The Best of Africa Safari
Days 1, 2 and 3 – Masai Mara
Arrive into Nairobi where you are met and transferred to the domestic airport for your flight to the Masai Mara for the start of your Kenyan Safari. The Masai Mara is world renowned for its incredible game viewing and in particular big cats. Lions are fairly common in and around the Masai Mara making them the dominant predator of the region. Cheetah prefer the open grasslands where they can use their speed to catch their prey, while leopard prefer the rocky outcrops, valleys and riverine woodlands where they can slink away unseen. If you are lucky you may get to highly endangered wild dogs in some of the community conservancies surrounding the Masai Mara.
The Masai Mara is known for the annual great migration that moves through the park from the Serengeti in Tanzania. Every year millions of wildebeest and zebra move in a clockwise direction from the Serengeti through the Masai Mara and back south again, following the rains. The migration traditionally moves between the northern Serengeti and the Masai Mara between June/July and October before the herds head south to give birth. When the migration is in the Masai Mara it can offer some of the most dramatic game viewing in Africa with millions of wildebeest and zebra moving through the grasslands and often crossing large crocodile-infested rivers to get to the best grazing.
Outside of the migration, the game viewing is still spectacular as the majority of animals do not migrate. Elephant, topi, Thompson’s gazelle, cheetah, leopard, lion, buffalo, rhino, and giraffe all remain to make for a varied Masai Mara safari experience.
Within the Masai Mara ecosystem, guests have 2 choices as to where to stay. There are the camps that are located inside the Masai Mara Game Reserve and often in the thick of the action, but the areas can get crowded as this is a public reserve. Surrounding the Masai Mara Game Reserve are community-run concessions that are private and so offer a more exclusive safari experience, away from the crowds. There are no fences between the Masai Mara and these conservancies and so the game moves freely between the main reserve and the surrounding concessions. The benefit of staying in the community reserves is more exclusivity and more freedom with the chance to do walking safaris and night drives and the chance to do a full-day game drive inside the main Masai Mara Game Reserve.
Days 4, 5 and 6 – Victoria Falls
From the Masai Mara you return to Nairobi in time for your flight south to Livingstone on the Zambian side of the mighty Victoria Falls. There is so much to do in Victoria Falls that can be tailored to suit everyone. Whether you are looking for a heart-pumping bungee jump, gorge swing, or white-water rafting or looking for something a little more relaxing like an afternoon sunset cruise on the upper Zambezi, we can design your itinerary around your interests and needs. One thing we highly recommend is the scenic helicopter flight over the falls. Our top tip for visiting the falls, is to go as early as possible to avoid the crowds and heat, but it also offers the best light for photographs. The sun rises over Zambia, so it is possible to take photos with a beautiful pink hue in the sky.
Days 7, 8 and 9 – Okavango Delta, Botswana
From Livingstone, you transfer across to Kasane in Botswana where you get a light aircraft flight into the heart of the Okavango Delta and one of our favorite camps. Kanana is a beautiful camp set on an island in the heart of the Okavango Delta. Being on a private concession ensures our guests get the exclusive safari experience that Botswana is renowned for. Being in the Okavango Delta has its limitations in terms of wildlife viewing as the animals prefer to avoid the deep water channels, but Kanana is lucky to have the best of both worlds with large islands teeming with wildlife and deep channels, rivers, lagoons and wetlands that make up the Okavango Delta. Explore this huge private concession by traditional mokoro, gliding silently through the waterways allowing you to get close to animals and birds hiding out in the reeds. Head deeper into the Okavango Delta in a speedboat and explore the famous heronries and further flung islands. For the land lovers, Kanana offers day and night game drives as well walking safaris with experienced guides. Other than the incredible diversity Kanana offers, one of the other reasons we love this camp, is that they only allow a maximum of 4 guests per vehicle, ensuring a personal and exclusive safari experience. The camp is set on stilts overlooking a typical Okavango Delta lagoon. The main area is built around a huge termite mound and extends out towards the lagoon with the firepit almost sitting at water level. Kanana has a sleepout platform away from the camp, where adventurous guests can sleep under the stars surrounded by animals and the night sounds.
Days 10, 11 and 12 – Cape Town
Cape Town is one of the most scenically beautiful cities in the world, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and crossed by mountains, it really does have it all. Stanley Safaris has partnered with some of the best guides in the city so you can spend your days exploring Cape Town and surrounding Winelands in a unique way, specifically tailored to your interests. Whether you are interested in the arts, the history of South Africa, the vibrant food scene, being active, or simply wanting to explore a variety of wine farms and sample the incredible wines, we can make that all happen. Cape Town is our home, this is what we live and breathe each day, so we know the secret little spots away from the crowds.