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Discover the many types of safaris in South Africa,
find the one that meets your wants and needs

The range and variety of safaris in South Africa that you can choose from has never been larger or more attractive. Choosing one of the multitude of wildlife safaris on offer in South Africa is a daunting task.

The countless options covering a large variety of wildlife experiences and many different levels of luxury, adventure, comfort and budget can be overwhelming if you are not sure what you are looking for.

Before we start getting into the nitty-gritty of checking and comparing the different types of safaris, it is important to keep in mind that they all can be divided into either permanent base safaris or mobile base safaris. In both cases the guided safari is recognized as the most common form of safari.

Permanent base means, that on these safaris you are based in a permanent location which can either be in a Lodge or in a permanent Tented camp, from which all your safari activities such as game drives and game walks will take place. This type of safari is usually all-inclusive, with all your needs such as accommodation, meals and activities fully catered for.

In the case of mobile base safaris, you travel from the one location to the next by road or by air, visiting different camps and lodges or even different game reserves, staying in a different one each night (or number of nights). Comfort and luxury on these safaris varies from basic to luxurious, depending on your wants and choices.

For the budget traveler and those who like to get as close to nature as possible, there is often a participation option, where safari participants take part in setting up camp and preparing meals etc.

Choosing the safari that is best for you, is largely in YOUR hands. Everything depends on what YOU want to see, what YOU want to do, the kind of experiences that YOU want, etc...etc. This may take a considerable amount of research, but that is part of the planning and preparation of your safari tour and a pleasurable foretaste of all the excitement and enjoyment that your once in a lifetime safari adventure is going to give you.

The first step to finding the safari that will match your interests, preferences and budget, is to do some soul searching by considering and evaluating your expectations, likes and dislikes and ask yourself questions such as:

  • Am I passionate about nature?
  • Do I want to indulge myself with a luxury safari vacation?
  • Do I have an adventurous nature?
  • Which special interests would I like to pursue.
  • Maybe you are all of the above.

The next step will be to orientate yourself about the different types of safaris that are available in South Africa, how long you want to go and what kind of budget you have available.

Use the menu below to learn more about the diversity of South African safaris.

African safari game drive vehicle encountering an elephant

National Park
safaris


Why South Africa's national parks are a paradise for the African wildlife enthusiasts, offering everything you want at affordable rates, a great alternative to private game reserves.
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Lioness standing upright against the back of a car looking through the window

Private game
reserve safaris


Indulging in 5 star luxury in the heart of the African wilderness, discover what makes private game reserve safaris are so unique and so much different from the others.
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People in a safari game drive vehicle watching a Lion cross the road

Special interest safaris

How special interest safaris allow you to combine your safari adventure with one or more of your special interests or hobby's, enhancing your experience.
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A self-drive safari having an encounter with two Giraffes

"D.I.Y." and guided
Self-Drive safaris


A highly flexible way of discovering South Africa, either "D.I.Y" or guided, allowing you to make your own plans and itineraries and change them at short notice and at will.
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People in a safari game drive vehicle watching a Leopard in a tree

Fly-In safaris

Enjoy the spectacular birds-eye views on a Fly-In safari, soaring over the African wilderness, watching the Savannah unfold at the horizon as you fly from camp to camp or lodge to lodge.
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Safari game drive vehicle face to face with two Rhino's

Mobile safaris

How the unequaled wildlife diversity in Africa is best experienced on mobile African safaris, moving camp expedition style from the one area to the next with a variety of habitats, often in different countries.
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African safari game drive vehicle encountering a male Lion

Walking safaris

Discover the thrills of a walking safari with expert game rangers, experience face to face encounters with rhino's, elephants, giraffes, zebras and a variety of predators and antelope species.
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Scene of a car on a dirt road in an African game reserve

Luxury safaris

The indulgence of a Five Star luxury safari in South Africa and the unique experience of meeting the Big Five in the epitome of luxury, is the ultimate in African wildlife experiences.
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Once you have established what kind of safari experience you are looking for, use the comparison guides below to compare and evaluate 40+ major wildlife parks and reserves, 500+ safari tour operators and 450+ safari tours in South Africa and find the one that will match your criteria as best as possible.


Picture Gallery

Africa's National Parks in general are a paradise for the wildlife enthusiasts, far more affordable and at the same time almost as good as private game reserves. As part of a wide range of attractions and activities they offer game drives mornings, afternoons and at night, the one in the picture below is in the Kruger National Park.
Kruger National Park game drive

Kruger National Park game drive Africa's National Parks in general are a paradise for the wildlife enthusiasts, far more affordable and at the same time almost as good as private game reserves. As part of a wide range of attractions and activities they offer game drives mornings, afternoons and at night, the one in the picture below is in the Kruger National Park.

A safari in a Private Game Reserve is in most cases a luxurious event, including for example enjoying sundowners during an afternoon game drive like here in Phinda private game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
Sundowners in the bush in Phinda private game reserve
copyright © Phinda Private Game Reserve

Sundowners in the bush in Phinda private game reserve
A safari in a Private Game Reserve is in most cases a luxurious event, including for example enjoying sundowners during an afternoon game drive like here in Phinda private game reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Meeting these giants of the African Savannah on foot is undoubtedly a breathtaking experience. The game rangers accompanying you on a walking safari or a game walk are highly trained and know exactly what to do to ensure your safety. Risks are minimal if you follow their instructions carefully.
Meeting a herd of Elephants on foot

Meeting a herd of Elephants on foot Meeting these giants of the African Savannah on foot is undoubtedly a breathtaking experience. The game rangers accompanying you on a walking safari or a game walk are highly trained and know exactly what to do to ensure your safety. Risks are minimal if you follow their instructions carefully.

Just imagine..., here you are on a Fly-In safari. You have just landed and the airplane has come to a stop at the end of the airstrip. A reception committee is waiting for you, but not the one you expected. An awesome encounter.
Pride of Lions as reception committee at an airstrip in the bushveld

Pride of Lions as reception committee at an airstrip in the bushveld Just imagine..., here you are on a Fly-In safari. You have just landed and the airplane has come to a stop at the end of the airstrip. A reception committee is waiting for you, but not the one you expected. An awesome encounter.

Getting onto a boat and putting out to sea is one thing but to subsequently worm yourself into a diving suit and lower yourself into a steel diving cage hanging from the side of the boat below the surface of the sea, is quite something different. It is called a Great White shark cage diving safari. Getting eye to eye up close with the Great Whites is a thrilling experience.
Watch the awesome Freat White shark from a cage just below the surface of the sea
copyright © South African Tourism

Watch the awesome Freat White shark from a cage just below the surface of the sea
Getting onto a boat and putting out to sea is one thing but to subsequently worm yourself into a diving suit and lower yourself into a steel diving cage hanging from the side of the boat below the surface of the sea, is quite something different. It is called a Great White shark cage diving safari. Getting eye to eye up close with the Great Whites is a thrilling experience.

Video Gallery

Video clip taken by Anthony Milotic of Positive World Travel. His words were: "I traveled to Kruger National Park in South Africa and I was so excited to be living out a childhood dream of mine. I couldn't believe that I was going on a safari in Africa and was going to be face to face with the Big 5".


If you want to indulge yourself in some luxurious pampering on your safari, then the Mala Mala Private Game Reserve might well be what you are looking for. It is the largest private Big Five game reserve in South Africa. Comprising 13,300 ha (33,000 acres), Mala Mala shares a 19 km (12 miles) unfenced border with the world-renowned Kruger National Park, and lies strategically sandwiched between the National Park and the Sabi Sand Reserve.


Spine-tingling and awe-inspiring, there is no better way to experience the African bush then on a walking safari. Watching Africa's wildlife from a vehicle may never be the same again. The following is a short video of Robin Pope safaris, a well known walking safari tour operator in Zambia. It shows a typical mobile walking safari where you move to a different location each day. A support team takes care of logistics and moving the camp.


If you want to visit as many safari hot spots as possible but don't have the time to do lot of traveling by car, than a Fly-in type of safari might be the answer for you. In the following video clip for example, you hop on board and join Coastal Aviation's safari bush to beach Fly-In safari from Dar to Ruaha, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, Serengeti and Zanzibar


Did you know that next to the South Africa's Animal Big Five (Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Rhino and Leopard) there is also the Marine Big Five and where the Lion is king over the animal kingdom, the Great White Shark is the undisputed king of the marine kingdom.
The following is a short video about getting into the water (inside a submersible cage) on a Great White shark safari, taken by Michael Harman
This is what he said: "As a part of our tour of South Africa, we couldn't help but jump in the water with the Great White Sharks. Scary? Not really. If I were a seal on Dyer Island, then I'd be a little worried".

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You are here: » South Africa safaris



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