These countries are currently welcoming travelers and here are our reasons why you should consider including them in your holiday plans.
Always in the shadow of Botswana or Zimbabwe, Zambia is worthy of a closer look by safari goers. Home of the walking safari, camps offer diverse activities with the aim to get you out of your vehicle and into the wilderness. What we personally love about Zambia are the small very intimate camps dotted throughout huge expanses of protected wilderness offering exclusive wildlife experiences.
Best time to visit: The peak time for best wildlife viewing opportunities is anytime from June through October. The later you go the hotter it gets but the more incredible the wildlife experience!
Recent travel experience: Our friends and travel colleagues Johann Van Zyl & Brooke Berlin have just returned from 2 weeks visiting several properties and destinations around the country. Their feedback? “The lodge experience is 98% the same, with the only difference really being that you have to wash your hands more frequently, but the safari experience is augmented by 200%. We were often the only people at camp and sometimes in the entire park”.
Current Covid entry requirements Negative PCR test taken 14 days prior to your first flight.
When we think of Kenya, wildlife and culture go hand in hand. Big open plains, diverse landscapes, and friendly people. Small, tented camps or private homes are the types of accommodation we prefer for our clients. It is hands down one of our favorite destinations for a small family group traveling together due to the wide variety of activities on offer. We find authentic manyattas for you to visit and encourage you to learn more about wildlife conservation through behind-the-scenes interactions with anti-wildlife poaching units. The arid north and Lake Turkana region, whilst not frequently included on the typical safari circuit is perfect for those seeking an experience like no other. Here it’s all about remote lodges, rock art, ancient traditions, and out-of-this-world landscapes.
Best time to visit: Any time from June through October and again December through March will provide for excellent game viewing. For those who do not mind a bit of rain making an appearance occasionally the November provides gorgeous scenery, dramatic lighting, and emerald green vegetation and plenty of plains game. The only two months that it really would be best to avoid if possible are April and May – the long rains of these months cause the rivers to swell and burst their banks and the cotton soil of the Mara/Serengeti ecosystem is at its worst.
Current Covid entry requirements: Negative PCR test taken within 72 hours (3 days) of your first flight.
The draw of the massive herds in the Serengeti is undeniable, it is the stuff of documentary dreams. With millions of wildebeest giving birth in January and February, what better way to start off your year than stand in awe of a few million animals on the move. There is something very special about standing in the eaves of a traditional Hemingways tent, watching the sun rise over the expansive plains surrounded by the grunts of gnus.
Best time to visit: Same as Kenya. Any time from June through October and again December through March will provide for excellent game viewing. For those who do not mind a bit of rain making an appearance occasionally the November provides gorgeous scenery, dramatic lighting, and emerald green vegetation and plenty of plains game. The only two months that it really would be best to avoid if possible are April and May – the long rains of these months cause the rivers to swell and burst their banks and the cotton soil of the Mara/Serengeti ecosystem is at its worst.
Recent travel experience: Our clients, Cameron & Corrie Smith just returned from Tanzania and are shouting from the rooftops that there is no better time to visit the country than right now. “We were shocked at how few tourists there were in Tanzania,” Cameron said, “All the in-country flights, camps and national parks were empty. We are sure our honeymoon experience was infinitely more special because of that. This felt like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Tanzania without crowds. Traveling during a pandemic can be a scary thing, but each accommodation showed the highest level of cleanliness, attention to detail and desire to make us as happy and comfortable as possible.”
Current Covid entry requirements: none
Namibia is hauntingly beautiful and an untamed land that inspires visitors to marvel at the forces of nature. Mother Nature’s artistic side is evident in this country of infinite blue skies, the rusty-red sand dunes, spectacular green canyons and a grey fogged coastline. You’ll experience crystal-clear star-filled nights, captivating desert-adapted wildlife, epic scenery and fascinating tribes. This is where you go for a different kind of safari—one that takes you through the varied environments in addition to the wonderous wildlife viewing.
Best time to visit: May through September is the long dry season and provides the best viewing conditions for wildlife with moderate temperatures during the day. At night, you will want to bundle up as temperatures can dip to freezing… this is a desert after all! For those interested in landscape photography, Namibia is a year-around destination as the rainy season of December – April provides incredibly dramatic skies and vibrant colors.
Current Covid entry requirements: Negative PCR test taken within 72hours (3days) of your first flight.
Rwanda is known for two powerful things, one magnificent and one horrific; Mountain gorillas and the genocide of 1994. In the ‘Land of a Thousand Hills’ both are embraced by the resilient people and held as part of their heritage. This absolutely stunning nation holds the soaring peaks of the Virunga Mountains, the sparkling waters of Lake Kivu, the verdant forests of Nyungwe, and the plains of Akagera in her borders. They are all breathtaking in their own way, but they pale in comparison to the effervescence and spirit of the Rwandese people themselves.
Best time to visit: Due to its location, Rwanda is very much a year around destination with its biggest attraction – the gorillas – being seen at any time of the year as their tropical rainforest home is wet and humid all the time. That said April/May are the wettest months and should be avoided. Should you be exploring one of its national parks or doing a full Rwanda circuit, you will probably want to stick with the drier months of June – October in order to capitalize on wildlife sightings when the bush is less dense.
Current Covid entry requirements: Negative PCR test taken within 120 hours (5days) of your first flight. Additional PCR test taken upon arrival in country during which time you spend 24hours in your hotel in Kigali before proceeding on to your next destination.
Completely underrated, Uganda might just break your heart with how truly stunning it is—not just the scenery, but the people as well. People who exude a quiet calm and ‘joie de vivre’ roll out the welcome mat for you on your way to the rugged Virunga Mountains and deep verdant jungles in Bwindi for gorilla trekking, the rivers at Murchison Falls to view the Nile, and the prolific Kidepo Valley. There is almost a shyness about Uganda—the nation prefers to keep its treasures safeguarded. For those who dream of a safari full of diversity and activity combined with raw uncrowded wilderness, then this is the country for you.
Best time to visit: As with Rwanda, its proximity to the equator means Uganda experiences light rainfall and moderate temperatures throughout the year. That said, we recommend people avoid the heavier rains of April & May as this is a country you typically traverse by road and the rainy season can prolong these road transfers due to unexpected flooding or extremely muddy terrain.
Current Covid entry requirements: Negative PCR test taken within 72hours (3days) of your first flight.
Dominated by the vast Kalahari Desert, this landscape supports specially adapted wildlife such as eland, springbok, large herds of gemsbok and the predators that follow. Seasonally large herds of migrating zebra flood the Makgadikgadi Pans. Then there is the Okavango Delta – the world’s largest inland delta. Its lushness supports a huge diversity of game, contributing to Botswana’s reputation as an ideal and unique safari destination. With the lowest population density in Africa, Botswana is one of those rare destinations, offering one of the most remote safari experiences on the continent.
Best time to visit: May through October is the long dry season and best wildlife viewing conditions. November through April is typically the green season with the months of December-March being the wettest months, road conditions muddy and the wildlife a bit more dispersed. You can find some great deals traveling in the rainy season.
Currrent Covid entry requirements: with Botswana being one of the more recent countries to open their borders please contact our office for the most updated Covid entry requirements.
South Africa has it all – Big 5 game viewing, award winning wineries, a fascinating history, culture – meet the people, cooking classes, fabulous restaurants, stunning beaches, whale watching, and home to nine World Heritage Sites.
Best time to visit: June through October is considered the long dry season and offers the best wildlife viewing. November brings short rains and thunder showers. December through March is the typical green season with long grasses and showers that build up throughout the day, conditions are sometimes a little muddy. April through May offers pleasant temperatures and wildlife is good.
Currrent Covid entry requirements: with South Africa being one of the more recent countries to open their borders please contact our office for the most updated Covid entry requirements.
Boasting two World Heritage Sites – Victoria Falls and Mana Pools. Zimbabwe is home to one of the largest elephant populations in the world, a true wildlife haven with dramatic landscapes, savannah grasslands, the eastern highlands with its exotic rainforests and the mighty Zambezi River. All this coupled with warm and friendly people.
Best time to visit: May to early October is the long dry season with the better wildlife viewing typically from June onwards. October the heat can be oppressive however the wildlife viewing is fabulous. From around November through April is considered the rainy or green season with long grass and showers making the roads muddy and wildlife viewing more challenging.
Currrent Covid entry requirements: with Zimbabwe being one of the more recent countries to open their borders please contact our office for the most updated Covid entry requirements.
Please note: All covid related updates in this article are subject to change.