Kenya's Maasai Mara National Reserve, Amboseli National Park and Tanzania's Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, as well as several other wonderful national parks and wildlife conservancies in East Africa, offer a spectacular wildlife-viewing experience, especially if a visit can be timed to witness the annual wildebeest migration. In addition, the tribal and cultural experience on offer in East Africa is unrivalled anywhere in the world.
Southern Africa and its private game reserves, on the other hand, are renowned for exclusivity and privacy which allow guests more intimate encounters with wildlife.
Most of the leading camps and lodges we use in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa are located in privately owned concessions reserved solely for a very small number of guests staying in the camps at that time. This provides total exclusivity, with camps and lodges ranging from three tents to a maximum of ten tents. Private game reserves are less prevalent in East Africa, although there are a excellent wildlife conservancies in Kenya which offer the same level of privacy and exclusivity.
The use of open safari vehicles for game drives in most of southern Africa allows guests to experience an authentic 'wilderness' feeling and brings one closer to nature. In East Africa, we work exclusively with camps and lodges which use 4WD safari vehicles – as opposed to minibuses – and several of our partners in East Africa have converted to open vehicles on par with those in southern Africa.
Walking safaris with experienced guides which were pioneered in southern Africa are now on offer in most of East Africa.
Night drives with spotlights is a wonderful way to see nocturnal animals such as leopard, genet, aardvark, civet and African wild cat. Night time is also when predators are most active. Due to national park rules, night drives are not common practice in East Africa except at the wildlife conservancies adjacent to major game reserves such as the Maasai Mara, the Serengeti, Amboseli, etc., where one can go on exciting game drives after sunset.
Game drives by boat and mokoro (dug-out canoe) afford a different avenue to see some of the rarer animals and big game drinking or crossing rivers. Water activities are also on offer in East Africa, in areas such as Lake Naivasha in Kenya and the Selous Game Reserve and the Mahale Mountains in Tanzania.
Historically, the overall quality of the guides in southern Africa used to be more consistent due to better training programmes but this has changed in recent years as East Africa has improved their standards. In East Africa we only work with safari camps and lodges where guiding standards are on par with those in southern Africa.