Nairobi, Kenya, is the beginning of an experience that will shine like a beacon in the mind of a traveler; a once-in-a-lifetime African safari trip. However, once in Africa, you have opted to travel to your final destination by road instead of using a private jet for hire or light propeller aircraft. A wise decision? Let’s see.
Leaving the bustle of the city behind you, your vehicle travels northwest past the Kikuyu coffee plantations and on towards the flamingo-fringed lakes of Naivasha, Elmenteita, and Nakuru. After Naivasha, you stop to take your first view into the ravine of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. You are greeted by the traders selling Maasai jewelry, sheepskins, and trinkets to remind you of your visit – but there will be time enough for that later.
You make your way down, past the busy trading town of Maji Moto, and into the seemingly endless baked ochre earth of the Rift Valley floor. Raising dust behind you, you aim your vehicle toward Narok and the gateway to the famed Maasai Mara – the iconic pin-up of every safari trip to Kenya.
On the road across the valley, you will pass the red-clad Maasai herders eking a living for their goats, sheep, and cattle on the sparsely vegetated landscape. You will pass their bomas, home to both livestock and human alike, with their red mud-brick walls, thatched roofs, and thorny defensive perimeter, and you will smile as the barefoot children run to wave at every passing vehicle.
Suddenly you spot a lone zebra among the acacia trees, then another, then twenty, then a small tower of giraffes lifts their heads above the branches, and you realize where you are. The last thing on your mind is the cost of a safari trip to Africa.
Finally, you reach your destination, the Mara Ngenche luxury safari camp, built on the confluence of the Mara and Talek rivers, and a vital crossing point for the great herds that pass this way during the annual migration.
The final destination is beyond words, spectacular, but the long 8-hour drive from the capital has been hot, dusty, and uncomfortable and has taken its toll; the offer of an evening game drive is just too much for one day, despite the beauty of the place.
An African safari trip by private jet
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It is exactly because of the long and often hugely demanding road journeys involved in a safari trip in Africa that private jet rental should be considered as part of the planning. For every luxury safari in Africa, whether your plans involve a safari trip to Tanzania, Botswana, Rwanda, and Uganda, or a safari trip to South Africa or Zambia, talking to a private jet charter company should be part of your initial research.
The continent of Africa, comprised of 54 countries, is huge. It is larger in area than the United States, China, and Brazil combined. Luckily, it is also scattered with private landing strips and local aerodromes, making renting private jets and light propeller aircraft the smart way to remove hundreds of miles – and countless uncomfortable hours – reaching your final safari destination.
Most of the continent’s top safari destinations are easily accessed by private plane rentals, if not private jet rentals (depending on the local airstrip and the type of jet). Using private jets for hire can easily transport any group of travelers between cities, countries, and regions in safety and comfort while also removing the need to transit through often hectic African airports.
For a family trip to Africa on safari or a spell-binding holiday of a lifetime for two, renting a private jet can hugely enhance the overall experience. Most especially, if you decide to choose a multi-destination safari involving several countries, private jet hire can save days wasted on uncomfortable overland travel, easily moving your guests between cities like Nairobi and Cape Town, or Gaborone and Windhoek. Once they’ve arrived at their private airport or landing strip, they can choose to remain at a local safari lodge overnight or transfer directly via light plane to their final destination.
But what is the cost of an African safari trip?
There can be no doubt that safaris are expensive, and that’s even before considering a private jet hire. There can be no doubt there are very few similar experiences on the planet to match waking up in a luxury safari camp to the sound of birdsong, the chatter of monkeys in the trees, the distant braying of zebra, and the deep guttural roar of a lion proclaiming his territory. Every moment on the African continent has the potential to create a miracle of the senses.
A 3-day safari, depending on if accommodation, meals, and drinks, game drives, park entry fees, along with laundry, and additional services are included, can cost as little as £130 per person per night to over £2,000 per person per night. Of course, depending on the camp’s location, the services offered, and the level of luxury required, you can expect prices to match your expectations.
The top 7 African safari destinations
There are so many amazing safari locations in a range of different terrains – from dense jungle and riverine forests to mountains and wide wildlife-covered plains – right across the whole continent. Every African safari experience is unique to its geographic location.
While it would be impossible to list all of Africa’s top safari trip recommendations, we have compiled a shortlist of some of the most sought-after safari destinations with or without private jet rental.
Kruger Park, South Africa – Noted for having the best safaris in South Africa, arriving by private jet will guarantee one of the top safari experiences on the continent. With almost 150 mammal species, over 500 bird species, a huge range of trees and plants, amphibians, reptiles, and fish, Kruger is the perfect safari destination to spot the ‘Big Five’ and so much more.
Chobe National Park, Botswana – One of the most diverse parks in Africa, Chobe National Park is home to approximately 120,000 elephants, earning it the moniker, ‘Land of the Giants’. With the Okavango Delta on its doorstep, home to crocodiles, leopards, lions, buffalo, and hippos, Chobe is one of the most unique and unforgettable African safari experiences.
Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda – Bwindi, set in the deep rainforests of southwest Uganda, takes the luxury safari experience to the next level. Armed with a permit, safari travelers can participate in the unique experience of gorilla trekking trips to the home of half the world population of critically endangered mountain gorillas.
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania – The Serengeti plains are another iconic image of the African safari experience. The park boasts the most diverse collection of terrestrial animal life on the planet. It is also home to the greatest annual animal wildlife migration – over 1.5 million animals – between Tanzania and Kenya’s northern neighbor.
Etosha National Park, Namibia – Located in northwestern Namibia, Etosha – or the Etosha Pan – is home to the critically endangered black rhino. Also featuring a hugely abundant collection of bird and animal species, the park’s spectacular scenery makes it one of the continent’s best photographic safari locations.
Maasai Mara, Kenya – There is no shortage of uber-luxurious safari camps located in Kenya’s world-famous Maasai Mara. Instantly recognizable from countless movies and wildlife documentaries, the Mara is home to over 570 bird species and 95 animal species. The Mara is another photographer’s dream safari destination with spectacular sunsets framing the silhouetted images of giraffes and elephants beneath the spreading umbrella branches of acacia trees.
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia – Birdwatchers flock to South Luangwa as part of their African safari experience. The Luangwa River valley is rightly recognized as one of the best birding locations on the continent, but it’s not all about birds. Safari-lovers can also hope to spot herds of elephants, cape buffaloes, and the rare Thornicroft’s giraffe.
Whichever safari destination you choose, anywhere on the continent of Africa, a call to an established and reliable private jet charter company will help you plan your transport for a once-in-a-lifetime flying safari experience.
Featured Image by Michael Siebert en Pixabay