How to book a successful ‘big’ holiday
We are lucky to plan many special holidays to Africa and the Indian Ocean. Each one is organised with the same meticulous care, but some – multi-generational holidays with all the family, a celebratory birthday trip with friends, or Christmas in the African bush – for example, take a little longer than others to put together. The larger the group size or the more specific your dates the more important it is to book early to ensure availability. Most of the camps and lodges we use have only six to eight tents/rooms, so it doesn’t take much for them to fill up, especially in the peak seasons.
We have planned private riding safaris for families, arranged group trips up Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, wine tasting in South Africa, fishing in the Indian Ocean, walking through remote Zambian parks, multi-country sabbaticals and so on. Anything is possible – the more time we have to plan, the better the chances of arranging exactly the holiday you want.
If you are heading down the group route, whether with family or friends, we would suggest assigning a committee, or perhaps a benevolent dictator, to take charge. Start with a list of everyone’s wishes which we can use to make initial suggestions. The more information we have, the better – so tell us exact ages of any children, when you would like to travel, what your interests are and if you’ve been on safari before. We’re happy to meet in person (when circumstances allow) or do everything over the phone and email.
In terms of accommodation for multi-gen families and groups of friends, there is a glorious array of exclusive-use private safari houses which come with their own chef, butler, safari guide, 4X4 vehicle and tracker. Singita Serengeti House in the Serengeti (Tanzania), Mara House in the Masai Mara (Kenya) or Morukuru Owner’s House in the Madikwe Game Reserve (South Africa) are among our top picks. Then there are the smaller safari camps like Zarafa (Botswana) and Time + Tide Luwi (Zambia) which, with just four tents, are perfect to be taken exclusively. It only takes one other booking to dash those plans, so it is important to get your dates in early.
It goes without saying that if you’re looking to spend Christmas in Africa – a truly wonderful treat – you’ll need to get your plans in motion early. South Africa’s Cape region is spectacular at this time of year and so too are its safari neighbours Botswana and Namibia (hot and prone to the occasional downpour). East Africa is definitely worth adding to the list with a fabulous choice of safari activity in Kenya and Tanzania and easy access to the beach too.
Whatever adventure you have in mind we’d love to plan a safari that will leave you with lifelong memories. There is nothing quite like seeing wild elephants drinking and splashing around in a water hole, or lions snoozing under a shady acacia tree. The best thing is that there’s something for everyone: at Ants Nest (South Africa) there are horses for riders of every ability, bicycles for those who prefer wheels, walking safaris and game drives. At Time + Tide Chongwe House (Zambia) the activities are endless; from walking safaris, game drives, canoeing, fishing and boat safaris.
If this has inspired you to dream about future safaris, please do get in touch – we would be delighted to chat, no matter how early in the decision making process you might be. Email is probably the best way to contact us right now and we’ll respond as quickly as we can – usually on the same day. We very much look forward to talking to you.