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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.