Celebratory Safari Experiences

Natural World Safaris

16 Jan 2019

Make Your Next Special Occasion Truly Special with These tantalising Trip ideas

Whether it's a birthday, wedding, honeymoon, anniversary or simply some quality time spent with the kids, special occasions are often what we look forward to most in a given year. Trips to Disneyland and the odd glass of champagne are all well and good, but for the more adventurous among us, a safari can be one of the most memorable ways to immortalise life's landmark moments. In this blog, we've put together a few examples of experiential trips that can set your next safari apart, no matter what you're planning...

a Proposal

Popping the question to your loved one is a life-changing experience, and such a special moment deserves a special setting. Whisk them away to the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest in Canada for a romantic break based at the stunning Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, composed of just nine cabins set out over the tranquil waters of Mackenzie Sound. Nestled at the foot of a mountainside carpeted in evergreens, this remote resort is inaccessible by land; after flying in by seaplane or helicopter, you’ll enjoy champagne and a romantic meal at the end of the dock, watching as the sun sets and (with any luck) migratory orca swim past in the twilight – the perfect place to propose under the stars!

Spend the rest of the trip searching for the elusive and mythical spirit bear, a rare subspecies of the black bear found only here in British Columbia. Much like white buffalo, the spirit bear has long held a place of spiritual significance in the traditions of numerous Native American tribes. As well as hiking, kayaking, tubing and paddle boarding, you’ll also be able to learn about the unique relationship between BC’s First Nations and the wildlife that calls this magical part of the world home, including grizzly bears, bald eagles, elk, moose and sockeye salmon. Upon returning from the day’s excursions, fall asleep alongside your sweetheart in your own private cabin as the owls hoot and the wolves howl in the distance.

a Wedding and Honeymoon

Make your special day truly special on this ultimate bush and beach getaway. Join eight discerning guests on a private Legacy 600 jet from London to Zambia, where the award-winning Chinzombo Camp brings style and sophistication to the banks of the Luangwa River. This wildly luxurious camp retains its bush authenticity with grass and canvas walls and spacious living areas that melt into the exquisitely tranquil riverside setting. South Luangwa National Park is renowned for its prodigious predator population, and you’ll be able to sight lions, leopards and more on game drives and safari walks before saying your vows beneath the shade of ancient trees.

From here, board your regional jet flight across the Mozambique Channel to Madagascar. After touching down, ensure no time is wasted by catching a helicopter transfer to the secluded island of Nosy Ankao, where you’ll spend the next five nights in ultimate luxury at the high-end hideaway of Miavana Celebrate your honeymoon in style amidst a treasure trove of turquoise bays, white-sand beaches and stunning national parks, with your spacious and well-appointed villa benefiting from butler service and exquisite culinary experiences. Make sure to indulge in this extraordinary natural setting and appreciate all that this esteemed beachfront resort has to offer, including scuba diving and lemur treks – perfect activities for the newlyweds.

a Babymoon

If you’re lucky enough to have a baby bump and haven’t been on safari yet, make sure to plan one quickly as it may be a few years before you can head into the wild again! (Children under the age of 6 are not allowed on most game drives.) South Africa offers a fantastic combination of cultural and wildlife activities in safe settings, such as the malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve At 75,000 hectares, Madikwe is South Africa’s fifth-largest game reserve and boasts an abundance of wildlife, including sable, kudu, painted dogs and the Big Five. Explore the grasslands, woodlands and rugged hills before retiring to Makanyane Lodge to indulge in sumptuous spa treatments.

Madikwe combines well with cosmopolitan Cape Town, where you’ll enjoy the buzz of evenings out and glorious days full of freedom to discover what makes this famous city tick. Highlights include the delectable and often Michelin-starred cuisine found at the Mother City’s numerous culinary hotspots; the colourful Bo-Kaap, a lively cobble-stoned suburb filled with beautiful mosques and brightly coloured 17th-century houses; Table Mountain, which looms large above the urban sprawl and provides breathtaking views of the ocean beyond; and Robben Island, the site where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years as a political prisoner. All this and more make for a truly memorable getaway before embarking on your journey to parenthood.

A Safari for All Ages

There are few better places for a family safari than the spectacular Matobo Hills, where the eco-friendly Khayelitshe House presents guests with the opportunity for a slow safari stay with a difference. Khayelitshe is the private house of Beks Ndlovu, owner of African Bush Camps, and his expert eye has ensured this off-the-grid hideaway blends perfectly with the ancient landscape. You’ll have exclusive use of this 4-bedroom house during your stay, as well as the 1,200 acres of private wilderness that surround it. Indulge in barefoot luxury and experience the landscape of Zimbabwe at a pace that suits you and your loved ones.

Just beyond the tranquil confines of Khayelitshe’s walls, Matobo Hills National Park invites travellers to discover what makes this UNESCO World Heritage Site so special. Both black and white rhino live here, while Verreaux’s eagles soar on updrafts and ancient San Bushmen paintings can be found in remote caves. An extension to Hwange National Park allows for many more wildlife sightings – including one of Africa’s largest surviving populations of painted dog – while the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls is an unparalleled sensory feast for those of all ages. This adventure is ideal for those looking to eschew the tired and timeworn notion of family holidays, and get closer to nature as a result.

A Final Family Trip Before the Kids Fly the Nest

Families with older children may opt instead for this private, active and fully guided safari experience in South Africa, which begins with Big Five game-viewing in Kwandwe Private Game Reserve Renowned for exceptional wildlife experiences, Kwandwe is nestled in the heart of South Africa’s unspoilt Eastern Cape province and contains just five lodges spread over 22,000 hectares of malaria-free wilderness, affording it one of the highest land-to-guest ratios in the country. Kwandwe is perfect for adventurous parents and siblings alike, with game drives, bush walks, birding trips and historic tours providing guests with a range of possible activities.

Following your family safari, head west to the Franschhoek Valley and the exquisite La Clé des Montagnes, comprised of four exclusive, spacious and impeccably appointed villas that sleep 6-8 guests each. If you can tear yourself away from your private butler service and the charming town of Franschhoek, you’ll be able to fly into Cape Town with ease any day of the week, enjoying a complimentary day of specialist guiding through the city as well as outdoor adventures in the Cape Winelands Treat the children one last time before they head off into the big wide world; until they come back, that is!

A Landmark Birthday

Turn your next milestone into a grand affair with a once-in-a-lifetime stay on Thanda Island, voted the World’s Leading Exclusive Private Island in the 2016 World Traveller Awards. This idyllic spot off the coast of Tanzania is every inch a tropical paradise, a playground for the most discerning of travellers to throw caution to the wind and indulge in the finer things. Thanda Island, at just 8 hectares in size, features a sole private villa that comprises five suites and two rustic Tanzanian bandas. With the mainland lying 30 km away, this is a sanctuary that your friends and family can enjoy in total seclusion.

During your stay, you’ll have complete control over how you celebrate your birthday. Depending on the season, guests can swim with whale sharks and participate in the conservation of other endangered marine species, including dugongs, dolphins and sea turtles. The surrounding coral reefs provide spectacular diving and snorkelling opportunities, while sailing boats can be chartered for those who wish to venture further out to sea. A fitness room, swimming pool, helicopter pad, floodlit tennis court and delectable cuisine prepared fresh by Executive Chef Melissa McDonald ensure everyone’s stay will be the most luxurious it can possibly be.

Want to celebrate with a safari?

If you've been inspired by any of the trips featured in this blog or would like to create your own bespoke itinerary to mark a special occasion, speak to one of our Destination Specialists to start planning your journey.

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