Know you want to go to Africa, but have no idea where to start? Or are you hot to head out on safari, but have no idea who, what, where or when? African travel and planning a safari can be very overwhelming. Lucky for you, we've got many months of African travel under our belt, and even more importantly insider's knowledge from trusted locals to share.
We'll break things down and discuss various activities and area characteristics to help you find the right location for you. Let's start by considering a few things:
1. What do you want to see?
For a lot of people who decide to visit Africa their main interest is viewing the wildlife. No other continent offers the same opportunity to see such a diverse spectrum of wildlife in very close proximity. With over 1,100 different species of mammals and over 2,600 species of birds, it is impossible to see all of them in a single trip. Most people who safari in Africa hope to see the "Big 5" - Lion, Leopard, Elephant, Buffalo and Rhino. Many of the more well known reserves, like the Kruger National Park in South Africa, Serengeti National Park & Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania, Masai Mara in Kenya, the Okavango Delta & Chobe National Park in Botswana, are home to the Big 5. But just because the animals are there, you're not guaranteed to see them. Greater Kruger is well known for Leopard sightings, while Masa Marai is more well known for up close lion sightings. Though outside of the Big 5, cheetahs are another popular animal on the wish list. While they are abundant in Kruger National Park, it's uncommon to see them. However you have a much higher chance of seeing cheetahs in The Serengeti.
Africa is more than safari of course, so consider what else you may want to do while there. Do you want to go sightseeing? Would you like to spend time doing other activities like hiking, scuba diving or fishing? Do you want to discover the beautiful beaches in Africa as well? Taking your activity wishlist into consideration will help define the most appropriate destination.
2. How much independence do you want to have?
Traveling independently throughout Africa is not as easy as on other continents. If this is your 1st, 2nd or even 3rd visit, we recommend guided tours throughout your entire trip. Guides provide an extra layer of reassurance with directions and local customs, as well as additional safety helping you avoid areas of high crime.
Are you on your 4th or 5th visit at this point? Or are you traveling with a local? Then self-driving may be a good option for you. Or think about splitting up the trip with some self-driving between cities, and taking advantage of guided tours on safari or in more remote areas where you aren't as familiar.
3. Decide on your mode of transportation:
4x4 jeep safaris are the most common when seeing landscapes and viewing wildlife. If you are a little more adventurous, then perhaps a walking safari is for you. We recommend walking safaris in Masai Mara or Kruger National Park. Boat safaris in the Okavango Delta or Chobe National Park in Botswana are also popular ways to see local wildlife. Thinking of something even more adventurous? Hot air balloon rides are a fantastic way to tour and see the bush, and are common in the Serengeti.
4. How much time do you have?
Traveling to Africa in itself is time-consuming, so plan accordingly. When flying from the US, plan on 3 nights for travel. Most flights will leave in the PM and fly overnight. With the time change you usually arrive in the evening the next day, or in the morning 2 days later. If your travel only allows for 1 week, plan on visiting one location to maximize your time. If you have 10-14 days of travel available, you can afford to hop around to multiple cities or countries.
5. How much money do you want to spend?
We hear it all the time - most people consider Africa a bucket list trip, expecting to spend $10,000-15,000+ for two people. But don't let this deter you! While that is definitely true of luxury safari locations, you can also find great budget safari options that are much more affordable, safe and a wonderful experience.
Affordable safari options are common, but are not available in all countries. We recommend defining your budget first, and let that guide you as to what area offers the best safari bang for your buck.
Now it's time to get planning! At Travel Greene we work with local tour agencies in various locations in Africa to bring you a more authentic and affordable experience, allowing you to create all the memories you can fit into one trip. Consider your preferences and budget, and we'll guide you the rest of the way!
Contact Travel Greene for your African Trip Planning Today.
We love the diversity of the Caribbean Islands. No matter your interests or vacation speed, you can find an island that is perfect for you and/or your family. With so many destinations to choose from, we'll help you break things down, starting with a spotlight on some of our favorites: Antigua & Barbuda.
Exquisite beaches, world class sailing, first class hotels and a distinctly British vibe, the tropical twin island paradise of Antigua and Barbuda is the ultimate getaway for families and couples. Antigua is a charming, luxurious escape, pairing perfectly with the beautiful and untouched Barbuda.
In Antigua you can zip-line through the rainforest, enjoy one of its 365 flawless beaches or reach into the island’s rich colonial history at UNESCO world heritage site Nelson’s Dockyard. Looking for water-based adventure? Swim with the stingrays at Stingray City, or dive the local reefs and coves that are home to 200 shipwrecks.
Just a short ferry ride from Antigua lies Barbuda. Its 17 miles of pink sand beach are awash with wildlife and rare bids. It has one of the largest colonies of Frigate birds in the world! The two islands together are often called the sailing capital of the Caribbean, hosting Antigua Sailing Week and the Classic Yacht Regatta each April - a magnet for the international jet set.
Currency: The Eastern Caribbean dollar is fixed to the US dollar at US$1.00 = EC$2.70.
Most credit cards are accepted and traveler's checks are generally accepted.
Average temperatures High/Low: Summer 85/77 degrees.
Winter 82/75 degrees.
Average annual rainfall: 45 inches.
Languages Spoken: English
Electricity: Part of the island is 110 volts; the remainder is 220 volts on 60 cycles. Most hotels carry dual voltage.
Tipping: Typically 10%-15%, though a service charge of 10% is sometime automatically added to your bill in hotels and restaurants. Adding an additional tip is discretionary.
sightseeing and dining
There is so much to fill your days in Antigua and Barbuda. In Antigua chose from Betty’s Hope, a restored sugar plantation, a visit to the Antigua Black Pineapple fields, the famous Nelson’s Dockyard - the only remaining British Georgian fort in existence- and Shirley Heights, an ancient military lookout with the best views in all of Antigua!
If you’re near capital St. John’s don’t miss beautiful St. John’s Cathedral, or Wadadli Animal Nature Park (about a 15 minute drive from the capital). For adventure, jump into an exhilarating jeep safari tour through the rainforest - or zip-line through it instead! You can also take a helicopter to Indian National Park on the remote eastern part of the island, taking in the natural wonder of Devil’s Bridge. If you are looking for something different, try a hands on cooking class in a private home!
Barbuda might be small, but it still has some fascinating places to visit like the Frigate Bird Sanctuary and the colonial Martello Tower. Explore Castle Hill, Highland Hill and Bryant Cave. Snorkeling, scuba diving, turtle watching, bone fishing, horseback riding, hiking, cycling and herbal tours are some of the many other activities to do. If you’re staying in Antigua, visit Barbuda for the day by high speed catamaran.
Take a short trip to other neighboring islands, such as 'volcano' island Montserrat or Dominica, the island of rivers and waterfalls, where you can Eco-Kayak and swim with the dolphins.
Traveling with kids? Consider Springhill Riding Club, or check out an event or cricket match at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium. Water skiing and sailing offer great chances to get out on the surrounding water, or you can seek out an adventure with ecotours nearby.
In a destination known for turquoise seas and azure skies, local communities work hard to maintain their natural environment within a tourism-driven economy. The southwest coastline, now known as The Green Corridor, is full of rolling hills and lush green rainforest, and is surrounded by environmentally aware hotels, restaurants and activities. Visitors are being encouraged to journey to Antigua and Barbuda to experience the Green Corridor.
No establishments on the island have used plastic bags since January 2019. Antigua has also banned the use of Styrofoam, becoming the first country in the Caribbean to ban both plastics and polystyrene.
The island has an approved list of materials to ensure local products are made with sustainably sourced and biodegradable contents. These include:
There are small and large hotels, all-inclusive and family-friendly resorts, boutique hotels as well as condos. Beachfront, waterfront, ocean view, city and garden views. There is also a huge assortment of houses, villas, apartments and cottages for rent. Take your pick and we can help you find the type of property you desire.
To start, here is a list of some of our favorite all-inclusive resorts: