Always wanted to go on an authentic luxury safari into the heart of wild Africa?
Here are 5 top bucket list safari destination choices to decide on whether you’re planning a private family heritage safari event or a big group corporate incentive to motivate and reward your top achievers.
Each extraordinary destination offers its own unique experiences, real-time wildlife action and achingly beautiful natural environments.
We asked Adventure Extraordinaire Peter Hayward of Hayward’s Grand Safari Company to walk us through each bespoke destination following the company’s most recent achievement of being awarded the title of Best Safari Experience in Africa 2019 by The Safari Awards for their authentic safari expeditions and events.
1. KRUGER LUXURY
Almost every traveler to South Africa has the world-famous Kruger National Park at the top of their tick list when stepping off the airplane at OR Tambo International Airport. Whether self-driving through the park or booking into one of its hotels, visitors will discover it is a popular – and busy – undertaking.
Hayward’s Safaris had the privilege of being the first private safari outfitters to be allowed to take private groups of between 40 and 200 adventurers into the Kruger National Park where a 5-star luxury tented camp had been prepared for them in the most select and untouched parts of this 19 485 km² park. Here, guests experience wide open skies and stretches of untouched natural reserve where adventure game drives and guided bush walks spent exploring the area guarantees private sightings of the Big 5 without another camera-happy person in sight.
“Here, in these private and pristine Kruger National Park areas, not only is it teeming with wildlife,” says Peter Hayward, “you won’t spot another visitor for an entire week, except camp crew there to serve and entertain you. The safari game guides are of the highest caliber and you have access to the largest and best wildlife hot spot on the planet together with your own private luxury safari lodge set up just for you in the middle of it all.”
Spotlight on: We focus on safari highlights such as walking safaris, sun-downers by the waterhole, themed cultural events, stargazing and conservation talks.
2. ISIMANGALISO WETLANDS PARK
A World Heritage Site and Big Six destination in the northern reaches of KwaZulu-Natal, this wetlands wonderland offers all the excitement of the Big 5 with an abundance of hippo and crocodile, together with the addition of a complete marine experience.
“From bush to sea to teeming freshwater lagoon, this region is tropical in temperature and abundant with wildlife of every kind. In the morning you can be diving the marine reserve and in the afternoon watching the flamingo framed against the sunset of its vast expanses from your cocktail cruise on the lagoon. This is nature in its most primitive form,” says Peter.
Spotlight on: As the country’s most important refuge for the continent’s rhino population, you will find both black and white rhino protected here in its most ideal habitat in the uMkhuze section – one of the oldest sanctuaries of the Park.
3. CRADLE OF MANKIND HERITAGE SAFARI
Rich in the culture of our human origins, the Cradle of Mankind is another World Heritage Sites which offers explorers fascinating discoveries of our past. Join scientists and archaeologists deep in research as they discover secrets from the past at Maropeng. Close by, the Big 5 Dinokeng game reserve offers wildlife experiences to match that of the Kruger National Park.
Spotlight on: Guests enjoy it all here, from culture to craft, history, wining and dining and gentlemen’s activities such as fly-fishing and clay Pigeon shooting.
4. KALAHARI DESERT ADVENTURE
In the deepest desert landscapes at the junction of three Transfrontier Parks between South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique where there is no other infrastructure in sight, you will immerse yourself in the magnificent beauty of the dunes by day and the spectacular nights skies at the campfire by night. A rare habitat of vast stillness and tranquility, each guest finds the greatest luxury of all… time. Time to oneself, time to connect, where time slows down and disappears.
Spotlight on: The Kalahari was the home of the first native hunter-gatherers. Cultural and dune safari activities focus on the cultural survival skills of the San people and their ancient history.
5. OKAVANGO DELTA
Fly into the Delta in Botswana by airplane and see veins of sparkling water laid out below you in this green belt of nature and watery estuaries at the northern most reaches of desert-dry Namibia. The sparkling jewel within a desert, this Delta offers water safaris in among its islands, channels and fertile, forested regions. Rich and fascinating, your safari ensures big game experiences up close and personal from the safety of your game vehicle or motorized boat.
Spotlight on: Enjoy Big Game viewing with a difference. Together with lion, cheetah, leopard and African wild dog and large herds of elephant and buffalo, you may also spot the red lechwe and shy sitatunga native to the region.
Discover more exciting safari destinations with Hayward Safaris when you visit www.haywardsafaris.com