mana Pools. Ancient forests and wetlands stretch behind the camp, and in front is the massive escarpment of Africa’s Great Rift Valley.
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Loungers Mwaleshi Camp North Luangwa
Elephant In The North Luangwa
Game Viewing Mchenja South Luangwa
9. The Luangwa Valley, Zambia
Zambia's Luangwa Valley is a big personal favourite of our founders John and Sue Burdett.

The river is Jeckyll and Hyde. In the long dry season she meanders along in extravagant lazy loops. Hippo jostle noisily in the shallows.

In the wet season she powers through, flooding whole sections of the valley which turns luxuriant, riotous green. Both seasons showcase the spectacular.
Elephant are everywhere and John and Sue love nothing more than to set off on a long slow wander along timeless elephant tracks, linking oxbow lagoons to the river.

On a walk like this you take life as it comes. You feel part of the scenery and always find something to fascinate and a memory to treasure.

It could be an encounter with an elephant coming the other way or ten minutes watching a praying mantis.

There are some stunning accommodation options for both North and South Luangwa to inspire you below:
Hero Image Aerial View Of Camp Mwaleshi Camp North Luangwa
Hero Image Aerial View Of Camp Mwaleshi Camp North Luangwa
Accommodation
Mwaleshi Camp
Mwaleshi Camp is the perfect escape for people looking to head off the beaten track and explore some of the more remote parts of Zambia by foot. Nestled on the banks of the Mwaleshi River, guests can stay in a comfortable chalet constructed out of natural materials and complete with en suite bathrooms that are open to the stars.
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Hero Image Exterior Of Bedroom At Night Mchenja South Luangwa
Hero Image Exterior Of Bedroom At Night Mchenja South Luangwa
Accommodation
Mchenja Bushcamp
Mchenja, meaning "the ebony tree", is set beneath a magnificent grove of these trees on the banks of the Luangwa River. It is the most luxurious of the Norman Carr tented camps yet it is also designed to combine excellently with other more rustic bush camps.
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Hero Image Swimming Pool Lion Camp South Luangwa
Hero Image Swimming Pool Lion Camp South Luangwa
Accommodation
Lion Camp
There are no fences at Lion Camp, so elephant, buffalo, and antelope come and go as they please. You can watch them from your private deck or the board walk, and they may well be watching you as you swim in the pool. The camp prides itself on its support for conservation and local community development initiatives, including Conservation South Luangwa and the Chipembele Wildlife Education Centre.
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Hero Image Exterior Of Villa Puku Ridge Camp South Luangwa
Hero Image Exterior Of Villa Puku Ridge Camp South Luangwa
Accommodation
Puku Ridge
Puku Ridge inhabits a remote world of its own, watching the ancient patterns of life and survival while treating its visitors to enjoyably civilised hospitality. This small and intimate camp is built unobtrusively overlooking a vast floodplain where the Puku antelope after which the camp is named can be seen grazing throughout the day.
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Masai Mara Sunrise Wildebeest Balloons Istock Credit Rixipix
Have us match Your Individuality to a Unique Blend of Places and Experiences.
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The Great Migration
An expedition that marries the awe-inspiring spectacle of the Great Migration with lesser-known treasures. Explore iconic wonders and uncover hidden gems, blending bucket list adventures with thrilling discoveries for an unforgettable journey of contrasts.
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Infinity Pool Lodo Springs Laikipia
Infinity Pool Lodo Springs Laikipia
Kenya Trip Idea
Kenya Safari and Beach Adventure
Merge thrilling safari experiences amid iconic wildlife-rich landscapes with tranquil beachfront relaxation along the pristine shores of the Indian Ocean, creating an unforgettable journey of contrasts and indulgence.
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Mountain Gorilla In Rwanda Istock 154952227
Mountain Gorilla In Rwanda Istock 154952227
Rwanda Trip Idea
Rwanda and Tanzania
Experience a safari holiday like no other, with a journey across the remarkable landscapes of Rwanda and Tanzania. Be captivated by big game, search for primates in the rainforest, enjoy spectacular birdwatching and see the epic migration of wildebeest and plains game - all in one unforgettable trip you will regale for a lifetime.
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Aerial View Jao Camp Okavango Delta
Aerial View Jao Camp Okavango Delta
Botswana Family Trip Idea
Family Safari in Botswana
From the glistening floodplains of the Okavango Delta, to the pristine wilderness of Linyanti, and beyond to the shimmering salt flats of Makgadikgadi - this family friendly safari will leave you all with lifelong memories. Experience the diverse ecosystems and wildlife Botswana has to offer in this spectacular journey from Delta to Desert.
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Table Mountan Hike Cape Town Istock 1216765189
Table Mountan Hike Cape Town Istock 1216765189
South Africa Family Trip Idea
South Africa Family Safari
See the splendour of South Africa as a family on this exclusive safari. Spend your days exploring captivating Cape Town, enjoying the delights of the Winelands and on safari, seeking out the abundant wildlife that roams the wilderness. No matter your age, this iconic safari will leave you with memories for a lifetime.
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Lion Mother Of Notches Rongai Pride With Cub In Masai Mara Kenya Ss Maggy Meyer
Lion Mother Of Notches Rongai Pride With Cub In Masai Mara Kenya Ss Maggy Meyer
Kenya Family Trip Idea
Family Safari in Kenya
From the iconic Masai Mara to the awe-inspiring Laikipia, explore Kenya as a family. Witness breathtaking wildlife and immerse yourselves in rich traditions for an unforgettable adventure in a land where the untamed wilderness thrives alongside vibrant cultures.
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Guest Tent Duba Plains Camp
Guest Tent Duba Plains Camp
Explore Desert and Delta
Ultimate Luxury Botswana Safari
From the pristine wilderness of Linyanti, to the glistening floodplains of the Okavango Delta, and beyond to the shimmering salt flats of Makgadikgadi - this Botswana safari will leave you with incredible memories from beginning to end. Experience the diverse ecosystems and wildlife Botswana has to offer in this epic journey from plains, to delta to desert.
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Game Drive Children And Cheetah Little Vumbura
Game Drive Children And Cheetah Little Vumbura
Article
Botswana Family Safaris
Botswana is Africa’s most exclusive safari destination. Each enormous private reserve has just one or two luxury lodges guaranteeing a series of private experiences as you travel from one exquisite location to the next. Expert guides will take your family on safari among big cats and vast elephant herds in beautiful deltas and deserts.
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Game Drive Children Giraffe
Game Drive Children Giraffe
Article
Activities on a Botswana Safari
Imagine gliding silently along an Okavango waterway in a mokoro canoe as zebra and impala graze the grasslands. Or cantering on horseback with your guide alongside giraffe. In the Kalahari, take an early morning walk with a San Bushman as he explains the ancestral secrets of survival.
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Child Bushman Experience
Child Bushman Experience
Article
People of Botswana
Here’s something you might not expect. The people looking after you on safari might create some of your happiest safari memories. You’ll remember laughter and those after dinner stories and jokes around the campfire. During a three-night stay in a luxury camp, you’ll get to make friends with your guide, the chef, the vegetable gardener and the other people who love their work.
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Leopard Game Drive Seba Camp
Leopard Game Drive Seba Camp
Article
Animals on a Botswana Safari
Botswana is a great choice for an exclusive family safari. Roaming the spectacular deserts, deltas and savannahs are literally millions of animals. The fertility and abundant water of the Okavango and Linyanti Deltas supports an incredible 200 different mammal species. The Government’s high value, low volume tourism policy helps conservation and enables you to enjoy a top quality private safari.
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Family Sundowners Marshmallow Roasting Footsteps Camp
Family Sundowners Marshmallow Roasting Footsteps Camp
Article
Botswana Downtime & Combinations
Between safaris there is plenty for children to do in camp while the adults relax. Safari lodges may be small and in remote locations, but they have excellent facilities and your hosts’ purpose is to give you the best possible time. In this section we also suggest a couple of places that combine easily to complement your Botswana safari.
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Victoria And Alfred Waterfront Cape Town Istock 1556500564
Victoria And Alfred Waterfront Cape Town Istock 1556500564
Article
Top 10 South African Activities
With opportunities to see the Big Five of both land and sea, along with incredible scenery, enormous national parks, world-class vineyards, a fascinating history and vibrant, friendly people, South Africa frequently tops the lists of the world’s best holiday destinations. Even so, less than 1% of the world's travellers make it here, so it’s a place where you’ll find yourself with a few select, like-minded and discerning adventurers who have discovered this gem of a country. It’s a place you could return to for the whole of your life and never tire of it.
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
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Elephant Reaching For Seed Pods In Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
Elephant Reaching For Seed Pods In Mana Pools National Park Zimbabwe
Article
Zimbabwe - Top 10 activities
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
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Sundowner Game Drive Chiawa Camp Tcunniffe
Sundowner Game Drive Chiawa Camp Tcunniffe
Article
Top 10 Zambia Activities
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
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Mountain Gorilla Family Rwanda Ss
Mountain Gorilla Family Rwanda Ss
Article
Top 10 Rwanda Activities
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
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Elephant Herd Near Duba Plains
Elephant Herd Near Duba Plains
Article
Top 10 Botswana Activities
We’ve compiled a list of our favourite experiences to inspire your imagination.
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Wildebeest Migration Istock 1021615288 Credit 1001Slide
Wildebeest Migration Istock 1021615288 Credit 1001Slide
Article
Top 10 Kenya Activities
We will ensure you can enjoy the best of Africa in the exclusivity of Kenya’s private conservancies where walking, riding and other expertly guided activities enable the richest safari experience.
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Hiking In Namibia
Hiking In Namibia
Article
Top 10 Namibia Activities
Here’s our list of ten wonderful experiences to consider including in your Namibia safari:
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