When it comes to luxury safari holidays Africa, Botswana always comes up top. It simply is the home of luxury safari holidays and even their mid range options often come up trumps against equivalents in other parts of Africa. Mombo Camp in Botswana is one of the most famous camps in Africa and comes with a hefty price tag however the game here is simply unrivalled. Mombo Camp it appears was plonked in an area where everything, and we mean everything, likes to live – guests often don’t even get out of camp on the morning game drive because there’s something going on in or around this famous camp. It really is wildlife viewing at its best. People who do bite the bullet and visit Mombo always come back amazed, and this says a lot when they must already have very high expectations of this camp which slots easily into any African safari holiday – logistically it’s easy to reach.
We always get game reports from Mombo but the most recent one made us all turn green with envy – honestly we’ve never wanted to see something so much. These lucky guests on a luxury safari holiday at Mombo, who were happily game driving away on Chief’s Island in the Okavango Delta came across three leopards in a tree – yes three. We couldn’t believe it either but it happened. That wasn’t all though, it was three young male lions who had caused these felines to flee up this tree. The lions waited casually at the bottom of the tree for a long while, just daring the two male leopards and one female to come down – something that of course would never happen.
Two of the male leopards in the tree obviously despised each other which made for even more entertaining viewing for the guests as the leopards tried to keep as far away from each other as possible, whilst not leaving the tree. Eventually the lions got too hot and bothered and sauntered off no doubt to hassle someone else. What then ensued was a rather flirty display from the female leopard who wasn’t sure which male she wanted, with both males hissing and snarling at each other. These lucky guests will never be able to go on a luxury safari holiday again as nothing will match this.
On the luxury safari holidays in other parts of Africa front we have some very unexpected and exciting itineraries which others can only dream of. Jack’s Camp is one of our favourite luxury safari holiday locations when it comes to seriously unusual locations. This dream safari location has so much to offer, and is in such a unique area of Botswana that it blows all other camps out of the water. Jack’s Camp is a historical camp shrouded in tales of the first great expeditions through Botswana and offers an unrivalled luxury holiday experience in the remote Makgadikgadi Pans in Botswana. The camps offers gourmet food, campaign style opulent furnishings and some of the best guides in Botswana. The species you will see here are completely different to those you will see in the Delta and you will have the chance to meet one of four habituated families of meerkats – these adorable creatures are mesmerising to watch as they play and forage around you, often climbing steadily onto your head to get a better view of the surrounding bush.
Jack’s Camp (which has won many awards for it’s success and unique-ness as a luxury safari holiday destination) is also home to the San bushmen, Africa’s oldest living tribe and to walk with them as they track, or look for food is a wonderful experience – they are friendly and charismatic and delight in showing you their ancient ways, which are absolutely fascinating. The Makgadikgadi Pans themselves are vast and feel like the moon – they are the birthplace of early man and stone age tools can often be found as you walk out onto the pans. You can also quad bike onto the pans which is a fantastic experience, and now they even have a riding safari operation nearby which offers an unrivalled chance to explore.
Botswana is certainly home to some of the best luxury safari holidays and the camps and lodges there simply keep pushing the standard higher and higher. Many of the camps and lodges have the most wonderful privately funded conservation projects, many of which are leading to the preservation of many different species. Botswana’s poaching rate is very very low compared to other parts of Africa and this is why we have no doubt that it will continue to be known as one of the best places in Africa for a safari holiday. Duba Plains Camp is heaven and is set out to the West of the Okavango Delta in its own huge private concession. Famous for being one of the best places to see lions and buffalo interact (or try and kill each other more specifically) this camp recently sent us an update on the game viewing there.
Recent guests on safari holidays at Duba have reported back to us that the lions at Duba have been hunting everything from lechwe to buffalo although the buffs are currently in their prime health, and can be a real headache for a hungry lion. The Tsaro pride which lives away from the other lions around Duba have a new young dominant male who has been working hard to make sure everyone knows this is his territory – including a lot of roaring which is always a highlight for guests to hear. Duba is one of the best spots to see lions since it is on the border of two different prides and there are often internal and external fights over territory and constantly shifting power struggles making this a really exciting area.
When discussing luxury African safari holidays one has to acknowledge that very few places in Africa compare to the Masai Mara, maybe it’s the wide open plains, or the acacia groves, or the lions roars in the night but it truly does get into your heart, and once you’ve been you’ll go back and back and back. The same applies to Alex Walker’s Serian and Ngare Serian Camps – they are just heavenly and the staff and guides make you feel so at home that you will find yourself wanting to return over and over again. Ngare Serian is a small camp attached to Serian Main Camp with slightly more luxurious amenities which is why we’re incredibly over excited that Ngare Serian is now being offered at the same price as Serian – you must snap up this opportunity as soon as you can. From here you can also walk with a Masai guide up to the Treehouse, which is only accessible by foot and is the perfect Mara hideaway for honeymooners or those simply wanting to getaway and feel truly remote. Serian offer a truly personalised safari holiday experience on the Mara plains that will take your breath away and should be included in every luxury Kenya safari.
Many guests like to end their luxury African safari holiday with a beach stay, and luckily you can get to some of the most amazing luxury beach holiday locations easily from many of the luxury safari locations. Azura have already made a name for themselves as one of the most luxurious beach lodges in Mozambique, but not content with their wonderful location on Gabriel’s beach in the Bazaruto Archipelago they opened up an even more luxurious property on Quilalea Private Island in the Quirimbas Archipelago, Northern Mozambique. Quilalea is remote and breathtakingly beautiful covered in lush vegetation which cascades onto white sandy beaches with azure Indian Ocean seas lapping calmly on the beach.
Azura Quilalea is an eco friendly hideaway offering the ultimate in marine friendly luxury Indian Ocean holidays. The island is rich in birdlife and boasts age-old baobab groves. The spectacular house reef offers an unrivalled underwater wonderland – to compliment this just 30 minutes boat ride away are over twelve of Mozambique’s best dive sites. Romantic and fun dinners are spent on the beach, or on the deck by the pool overlooking the ocean. There is a fully equipped PADI dive centre the lodge itself has all the mod cons one could possibly need. The cliff top spa offers exquisite spa treatments and we are sure Azura Quilalea is going to fast become one of the worlds most famous luxury Indian Ocean getaways.
An area of South Africa (also famous for it’s luxury African safari holidays) which is often overlooked is Kwa Zulu Natal. Kwa Zulu Natal is one of our favourite destinations when it comes to luxury safari holidays as it is off the beaten track and remote, but the lodges still have that South African hospitality which they have become so famous for – the South Africans really know how to operate luxury safari holidays and will go out of their way to make sure everything is perfect for you. The food and wine on any safari in South Africa is always as good as any city restaurant and the Kwa Zulu Natal wilderness engulfs you until you feel truly at home.
One of the world’s most incredible natural phenomena, which would be an absolute bonus if seen from any luxury safari holiday is the sardine shoals which migrate up the Kwa Zulu Natal coast between June and July. The shoals attract huge numbers of sharks, dolphins and birds, and offers guests a chance to see nature at its most natural. All luxury safari should include an extraordinary event like this and luckily for our clients we are on top of all wildlife movements in Africa, and always arrange for our clients to be in the best place possible to witness these amazing events.