Regional Focus

Mountain Gorilla © Russel Friedman
Balloon over Vumbura © Deon de Villiers
Nature walk at Kwandwe Private Game Reserve

Africa's Hot Spots to Visit in 2017

African safaris remain one of the hottest travel trends this year. Ideal safari accommodations are small, intimate camps and lodges that fill fast—making now the ideal time to secure your space for a 2017 adventure.

Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park

In 2017 Rwanda celebrates nearly 50 years of gorilla conservation that began with Dian Fossey’s humble Karisoke Research Center. The lush, hilly country offers more than 10,000 square miles (slightly smaller than Massachusetts) of some of Africa’s prettiest scenery. Top that off with recent reports that diligent mountain gorilla conservation efforts have been a success, thanks to Fossey’s center, which now operates as The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

At Kinigi, the gateway to the majestic mountain gorillas’ home in Volcanoes National Park, the brand-new Bisate Lodge opens in June. This intimate six-suite lodge sits on 66 acres of private land and gazes over Mt. Bisoke and Mt. Karisimbi. With Bisate’s unique style, activities and reforestation efforts, the lodge has created something special and unusual in Rwanda.

Botswana’s Okavango Delta & Linyanti Reserve

Botswana made the lists for both Travel + Leisure’s Best Places to Travel and the New York Times’ Places to Go in 2017. It’s an ideal safari destination because Botswana remains pristine, remote and devoted to operating under a small-volume, sustainable tourism model. The effect? Massive wilderness areas remain open for intimate travel experiences.

While top-rated camps famously fill their rooms a year in advance, pockets of availability remain sprinkled throughout 2017. We have privileged, real time access to open dates at many camps and we can assist you in designing an ideal safari adventure.

Do it, because Botswana is better than ever. New on the radar are hot air balloon rides over the vast landscape from Little Vumbura and Vumbura Plains camps. Also, scenic helicopter flights take in the labyrinth of waterways and allow photographers to capture extraordinary aerial shots. And with the Savute Channel having entering a dry period, Savuti, DumaTau and Kings Pool camps are experiencing prolific wildlife activity as animals congregate at limited water resources which are located near the camps.

South Africa’s Private Reserves

South Africa is most famous for the massive 7,500-square-mile Kruger National Park, located in the country’s northeast corner adjacent to Mozambique. Lesser-known are South Africa’s private wildlife reserves that dot nine provinces and eight distinct biomes.

In the Northern Cape Province, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve is South Africa’s largest private wildlife reserve at 260,000 acres, and home to unique desert-adapted animals such as the large black-maned Kalahari lion. Kwandwe Private Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape Province boasts opportunities for Big Five wildlife sightings and hands-on conservation projects. The Phinda Private Game Reserve in the Kwazulu-Natal Province is known for plentiful cheetah sightings and seven unique ecological zones that step their way to the coast of the Indian Ocean.

Exploring this diversity makes for an incredible safari circuit with intimacy, a wide range of wildlife experiences and exclusive accommodations.

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Safari Specialist