Safaris for Seniors? Safe, fun & easy budget senior travel in Africa

Are African Safaris suitable for seniors? 

Yes. African adventure travel for seniors is very popular with the demand for senior safaris in Africa growing steadily. From the bundu-bashers and backpackers (roughing it in out-of-the-way locations) to slack-packing and weekend getaway trips - the world today is an oyster for ALL ages! Simply put, safaris in Africa have changed. 

Today, there are more and more 55 to 65s travelling to sought-after destinations in East and Southern Africa without so much as a sleeping bag to their name. 

Senior Travel in Africa is on the up

Senior travellers are boarding planes in ever increasing numbers, destined for Southern Africa to fulfil their travel dreams. “Retirement is for exploration!” exclaimed one seventy-something traveller recently returned from a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience in Botswana.

John Hickey-FrySenior Travel - Cape Town - John Hickey-Fry

So what’s different for the senior traveller in Africa? What can change and what can’t? What is it that you should expect and shouldn’t forget to talk about before you go? African Budget Safaris, in consultation with experts from our senior tour suppliers, has put together some inside travel advice for you. 

Safety First on Senior Safaris

Though some places in Africa do get negative press, there are many tried and trusted safari destinations that are perfectly safe.

Namibia, Botswana and South Africa all have fantastic infrastructures, good roads, accessible and well-established routes, accommodation and food of the highest calibre. To boot, these three countries are world-renowned for being leaders in conservation with well managed national parks and wilderness areas where wildlife and big game flourish. Etosha, Moremi, the Delta and Kruger Park attract tourists and professional photographers from all over the world. 

Southern Africa often appeals to mature travellers with various suitable safari options in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa.

Seniors tour moremi -

For example, one of our Budget Senior Tours, the 21 Day Southern Africa Safari, starts in the majestic cultural hub that is Cape Town and takes you overland, up the west coast into Namibia. In Namibia, you take in the beauty of the desert as you make your way to Botswana and the Delta and then on to Victoria Falls.

Seniors game drive lion -

This senior safari adventure is a great way to sample some of the best that Southern Africa has to offer.

Time to travel in Africa, seniors!

Contrary to popular belief, TIME is on your side! Most younger travellers have time constraints. Modern life is dictated by work schedules and commitments. Holidays are short and it is not always easy to get away for extended periods. Add to this family life, children, pets, school holidays and kids activities and well… time flies by.

Being retired (or semi-retired), however, frees you up to take advantage of longer travel getaways. Plan your trip when and where you like for as long as you want. A longer 14 to 21-day safari holiday is perfect for a senior citizen looking to explore the world. Not everyone has the luxury of doing the 22-day Victoria Falls to Cape Town Overland Lodge Safari which travels north to south through truly wild places. Starting in Victoria Falls and ending in Cape Town, this senior African safari is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Seniors Tour to Vic Falls -

If 3 weeks sounds a bit long, the Victoria Falls, Botswana & Namibia Safari Adventure is a 15-day version that skims the cream off the top. Visit Vic Falls and Chobe, take a makoro ride in the Delta and take in the breathtaking beauty of Etosha and Sossusvlei in Namibia. This budget senior tour is an ideal way to spend two weeks traversing some of the best that southern Africa has to offer.

Walter ScharerSenior Travel - Okavango Delta Mokoro - Walter Scharer

For those adventurous over 50s travelling without having to get back to work, your time away really is yours to enjoy.

Senior safaris game drive -

Budget-wise Senior Tours for Africa

“That sounds expensive, I can’t travel on my pension” I hear you say. Today, African safaris are competitively priced. There are loads of budget-friendly tours that cater to all travel styles and tastes, even pensioners or senior travel.

Travelling on a pensioner’s shoestring is not only possible, but it also happens every day. An African Bucket List safari, for example, will get you to all the most sought-after destinations, without breaking the bank. The trick is to know your budget and to balance this with your own, personal travel wish-list. You can cut your costs by taking advantage of a group tour for seniors and in the process bring along some friends, or meet some new like-minded travel companions.

One way to cut your costs is to customize your trip according to your own personal bucket-list items. The Deserts, Rivers & African Wildlife Safari will give you the highlights, Victoria Falls, time in the Okavango Delta, the exceptional game viewing in the Caprivi Strip and then on to the desert landscapes of Namibia. It's not the longest budget senior tour in Africa, but it packs a big punch.

Brian HolsclawNamibia seniors trip etosha zebras - Brian Holsclaw

The great thing about these senior safari packages is that all the costs are contained and set out before your departure. Of course, you’ll want to bring some additional pocket money for gifts, tips, and treats but the majority of expenses will be taken care of, leaving you free from the financial worries of park fees, petrol and exchange rates. Why not speak to an African Budget Safari travel consultant and find out just how far your budget could get you?

tpberminghamSenior Travel Botswana - tpbermingham

Comfort for Over 50 Travellers 

“Safaris are dusty, dirty affairs, only for people willing to sacrifice their creature-comforts and rough-it in the bush”. Well, no, not-at-all. This is a common misconception. Comfort and ease is the name of the game.

Across the board, travellers are increasingly looking for no-fuss options. Think about the rise of slack-packing and glamping – the ultimate convenience experience. More and more, comfort and convenience is the name of the game. Senior safaris in Africa are no different. You can book a comfortable lodge safari, a camping safari for seniors or tailor-make a mixture of the two.

Seniors safari lodge elephant -

Lodge & Camping Safaris for Seniors

The Overland Lodge Safari from Cape Town to Vic Falls is fully accommodated and designed especially for over 40s and older travellers. This senior tour itinerary is unique because it visits some of the lesser known and out of the way destinations like Augrabies Falls, Calvinia, and the Kagladigladi Transfrontier Park. In addition, the budget trip also visits Damaraland, Swakopmund, Sossusvlei, Caprivi and more. On a senior lodge safari, you will stay in comfortable lodges with clean sheets, swimming pools and bars and restaurants.

Seniors safari lodge room -

For those wanting to feel a little closer to nature, the Botswana Wilderness Camping Adventure is a 14-day fully serviced camping safari for seniors. Taking in Moremi, the Okavango Delta, Tuli block and more, on this fully catered camping safari, all you need do is step off your safari vehicle. The tents are pitched, the camping-cot prepared and comfortable, an open fire is there for you to enjoy, not only your sundowner but also the magic of the African evening. And, while you relax, a hearty meal simmers away in the background. This budget senior safari also includes two nights at a comfortable hotel at Victoria Falls.

Senior camping tour -

If you fancy a bit of both (camping and lodge travel), speak with your experienced African Budget Safaris travel consultant who will advise you on how to get the best of both worlds.

A word about distance in Africa

One thing to remember with an African safari is distance. Africa is huge and the distances travelled, often on dirt roads, are long and dusty. Knowing that your safari camp will be ready on the other side, or that your reputable lodge has a hot shower and a fully stocked bar, makes all the long distances travelled worthwhile.

Namibia senior travel -

The over 50 adventure travel itineraries are designed with senior travellers in mind. They have a slightly slower pace, more days to rest and a few extra creature comforts. The beauty is, however, that these African safari experiences can be crafted to suit YOUR specific tastes and needs. No need to go with the crowds when you can choose your own path. 

Talk to us about tailor-made tours for seniors to find out more.

Chris ParkerSenior Safaris - Moremi Wild Dog - Chris Parker

Connectivity and staying in touch with family

Travel today does not mean extended time out of touch with your loved ones. Most safari lodges will have wifi and it is possible to connect your mobile phones and other devices via satellite or through cell phone networks, yes, even in the African bush. This means you can still connect with your children and grandchildren and, even better, share your experiences with them as you go along.

Walter ScharerBotswana Senior Tours - Okavango wildebeest - Walter Scharer

Another great thing about the over 50 safari packages, is that because of the easier pace of the adventure, it is perfect for a combined family adventure. Three generations embarking on an African safari adventure of a lifetime!

All ages guided tour -

Go on safari with like-minded travellers

The growing number of over 50s travelling in Africa makes for a safari experience that is totally different. Being older means knowing yourself better, and choosing options that suit you. The over 50 safaris are designed for smaller groups with a maximum of 16 adventurers. Whether you are a couple, a single senior traveller or a family, the chances are therefore higher that you will meet like minds and make some lifelong friends.

Senior group travel -

Mobility on African safaris

For the 55 to 65 age bracket, health and well-being are a major priority. The long distances really are the biggest hurdle for senior travellers in Africa. Providing that you can navigate in and out of the safari vehicle, there really shouldn’t be a problem.

Short walks around attractions and the 'trek' from your room to the poolside are about the extent of the exertions that you will have to endure.

tpberminghamBotswana Safari - Chobe hyena - tpbermingham

Health and wellbeing for senior travellers

When you book your trip, get some inside advice on the areas that you will visit. The African Budget Safari consultants are a goldmine of information to ease your concerns. In addition to this, however, it is a good idea to see your GP and talk about your African travel plans. Make sure that you have enough of your medication and access to any important prescriptions.

Most importantly, don’t be shy to communicate any major conditions so that anyone involved is prepared. Being open about your health right from the get-go goes a long way to easing any anxiety that you might feel.

Namibia senior safari -

Travel insurance for seniors

On all of our budget African tours, clients are required to take out comprehensive travel insurance. Your insurance will include personal and medical cover for the duration of your safari in Africa. Speak to our travel experts for inside advice on choosing senior travel insurance for over 50s or visit our Travel Insurance for Africa resource page for more information.

Heribert BechemSenior Travel Namibia - Heribert Bechem

Go on then...

So, what are you waiting for? Hassle-free, budget-friendly and richly rewarding, safari season is open to all ages. Drop African Budget Safari an email and let's get that African safari ball rolling! 

For older travellers just back from a trip, we’d love to hear about your trip in the comments below…

Letizia BarbiSenior travel: Delta flight Botswana - Letizia Barbi

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