Going on safari quite literally means to undertake a great journey. When you’re planning a great expedition to Africa, it can be a daunting task piecing together all aspects of your trip. There are many things to think about, and everything from the best mode of transport to the finite details of what to pack into your suitcase can rush through your thoughts while you’re dreaming, scheming and planning your once-in-a-lifetime adventure. One of the most common questions we field when guiding our guests through the beginning stages of their stay is “How many nights should I spend on safari?”.

While there really is no hard and fast rule regarding how long your safari stay should be, we can certainly make some expert recommendations based on our long history crafting magical safari experiences. That said, personal preference, budget, and your overall itinerary come in to play hugely, and should guide you.

Before we start talking numbers, it’s important to note that the perfect stay is one where there’s enough time to enjoy the exhilaration of safari but also to sink into the slower pace of being on holiday and reconnecting with yourself through wilderness. This may happen over three days or could take up to ten for you to truly unwind. In our 91-year-old opinion, however, we think that a four night, five-day stay is pretty perfect. Here’s why…

Travelling halfway around the world
can be a bit exhausting

Arrival day is exciting and fast-paced as you catch your connecting flights, use new currency and experience the South African hospitality for the first time. As you touch down on our remote Londolozi airstrip, the feeling of the wilderness will envelop and enthrall you at the same time. Meeting the friendly Londolozi Family and checking into your room can rush past in a haze of smiles and welcome drinks. Then, as you head out on your first afternoon game drive and see some fairytale animals , sunset drinks will open into a starry sky and a candlelit dinner. Before you know it, your head will hit the fluffy white pillow and your opening, high-paced day on safari will fade seamlessly into dreamland.

Touch down in the middle of the African Bush

You’ll have time to get used to the dawn chorus
and early wake-up calls

Waking up before dawn and facing a full day on safari can take some getting used to – especially as most holidays are synonymous with a long lie-in and breakfast in bed. After a 5:00am knock on the door and a quick change into your safari gear, a freshly brewed cup of coffee and rusk (a type of biscuit and a South African specialty) will prepare you for the dawn chorus and the beauty of the bush as you watch the world wake up around you.. the most perfect way to start your day.

Sunrise over Londolozi… there’s no better way to start the day than with a dawn safari

A rusk (South African favourite) prepared in the Londolozi Bakery goes marvelously well with a cup of coffee to start the day

You’ll have enough time to balance the Big 5
and the small wonders

For most first-time visitors the Big Five (Lion, Rhino, Leopard, Elephant and Cape Buffalo) are high up on the list of things to see on safari. With our world-class guiding team and the rich history and trust that we have cultivated with the land and the animals over the past 91 years, we are lucky to have a large population of big five game to view on the reserve. As a result, Londolozi has become famous for its abundant leopard sightings and its exciting Lion dynamics. With a little more time on your hands, however, going on safari can be as much about taking in the small wonders of the bush – such as the diversity of trees, insects, and birds – as it is about tracking and finding the big five.

You’ll have time to form relationships and tell stories

Some of the most memorable feedback we have received from past guests has been of the friendships and bonds that they have made with the Londolozi Family of staff that have looked after them during their stay. When you’ve given yourself enough time to immerse yourself in ‘The Londolozi way’, you’ll find that the time spent enjoying a meal on a hot afternoon overlooking the Sand River whilst listening to staff share their stories of life in the bush will form some of the most lasting memories of your stay. The friendships you’ll make with your ranger and tracker team, as they show you around the wilderness of Londolozi will stay with you forever.

Take time to spend with family and friends over a relaxed lunch on the deck overlooking the Sand River

Let the Londolozi Family embrace you, and welcome you into the fold by way of storytelling and warm hospitality

Form lasting friendships with your Ranger and Tracker team… you’ll start as guests and leave as part of the family

You can spend time enjoying the myriad of
activities on offer at Londolozi

Let’s face it, needing a holiday when you get back from your holiday isn’t really the aim of the game. In the build-up to your trip, you had probably imagined the hours you would spend finishing the books you have wanted to read, poolside with a cocktail. When you’re presented with all of the fun, extra activities that Londolozi has to offer, we don’t want you to have to choose between an afternoon nap, a wander around the Londolozi Village, a tailor-made massage or a session in the Londolozi Photography Studio. During a four night stay, you can do all of this and more!

Take time out for you… to rest, relax, recharge and to take in all that nature has to offer

Enjoy a dip in your private plunge pool, or read a book or two while enjoying a safari cocktail

Join a walk around the Londolozi village and learn about our South African heritage and the influence that Nelson Mandela had during the time he spent here at Londolozi

Book some time in the Photography Studio and take your safari photos from good to great with one of our trained Lightroom professionals. Don’t forget to print out your favourite shots on canvas to take home as the ultimate safari memory!

You can allow us time to tailor make your experience

By the second and third night, you’re truly in tune with the rhythm of safari, and the subtle beat of the drum that pulsates through the wilderness schedule. Thrilling mornings are followed by un-rushed breakfasts on the deck overlooking the riverine bush of the Sand River. The days are your own to fill up as you will. Exciting afternoons are punctuated with relaxed dinners and a glass of great South African wine. Storytelling and flickering firelight end the day and allow you to start the next one fresh and ready for new adventures. You can surrender to the warm hospitality that Londolozi is famous for, assured that no matter what we might have up our sleeve, it will make for memories that will last a lifetime.

With a little extra time you can really sink into all of what Londolozi has to offer, and let our team tailor-make an incredible experience for you

Why not watch the sun go down while sipping on a glass of something hand-picked from our carefully curated, proudly South African wine list?

End a perfect day on safari with storytelling by firelight and the beat of an African drum

While we would love for all of our guests to stay as long as they possibly can, we believe that a four-night stay is the perfect length of time to adopt the pace of nature, relax, re-balance and get back in tune with yourself, your loved ones, and the world around you.


About the Author

Amanda Ritchie

Marketing & Photography Manager

Amanda joined the Londolozi team early in 2015 & immediately took the Londolozi Studio to an exciting new level. Her unflappable work ethic & perfectionism are exemplary, & under her guidance the Studio has become one of the busiest areas on Londolozi. The ...

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on How Many Nights Should I Spend On Safari?

Join the conversationJoin the conversation

Callum Evans

My defintition of a perfect bushveld experience: living there for four to five years!!!

Amanda Ritchie

I agree 😉

Marinda Drake

Love your blog today Amanda. It bring back so many memories. We feel so loved and welcome when we visit Londolozi. The game viewing is just out of this world. It realy is the ultimate safari.

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks, Marinda… we always want to make sure that you’re felt welcome and loved, just like family!

Ian Hall

As a veteran of around 20 safaris, I would say NEVER enough. It very much depends on your research, how much you can afford and what you would like to see. South Africa is rich with game reserves that will enable you to see the Big Five. However, it can be a lottery, some more up market reserves (or concessions) will put limits on vehicles. When I stopped at Londolozi I never felt we were stressing the animals or had a sense of overcrowding quite the reverse.
If you want more specialist viewing (such as Tembe and it’s big tuskers and black rhino) then reserves can be more hit and miss.
Londolozi had assumed almost mythical expectations in my mind and lived up to them, but let me recount a tale about a reserve not far from Londolozi- we will call it Alam Alam.
One Christmas I was there and a family (about three generations) they wanted to see lions and were only there for two nights. Well the ranger and tracker (and I was in the following Land Cruiser) tracked a large pride, a large pride that was on the move.
The ranger told the group that it was unsure that they would find them. Well he drove on and lo, he came up a Land Rover with a ranger wearing a different uniform.
The next day, the group were with a different ranger. My point is that if you don’t allow sufficient days , even at a game rich reserve animals can “disappear” for a few days and sightings are not guaranteed. Amanda says four nights, I would say five – but as in all things the more attempts (game drives) the more likely you are to succeed .

Amanda Ritchie

Thanks so much for the comment, Ian. I would love for all of our guests to stay indefinitely, but I agree with you on the increased chance of seeing all the things you have on your lists if you spend 4 or 5 days here on safari.

Denise Vouri

Amanda, you’re so correct in suggesting 4 nights/5days, although staying longer would be heavenly. Seems there’s always another leopard shot the day after you leave ……personally I’d love to stay for at least a year, working as a local teacher and taking pictures in my free time – dreams are free, aren’t they?😘

Amanda Ritchie

Dreams do come true, Denise! Thank you so much for the comment. 🙂

Carolyn Whitaker

We were there 3 days and would have loved to stay longer! Our jeep mates have returned there the past 7 years, increasing their stay each time. Their contact info got misplaced, tho we really wanted to stay in touch. Lasting relationships after sharing such incredible experiences are invaluable.

Amanda Ritchie

That definitely is the trend, Carolyn. Most first time guests are unsure of how long to book for on their first visit. As they pack their bags and head back up to the airstrip to depart, their parting words are always “We will be back… and for longer next time!” 🙂

Jeff Rodgers

Vivian and I look forward to our eighth visit to Londolozi in February – and yes it will be for 4 nights. Great blog.

Amanda Ritchie

We’re looking forwarding to having you and Vivian back again in just a few month’s time, Jeff!

Mj Bradley

I loved your Leopards of Londolozi video.. Makes a person dream of visiting Londolozi & the Sabi Sands! Thank You.. I think you are right about the 4-5 days stay.. We stayed 4 nights and it was fabulous..

Amanda Ritchie

Thank you for your comment, MJ. I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post!

Laura Bishop

For those trying to decide how many nights, we stayed 5 nights. We are a family of 4 with a 12 and 13 year old at the time. This was perfect for us. You never see it all, but we felt we saw enough to understand and appreciate ‘safari’.

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