Getting around Africa
Africa’s wilderness areas
are often remote and isolated, far removed from its main towns and cities. Many
countries, such as South
Africa, are very large, with significant
distances to be covered between the various attractions. Some countries boast
well developed transport networks, whereas conditions in other are a little
more basic. Wherever you want to travel within Africa,
&Beyond’s knowledgeable consultants can advise you on your options and book
them on your behalf.
A number of domestic airlines, as well as air charter
companies operate throughout Africa. A network
of scheduled and private charter flights usually connects most main cities with
tourist hotspots, even in the more remote regions. Flying into game viewing
areas is a good option in East Africa and Botswana,
where driving conditions are difficult or when guests need to cover long
distances between attractions in South Africa
Please bear in mind that luggage restrictions on most charter flights are 15 kg
(33 lb), packed in a soft duffle bag.
Self-drive is a popular option in countries such as South Africa and Namibia, where there is a good road network and rental cars are widely available in most large towns and cities. Driving is on the left and a valid driver's license or an international driver's permit is required. Road signs are in English and speed limits are clearly designated. While there is an extensive network of tarred roads in Namibia, driving into game reserves may require negotiating some dirt roads and a 4x4 vehicle may be recommended. Travelling distances between attractions in East Africa, as well as Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe are often large and road conditions are poor. Self-drive is not recommended in those countries.
Guided safaris are those on which you book a place on a pre-set route or itinerary, during which you may be accompanied by other travellers. These safaris provide a safe and reliable mode of travel through Africa, particularly where conditions are poor and self-drive is not recommended. Tours are accompanied by professional guides who use their extensive knowledge and experience to your benefit. Itineraries vary from those that cover the most popular tourism destinations in a country, such at the &Beyond Botswana Explorer Expedition, to routes that cater for specific interests, such as the Live with Bushmen experience in Botswana or a Kilimanjaro hike in Tanzania. The disadvantage of guided safaris is that they feature a set number of days and pre-determined routing, and you cannot choose to spend more time at a destination or vary the routing. Guided safaris also offer a specific number of seats per departure and you may find yourself travelling with other people whom you do not know.
Private guided experience
PRIVATE GUIDED EXPERIENCE
This mode of travel is similar to a guided safari, except that it is tailored specifically to you and your group, and does not include other travellers. You will be able to set your own itinerary and choose your own activities while on a private guided experience. These safaris are generally very flexible, with the guide able and willing to adapt the daily plans according to your preferences. An example of this kind of experience is the &Beyond Private Journey Host, who accompanies you throughout your tailor made travels. These charming, expert guides are former &Beyond rangers and offer a wealth of knowledge on Africa's most popular attractions, as well as little known gems that promise to delight. The Private Journey Hosts can also book restaurants, adventures and specialist activities, and will ensure that your travel arrangements (think transfers and scheduled flights) run seamlessly.
The railway network is not very reliable through most of Africa and is not a recommended mode of travel. The notable exception is South Africa, where The Blue Train and Rovos Rail bring alive a bygone era when the romance of rail entranced and delighted travellers. Furnished in luxurious period fashion, the trains run throughout South Africa, up to Victoria Falls and even all the way to Dar es Salaam in East Africa. Wrapped in indulgent elegance, the trains offer panoramic
views of the landscape, as well as sightseeing excursions at stops en route. Formal dining cars, cocktail lounges and observation cars add to the experience.
Boat / ferry
BOAT / FERRY
With Africa's mighty rivers and extensive coastline, there are many boating experiences that can add to your African adventure. Try game viewing from a different perspective with riverboat cruises on one of Africa's mighty rivers or indulge in a canoeing safari that allows you to camp on the banks or island of some of Africa's best known waterways. Botswana's exceptional Okavango Delta is best explored by mokoro, or dugout canoe. Sailing safaris on a traditional dhow meander between the many islands off the coast of Mozambique or traverse the clear blue waters off Zanzibar.