The term luxury safari has now taken on a new meaning, gone are the days of hundreds of porters carrying vast amounts of luggage, as rich clients walked and shot their way across the vast African plains, setting up tented camps equivalent to small villages. Many of the elements of those first grand and romantic safaris are still there, but it is the aim of the safari, which has changed. Hunting safaris, although they still have their place, often providing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of funding for conservation, are really a thing of the past. It is the amateur (and professional) photographer who is now pioneering through pristine and uncharted African bush determining what the term luxury safari really means.
Luxury safaris can still include some of the most lavish and exclusive camps and lodges – roll top copper baths to lounge in after a day in the bush, antique four poster beds in your mobile safari tent, massages whilst watching the elephants drink below you. Africa’s camps and lodges will always be some of the World’s most magical hotels but no longer can the term luxury safari be applied to simply a very comfortable lodge or camp. The world has changed and luxury is now synonymous with freedom. People want to experience something new, something life changing which others haven’t done.
A luxury safari now must include a location so remote, so untouched and so beautiful that no-where else compares. The location must be so impossibly far away that no normal human being would even try and get to it, or possibly even imagine it exists. The experience cannot simply involve bouncing around in a game drive vehicle, there must at least be walking safaris, and preferably boat safaris, riding safaris and night drives too. This has made the luxury safari one of the ultimate ‘before you die’ experiences, because the locations and excursions these camps and lodges are offering are indeed life changing and life affirming, as only time spent in Africa’s wilderness can be.
Although these properties are based in remote corners of Africa the luxury safari world has long been heavily involved in community and wildlife conservation, and in many areas it is these small and intimate camps which are providing funding for local schools, hospitals and employment for the local community, as well as privately funded anti poaching patrols. These remote areas are benefiting hugely even from the very small high end camps and lodges.
It is the combination of the move towards photographic safaris about twenty years ago, and the high standard of responsible tourism resulting in vast areas of pristine natural bush being preserved to a level that they are still teeming with wildlife, that means that Africa remains the magical, enchanting and addictive luxury destination it always has been.
To book your luxury safari, contact The Luxury Safari Company
The go-to girl for luxury hotels, Lisa Corcoran knows how to travel in style. Join Lisa on her quest, with a little help from her friends, to seek out those special places which stand apart from the rest.