Chongwe House - Zambia

The African Safari House

When our clients come home from safari, they usually say, “We’re going back?” followed by, “Next time, we’re taking friends.” Increasingly, families and small groups of friends are taking advantage of the benefits of sharing a safari. Traveling as a small private group opens up a world of value and possibilities unavailable to couples or solo travelers.

The growing availability of “Safari Houses” is one of the most exciting new offerings for safari goers. These private, exclusive-use accommodations are specifically designed to allow for the privacy and personalized service families and small groups enjoy. Safari Houses can usually accommodate 8-12 guests, and they can come with exclusive amenities like customized activities, flexible schedules, private vehicles, specialist guides and a dedicated house manager, personal chef and dining team.

Here are three of our favorite Safari Houses:

Chongwe Safari House – Zambia

Located on Zambia’s Chongwe River near the Lower Zambezi National Park, Chongwe River House sets the standard for the classic African Safari House. This four-bedroom house looks like it has literally grown out of the riverbank. Earthen walls mimic the lines of the surrounding terrain, and the sitting room furniture was carved from a single fallen winterthorn tree.

Wildlife viewing doesn’t get any better than in the Lower Zambezi with hundreds of species of bird, large herds of elephant and lion and leopard viewing.

The Villa at Grootbos – South Africa

The Villa at the Grootbos Private Nature Reserve might be one of the most unique and distinctive Safari Houses in Africa. Located 2 hours from Cape Town in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, Grootbos is a luxury eco destination that has grown from one family’s passion for the unprecedented marine and botanical diversity found on the Southern tip of Africa.

The Villa offers spectacular views, stunning contemporary design and architecture, and exclusive opportunities to explore: guided fynbos nature tours, Milkwood forest walks, breathtaking coastal drives, marine safaris, wine tours and tastings and cliff-side cave excursions.

Singita Serengeti House – Tanzania

Singita Serengeti House sits on the slopes of the Sasakwa Hill, near the world-renowned Singita Sasakwa Lodge, with a wide, endless, unobstructed view of the 350,000-acre Grumeti Reserve and the wild Serengeti Plains. This private, exclusive-use lodge accommodates 8 guests with 2 suites in the expansive main house and a garden suite on each side.

The decor is a stimulating mix of contemporary European design with classic safari artifacts and details, and the world-class amenities include a private 25-meter infinity pool, a tennis court, an 18-horse equestrian center, and one of the most extensive wine cellars in all of Africa.

Each one of these Safari Houses boasts extensive children’s activities like tracking animals, star-gazing, flower-pressing, cooking and baking, young ranger programs as well as babysitting services and kid-friendly menus.

To learn more about these and other Safari House options, get in touch.

Click here for more safari options for families and small groups.

Photos are courtesy of the camps.

Selinda Explorers Camp - Main Tent Interior

Selinda Explorers Camp – your private safari getaway

Sometimes, you just want to find a hammock and sway next to a lazy African river. Sometimes, you want to hike far into the bush to listen to the wilderness. Sometimes, there is nothing more important than watching wild elephants drink from the river in which you’re canoeing.


Selinda Explorers Camp is just the place to get up-close and personal with one of Africa’s most treasured wild places. Selinda Explorers Camp is a private, exclusive-use camp remotely-set in Botswana’s remarkable Selinda Spillway, a crucial gathering point for wildlife in the 320,000-acre Selinda Reserve. Depending on the day, guests can enjoy a guided wildlife walk, a canoe safari or traditional day and evening game drives.

The camp is easy to miss, accommodating a maximum of 8 guests and having a minimal environmental footprint. Four classic campaign-style tents, furnished with unique and exotic soft goods from north and east Africa, are set in a forest of jackleberry and mangosteen. Selinda Explorers Camp comfortably balances a rustic “bohemian flair” with simple, relaxed luxury.


Due to its size and setting, Selinda Explorers Camp offers families and small groups of friends a private and exclusive opportunity to view the best of Botswana’s wildlife including lion, elephant, hippo and wild dog, as well as Slaty egrets, wattled cranes and sometimes hundreds of buffalo.

Selinda Explorers Camp is the newest in the Great Plains Conservation family of camps. Great Plains Conservation is a unique “conservation organization, which operates ecotourism to maintain conservation as a sustainable land use alternative.” Their executive team consists of some of the world’s most well-known conservationists including Dereck and Beverly Joubert, the renowned filmmakers behind National Geographic’s “The Last Lions” and “Eye of the Leopard.”

Selinda Explorers Camp is a great fit for families and small groups and can be easily added to itineraries with destinations throughout Botswana and neighboring countries.

Get in touch to explore how to include Selinda Explorers Camp in your next safari.

Photos of Selinda Explorers Camp are courtesy of Great Plains Conservation.
Bridge over the Mbagthi - Nairobi National Park

Something Special at The Emakoko

In May of this year, we finished our Northern Circuit family safari with a great stay at The Emakoko. Not only is it beautifully set, stylish and comfortable, it’s deep in the African wilderness of Nairobi National Park, less than an hour from Nairobi city center and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Anton and Emma Childs, owner-managers of The Emakoko, have achieved a chic modern lodge that celebrates it’s surroundings. Game driving from the park gate to the lodge, we encountered a magnificent baby white rhino. Upon arrival, we crossed a footbridge over the Mbagathi River and felt hundreds of miles away from the airport we’d left only an hour before, and, from the open-air bar & dining room, we could feel a late season rain drench the forested valley.

The rooms are simple and sophisticated with wide-open spaces, curving walls and panoramic views. Dining at The Emakoko felt more like enjoying excellent home-cooking than fancy restaurant fare, and the service and hospitality was personal and friendly, more like visiting with locals than staying in a hotel.

Read More

Spectacular & Remote Namibia

Sossusvlei Dune WalkWe’re thrilled to be putting together a unique and comprehensive Namibia itinerary for a favorite repeat client of ours (her motto is “I’m a traveler, not a tourist!”). We’ve included it all… Windhoek, AfriCat, Etosha, Damaraland, Swakopmund, and the Skeleton Coast…  German colonial towns, wildlife clustered around salt pans, tracking elusive desert-adapted rhinos on foot, rich rock art galleries, nomadic Himba villagers, sun-baked mountain ranges, thousand-food red dunes and ghostly shipwrecks along the misty coastline.

But, putting Namibia’s attractions into words is truly daunting! Vast, magnificent, timeless…none do any justice to Namibia’s stark beauty. It is a country full of truly authentic experiences and a haunting remoteness that we love.

Call us to talk about all the offerings from quality camping safaris to specialist-guided driving tours to stunning flying safaris.

 

Breeding Herd of Elephants at Botswana's Chobe River

Botswana

BotswanaBotswana is an exquisite contrast between lush paradise in the Okavango Delta and stark beauty in the Kalahari Desert. Each year floodwater flows into the Okavango from its source in the moist central African highlands over a thousand kilometres away into the Kalahari Desert to create a unique wetland that supports and sustains a huge diversity of wildlife. Apart from year round excellent game viewing, the beauty of this water wonderland is awe inspiring.
To the north-east of the Okavango Delta are the Chobe and Linyanti Game Reserves with marshes, waterways, riverine forests, dry woodlands and the world-famous Savute Channel – areas renowned for predators and large concentrations of game, particularly elephant. The grasslands of the Kalahari together with the lunar expanse of the Makgadikgadi saltpans complement and are in total contrast to the verdant, game-rich Okavango and Linyanti regions.


Selinda was probably our favorite camp (though it is nearly impossible to choose) where an intrepid guide led us to wondrous sightings of African Wild Dogs, cheetahs, and a pride where a lioness dragged a roan antelope to feed seven hungry cubs.
Melinda, Berkeley, CA

Botswana Experiences

Big Reveal! Kili's Secret Safari of Surprises

About 2 years ago, a group of travel-giddy friends put their safari planning in Kili’s hand’s for a Secret Safari. Here’s the original itinerary: We can’t tell you everything they did, but here’s some of Kili’s photos: Read about Kili’s Return to Rwanda

Read More

Private Mobile Camping in Botswana

While Botswana has grown to be seen as one of the more luxurious (and expensive) safari destinations, we’re glad to report there are still great options for high-quality mobile camping safaris at a range of budgets. Some are based completely within exclusive concessions while others utilize private campsites in public wildlife viewing areas, but the […]

Read More
Morukuru Family De Hoop - Sunrise on the beach.jpg

Coastal Adventures in South Africa

Kruger & Cape Town are a popular combination, but South Africa has much more to offer with an abundance of Big 5 reserves like Madikwe, Marataba and Kwandwe and extraordinary art, food and wine touring. One area we love to visit is the Cape Whale Coast & Floral Kingdom where you can hike among incredible […]

Read More

Borana's Lengishu House

Borana has always been a special place; a truly family-oriented conservancy, adjacent to the world-renowned Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, that offers outstanding wildlife experiences as well as opportunities to explore a breathtaking landscape through a variety of activities. Borana also offers a range of exclusive-use safari homes and villas, and the newest is Lengishu House.  

Read More

When to book what?

One common question we hear is “How far in advance should I start booking my safari?”, so we put together our recommendations for when different types of travelers should book different destinations and experiences. The first thing to keep in mind is that there are great safaris to be had all year round, but there […]

Read More

Four Extraordinary Lodges

For this edition of our “Personal Picks”, we’re thinking outside-the-box to share four breathtaking lodges in unique, lesser-known parks and reserves that offer an excellent overall guest experience.  Magashi  – Amalinda  – Mashatu –  Shipwreck These areas don’t make it on many bucket lists, but they offer a superb safari with an uncrowded, exclusive feel […]

Read More
A Great Mana Pools Baobab

A New Zimbabwe Safari Circuit

In the 1990s, Zimbabwe was booming. It was a sought-after destination, and Next Adventure was one of the few photographic safari experts to specialize in travel to Zimbabwe. Over the past couple of decades, Zimbabwe tourism has struggled, but there is optimism in the air. Three of the most influential safari operators are opening new […]

Read More
Family Safari for Kids in Kruger

Family Safari Picks

A family vacation is all about sharing special moments, and we can’t think of many moments more special than being out in the wilderness with an expert guide up close to Africa’s great wildlife. Of course, you’ll see elephants and lions, but you’ll also get to feel the heat coming from a termite chimney or learn […]

Read More

Accommodations in Botswana

The most exceptional thing about Botswana is its luxurious and exclusive accommodations. There is a variety of permanent tented camps & safari lodges spread through the Okavango Delta in the Moremi Game Reserve and adjacent private concession areas.

Duba Plains Camp Okavango Delta

Little Vumbura Okavango Delta

Mombo Camp Okavango Delta

Selinda Camp Linyanti

Selinda Explorers Camp Selinda Reserve

The camps and lodges are small exclusive properties catering to only 8 to 22 guests. Many of these are located on private concession areas. All have luxurious tented accommodation and include ensuite bathroom facilities. A bar and dining area are located around a central lounge. Most camps these days have a plunge or swimming pool and all are very attractive and comfortable if not luxurious. They are quoted on an ‘all-inclusive basis’, which includes accommodations, meals, professional wildlife guides and all wildlife activities by open safari vehicle, walks, watercraft or night game drives. Rates include park fees, taxes, most drinks and laundry. For small groups or families, we often can reserve the entire camp on an exclusive basis. Next Adventure quotes a package which includes all charter flights and related services required for your journey. Rates range from a low season of $500 per person per night ‘all-inclusive’ to well over $1,000 ‘all-inclusive’ plus charter and connecting transportation.

Scheduled Departures

Selinda Canoe Trail

Botswana Safari Map

Botswana is home to some of the most luxurious and unique safari destinations in all of Africa. Next Adventure is proud to partner with Wilderness Safaris, Great Plains Conservation, Uncharted Africa, Desert & Delta Camps, Ker & Downey Botswana, Kwando Safaris, Sanctuary Retreats, African Bush Camps, Mashatu and many other independent camps and lodges in Botswana. We have a long working relationship all of these providers, have visited most camps personally and have celebrated over 30 years of operations in Botswana!

To enjoy the spoils of Botswana, one pays on an “all inclusive basis,” eliminating the hassle of paying more for premium services. Nightly rates range from a modest low season of $500 per person to over $1000 pp in high season. These fully inclusive privates cover accommodations, meals, professional wildlife guides and all wildlife activities by open safari vehicle, walks, boating or mokoro rides and night game drives (except for camps in the game reserves) and important incidentals such as park fees, light aircraft transfers between camps, taxes, most drinks and laundry. In the company of friendly, informed guides, you will receive detailed descriptions of the country and its people.

Next Adventure quotes a safari package, which includes all light aircraft transfers and related services required. For small groups or families, we can reserve the entire camp on an exclusive basis. At a minimum, one needs at least five nights to visit two areas in the Okavango Delta & Moremi Game Reserve. To include Chobe or Savuti /Linyanti, the typical safari is usually 7-10 days for a good visit and might involve three or four camps. Other areas of Botswana, such as the Kalahari Desert and Makgadikgadi Salt Pans, can also be combined with the Chobe, Okavango and Moremi areas.The gateways for Botswana safaris are Maun (from Johannesburg) or Kasane (from Victoria Falls). Often, our itineraries begin in one gateway and depart through the other. We arrange all charter flights between the camps and overland transportation where needed.

Louise and Kili McGowan have visited almost all the camps and lodges in Botswana and can expertly arrange your visit to these areas on a tailor-made basis. We also specialize in combining your safari in Botswana with the Kalahari Desert or other destinations in Southern Africa.

Cost: We quote an all-inclusive package with meals, activities and accommodations as well as inter-camp flights. Low season rates are in effect December to March; shoulder season is from April to June plus November. High season begins June 15 and runs through October. A typical 8 day safari in low season visiting three camps is about $5,000 per person; $7,000 shoulder season and $10,000 high season (rates are per person).

Kalahari Bushman Walk

KALAHARI DESERT

This ‘desert’ is actually covered with vegetation including stunted thorn and scrub bush, trees and grasslands. The largely unchanging flat terrain is occasionally interrupted by gently descending valleys, sand dunes and large numbers of pans. The pans fill with water during the rainy season, attracting a horde of wild game and they drain in the dry season, creating a visible transition in the flora and fauna in an area that few would want to miss.

Selinda Canoe trail

OKAVANGO DELTA

In the North-west, the Okavango River flows in from the highlands of Angola and soaks into the sands, forming the 15,000 sq. km network of water channels, lagoons, swamps and islands. The Okavango is the largest inland delta system in the world a bit smaller than Israel or half of Switzerland, forming a labyrinth of channels, lagoons and river lets. The treasure that is the Okavango Delta will be best appreciated by at least three nights stay in a luxurious camp.

MOREMI GAME RESERVE

The lush grasslands are a home to a teeming variety of antelope and other animals including Warthog, Mongoose, Spotted genets, Monkeys, Bushbabies and Tree Squirrels. Seen from the comfort of open tour vehicles or lounge areas in lodges, the Botswana experience is unparalleled for its ability to provide an intimate encounter with nature. A minimum of three nights in this diverse park will enable you to explore its different pockets such as Xakanaxa, Chief’s Island and Eastern Moremi.

SAVUTI AREA

An area with distinctive character, Savuti is characterized by the Mababe depression marked by the Magwikwe Sand ridge, the geologically unusual Savuti channel that acts as a magnet to all sorts of game and rare vegetation that’s a testament to Savuti channel’s dynamic. Spend three nights in this paradise for a breathtaking experience.

CUSTOM SAFARIS

Botswana – 11-day Luxury Safari & Tour – Livingstone/Vic Falls, Okavango Delta, Kalahari

Okavango Magic: Botswana & Victoria Falls

Okavango SunsetKili’s favorite country is Botswana: the lush paradise of the Okavango Delta contrasts exquisitely with the stark silence of the Kalahari Desert and yet both are full of wildlife and birdlife. Botswana’s low-volume/high-revenue tourism policy and stable democracy have made it a shining star for sustainable tourism while ensuring that visitors have a exclusive wilderness experience.

For full details, please view our Botswana Okavango Magic PDF itinerary here.

Learn more about Botswana safari options.

Guided Camping Safaris

One of our favorite trips in Botswana is this simple camping safari with Wilderness Dawning – especially great for families and private groups!Highlights of Botswana: 10 day camping safari

‘HIGHLIGHTS OF BOTSWANA’ is a 10-day camping safari that takes in all that the Okavango Delta, Moremi Game Reserve and Chobe National Park offers. From the outset, with a fantastic flight into our remote camp in Moremi, to the remarkable game viewing that the enigmatic Savuti Channel offers, with the last few days spent alongside two of Africa’s most beautiful rivers, to the safari’s end viewing the magnificent Victoria Falls . The 8 nights spent out this unique wilderness will leave indelible memories of spectacular wildlife and evenings spent around a campfire under billions of stars.

Safari includes 8 nights non-participation camping and 1 night in a safari lodge in Livingstone, transportation throughout is in a specially modified 4×4 vehicle with a professional guide and back-up crew who handle all the camp chores and cooking.

Botswana camping vehicleBotswana mobile camping tent

 

Botswana Safari Destinations

View Botswana in a larger map