Best African Safari Itineraries: Our Top Nine

Africa is a vast continent and we are often asked by clients to recommend a safari to them, which we gladly do. Various factors must be taken into account, mainly budget and time. While you can do a fabulous week-long trip in South Africa that includes the beautiful beaches and mountains of Cape Town and the wild bush of Kruger; or the desert of Namibia and swamps of Okavango; if you want to do both, you need a little more time.

Fret not, though, we’ve got something to suit everyone. Here, we detail our favourite nine safari itineraries and suggest some of the tours we offer.

Article Section Quick Links

  1. East Africa
  2. Tanzania and Zanzibar
  3. Tanzania and Kenya
  4. The Best of East Africa
  5. Southern Africa
  6. Botswana and Vic Falls
  7. Kruger Park, Zimbabwe & Vic Falls
  8. Namibia, Botswana & Vic Falls
  9. Kruger Park, Swaziland & Mozambique
  10. Cape Town, Kruger Park & Vic Falls
  11. East & Southern Africa

East Africa

Tanzania and Zanzibar

Giraffe -

It’s hard to believe that one country can offer such spectacular bush and beach.  This is one of our firm favourite shorter itineraries, with the last part spent relaxing on the beach. Fly into Arusha before heading to stay overnight at Lake Manyara, where your introduction to Africa will hopefully include tree-climbing lions, elephant, giraffe, and a plethora of birdlife.

Then it’s off to the world-renowned Serengeti, with its vast, game-rich plains. The Ngorongoro Crater, an ancient volcano, that is basically a natural ‘bowl’ filled with wildlife, has to be seen to be believed. After getting our fill of the incredible bush and fantastic animals, it’s back to Arusha, and a quick flight to the island of Zanzibar.

Beach -

Think turquoise, warm, Indian Ocean, sandy white beaches, palm trees waving in the breeze which carries the aromas of cinnamon, nutmeg and coconut with it. These are the Spice Islands and it is, basically, Relaxation HQ.

Suggested Tour:

12-Day Tanzania Safari & Zanzibar Beach Holiday, starting in Arusha, ending in Stone Town

Tanzania and Kenya

Ngorongoro -

Tanzania and Kenya are home to two of Africa’s most iconic (and joined) game parks, the Serengeti and Masai Mara. There is nothing that passes these parks in vastness, game concentrations and, of course, if you time it right, the legendary Great Migration. Speak to one of our ABS consultants to find out when’s the best time to try and catch it.

Elephants -

The most amazing thing about a Tanzania/Kenya safari is that they generally also include other wonderful, lesser-known parks, like Tarangire and Amboseli, with its views of Kilimanjaro. Try and fit in a day or two on the beautiful shores of Lake Victoria.

Suggested Tour:

12-Day Kenya & Tanzania Budget Lodge Safari, starting and ending in Arusha

The Best of East Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zanzibar

Helena van EykerenGorilla, Uganda - Helena van Eykeren

If you’ve got a bit more time to spare, we recommend exploring the ‘best of East Africa’, which includes the breath-taking parks of Kenya and Tanzania, with their prolific wildlife and wide plains; mountain-trekking in Uganda and coming face-to-face with the highly endangered gorillas; and ending off relaxing on the white beaches of Zanzibar.

Samir LutherZanzibar - Samir Luther

You won’t believe the range of habitats – from dry plains to tropical rain forests to balmy beaches, each with their own magic. This is true Africa.

Suggested Tour:

24-Day Gorillas, Masai Mara & Zanzibar Overland Camping Safari, starting in Nairobi, ending in Dar es Salaam

Southern Africa

Botswana and Vic Falls

Visite BotswanaSunset at Makgadikgai - Visite Botswana

Botswana is a country of diverse landscapes. Vast areas of desert and semi-desert give way to the salt pans of Makgadikgadi, the exquisite waterways of the Okavango Delta and the game-rich Moremi and Chobe Game Parks, with the crowning glory of the awe-inducing Victoria Falls, just over the border.

Lawrence MurrayHippo, Okavango - Lawrence Murray

We (and our clients) love this trip because of its varied landscapes, the endangered rhino at the Khama Rhino Sanctuary, game viewing in the Okavango and Chobe and all the adventure activities at Vic Falls!

Suggested Tour:

14-Day Best of Botswana Budget Lodge Safari, starting in Johannesburg, ending at Victoria Falls

Kruger Park, Zimbabwe and Vic Falls

Big cat, Little cat -

The Kruger Park covers almost two million hectares of protected bush, and is home to almost 150 species of mammals, nearly 120 different reptiles and over 500 bird species. It’s wild, wonderful, and easily accessible from Johannesburg.

Spend a couple of days exploring Kruger’s vast array of habitats and wonderful wildlife, before setting off into Zimbabwe, where you can marvel at the intricate, ancient, Zimbabwe Ruins and the scenic Matobo National Park, with its impressive boulders.

carine06Matobo - carine06

At Hwange National Park, you’re sure to see elephant by the dozen and, if you’re lucky, the rest of the Big Five. Then it’s off to the magnificent, thundering Vic Falls with all of its beauty, and pretty much any adventure activity your heart could desire!

Did I hear ‘Bungeeeeee’?

Suggested Tour:

10-Day Kruger, Zimbabwe & Vic Falls Budget Lodge Safari, starting in Johannesburg, ending at Victoria Falls

Namibia, Botswana and Vic Falls

Desert -

If desert – and its accompanying gobsmacking scenery – is your thing, a trip through Namibia and Botswana is perfect. Enjoy the incredible vastness of Namibia, the dunes of Sossusvlei, wild coast of Swakopmund, the incredible, game-rich Etosha and a visit to a local bushman community.

From there, you head into the lush Caprivi Strip, going on a game drive through the parks between Botswana and Angola that form an important part of the migratory corridor for elephants and other wildlife. Then it’s off to the breath-taking Okavango Delta, followed by the barren beauty of Makgadikgadi.

Spend two days exploring Chobe, which boasts one of the largest elephant populations in Africa, followed by two days in Hwange (Zim). You’ll see elephant and more magnificent elephant! And that’s beside all the other African wildlife favourites who call these parks ‘home’.

ninaraVictoria Falls - ninara

The tour ends at the spectacular Vic Falls, with all it has to offer!

Suggested Tour:

20-Day Ultimate Namibia, Botswana & Zimbabwe Lodge Safari, starting in Windhoek, ending at Victoria Falls

Kruger Park, Swaziland and Mozambique

Zebra -

Looking for a good combination of bush and tropical beach in Southern Africa? Take a trip through the lush, landlocked Kingdom of Swaziland, bask on the beaches of Mozambique and end off game spotting in Kruger.

Swaziland is a tiny and very beautiful country. Here you will marvel at the scenery, visit the local game parks and learn about local Swazi culture. From Swaziland, you’ll cross the border into tropical Mozambique, visiting bustling Maputo before heading up the coast.

Indian Ocean -

Think white beaches, warm clear sea, snorkelling, diving and soaking up the sun.

Three days in Kruger give the best in African wildlife and flora and, hopefully, plenty of sightings of the Big Five. The trip back to Johannesburg is via the spectacular Panorama Route. You won’t want to leave!

Suggested Tour:

14-Day Swaziland, Mozambique & Kruger Lodge Safari, starting and ending in Johannesburg

Cape Town, Kruger Park and Vic Falls

South African TourismTable Mountain - South African Tourism

Cape Town is just gorgeous: beach, mountain, winelands … the options of things to do and places to see are endless. Spend three days exploring all of its wonder before flying up to Joburg to go into the bush.

We love Kruger for countless reasons, not least its easy accessibility from Johannesburg (a pleasant drive of about five hours), wide range of habitats and fantastic wildlife. It’s also home to the ‘Big Five’, giraffe, zebra, many species of antelope, hyaena and more, making for wonderful game sightings.

Joe TurcoLeopard, Kruger Park - Joe Turco

After spending some time there, you head off into Zimbabwe, exploring the ancient architecture of the Zimbabwe Ruins, marvelling at the granite outcrops of Matobo, game viewing in Hwange, with its enormous elephant population, and then heading up to Vic Falls. It thunders, its awe-inspiring, and you can find any activity your heart desires in and around Vic Falls.

Suggested Tour:

13-Day Cape Town, Kruger Park & Zimbabwe Safari, starting in Cape Town, ending at Victoria Falls

East & Southern Africa

Marc VeraartSerengeti - Marc Veraart

Yip, we agree … how do you decide between southern and East Africa? We have the perfect solution: don’t. Do them both. Take the time off, gather the funds together, and embark on an epic, life-changing voyage from Nairobi, Kenya, to picturesque Cape Town, South Africa – travelling through Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia.

Think bush, spectacular scenery, incredible wildlife, beach, wild terrain and memories to last a lifetime.

Suggested Tour:

56-Day Nairobi to Cape Town Overland Camping Safari, starting in Nairobi, ending in Cape Town

Per Arne SlotteSerengeti plains - Per Arne Slotte

Africa is ridiculously beautiful, with loads of untouched areas that’ll leave you breathless with wonder, filled with incredible wildlife. Whatever your budget – both time- and cash-wise – contact one of our knowledgeable ABS consultants, and they’ll help you choose the safari of your lifetime.

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