2022 was our ‘first’ real year of travel. But now 2023 is here, promising a host of exciting travel trends and trips. A whole year of travel beckons with only your bucket list in sight.
From transformation travel to wellness retreats, sustainability to sleep travel, 2023 is looking incredibly diverse and appealing. One such trend which absolutely must be on your list – a safari.
Here’s why you should make 2023 the year of safari:
Rest meets recharge
A safari offers the perfect balance allowing you to do as much or as little as you please. Sure, you can tailor-make other types of holidays too, but bush vacations are usually – at least a little – off the beaten track. This means that you’re, to some degree, isolated from the outside world. In this blissful little bubble, you’ll usually have a limited array of experiences to enjoy, limiting decision fatigue. Most importantly, you still have the flexibility to choose how much rest you need and what recharging looks like to you, whether it’s ticking off every activity or simply watching the wildlife come to you, drink in hand.
Activate airplane mode
Disconnecting to reconnect still remains a firm travel trend. There aren’t many places left in the world where you won’t find much signal. Bush break destinations are often one of them. Many lodges do offer access of some kind, so when you need to check your inbox, you’ll be able to. But if you want, you can turn on airplane mode and truly disconnect.
From the special sleep suite at the Park Hyatt New York to the Hästens Sleep Spa Hotel in Portugal, plus sleep concierges, weighted blankets and a dreamy array of sleep-inducing technology and facilities, sleep travel is the latest big trend.
What all these hotels and gadgets don’t know is this – you’ll have the best sleep of your life in the bush! We’d wager that heading to bed early in the ‘real’ quiet and inky darkness with only the distant (or near) sound of wildlife rustling and roaring nearby, in comfortable safari tents, beats every sleep-inducing gadget.
A new type of safari
Think safari breaks are only glamping, camping or uber luxe? From walking safaris, safaris on horseback to river safaris, you’ll find that there’s a whole new host of bush breaks and experiences on offer.
“Our river safaris offer new and seasoned bush lovers a unique Southern African safari experience,” says Kate Powell, General Manager: Sales & Marketing for the Zambezi Queen Collection, comprising boutique houseboats that cruise the Chobe River. “River safaris offer a truly special way to explore this magical corner of the world, nestled within an area very aptly known as Africa’s Eden.”
“On a river safari, the wildlife comes to you. You can relax with a cup of coffee on your private balcony, or on the top deck eating breakfast while spotting hundreds of elephants crossing the river right in front of you. For photographers and wildlife lovers, you’ll get the best views of the animals as they drink at the water’s edge, right in front of your camera lens. We even offer a specialist custom photography boat for keen photographers to snap the perfect shot.”
A reason for every season
Many travellers mistakenly believe that the only time to head to the bush is in the peak season – winter for us here in Southern Africa. But actually every season offers a special reason to visit.
Powell shared the below seasonal attractions to help you find your perfect time to safari:
- The high/dry season from April to October
Game viewing is at its most prolific from April to October. But be sure to book now so you don’t miss out on availability. The peak booking period for the popular dry season includes January and February.
- Fishing season from June/August and October
The popular tiger fishing season runs from April to August. Many anglers also like to catch tiger fish on the run in October and November, as well as throughout the year using a variety of techniques.
- Birding season from September to March
Spring signals the arrival of the summer migrants and coincides with the green season.
- Green season from November to March
After months of dry weather, the heavens open and the first rains arrive. The green season heralds abundant greenery and new life, with many young birthed in this season.
Hone your Interests
Whether it’s tiger fishing or birding, bush breaks allow you to hone your interests and develop new hobbies. You’re pretty much guaranteed to meet likeminded travellers, sharing stories and tips along the way.
Niche safari trips for groups are increasing in popularity once again – be it a boys fishing trip in the Chobe or a birdwatching trip with your parents.
For South African travellers in particular, where exchange rates generally do us no favours, all-inclusive holidays are the way to go. Most bush lodges offer all-inclusive packages which at the minimum, include 3 meals a day with some game drives included.
There’s no better year to tick off the ultimate bush break!