Leopards, Lions, Penguins and Pinotage – a South African Safari.

“There is something about Safari life that makes you forget all your sorrows”  Isak Dinesen

African Footprint Safaris

South Africa as a Safari destination is sometimes overlooked and only used as an entry and exit terminus while traveling on to other ‘more striking’ African destinations.

As much as I like to promote all of Africa, South Africa should not be ignored for its Safari value as it rivals (and sometime succeeds) other great African wildlife destinations with its magnificent Kruger National Park (and many others).  This park is over 19,000 square kilometres (7,500 sq mi), has an abundance of fauna and flora and is deeply rich in history and culture.

As a guide who has worked all over the African bush, some of my most favourable wildlife happenings have been in the Kruger National Park - my personal highlights on a recent safari to the Kruger was over 40 different rhino sightings, a leopard hunt and an up-close elephant bath encounter that lasted over an hour. 

South Africa has a lot more to add to the typical African Safari and no journey to South Africa would be complete without a stop in Cape Town – the Mother City.  Cape Town not only offers Safari goers a chance to recover after the dusty game viewing bush experience but also gives Safari goers a different African Safari experience.  A Cape Town Safari can offer diving with great white sharks, boat trips to seal colonies to view seal and shark interactions, whale and dolphin watching, swimming with penguins (a personal favourite), riding an ostrich, climbing or taking the cable-car to the iconic Table Mountain and numerous city, sightseeing and cultural tours.  All this can be done alongside your rejuvenation at the local restaurants and cafes, where you can eat freshly-caught seafood, Cape Malay and Afro-cuisine, while sipping on top-class wines grown locally in the area – the red wine Pinotage is uniquely South African (another personal preference).

In conclusion, South Africa is vast and varied with mountains for hiking and climbing, two oceans for swimming, surfing, diving or simply sunbathing and great wildlife areas to explore in-between.  South Africa offers fantastic food and beverage and has a friendly, personal and professional service industry to cater to every specific guest need.  South African is a country to be explored by the young and old, and any African Footprint Safari to South Africa can be personally created to cater for any need or want with levels to supply each and every budget.

A responsible African Footprint Safari.

“When you leave Africa, as the plane lifts, you feel that more than leaving a continent you’re leaving a state of mind. Whatever awaits you at the other end of your journey will be of a different order of existence.” Francesca Marciano.

African Footprint Safaris Lake Sunset.JPG

Tourism to Africa provides jobs and improves the overall wealth of the area being traveled to and for this reason many African countries are keen to develop tourism in order to become wealthier and hopefully improve the quality of life for their people.  Tourism to African however needs to be responsible, sustainable and carefully managed in order to provide these encouraging outcomes. As a conservation aware company, African Footprint Safaris are proud to support responsible travel to Africa.

In our effort to be a responsible travel outfit, African Footprint Safaris endorses the Wilderness Safaris philosophy of the 4 ‘c’ principle when designing our unique itineraries to Africa in order to contribute meaningfully to the wildlife and the people of Africa. These principles are commerce, conservation, community and culture.

Commerce deals with the ecotourism offering itself, and is by far one of the most important elements in this modern world – we can truly only make a difference in Africa if we, and the companies that we support, are financially viable.

Conservation involves the management and protection of the wildlife and ecosystems that we build our itineraries around.  African Footprint Safaris only utilise responsible operators that actually achieve this as well as support camps that are built in the eco-friendliest manner - so to not impact harshly on the environments in which they are built.

Community is all about the people at the heart of the business, the staff themselves that work hard to give you that ‘once in a lifetime’ African experience.  African Footprint Safaris again only create itineraries to properties in Africa that respect, cherish and nurture the African staff that will go 'above and beyond' to give you your personal African experience. Our itineraries need to also have a positive impact on the external community - the rural communities that own the actual land or live adjacent to these areas that you will be traveling to.

Culture is broadly everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts of a particular group of people. An African Footprint Safaris itinerary respects and embraces the culture of all the staff involved throughout our guest’s safari, as well as the remote rural communities surrounding the conservation areas traveled through. The camps used in our Safaris reflect a healthy social environment, area-appropriate camp design, décor, entertainment and meals.  We respect the traditional rights within the camps and the surrounding conservation areas while educating and communicating the area's traditional culture to our guests too.

We also believe that our African Footprint Safaris guests to Africa are not simply on an African vacation but on an African expedition that engages you with Africa, its wildlife, its people, its cultures and custom.  An African Footprint Safari is created to allow you to have an impact on the wildlife and people that you visit but also designed to change how you view the wild places of Africa and the world, on your return.

Safari – what is Safari?

“If there were one more thing I could do, it would be to go on safari once again.” Karen Blixen

African Footprint Safaris - African Safari.jpg

Traditionally in the past a ‘Safari’ was almost always associated with a big game hunt, typically in Africa, as depicted in film and literature over the years - this is however no longer the case.  The East African people use the word ‘Safari’ in their local language, Swahili, to explain ‘a journey’, and the modern day ‘Safari’ is now exactly that – an overland African journey to observe and photograph amazing wildlife along with incredible scenery, and engage with Africa, its people, its cultures and customs.

The modern-day safari is modeled around the early African explorations that were purely designed to observe and record wildlife and landscapes by the expedition's members. These explorations generally started with a ‘not too strenuous’ rising at first light, an energetic day walk in the surrounding bush, a late afternoon rest and concluding the day with a formal dinner and storytelling in the evening over drinks.

African Footprint Safaris fully supports the modern-day Safari and our guests to Africa will feel exactly like early explorers - but with a little more luxury.  The typical African Footprint Safari day starts early in the morning with a continental breakfast and coffee, before heading out to explore the African surrounds on a game viewing activity (walk, boat or drive) with a personal Safari guide. After pioneering Africa, our guests head back to the lodge for a brunch in the hot afternoon followed by some rest and relaxation at the pool, spa, in the lodge rooms or on the private viewing decks.  In the late afternoon after high-tea, the explorations continue again as your personal Safari guide takes you traveling back through the African savannah.  The afternoon safari ends with an African sundowner cocktail somewhere scenic, to toast the hot sun goodbye and welcome in the moon.  The evening Safari drive begins by spotlight under the African stars on return to the lodge, while viewing Africa’s nocturnal action.  At the lodge after a three-course dinner, storytelling is encouraged around the campfire - where all guests gather and boast about the day’s wildlife encounters with drinks in hand.

World Elephant Day

“The question is, are we happy to suppose that our grandchildren may never be able to see an elephant except in a picture book?” David Attenborough

African Footprint Safaris - Elephant

In the early part of the 20th century, there may have been as many as three and a half million African elephants roaming the continent but today we estimated Africa’s total elephant population to be around 415 000 only

African Elephant populations are on a rapid decline (a decline of over 110 000 in the last decade alone) and this decline can be attributed to the ivory trade, as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks, combined with habitat destruction and conflicts with local people.

African Footprint Safaris supports ‘World Elephant Day’ today (and every other day too) by spreading awareness

The Conservation Safari

A world without leopards, well, who would want to live in it?  Diana Vreeland

Sitting dead still and holding my breath with fellow conservationist, wildlife photographer and good friend, Isbjorn Viot, as he clicked away at the baby leopard and mother playing in the Acacia tree directly above us - made the sunburn, thorn scratches and insect bites obtained while tracking these magnificent cats, completely worthwhile.

African Footprint Safaris - Leopard


African Footprint Safaris has a “Conservation Safari” intended for the true nature enthusiast.  This Safari is designed to get you a little dirty while performing conservation and reforestation projects. The safari also encourages engagement with local villages, schools and missions to learn local customs and cultures and… allows you to actually track leopards with a carnivore research team.


World Lion Day

"There lies a lion in every heart" Turkish proverb.

African Footprint Safaris - Lion

Lion populations in Africa are declining rapidly, with a total drop in lion number by over 40% in the last two decades.  This majestic cat is extinct in 7 African countries and has been declared a ‘vulnerable’ species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

African Footprint Safaris supports ‘World Lion Day’ today (and every other day too) by spreading awareness

Africa for the young professional

“The only man I envy is the man who has not yet been to Africa – for he has so much to look forward to.” Richard Mullin

Traveling to Africa is a dream for most young professionals, but a journey that always seems to remain on the ‘bucket list’ for later on in life.  Possibly for when time is more abundant and vacation days more plentiful, or when finances are in a better order.  For the average young professional, perhaps the thought of all the planning involved in traveling to Africa is simply too overwhelming to handle in today’s stressful work environment, and the research involved in preparation for your exact African Safari that you have always been dreaming about, may cause this vacation to be placed on the ‘backburner’ for the foreseeable future.

An African Safaris does not need to be time consuming and different safari options can be created around the vacation time that you have available.  Africa is vast and diverse enabling many various Safari options from day trips to month long self-exploration.  Finances should not be a concern either as a unique and tailormade African Footprint Safari can be crafted in accordance with any budgets or price range.  Dedicating hours of time that you don’t have available to planning your perfect holiday in Africa can simply be avoided by allowing African Footprint Safaris to plan your dream Safari for you.

An African Safari should in fact be experienced when younger, bolder, harder and more adventurous.  Traveling to Africa and engaging with Africa is an experience that could have a significant influence on oneself, and these gained impressions may have lifestyle impacts that could be beneficial when younger.  Africa has a fierce grip on most travellers, triggering return visits to the motherland in search of new and different Safari encounters and engagements.  This should inspire young travellers so if the Safari ‘bug’ does bite, returning to Africa again (and perhaps even again) is possible. 

For the young professional, African Footprint Safaris can design your ‘bucket list’ African Safari now -   creating individual Safari itineraries for each and every young professional alike, keeping all specific and distinctive needs, funds and time constraints in mind.

Photographic Safaris

“love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art” Ralph Waldo Emerson

African Footprint Safaris has a deep love for wildlife and capturing amazing wildlife sightings on film, making the memories even more special.  We also understand that capturing a special and unique wildlife moment is an art. To avoid disappointment, this art can be taught to a budding wildlife photographer while on an African Footprint safari.

Close friend, Isbjorn Viot is a French born conservationist, naturalist, wildlife photographer and the African Footprint Safaris photographic partner.  Isbjorn found his hidden passion for Africa at a very young age while living and schooling in Namibia. This young thirst for Africa’s natural wonders has led him to hold an unconditional attraction for the African wilderness.

Isbjorn has been fortunate enough to work with his wife, Charlotte in remote yet iconic African wilderness areas from Congo to the Serengeti. Through photography, Isbjorn aims to be an ambassador of ‘Natural Elegance’, always wanting to share the wonders of our planet.  Photography allows Isbjorn the perfect media to capture those special encounters and moments that make life so beautiful. Inspired by Ikebana, Japanese floral art, Isbjorn ‘s artistic approach is to search for a moment of African elegance through minimalism.

African Footprint Safaris are proud to have Isbjorn Viot as our photographic partner. We know that he will add great value to any photographic Safari as a beginner or as an expert.

Why, Where and How?

“One cannot resist the lure of Africa.” Rudyard Kipling.

The deep, dark continent of Africa is daunting in so many ways to the average holidaymaker, but there is something profoundly alluring and intriguing about the African Savannah, the people and especially the wildlife, that make the idea of an Africa Safari vacation fascinating and exciting.

After simply understanding the desire to travel to Africa, the average traveler loses interest because of the massive about of additional variables associated with traveling to Africa. These variables range from which particular country in Africa to visit through to what experiences, wildlife sighting, cultural interactions, adventures to be had within each specific country, and when should you travel to get the best out of your holiday.

In truth, an African Safari is very specific and unique to each individual African explorer, and what you want out of your specific Safari depends enormously on your personal tastes, feelings, ideas and thoughts.  Traveling to Africa is a rare and precious opportunity that needs to be designed by someone that understands the experiences you crave, in order for you to leave Africa with the memories and photographs that you hoped for.

I, Warren at African Footprint Safaris am an Africa journey specialist now based in Seattle, WA, USA. I was born in Africa, have worked in the Safari industry for years and have intimate local knowledge, experience and a passion for Africa, its wildlife and its people. African Footprint Safaris can create your personalized African Safari vacation specific to your needs, wants and budget.