“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all” – Helen Keller
There is something immensely exciting about packing your bags, grabbing your plane ticket and your passport, and heading off to Africa, alone. Perhaps you fancy yourself as a Karen Blixen, Amelia Earhart, or Jane Goodall – all extraordinary solo female travellers, explorers and conservationists. Setting sail alone, particularly if you’re female, can be a daunting experience. The flight gives you time to jot down notes for your blog as you toy with the idea of what Christiane Amanpour would say. You bought a fountain pen and a Moleskine for this very purpose. This is no ordinary adventure. This is your solo adventure!
A single traveller faces an abundance of pressure and shoulders the full brunt of our deepest fears that come with stepping well outside our comfort zone, but through those difficult moments, something extraordinary begins to happen. Travelling alone forces us all to grow up – and quickly. It teaches us more about ourselves in a single trip than every other group trip throughout our lives. It teaches us independence, and resilience, and helps us to build our courage, self-esteem and confidence. We believe that travel is an integral part of character building and there’s nothing more powerful than travelling alone.
Luckily your dash of bravery is usually more for the memoir than for reality – not because you don’t need it, but because you’re in safe hands every step of the way.
On landing, the guides and camp staff are there to greet you. The details of the trip are all taken care of and your fellow travellers provide opportunities for new friendships with like-minded people and bonds that are quickly made while out on an African safari.
In many ways, travelling alone can be seen as a rite of passage for everybody, but especially the young. For thousands of years, cultures were built upon the idea of ‘coming of age’ rituals which often saw the young leaving home for a period of time to face the often brutal reality of life. It was their chance to stand on their own two feet and make their own way in the world before returning to the tribe as a new person.
Today, rituals like this are practically non-existent, and for many, simply the idea of stepping out into the unknown alone is enough to fill them with enough fear to ensure that it never happens. But just because a large percentage of people never will, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. For the brave and daring, something glorious awaits. So the question is, are you more of a yes or a no person?
Fears Around Solo Travelling
We can go on and on about the benefits of solo travelling but it would be remiss of us not to address the very real fear that people have about travelling by themselves.
Dive deep enough into the news and you’re sure to find a story that will send a shiver up the spine. Even in our home countries, the news is filled with horror and it’s no surprise that many people develop a genuine fear of what lies outside our safe confines.
This is amplified when we’re talking about somewhere like Africa which has been the setting for countless monstrous stories. But it’s important to ask yourself, is this an accurate portrayal? Does this single story represent an authentic example of a country and its millions of people? We’re not going to dive into the messy abyss that is media manipulation and why it’s done, but the reality is the media cherry-picks the worst stories and the Africa you see on the news often has very little bearing with the reality on the ground.
At safariFrank, your safety is our prime concern. We don’t send anybody, single, or in a large group, to destinations that we consider unsafe. While it’s impossible to account for the worst-case scenario, which can just as easily happen in the United States, UK, or Australia, the people we work with, from the lodge staff to safari guides, are a wonderful array of characters, many of which you’ll quickly come to adore.
Solo on Safari
A solo safari experience comes with numerous benefits when compared with a group. There’s no need to compromise, no arguing – nothing you feel like you have to do just because the other person wants to. This is your safari and you are free to do exactly as you wish to create that perfect trip.
This is the time to treat yourself. Sipping coconut water directly from coconuts, enjoying the locally inspired cuisine prepared by the lodge chef or sampling the best wines the Western Cape has to offer. Ways to experience the bush go well beyond the traditional game viewing from the back of a vehicle and there is a huge range of activities on offer, including; flying by microlight, hot air ballooning, horseback riding, quad biking, mountain biking, canoeing, walking safari, traditional dugout canoeing and even camel riding.
The question isn’t just how to go, it’s also where to go. Going it alone means you have the opportunity to cherry-pick which part of Africa you most want to experience without worrying about anyone else’s opinion. It’s a private experience and one of which you are the conductor.
A promising sign you’re ready to travel solo is that you want a memorable experience more than you need to take someone with you. It’s Africa, not coupledom, that’s calling you.
Another good sign is that you enjoy travelling on your terms and moving at your own pace. You naturally have an independent streak, or perhaps you want to throw yourself in the deep end and cultivate one. If your life feels like it’s hit a bit of a wobble, a solo adventure is a perfect way to regroup and go again. Think ‘Eat, Pray, Love and you’re Julia Roberts – or Elizabeth Gilbert for the literary fans – and this spectacular continent is your oyster.
There’s a feeling of accomplishment that comes with committing to travelling alone. You’ve got this. You can do this. Or perhaps you’ve always been a rebel at heart, and you not only want to travel alone but relish the idea of pushing the limits. For you, we recommend the remotest safari camps, the almost deserted desert, and the most unspoilt jungles.
You might also enjoy more extended travel – then aim for two and a half or three weeks, rather than ten days. Alternatively, you might be looking to enhance your skills through solo travelling. Africa lends itself to painting, drawing, and photography like few other places on the planet. There are landscapes, wild creatures, bird life, and fascinating cultural experiences everywhere you look. Or perhaps you’re a foodie on a culinary quest; in this regard, Africa won’t disappoint. Furthering self-development and enhancing your skills are great reasons to take a trip on your own.
Different types of safaris for solo travellers
We understand that a safari might not always be the first pick for a solo traveller, for several reasons, which is why we have numerous options available to make it work for you and ensure you have a perfect safari.
Whether you’re looking to visit South Africa’s metropolitan pearl that is Cape Town, tackle the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro in a small group of like-minded explorers, experience the majestic Victoria Falls, or take one of many private game drives that come with a dedicated personal guide, we can work with you to organise exactly what you’re looking for.
Small Group Set Date Departures
If you’re a bit nervous about embarking on your first solo journey, then know that our staff will be taking care of you – from helping you organise your travel and flights to the moment you hit the ground in Africa. We are experts in making your travel experience safe and easy. And you aren’t going to be that alone anyway, what with all the staff, camp guides, trackers and fellow travellers all around you, from the moment you arrive.
As a solo explorer, we know exactly which lodges and camps will be the most enjoyable for you, where you can meet other travellers and join like-minded travellers on adventures. On a budget? Don’t worry, we can recommend lodges with very low or no single occupancy supplements.
A group tour offers in-built travel companions and friendships are quickly forged while creeping through the Maasai Mara National Park or Kruger National Park in search of some of the most illustrious beasts on Earth.
A small group tour allows you to get a more intimate experience of the bush and slip away for some alone time when you feel like you need it. Booking a group adventure also increases the likelihood that you’ll be with a like-minded crowd with similar interests to your own.
If it’s your very first time going solo, a small group tour is not a bad idea. You’ll technically still be travelling solo, but strangers will soon become friends. And the guides are always nearby to answer questions, offer advice and travel tips and thrill you with tales of the bush. A small group tour also means the nitty-gritty is taken care of. You don’t have to worry about booking flights or hotels or checkout times – everything’s already set. A group tour is also the way to go if you’d like to meet new people. You’ll encounter bush lovers from around the world who will become immediate and firm travel buddies.
When it comes to affordable safaris, this is probably the best way to go. Safaris are usually known for their high prices, but travelling like this if you’re solo, is almost always the most cost-effective way to experience safari holidays. However, if it’s a personalised experience you’re after and money is no object, then by all means go with privately guided.
See our Set Departure Safari below! Or click here to see our full selection.
Set Departure Safaris
Affordable Tailor Made Safaris
Got a bucket list trip in mind? Well, there’s no time like the present. If you have a vision board cut out of your dream safari, then a personally designed safari is the way for you to go. SafariFRANK will pull out all the stops to make your unique vision come to life and the possibilities when it comes to Africa are boundless.
Whether you’re looking to photograph leopards on the grassy plains, witness the grizzly reality of nature at the Mara River as massive herds of wildebeest risk it all to follow the migration, or maybe you’d prefer wandering through the thick of the jungle looking for chimpanzees, all you have to do is book the ticket.
It’s worth noting that a personalised safari does not have to break the bank. The team at SAFARI FRANK matches your enthusiasm for the bush, and planning your trip together is a part of the fun.
Where would you go if the continent was the limit? Let us know by clicking below:
Privately Guided Safaris
A privately guided safari is as close to a Royal safari as you can get. The only thing missing is the paparazzi. From the moment you hit the ground in Africa to the moment your plane takes off again, your guide caters for your every need.
SafariFRANK takes your travel seriously, and every guide has been handpicked for his or her expert knowledge of the bush. Your guide is dedicated to you and these are not the sort of guides that make an appearance at the game drive and then duck back out to their quarters. They are there for your edification, your comfort, and to make your bush experience especially memorable. The bush is unpredictable, but the guide speaks its language, bettering your chances of seeing those spectacular sights that stay with you long after you’ve left Africa.
If it’s a leopard that’s your heart’s desire, put in your request and your guides will do their very best. Maybe your worry for the day is more of a domestic nature such as whether there will be a laundry facility at the next camp. Your guide is there for that too. In short, whatever you need, you know who to turn to.
The arrangement of a privately guided safari can also come with a private vehicle, private activities, and, if the budget allows, even a private plane. Our private guides know Africa inside-out and could tell you a story or two. They know all the go-to places, the best local hangouts and where to look for those elusive big cats. If you’d like both the flexibility of getting to do exactly what you want to do, go where you want to go, and learn as much as possible along the way, then a privately guided safari is for you.
It’s also important to state that just because you’re travelling solo, doesn’t mean you can’t go for the very best. Luxury safaris are an outstanding option if you have the ways and means. It doesn’t get better than having an expert guide entirely dedicated to you, luxury facilities, and a tailor-made safari itinerary that allows you to mould your perfect trip.
So, you want to go on safari, learn as much as possible and not break the bank?
A ‘guide training safari’ might just be the thing for you. SafariFRANK offers a range of training trips from 7 days, 14 days, 28 days and up to 12 months with safari experts.
These training courses are hosted in the bush at training camps with like-minded learners. The knowledge gained will set you up for a lifetime in conservation and make all your future trips just so much more enjoyable and the envy of your friends.
This is a way to bring safaris and conservation into your daily life – at least for a while – and spend your time learning how to lead morning game drives, when exactly the peak wildebeest calving season is and how to read herd movements, and how to conduct adventure activities in a safe, yet enjoyable manner – all set within some of the most beautiful landscapes on the planet.
Did we also mention that the training courses are also the most affordable safaris?
See our favourite Guide Training Courses below! Or click here to see our full selection.
Safari Guide Training Courses
Solo Travelling with SAFARI FRANK
Whatever you choose, we are here to tailor solo travel to meet your needs. If you’d feel better by talking through some concerns or worries, please feel free to contact us and we’ll do our best to put any issues to rest and help you plan the ideal safari.
As you can probably tell, we’re big believers in solo travelling and the huge amount of benefits that can come with it. Daunting? Yes. Scary at times? Absolutely. A profound experience that can forever change you? Without question.
Ready to take the plunge?
Click below to get started on curating the perfect solo adventure for you!