Dreaming of an unforgettable African Safari? With countless packages, deciding which all-inclusive adventure fits your vision is not easy. From wildlife diversity, accommodation, and pricing, to unique cultural encounters, our guide simplifies the process and puts you on the path to your ideal safari experience.
We understand the frustration of sifting through various options, not knowing which will deliver the genuine African safari experience you desire. It’s not merely about finding a package; it’s about ensuring it aligns with your unique preferences and guarantees a remarkable journey.
Having explored numerous safaris and thoroughly researched hundreds of packages, I’ve identified the crucial elements of exceptional African adventures. Whether captivated by the Serengeti’s vast expanse or the Okavango Delta’s lush terrain, this guide caters to various preferences.
This guide is for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned wildlife photographer, an enthusiastic birder, or a first-time explorer eager to experience Africa’s wonders. We consider all budgets and unique interests like big cat viewing, bird-watching, and cultural experiences.
Ready for a life-altering journey? By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with a clear understanding of the best all-inclusive African safaris and have the confidence to choose the one that resonates with your dream safari experience. Let’s embark on this journey together.
Best All-Inclusive African Safari options include:
📸 Wildlife Photography: Gorillas, Game and Masai Mara Safari
🦅 Bird-Watching: Luxurious Mobile Safari Camp In Botswana
🏜 Adventure Seekers: African Safari Adventure in Namibia
✈️ First-Timers: Tanzania Wildlife Safari
🗣 Cultural Enthusiasts: Serengeti, Ngorongoro Wildlife and Cultural Safari
All-Inclusive Safari: Pros And Cons
An all-inclusive safari is a comprehensive package that bundles everything you need for your African adventure. It typically includes accommodations, meals, game drives, park entrance fees, and sometimes even round-trip flights from your home country.
But like every good thing, all-inclusive safaris have their upsides and downsides.
Pros Of An All-Inclusive African Safari
- Hassle-Free Planning: With an all-inclusive safari, meticulous planning and logistical nightmares are handled by experienced tour operators. From your itinerary to meals and accommodations, all aspects are tailored to provide an uninterrupted, worry-free experience.
- Transparency: All-inclusive packages allow you to understand upfront what your trip will cost. This transparency eliminates hidden expenses, making budgeting a breeze.
- Immersive Wildlife Experience: Tour operators have extensive knowledge of local biodiversity. They design game drives and bushwalks to maximize your chances of spotting Africa’s iconic Big Five and other unique species.
- Luxury Accommodations: The all-inclusive packages often include stays in luxury camps and lodges that offer top-notch amenities while keeping you close to the raw, untamed nature of the African wilderness.
- Guided Tours: These tours offer the privilege of being accompanied by professional guides who enhance your adventure with their knowledge of local flora, fauna, and traditions.
Cons Of An All-Inclusive African Safari
- Less Flexibility: All-inclusive safaris have a pre-determined schedule that might restrict your spontaneity and exploration desires.
- Less Privacy: These tours often involve group activities, which could limit personal or private experiences.
- Potential for Hidden Costs: While most costs are covered, there might be some extras like premium drinks, gratuities, or optional activities that are not included in the initial package price.
5 Best All-Inclusive African Safaris
Let’s look at the best all-inclusive African safaris to find the perfect fit for your interests.
Top African Safari For Wildlife Photography
- Rating: 5/5
- Safari Length: 14 Days
- Airport Pickup: Yes
If you’re interested in seeing and photographing the wide variety of African wildlife on your trip, then I recommend the Gorillas, Game and Masai Mara Safari by Primate World Safaris. This 14-day safari adventure is nothing short of a dream come true for every wildlife photography enthusiast.
The journey begins in the beautiful town of Jinja, northeast of Kampala, Uganda’s capital. Here, you get to witness the source of the Nile and even experience white water rafting on its waters. The thrill of the rafting experience is a perfect appetizer for the visual feast that awaits you.
From Jinja, the safari takes you west to the picturesque town of Fort Portal, where you’ll visit the Bigodi wetland sanctuary. The sanctuary is a haven for bird photographers, with 138 species calling it home. The next stop is the Kibale Forest National Park, renowned for its population of chimpanzees. Seeing these primates in their natural habitat is a spectacle you’ll cherish forever.
The safari then takes you to the Queen Elizabeth National Park, where you can enjoy boat trips on the Kazinga Channel. The channel is a magnet for wildlife, and you’ll have ample opportunities to capture stunning shots of elephants, buffalos, and various bird species.
Fun fact, the Queen Elizabeth National Park has the 6th highest diversity of bird species worldwide and the most in Africa, with 618 species calling the park home.
The journey continues south to the impenetrable forests of Bwindi, home to the endangered mountain gorillas. The experience of photographing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is something that words can’t do justice to. It’s an emotion that needs to be felt!
The safari concludes with the Great Migration in Masai Mara, Kenya. This is one of the most spectacular natural events on the planet, and being able to photograph it is a privilege that every wildlife photographer dreams of.
“…we thoroughly enjoyed our trip. The flexibility of itinerary was helpful, enjoyed nature, appreciated hospitality and kindness of people of Uganda. We feel that we got more value for the money.”Tripadvisor review – Read more reviews here.
When it comes to gear, a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a telephoto lens is a must for wildlife photography. A wide-angle lens can also come in handy for landscape shots. Don’t forget to pack extra batteries and memory cards. A sturdy tripod can benefit low light conditions and capture sharp images.
In terms of timing, the best light for wildlife photography is during the golden hours, which are early in the morning and late in the afternoon. These times not only provide beautiful lighting but are also when animals are most active. Luckily, many of the game drives are around these times.
This Safari is a wildlife photographer’s paradise. It offers a diverse range of wildlife and landscapes to photograph, and the experiences it provides are ones that you’ll carry in your heart forever. So pack your gear, book your tickets, and get ready for the photographic adventure of a lifetime!BOOK GORILLAS, GAME AND MASAI MARA SAFARI!
Best All-Inclusive Safari For Bird-Watching
- Rating: 5/5
- Safari Length: 12 Days
- Airport Pickup: Yes
If bird-watching is the main draw pulling you to an African safari, you can’t go wrong with the luxurious mobile Safari camp in Botswana. This 12-day adventure takes you into the heart of African nature, allowing you to witness and photograph many bird species in their natural habitat.
The safari begins with a hassle-free pickup from Maun or Victoria Falls Airport. From there, you’re journeyed across Botswana’s most prized landscapes, including the Moremi Game Reserve, the Okavango Delta, and the Chobe National Park.
The Moremi Game Reserve is a birdwatcher’s paradise, home to over 500 species of birds. From the African Fish Eagle to the Lilac-breasted Roller, the birdlife here is astounding. The reserve also offers the chance to spot Africa’s Big 5, making it a haven for wildlife enthusiasts.
Next, the safari takes you to the Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The delta is a birder’s dream come true, with species like the African Jacana, the Slaty Egret, and the Pel’s Fishing Owl calling it home. Seeing these birds in their natural habitat is a spectacle you’ll cherish forever.
The journey concludes at the Chobe National Park, known for its large herds of elephants and diverse bird population. Here, you can spot species like the African Skimmer, the Coppery-tailed Coucal, and the Racket-tailed Roller. The park also offers stunning panoramas that are a treat for the eyes.
“Wonderful experience, we have done a 12-day photo safari with Mopane and it has been the best trip possible. A wise choice to choose them.”Tripsadvisor review – Read more reviews here.
A good pair of binoculars is a must for birdwatching. Paired with a DSLR or mirrorless camera with a telephoto lens is ideal for bird photography. Don’t forget to pack a field guide to help you identify the different species.
Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for birdwatching as birds are most active during these times. Also, different species of birds can be spotted during different seasons, so it’s a good idea to do some research before your trip.
This safari is a birder’s paradise. It offers a diverse range of bird species to spot and photograph, and the experiences it provides are ones that you’ll carry in your heart forever. So pack your binoculars, book your tickets, and prepare for the birdwatching adventure of a lifetime!BOOK THE LUXURIOUS MOBILE SAFARI CAMP IN BOTSWANA!
The Perfect All-Inclusive Safari For Adventure Seekers
- Rating: 5/5
- Safari Length: 11 Days
- Airport Pickup: Yes
Having grown up in Namibia, I’m more than well aware of the diverse landscape and adventurous terrain the country offers. The African Safari Adventure in Namibia does a great job of capturing that. This 11-day adventure is a thrilling blend of wildlife, culture, and nature that will satiate the appetite of even the most seasoned adventurer.
The journey begins with a pickup from an agreed point or the Hosea Kutako International Airport and takes you to a luxury hotel in Swakopmund, where you’ll spend five nights. Swakopmund is a city on the coast of Namibia, where the rolling dunes of the Namib desert meet the waves of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a place where adventure and beauty collide.
From Swakopmund, the safari takes you on a Sandwich Harbour 4×4 trip and a Catamaran Cruise. The thrill of the 4×4 ride on the dunes is an experience that gets your adrenaline pumping. On the other hand, the Catamaran Cruise offers a serene contrast, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
The next part of the journey involves a hot air balloon ride over the Namib desert. The sight of the sun rising over the endless sand dunes expanse is a spectacle you’ll cherish forever. Coupled then with a scenic flight over the incredible Sossusvlei star dunes, you’ll be left breathless.
The safari then takes you to the Etosha National Park, where you’ll spend three nights at a luxury lodge. The park has various wildlife, including lions, leopards, elephants, and rhinos. The game drive in the park is a thrilling experience that brings you face-to-face with these majestic creatures.
To finish things off, you’ll visit a Himba tribe. The chance to interact with the tribe and learn about their culture and way of life is an experience that adds a unique dimension to this safari.
“All exciting; the lodges are gorgeous and spotless! I highly recommend everyone to visit this wonderful country that offers enchanting landscapes everywhere: dunes, sea, parks… a charm! I love Namibia!”Tripadvisor review – Read more reviews here.
Comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear are a must for this safari. Don’t forget to pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. A good camera is essential to capture the stunning landscapes and wildlife.
The best time to visit Namibia for wildlife viewing is during the dry season, from June to October. The weather during this time is pleasant, and the wildlife is easier to spot as animals gather around waterholes.
If you’re looking for an adventure, this is your safari. It offers diverse experiences that will leave you with memories you’ll cherish forever. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and prepare for the adventure of a lifetime!BOOK THE AFRICAN SAFARI ADVENTURE IN NAMIBIA!
Best Safari For First-Timers
- Rating: 5/5
- Safari Length: 11 Days
- Airport Pickup: Yes
If you’re planning your first safari, the Tanzania Wildlife Safari is an excellent choice. This 11-day adventure takes you to some of Tanzania’s best natural sites, offering an immersive experience perfect for first-timers.
The journey begins with a pickup from Kilimanjaro Airport and takes you to Arusha National Park. The park has various wildlife, including giraffes, zebras, and monkeys. It’s a great introduction to the wildlife of Tanzania and offers plenty of photographic opportunities.
From Arusha, the safari takes you to Tarangire National Park, known for its large African Savanna elephant population. Seeing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is a spectacle you’ll cherish forever. You’ll spend two days in the park, giving you ample time to soak in the beauty of the landscape and its wildlife.
Next, the safari takes you to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, home to the Ngorongoro Crater. The crater is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is often referred to as Africa’s Eden. It’s home to diverse wildlife, including lions, elephants, and rhinos. The game drives in the crater are a thrilling experience that brings you face-to-face with these majestic creatures.
The journey concludes in the Serengeti National Park, where you’ll spend four days. The park is known for the great migration, where millions of wildebeest and zebras move in search of fresh grazing. It’s one of the most spectacular natural events on the planet, and being able to witness it is a privilege that every safari-goer dreams of.
“Mere words don’t begin to do describe the experience I had with Anglebert and Tom on a recent Russ Burden photo safari. They took care of everything so we had to do was just sit back, relax and take pictures!”Tripadvisor review – Read more reviews here.
For this safari, it’s also recommended to bring along comfortable clothing and sturdy footwear. Don’t forget to pack a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Again, a good camera is essential to capture the stunning landscapes and wildlife.
The best time to visit Tanzania for wildlife viewing is during the dry season, from June to October. The weather during this time is pleasant, and the wildlife is easier to spot as animals gather around waterholes.
This Tanzanian Wildlife Safari is an excellent choice for first-timers. It offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you with memories you’ll cherish forever. So pack your bags, book your tickets, and prepare for an incredible experience!BOOK THE TANZANIA WILDLIFE SAFARI!
An All-Inclusive Safari For Cultural Enthusiasts
- Rating: 5/5
- Safari Length: 4 Days
- Airport Pickup: Yes
If you’re a cultural enthusiast looking to immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of African culture while also enjoying the thrill of a wildlife safari, the Serengeti, Ngorongoro Wildlife and Cultural Safari Package in Tanzania is the perfect choice. This 4-day private tour offers a balanced mix of wildlife viewing and cultural experiences, making it an enriching journey into the heart of Tanzania.
The journey begins with a visit to the Bismarck Rock and the Sukuma Museum. The museum offers a deep dive into the culture and history of the Sukuma people, the largest ethnic group in Tanzania. It’s a fascinating start to the safari that sets the tone for the cultural experiences to come.
From there, the safari takes you to the Serengeti National Park, one of the most famous wildlife parks in the world. The park is home to diverse wildlife, including lions, elephants, and giraffes. The game drives in the park are a thrilling experience that brings you face-to-face with these majestic creatures.
Next, the safari takes you to the Olduvai Gorge, a site of early human activity. The visit to the gorge offers a glimpse into the origins of humanity, adding a unique dimension to the safari.
The journey concludes with a visit to the Ngorongoro Crater, one of the world’s most famous wildlife sanctuaries. The crater is home to a diverse range of wildlife, and the game drives here are a thrilling experience. The safari also includes a visit to a Masai village, where you get to interact with the Masai people and learn about their culture and way of life.
“Our group felt safe the entire time. They kept us laughing and answered any questions we had about the park and animals— they were so informed and had a great eye for spotting animals. We saw everything we wanted to see and more.”Tripadvisor review – Read more reviews here.
For this safari, it’s crucial to prioritize comfort and protection. Pack attire that’s easy to move in and shoes that can handle a bit of adventure. Don’t underestimate the African sun – a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are your best defense. And, of course, a quality camera will be your best friend, helping you immortalize the breathtaking landscapes, vibrant wildlife, and captivating cultural moments.
When planning your trip, aim for the dry season from June to October. This period offers agreeable weather and optimal wildlife viewing opportunities as animals congregate around water sources.
The Serengeti, Ngorongoro Wildlife, and Cultural Safari Package is a cultural enthusiast’s dream. It’s a journey that weaves together diverse experiences, each leaving an indelible mark on your memory. So, pack your bags, secure your tickets, and prepare to embark on a journey that will take you to the vibrant heart of Tanzania!BOOK THE SERENGETI, NGORONGORO WILDLIFE AND CULTURAL SAFARI
What To Consider When Choosing An African Safari
Africa is a continent teeming with wildlife, and the diversity varies from region to region. If you’re a wildlife photographer or a keen animal lover, this factor should top your priority list.
Each safari location offers a distinct flavor of African wildlife, from the Big Five game animals in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park to the unique bird species in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.
Your decision should align with your interests. For instance, the Masai Mara in Kenya is known for its big cat populations, while the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda is famous for mountain gorilla trekking.
Your choice of accommodation can drastically influence your safari experience. Africa offers many options, from budget-friendly tented camps to ultra-luxurious lodges.
While budget accommodations offer basic amenities, luxury camps offer a more sophisticated experience, including gourmet meals, private viewing decks, spa services, and sometimes private game drives.
Your choice depends on your budget and your desire for comfort and luxury.
Value For Money
Prices for African safaris can vary enormously, and ensuring you’re getting value for your money is crucial. Consider the number of game drives, park fees, and the quality of accommodations, meals, and transfers included in the package.
Also, remember that cheaper isn’t always better. A lower-cost safari may involve larger group sizes, fewer game drives, or lower-quality accommodations. Strive for a balance between cost and the quality of the experience.
African safaris are not just about wildlife. They’re also a fantastic opportunity to experience local cultures and traditions.
From visiting the Maasai villages in Kenya to interacting with the San Bushmen in Botswana, these encounters offer enriching insights into the diverse African cultural tapestry.
Ensure your chosen safari offers these local experiences to add another dimension to your African adventure.
How To Prepare For An African Safari
Preparing for an African safari involves careful planning and attention to detail. From packing essentials to health and safety considerations, travel documentation, and cultural respect, here’s what you need to consider.
Essential Packing List
Regardless of your purpose or interest, some items are indispensable for an African safari. These include insect repellent, sunscreen, a hat, binoculars, and appropriate clothing.
For wildlife photographers, a camera with a good zoom lens is crucial. Pack extra memory cards, a lens cleaning kit, and a portable charger to ensure you’re always ready to capture those unforgettable moments.
Birdwatchers should consider bringing a high-quality birding guidebook and a spotting scope in addition to binoculars for a more detailed view.
First-time safari-goers might find a pair of comfortable walking shoes, a reliable flashlight, and a good quality daypack useful.
A notepad, a pen for jotting down experiences, and a small gift or school supplies (if visiting a local community or school) are recommended for culture enthusiasts.
Health And Safety Considerations
Staying healthy on your trip is paramount. Before you travel, consult a healthcare provider about necessary vaccinations and medications (like anti-malaria pills).
For safety, obey all rules your safari guide gives, especially during game drives or bush walks. Remember, you’re in the wild, and unpredictability is part of the adventure.
Travel Documentation And Insurance
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months past your return date. You may need a visa to enter certain African countries depending on your country of residence.
Travel insurance is essential. It should cover any medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or loss of valuables. It provides peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your safari experience fully.
Cultural Sensitivity And Respect For Wildlife
Always respect local customs and traditions. Inquire about appropriate behavior and dress, especially when visiting local communities. Also, always follow guidelines regarding wildlife interactions. Remember, conservation should be at the heart of every safari experience.
Selecting the perfect all-inclusive African safari is an art that balances wildlife diversity, comfort, value, and authentic local experiences. Each of the safaris we’ve explored caters to a unique set of interests, ensuring there’s an adventure for everyone:
- Gorillas, Game and Masai Mara Safari (Uganda and Kenya): A dream come true for wildlife photographers.
- Luxurious Mobile Safari Camp in Botswana: A haven for bird-watching enthusiasts.
- African Safari Adventure in Namibia: A thrilling escapade for those seeking adventure.
- Tanzania Wildlife Safari: A gentle introduction to the wild for first-time safari-goers.
- Serengeti, Ngorongoro Wildlife and Cultural Safari (Tanzania): A rich cultural immersion for those keen on exploring local traditions.
Remember, a successful safari experience hinges on thorough preparation. This includes packing the right gear, prioritizing health and safety, and respecting local customs and traditions.
So, as you await this exciting journey, consider which safari resonates with your passions and interests. Then, take the leap, dive into the adventure, and prepare to weave a tapestry of unforgettable memories. Here’s to your journey into the wild heart of Africa. Safe travels and happy explorations!
P.s. We’ve got a separate guide on the best all-inclusive South African Safari.