Choosing Your Destination


Pick your country (or countries); ASC offers safaris in 10 of the world's best wildlife countries. East Africa includes Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda , and Rwanda - this region is the home of the Serengeti, the Maasai Mara, Ngorongoro Crater and the endangered gorillas. East Africa has wide open plains, Mt Kilimanjaro and a diverse range of safari styles from affordable overland group departures to the most remote and luxurious fly-in safari camps.


Southern Africa includes South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. This is a vast region of biodiversity from the red sand dunes of Namibia to the lush green waterways of Botswana's Okavango Delta. This is also the home of Victoria Falls, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, cosmopolitan Cape Town and the white sand beaches of the Indian Ocean in Mozambique. There is something for every budget here although the most remote and wild places are accessible only by light aircraft.


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South Africa


South Africa offers one of the best value, best food, fantastic wildlife, Indian Ocean for beach, easiest logistics, first/third world mix, Cape Town has a wonderful mix of culture, activities, amazing winelands, no “tribal” culture but lots of modern/contemporary culture and history. No “off” season, wildlife is great all year round, Cape Town is best September-May but you can have lovely weather anytime.


Key places:


  • Greater Kruger National Park – skip the park itself, stay in the private reserves adjacent to the park

  • Cape Town –winelands, penguins, Table Mountain, food and wine, hiking, shark diving and more

  • Johannesburg – skip it! Not exciting unless you are already very interested in the Apartheid history.

  • There are many more areas but these are the highlights for first time trip
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Botswana


Botswana offers a wild and diverse and remote, therefore more expensive safari, BUT there are some excellent and affordable mobile safaris if you travel with a small group, The San Bushmen culture is found in the Kalahari, the rainy season has great prices if you don’t mind heat and thunderstorms which happily result in brilliant green landscae and amazing migratory birds, more activities than other countries since the water in places is permanent and Botswana is a leader in conservation. The rainy season is November-April with May being a great time to visit and October gets extraordinarily hot.


Key places:


  • Chobe National Park – crazy busy in peak dry season , known for elephants, easy drive from Victoria Falls

  • Linyanti – west of Chobe, private and awesome for predators in particular

  • Okavango Delta – rich with amazing waterways and marsh land

  • Kalahari & Makgadikgadi – arid, desert, Bushmen, beautiful

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Zambia


The African Safari team has a special love for Zambia as our Director of Sales, Julia Nesbitt, managed a camp in this amazing country! Again, a remote and wild experience so the lodges are more expensive and the parks are so exclusive that they are only accessible by light aircraft. The rainy season is November-April with May being a great time to visit. October can be a good time to book as well, but be prepared for some extraordinarily hot weather.


Key places:


  • Victoria Falls – white water rafting, canoeing, hiking, birding, boat safaris, Devil’s Pool/Livingstone Island (seasonal), bungee jumping (did this, will never do again!), helicopters, micro-lights etc.

  • Lower Zambezi National Park – river, canoeing, game drives, walking, beautiful and great wildlife

  • South Luangwa National Park – great wildlife, excellent guiding, original place for walking/mobile safaris, worth paying the extra $$ to stay at a bushcamp deep in the park away from the busy gate area

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Namibia


Namibia is absolutely beautiful! The country is known mostly for it's scenery, including the Skeleton Coat and glowing dunes, and does have some wildlife and culture. We generally recommend Zambia for a second or third trip to Africa.


Key places:


  • Sossusvlei – huge red dunes that glow in the sunset, Dead Vlei

  • Damaraland – rock art, desert adapted rhinos and elephants, Himba people

  • Skeleton Coast – remote to the point of practically inaccessible save 2 super exclusive camps

  • Etosha National Park – best wildlife in the country but it’s limited in number of animals and species represented and it’s incredibly dry

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Mozambique


Mozambique's white sand beaches and warm, crystal l blue waters are amazing. The wildlife has been mostly poached out unfortunately, but the culture in the north is fantastic. The resorts, spa's and lodges all offer excellent diving/snorkeling. There are a few backpacker’s accommodations, but the island is mostly home to five star properties.


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Tanzania


Tanzania is home to the great Serengeti and the infamous Maasai. The wildlife parks and areas can be spectacular, but can also be incredibly overrun with people. We recommend booking your safari during shoulder seasons as to avoid the larger crowds. Because of the great amount of interest in the country, and because the parks run as a circuit, accommodations are generally not a great value in terms of what you pay for where you stay until you get into the higher lodges. The cultural experiences can be amazing. There are also some that are set up purely as money makers and do not benefit the communities. We put our trust in your drivers and guides to make sure that, should you wish to participate, you will be takento an actual local village where you can explore more about the Maasai or Samburu's day to day. The Great Migration is Tanzania's biggest attraction and peak seasons for that are mid-Jan-early March for the calving in the Southern Serengeti and mid-July-October for river crossings in the Northern Serengeti and Kenya’s Masai Mara. The long rainy season is March-May (best to avoid) and short rains are in November. There are no walking safaris allowed in the parks, so all of your game viewing will be done via game drive in safari vehicles


Key places in the North:


  • Serengeti – ½ home of the Great Migration, vast and can be serene or can be incredibly busy (30+ vehicles at a river crossing), great wildlife, wide array of accommodations

  • Ngorongoro Crater – World Heritage Site, can see the whole thing in a few hours

  • Lake Manyara National Park - very pretty, small, worth a visit

  • Tarangire National Park – excellent for elephants in dry season, avoid in off seasons due to tsetse flies

  • Zanzibar (3 islands) – historic Stone Town is super neat, beaches are beautiful but tidal

Key places in the rest of Tanzania (super remote):


  • Selous – wild, gorgeous, great wildlife and river

  • Ruaha – stunningly beautiful, can be great for wildlife in the right season

  • Katavi – super remote and underdeveloped (not a good way, needs a better road network for game drives)

  • Mahale – paradise on earth, chimp trekking

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