On an Abercrombie & Kent safari in Botswana, after a rollicking early-morning game drive, rife with elephant sightings, I return to my luxurious cabin on the edge of the camp to shower and relax. Quite confident after a number of days in the wild, I walk alone down a tree-lined path, knowing that if it were night, safari protocol would mean I’d need to be accompanied by staff — likely someone armed and someone exuding extreme wildlife savvy. But, after lunch, with the sun pelting down on my khaki-clothed body, a glass of wine or two down the gullet, I fear nothing at all — until I reach my front porch. There, like a not-so-friendly welcome wagon, a troop of baboons (some 30 variously sized beasts) throng the porch, most baring their very sharp teeth. I step toward them, and they lunge back at me, not giving up their position. Terrified, I scramble back to the lodge and ask for help. She comes in the form of a chef, the tiniest person imaginable. In her hands she wields a weapon — a mighty wooden spoon. Feeling infinitely ridiculous, I walk with my diminutive guardian — the top of her head doesn’t even reach my shoulder — back to the cabin, where the baboons have grown an ape or two stronger. Anxiously I glance at my savior, who seems baffled by my fear. “There aren’t so many,” she says, walking toward them, whistling and waving her wooden spoon like a fairy’s wand. The baboons throw back their hairy heads and laugh mockingly (“the jokes on you,” they seem to say), before dashing away in all directions. 

Perhaps the most prodigious part of an African safari isn’t the animals you see. Rather it’s the razor’s edge the experience allows, the hugeness of being part of the circle of life. Under the safeguard of a matchless safari outfitter, in an inimitable safari lodge, you’ll navigate your way through a transformative journey. No wooden spoon required.

The following compendium includes some of our favorite safari adventures. 

Canoes and More

on safari with abercrombie & kent
Courtesy, Abercrombie & Kent

Founded by pioneering explorer Geoffrey Kent, Abercrombie & Kent safaris take guests deeply into local culture with “tailor made” twists, luxury lodges, and guides profoundly connected to their region. In Botswana, safari goers will stay in A & K’s own Sanctuary lodges and tented camps, ride boats, see Chobe National Park, and paddle canoes. They’ll also visit Zambia and gaze at Zimbabwe’s famous Victoria Falls. 


treehouse by and beyond
Courtesy, andBeyond

In South Africa’s mostly flat, scrubby savanna land, the terrain unfurls in hues of beige, accented by trees and etched with rivers. Gaze upon its wildlife with a birds-eye view from the four-story  andBeyond Ngala Treehouse. Meant as a sleepover adventure for guests chasing their edge, the remote 39-foot lodge has space just for two. It claims a rooftop terrace (ideal for sundowners) and stargazing bed, as well as an indoor suite and full bathroom. With a boma security fence and an attendant just a phone call away, couples can slumber safely in the wild —like solitary adventurers — before returning to nearby andBeyond Ngala Safari Lodge and andBeyond Ngala Tented Camp to continue their traditional safari experience. 

Underwater Room

manta resort, pemba island, tanzania
Courtesy, Manta Resort

With a penchant for tailor-making,unique safari itineraries, Stanley Safaris seeks out Africa’s most quixotic lodges and camps. Stay in a submerged suite at Manta Resort on Pemba Island. Part of Stanley’s Tanzania Safari, the five-night stay at Manta Resort delves deeply into marine-life viewing, marine conservation and the ecosystem. Guests can snorkel, dive, or just dangle their toes in the Indian Ocean. The underwater suite is anchored to the ocean floor among turquoise waters with above water decks. It moves with the tide to provide a rock-a-bye baby effect, lulling guests to blissful relaxation. It’s the perfect way to reset after a dusty land safari adventure.

Mobile Suites

Courtesy, Roving Bushtops

In the Serengeti, the animals never stay idle — so why should you? Join wandering beasts from giraffes to cheetah to wildebeest as they ramble the golden grassy horizons of the storied Serengeti at Roving Bushtops on Tanzania. Bushtops, a family-owned, four-generation safari outfitter, excels in bespoke safaris — including some in their own conservancy. During a Roving Bushtops outing, you’ll follow the herds, prides, and packs from the Central to the South Serengeti and stay in their innovative mobile units, luxuriously designed to evoke co-founder Andrew Stuart’s yachting background. As you “sail” through the grassland, you’ll not only see more wildlife, you’ll leave less of a footprint. 

On Foot

chyula hills, tsavo west national park
Courtesy @Whereisthis

Wake early in Kenya’s Chyulu Hills withinTsavo West National Park for a hike led by the able guides from your lavish lodge Finch Hattons, renowned for plunging guests into the heart of local culture and terrain. A game drive takes you to the trail head, where you’ll trek to a birdsong serenade, suffused among a cloud forest. You’ll arrive at the top as the sun illuminates a breathtaking vista, including majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Different from much of the volcanic landscape you’ve encountered in the region, this hike presents a lush rainforest world, rich with ferns, mosses and orchids. Back at the camp, indulge in a gastronomic feast or recuperate on the elevated yoga deck or by enjoying a massage in the intimate spa.

By Air

flyingi camp to camp on skysafari
Courtesy, SkySafari

Soar from camp to camp across East Africa on a sleek private plane with SkySafari. Complete with all the VIP bells and whistles, the exclusive safari whisks you through fast-track security, airstrip boarding, and direct flights in extreme comfort. Complemented by sister company Elewana Collection’s impressive lodges, each with its own personality and history, you’ll enjoy some of East Africa’s most tantalizing safari escapades, not to mention stellar guides. Choose from 5 momentous safaris, including a 13-day journey that combines Kenya and Tanzania’s top camps, including Loisaba Conservancy in Laikipia where you can ride camels as you lumber past giraffes and other animals.

Leopard Love

elephant sightings, time + tide chinzombo
Courtesy, Time + Tide

This one’s for design buffs — and those who love animals. In Zambia’s  Valley of the Leopards, uber opulent Time + Tide Chinzombo embraces its status as home to the first walking safari — among other delights. A design masterpiece created by South African virtuosos Lesley Cartens and Silvio Rech, the destination occupies prime bush real estate in a stunning curve of the Luangwa River. Facing hippo pools, encased by grassland, the camp drops jaws with coddling architectural and interior details — such as an egg-shaped bathtub. Expect once-in-a-lifetime lion and leopard sightings, elephants galore, and the joy of Zambezian river life. Walking safaris and night drives stand out as highlights. 

Cover photo, courtesy Time + Tide