Why Wilderness

People are baffled that we went to Africa. It cracks me up. "Why did you go to Africa?" "What made you want to go on safari?" "Whose idea was this?" "How did you figure out where to go?"

I'm going to set this post aside to answer some questions about how we (AKA my husband) planned the trip! If you are interested in going on safari, this post has a few helpful pointers about what to look for and what to expect.

My first tip for anyone interested in going to Africa: Start saving. Yesterday.

Going to Africa, if you're looking to go on a legitimate African safari vacation, is very, very expensive. I'm fortunate in that I married into a family that loves to travel, and is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to explore the world. We did a 10-day trip (including travel), and if you look to do the same, you should expect to set aside around $7,000 per person. Yes, seriously. I will caveat that number with this, however: if you love to travel and see the world, you can't not go to Africa. This trip will change your life. And it will be worth it. I cannot say enough what an incredibly beautiful, moving and touching country Zimbabwe is.

My mother-in-law has been very interested in going on safari for a few years, and we have been tossing around the idea without acting on it for a while. She sent my husband a travel deal for a safari vacation about a year ago, and once he did some digging around, he realized the "deal" wasn't quite the "deal" it made itself out to be. Doing all that digging did, though, expose him to several different companies that offer a variety of camps around southern Africa, and helped him narrow down our options that way.

During his search, he came across the company Wilderness Safaris, which operates a variety of camps across Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They are an award-winning company focused on ecological conservation and the protection of the ecosystems in which they operate. The camp that we stayed in, Little Makalolo, located in Hwange National Park, collects and filters its own water, provides its guests with steel water bottles, and does not purchase or import any plastic or disposable water bottles or dishes of any kind. The camp is also solar powered, and the guides emphasize the importance of not disrupting the wildlife in their natural habitat and remaining dedicated to the conservation of endangered species on their parks.

The lobby area of the Little Makalolo camp in Zimbabwe, courtesy of wilderness-safaris.com
This is one of the main reasons Seth chose to have us stay with a Wilderness Safaris camp. Beyond the level of luxury that Wilderness Safaris offers at their camps, their focus on leaving a small environmental footprint in their ecosystems was of paramount importance to us. I encourage anyone interested in traveling to Africa for a safari vacation to consider these sorts of issues when choosing where to visit.

Wilderness camps are also super-intimate. Little Makalolo has only six tents, with a maximum occupancy per room of two. So, the maximum number of guests on the camp at any time is 12. Each group is assigned one guide for the entirety of their stay. This creates a super-personalized experience for guests of Wilderness Safaris. Every morning, your guide comes to your cabin at sunrise with coffee, tea and cookies, and wakes you up for the day. They meet you for breakfast, and you are with them for each of your game drives that day. You get to know the names of each person that works at the lodge, and it is a very familial experience that you can only really get on this type of vacation.

Overall, this is a company we would definitely consider again should we ever go back to Africa, as it seems like they are really doing it all right! They offer a classic African safari experience, and focus on important issues such as ecological conservation and the preservation of ecosystems. We are big fans, and I highly recommend checking out their website and seeing what all they have to offer!

7 comments:

  1. It sounds like it was a fabulous trip and thanks for sharing your process on picking a safari!! It sounds like you had an amazing experience :)

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    1. It definitely was! The best week of our lives, and they're a great company with great people!

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  2. I did a safari trip in Tanzania a couple of years ago. Luckily I had some friends that worked at the safari company so I was able to cut some costs, but it was still EXPENSIVE! It was so so so worth it though, I would do it again in a heartbeat. You can always make more money!

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    1. Yeah totally. It was very, very pricey! But I agree, worth it. It was a life changing week!

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  3. Luckily I had some friends that worked at the safari company so I was able to cut some costs, but it was still EXPENSIVE!
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