Guide to the Ultimate African Bush Getaway

Most South Africans have spent some time in the bush growing up, whether that was a camping holiday when they were kids, or a self-catering adventure with a group of friends.  

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Bush getaways in South Africa are plentiful, with popular destinations including the Kruger National Park, Addo and other Eastern Cape Reserves, as well as private reserves dotted around KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo 

If you’re looking to experience the ultimate African bush getaway that’s not just limited to South Africa, this one’s for you! We’ve pulled together our top safari destinations and best bush getaways locally, but also in Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and more.  

Where do most people go for an African safari? 

South Africans tend to visit local destinations across the country, like Kruger, KZN and Limpopo, but also favour visiting bush destinations in Namibia and Botswana, as well as East Africa.  

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What country offers the best safari? 

This depends on the experience you are after. For the ultimate self-drive experience, Kruger and Addo offer good roads, ease of access through the main gates and have a variety of accommodation options, restaurants and even shops within their boundaries. 

To experience a wild and authentic safari in the heart of Southern Africa, we recommend the Okavango Delta in Botswana; safaris here tend to include mokoro excursions, boating safaris as well as game drives. Namibia’s Etosha National Park is a unique experience, mostly due to the vast Etosha Pan that is found in the heart of the park, and it’s well known for its excellent elephant, cheetah and black rhino sightings. 

For those looking for that classic safari, East Africa is your best bet. Wide open savannah landscapes, large herds of plains game, plus excellent predator action can be expected in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and neighbouring Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. 

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Which is better, Southern or East Africa? 

Southern Africa’s landscapes tend to be quite diverse: thornveld, acacia plains, savannah, woodlands and rivers, while East Africa is vast and expansive, but can also be quite hilly.  

The wildlife does differ slightly. The Big 5 is viewable in both regions, Southern Africa tends to offer excellent Big 5 sightings, while you’ll find large herds of elephants, buffalo, zebra and antelope in East Africa, as well as the annual Wildebeest Migration.  

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What is the cheapest African country to go on safari? 

For South Africans, you can enjoy excellent value right here at home. Thompsons has several excellently priced bush getaway packages which give you bed & breakfast accommodation, and options for either self-driving safaris or guided game drives as extras. Namibia is also usually affordable for South Africans, and the country has good roads and infrastructure. 

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What are the best bush getaway packages? 

We can highly recommend these bush getaways for that ultimate African safari experience: 

  • 2-night Komati River Chalets Package – this excellently priced package takes you to Komati River Chalets, just 12km from the Kruger Park’s Crocodile Bridge gate. It includes accommodation in a self-catering 6-sleeper Family Cottage (based on 6 people sharing). Very family-friendly with various activities and facilities available.  
  • 2-night Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge Family Package – this Pilanesberg National Park package takes you into the heart of the reserve, and includes a stay in the Standard Family Room, breakfast and dinner daily plus 1 game drive daily. BONUS: 2 kids under 12 years stay and eat free when sharing with 2 adults. 
  • 4-night Mabula Game Lodge Package – this Waterberg package offers a luxurious malaria-free safari in a Big 5 setting. It includes a stay in a Superior Room, with breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, as well as 2 game drives daily. BONUS: 1 child under 6 stays and eats for free when sharing with 2 adults. Top up your stay with a hot air balloon safari! 
  • 3-night Chobe Safari Lodge package – for an exceptional time in Botswana’s Chobe National Park, this package includes return flights, airport transfers, a stay in a River Luxury Room with breakfast and dinner daily. Includes game viewing activities, a boat cruise per stay and a Victoria Falls day trip! 
  • 5-night Northern Safari Circuit in Tanzania – this is the ultimate Tanzania safari, including return flights, airport transfers, a private 4x4 safari cruiser transportation, as well as 5 nights' accommodation with breakfast, lunch and dinner included. Spend time in Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.  
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Book your trip today 

If you’re looking to experience more of Africa this year, then consider a bush getaway to one of our top recommended safari destinations. Chat to our experienced Africa experts now to start planning your ultimate African bush trip! 

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