A couple of weeks ago, we shared a post about how to plan a first-time safari. Today, we’re sharing some ALTERNATIVE safari ideas for travelers who have perhaps been to Africa many times and are looking for something a bit different from your typical safari experience.

Of course it’s ALWAYS thrilling to see lions or elephants or other wildlife up close, but after a few trips, you may be craving something different … and to help, we’ve got 10 ideas for unique safaris for experienced safari travelers!


At Grootbos Private Nature Reserve in South Africa, the flora is as much a highlight as the fauna. Home to the unique fynbos floral kingdom, Grootbos is home to 800 recorded plant species, including some that were first discovered in the reserve. Here, you can board a 4×4 safari vehicle and learn about how the fynbos has been used by native inhabitants for centuries, how a sunbird’s beak fits perfectly into a flower, and the importance of fire to the ecosystem.


For clients who want to get out of the safari vehicle and get more up-close-and-personal with the wildlife and plants that make Africa so special, Zambia is an ideal destination because it is one of the best places to experience a walking safari. This can be done two ways — a few hours of walking safari from your luxury lodge or a multi-day walk starting and ending at a lodge with mobile or more remote bush camps in between. No matter what, clients are accompanied at all times by experienced guides and scouts.


For clients who want to combine world-class safari with world-class golf, look no further than Rovos Rail’s Golf Safari itineraries. Scenic views, game drives, luxury train travel, and, of course, golf at some of South Africa’s top courses, combine to make the golf-lover’s dreams come true! And if train travel isn’t your speed, we can also build exclusive golf-focused itineraries in South Africa and Kenya.


In addition to being well-known for Big 5 safaris, botanical safaris, and golf, you can also head to South Africa for a marine safari. Whether you want to see the Marine Big 5 (fur seal, southern right whale, African penguin, great white shark, and bottlenose dolphins), snorkel with colorful tropical fish among the coral reef, or watch ancient sea turtles make their way through pristine waters, South Africa is a great place to start!

Read our previous blog post about our favorite ocean adventures for more details, including where to stay!


There are a number of places in Africa where you can head out on a quad bike for a full-day or half-day adventure. But for a truly immersive experience, try the 5-night/6-day Kubu Island Adventure from Natural Selection. Not only will you get to explore Botswana’s iconic Makgadikgadi Pans, the Lost Island of the Baobabs, and Kubu Island, you’ll get to spend your first and last nights at the luxurious Jack’s Camp.

During your quad bike safari you’ll encounter cheeky meerkats and unique desert wildlife, sleep under the stars surrounded by towering boulders and squat baobabs, and enjoy being off the grid with no phone, internet, or electricity.


This one is definitely a bit different and perhaps one of Africa’s best-kept secrets! Toward the end of October every year, millions of fruit bats begin to arrive in Zambia’s Kasanaka National Park in search of ripening fruits. Ultimately, about 10 million bats arrive, setting out each day at dusk in search of food and filling the skies with flapping wings, tumbling back into the trees at dawn, often snapping limbs with their numbers and weight. Accommodations are limited, but we recommend your clients stay at Wasa Lodge for fantastic views over the lake, excellent birding, and hippo sightings in addition to the bat migration.


Northern Kenya is a great spot for horse and camel safaris, and Lewa Wilderness Camp and Sasaab are two excellent options. At Lewa, they have stables that are home to over 30 horses and ponies, and experienced camel guides can help you master the swaying motion of the camel. At Sasaab, four resident camels can take you for a ride along the river to the perfect sundowner spot.

For the experienced rider, it’s also possible for us to arrange a multi-day (or even multi-week) horseback safari between a variety of established lodges and temporary camps in many countries throughout Africa.


Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch to call a wine experience a “safari,” but it’s definitely a unique way to experience South Africa! The Cape Winelands are home to 560 wineries and 4,400 primary producers, along with nearly 20 different popular wine routes that can introduce your clients to more wines and wineries than they can imagine! From the traditional stops like Stellenbosch and Franschhoek to Constantia, Darling, Walker Bay, and Durbanville, a wine safari will keep them busy!


Safaris depend on wildlife, so conservation is a big part of most safari experiences. However, if your clients want to get actively involved in conservation projects, there are plenty of options to go deeper and do more. For example, at Marataba Conservation Camps in South Africa, visitors can get actively involved in any number of projects, including elephant management, rhino conservation, setting camera traps, and ecology experiences. Or visit Namibia’s Desert Rhino Camp where guests can track rhinos alongside members of the Save the Rhino Trust team. And at Phinda Private Game Reserve in South Africa, visitors can participate in a pangolin conservation experience where they support research by the African Pangolin Working Group.


And if all of that just seems like a LOT, consider the “armchair safari” pioneered by Kanga Camp, in Zimbabwe. Just sit back and relax on the upper deck lounge under the shade of a mahogany tree or lounge near the splash pool and take in the uninterrupted views while letting the wildlife come to you! Kanga Camp’s location in a wildlife-rich concession in Mana Pools National Park nearly guarantees excellent wildlife sightings — without even leaving the camp!

I hope these ideas inspire you to think differently about safaris and spark ideas for how to make your clients’ repeat trips to Africa new and different each time!

If you are ready to plan your trip, please fill out our Trip Planning form below and someone from the Hills of Africa team will be in touch!

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