South or East? Planning the perfect luxury African safari

Abercrombie & Kent weighs up the options of each region

A day on safari with Abercrombie & Kent through the diverse landscapes of Africa is full of surprises, regardless of how long you are here to explore, no two days are the same. But one assurance each day holds is the exhilarating experience of seeking out rare wildlife in its natural habitat. While clients begin to plan for their next safari adventure, daydreams are filled with venturing across the endless plains in search of the Mother Continent’s many iconic species.

Southern Africa or East Africa

As you decide which A&K safari journey best suits your clients’ travel interests, it helps to understand how the safari experience differs between East Africa and Southern Africa.

Southern Africa: Dynamic and Diverse

Southern Africa, an area encompassing Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa, offers dynamic topography. Variety abounds, from the lily-covered lagoons of Botswana’s Okavango Delta to incomparable Victoria Falls, which borders both Zambia and Zimbabwe, from the stark, stunning sand dunes of the Namib Desert to the bushveld of South Africa’s private reserves.

Southern African wildlife is similarly diverse, with the iconic big cats — lion, leopard and cheetah — always on the prowl. In Botswana, the lush Okavango Delta draws a profusion of species, including hippos, giraffes, crocodiles, rhinos and baboons, which A&K guests encounter in the uncrowded intimacy of private game reserves.

The nation of South Africa offers first-rate culinary and cultural opportunities, ranging from tastings at award-winning wineries in the beautiful Cape Winelands, to visits to historical sites and the majestic Table Mountain in the country’s cosmopolitan “Mother City,” Cape Town.

Sample A&K itineraries

African Waterways – Private journey, eight days, priced from $9,030 per person twin share
Desert Discovery – Private journey, 10 days, priced from $15,410 per person twin share

East Africa: A Classic appeal

East Africa (including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda) is the definition of classic safari country. Home to the vast Serengeti and Masai Mara, and the teeming Ngorongoro Crater, East Africa has formed the backdrop for legendary safari expeditions since the storied days of Ernest Hemingway and Karen Blixen, and it is also the birthplace of A&K.

In northern Tanzania, the seemingly endless horizon of East Africa yields to Mount Kilimanjaro — the tallest mountain in Africa, at 5,895 metres. Those who would conquer it can do so in style with A&K, enjoying the highest summit rate of any operator in Africa.

Wildlife viewing throughout Kenya and Tanzania is reliably spectacular. Africa’s iconic species — lion, leopard, elephant, rhino and Cape buffalo — are sighted here in vast numbers and on a regular basis, along with hundreds of other species, ranging from wildebeest and zebra to antelope and cheetah. Up-close encounters with endangered mountain gorilla communities and other rare primates are also available on treks through the mountain forests of Uganda and Rwanda.

East Africa’s wide-open grasslands also bear witness to the Great Migration, one of nature’s most incredible spectacles, when millions of wildebeest, zebra, antelope and other herd animals make their annual trek in search of water and fresh grazing land, stalked by predators every step of the way. The Great Migration vividly illustrates the timeless cycle of life and death in the wild.

Sample A&K itineraries

Great East African Migration – Private journey, 12 days, priced from $14,975 per person twin share
Gorillas of Rwanda – Private journey, five days, priced from $13,260 per person twin share

For more information on A&K see

This content was produced in partnership with Abercrombie & Kent. All images supplied.

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