Lions on safari in South Africa

Trending Now: Safari Holidays

The classic safari has been a mainstay on traveller’s bucket lists for generations. But lately there’s been uplift in demand. What’s caused the comeback? Exodus investigates…

Wildlife holidays are increasing in popularity, according to the Travel Insight Survey conducted by The Association of Independent Tour Operators (AITO). They’ve jumped up the rankings to fourth most popular holiday style this year, overtaking the beach break in terms of popularity. This seismic shift in the way we view our holidays is a trend we’re seeing across all holidays – the ever-increasing demand for meaningful experiences is steadily overshadowing the desire for a suntan.

“British holidaymakers appear to be getting much more active on holiday, as beach breaks move down from fourth position to fifth, being overtaken by wildlife holidays (fourth) and walking (third).” Says Kate Kenward, executive director of AITO. She attributes the love of the ever-popular city break as “indicative of the busier lives we lead.” 

But for the busy amongst us, whilst a city break may represent the accessible, snackable adventure, sometimes the true escape lies in the wilderness. Your classic east Africa safari can be accomplished in just a week – minimal jetlag and excellent flight connections make it easy to fit around tight schedules. Equally, the opportunity to turn off your phone and shrug politely as you explain there’s no Wi-Fi in the Masai Mara – that feeling is as sublime as the burnt orange African sunset.

"It’s impossible to forget your first safari. Whether you find yourself watching the theatre of the bush unfold at the watering holes of Etosha as zebras, springboks, rhinos or lions come down to drink, gazing the sun rise over the ochre sand dunes in Namibia, or witnessing the mighty wildebeest migration over the iconic Tanzanian Savannah, the best wildlife encounters anywhere on Earth can be found in Africa. And then there’s the Milky Way – for nowhere in the world is the sky quite like it is in Africa. Camping out and gazing at the billion lights is just incredible. " says Tom Harari, Senior Manager for Africa.

Top 3 Classic Safari Experiences

Face to Face with Mountain Gorillas

A precious hour spent with a family of silverback gorillas in Uganda’s misty mountains is repeatedly listed as the world’s number one wildlife encounter, and rightly so. Even the name is evocative: enter Bwindi Impenetrable Forest behind your local guide, and enter the gorilla’s realm.

Big Cats on the Hunt

Seeing the golden flash of a cheetah bolting lightning-fast across the plains is a sight that won’t leave you in a hurry. A prowling lioness, the anticipation of a watchful leopard scoping the best meal from their shaded perch in a tree – these high octane chases will leave you breathless.

African Elephants

These gentle, highly intelligent creatures often steal the limelight from the predators. Seeing an elephant family stoically strolling across the savannah is a surprisingly touching moment.

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