Travelling across the great plains of Africa on safari doesn’t have to be a young person’s game. Even if you are in your late seventies, at African Safari Consultants, we can tailor a trip for you and your partner or small group of friends to sit you. (note that we don’t run scheduled group tours. We tailor make on request) From the very beginning of your trip, we will deliver as much assistance as needed. Like meet-and-greets at Cape Town or Johannesburg International Airport to help you get through immigration and customs services and to personally guide you to your connecting flight to your safari lodge. As well as keeping your family back home informed on a regular basis as to your whereabouts and well being.
While some may think that an African safari is far too adventurous for the older generation, we simply have to disagree. Being in the African bush is an ideal place for rest, relaxation and contemplation. The only physical effort that is required is to enjoy being surrounded by incredible scenery, listening to birdsong, looking out for passing animals while reading a book or sipping on a refreshing drink. And when you go on a game drive, just sit back and let the expert guides escort you around the reserve in comfortable open top safari vehicles tracking the Big Five, identifying the birds and in most cases, getting you right up close to the animals.
When we have requests for senior safaris, we like to design trips to meet our guest’s specifications and individual requirements. For example if you have difficulty walking or have an aversion for long road trips, need frequent comfort stops or have dietary restrictions, we’ll accommodate your needs.
It is recommended that you spend at least three nights in one place to avoid the stress of unpacking and re-packing as well as have the time to appreciate where you are. We also recommend that you consider flying between destinations as the distances in Africa are vast, and the many dirt roads are often very bumpy. We strive to match you with lodgings that have easy access and fewer stairs, and we’ll always book the rooms that are closer to the lodge’s public area. Read on to find out more about our recommended African safaris for seniors…
Cape Town is the ideal place for any traveller and the perfect destination for the senior traveller. Not only is it home to some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery, but the hotels in Cape Town count as some of the world’s best. This city also moves at a slower pace, and with one of our carefully chosen private tour guides, you will find the city fascinating and very accessible.
One of the highlights for many are the harbour and Table Bay cruises that depart from the V&A Waterfront Cape Town daily, as well as Robben Island tours to visit the famous prison cell that Nelson Mandela occupied. Kirstenbosch Gardens showcases some of the continent’s most impressive fauna which is easily accessible with broad pathways (and wheelchair access) and even boasts a nifty electric golf cart for those who want to get off their feet. If it’s cooking you’re interested in, head straight for the Bo Kaap for a unique Cape Malay cooking course .The best part of this, of course, is eating your treats afterwards! The Cape Town events calendar is filled with exciting exhibitons, festivals and events and this city is steeped in history, evident in its many landmarks and monuments. The Cape Town Castle is but one of these icons and, like most well-visited areas in the city, offers several guided tours. For accommodation in Cape Town we suggest staying at The Mount Nelson – steeped in history, The Nellie is one of the most iconic and elegant hotels in town with beautifully landscaped gardens and its famous High Tea.
The Winelands are arguably one of South Africa’s most prized and beautiful areas. The historic town of Franschhoek, where several fun-filled events take place throughout the year, is a firm favourite with visitors young and old. Known for its array of top-notch restaurants boasting delectable cuisines, this town certainly won’t leave you hungry. Or thirsty for that matter! There is nothing like savouring a glass of red wine while sitting next to the vineyard it came from. Be sure to be in town for the Franschhoek Literary Festival in May, when the area becomes abuzz with famous authors and journalists. There are numerous incredible Franschhoek accommodation options to choose from, all within easy walking distance from the friendly town centre where celebrated restaurants sit cheek by jowl alongside art galleries and boutiques.
Kruger National Park
If seeing the Big Five is what you have always longed to experience, then the Kruger National Park is where you need to go. Only a short flight (or 5 hour drive) away from Johannesburg, the Kruger National Park is home to several private game reserves and even more luxury lodges. Kruger National Park accommodation such as the Sabi Sabi Private Game Reserve lodges have specially designed platform ramps for easy access onto the safari vehicles. Wilderness Safaris,known for their dedication to seamless logistical handling of their guests, also offer some incredible camps throughout Southern Africa. Just follow the Kruger National Park map, and you are sure to encounter some of Africa’s most iconic animals. There is little need for exertion on these drives – all you’ll need to do is sit tight, enjoy the scenery, and take lots of photographs to show your grandchildren.
One of the most breathtaking scenes in Southern Africa has to be Victoria Falls. The mammoth waterfall billows over the edge of the African crust, leaving behind only its spray. Little wonder then that it’s earned the nickname ‘The Smoke That Thunders’. Even though Vic Falls is known as the adventure capital of Africa with all manner of wild white water action and bungee jumping activities on offer, there are plenty of ‘soft’ adventure options for the less adventurous! From river cruises down the Zambezi River to relaxed elephant back rides to helicopter flights over the Falls. Accommodation around the Falls is plentiful, and we suggest either staying at the historic Victoria Falls Hotel or at the Royal Livingstone Hotel, both hotels have front row seats of the Falls. The Royal Livingstone offers a convenient golf cart service between the public areas and your room.
Gorilla trekking is on everyone’s bucket list, and although you technically need to be fit to walk up into the rain forest, getting face to face with the gorilla’s has become more accessible for less able guests. Gorilla Forest Camp has specially customised sedan chairs with support and harness which allows guests to be carried into the rainforest to track the gorillas in their natural habitat. Consistently rated as one of the best gorilla trekking lodges in Uganda, Sanctuary’s Gorilla Forest Camp is tucked away in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.
If going on safari has been a lifelong dream of yours, but you think that the chance may have passed you by and that going on safari is a younger person’s game, think again. Surprise the grandchildren and pick one of the above or take an extended trip (you have earned it!) and sample all of them. Either way we promise you will have the time of your life.
Note: We don’t run scheduled group tours. All trips are tailor made on request.