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Top Trip Memories

  • Being astonished by the sheer force and majesty of teeming Victoria Falls, the largest sheet of cascading water on earth.
  • Experiencing hot times in the ultra-cool Sahara or Kalahari deserts.
  • Viewing the Great Migration of wildebeest thundering across the Serengeti.
  • Tracking a gorilla on a safari in Uganda.
  • Gazing at Giza’s mysterious pyramids—thousands of years old and still one of the world’s engineering marvels.
  • Tasting the vintages in South Africa’s burgeoning wine country.
  • Checking out Namibia’s sand dunes--some of the tallest in the world.
  • Watching playful wide-eyed lemurs swing in the branches of Madagascar’s trees.
  • Trekking Tanzania’s famed Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa, where you’ll find snow near the Equator.
  • Wandering the exotic souks in ancient Fes, Morocco, the closest thing imaginable to time-traveling back to the Middle Ages.
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Tour Tips

  • Africa is the second-largest continent, so whittle your list down to the main sites you want to see. You could never take in all of Africa’s key sites on one trip.
  • Wildlife safari packages have itineraries in East and southern Africa because that’s where the animals roam. Wildlife tours rarely combine safaris with trips to North or West Africa.
  • Many tour operators work closely with locals, which keeps money in the local economy, vital to Third World nations.
  • Keep in mind the time of year when you travel. Wildlife viewing can be better during certain seasons, which Stride experts can advise you on.
  • Travel to Africa can be taxing, so pick a tour that offers sufficient down time and doesn’t try to squeeze too many attractions into too few days.
  • Some African vacation packages include all lodging, meals, park fees and even visa costs, while others may just include some of these. Calculate your full tour price by finding out what’s included in the price quoted – and what isn’t.
  • Tour group sizes can vary greatly and are often reflected in the price: the smaller the group, the more expensive it may be. It may be worth spending more to have a lower traveler-to-guide ratio.
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Africa Travel Reviews & Ratings

4.6 out of 5

99%

recommend

1,773 Reviews

  • Excellent 1,202
  • Great 496
  • Average 60
  • Disappointing 8
  • Terrible 7

Rating Details

  • Value
    4.6
  • Guide
    4.6
  • Activities
    4.6
  • Lodging
    4.6
  • Transportation
    4.6
  • Meals
    4.6

Tour Reviews

5.0
December 2016
SmarTours
Recommend: Yes
Ron McGregor was the tour director for our group of 21 people. His comments and suggestion were most appropriate and informative. although he is not as an effective shopper as some of the ladies in our group. We saw everything that we could have wanted to see for the days available in SA. Gave drives in all 3 reserves were as advertised and we did see all of the big 5 with the exception that we did see several adult males none were the mature adults with the manes to match. all hotels were above average and the furnished buffet breakfast buffets were above average especially the Protea lodge breakfast. the coach and drivers were excellent for our trips and the park guides were very informative and seemed to enjoy finding the animals for our group. 1st day in Kruger we watched a leopard casually drink from a creek and the fade into the trees. This was our first experience with SmarTours but will definitely not be the last as we were totally
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Great trip Irma was Fabulous!

Fantastic Morocco and Spain & Portugal

5.0
December 2016
SmarTours
Recommend: Yes
Would recommend finding hotels with pools like Granada especially during summer. Also would prefer to spend 1 night in Lagos and 1 less night in Seville.

Extremely happy with all the activities in this tour!

Uganda & Gorillas Overland

5.0
December 2016
SmarTours
Recommend: No
Uganda is completely underrated as one of the more beautiful and diverse countries I've been to. This tour highlights many of the amazing aspects of it, from the gorillas to the Nile to the friendly locals that you meet in the villages. The staff ensured that the group experienced and appreciated these highlights and I am grateful to have been able to experience this.

Dedicated, passionate staff and an itinerary that encourages a fun, adventurous group of people to be involved. I was extremely happy with what activities were included in the tour as well as the unexpected highlights that tour leaders and guides encourage and coordinate.
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Great trip, well organized & good group size.

Highlights of Jordan

5.0
December 2016
SmarTours
Recommend: No
I learnt a lot about Jordan and had fun on the way. Very well organized and I felt that help would be readily available in the event of an emergency occurring.

Everything about this trip went well. Organization, expectation of travel and hotel quality were perfectly matched. What was brilliant was the extra insights our guide organised.

Highlights of Ethiopia

5.0
December 2016
SmarTours
Recommend: No
Amazing country, with spectacular natural beauty and the chance to experience the daily life of its rural people. The enduring image for me will be the miles long trails of people, whole families and their donkeys and other animals approaching a market - up and down spectacular hills, many heavily laden - not a private car in sight. We witnessed this on several occasions and it serves to underline the immense difference between the lives of the mass of Ethiopians and our own. The market places themselves were fascinating.
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Top Tour Operators and Travel Companies


Classic Itineraries

Classic Africa Safari in 1 Week

Kenya

Kenya is often referred to as the oldest safari destination. It is a classic trip, perfect for families and older travelers, combining wonderful cultural experiences with ample wildlife viewing.

Day 1, Nairobi: Visit the home of Karen Blixen (author of Out of Africa), feed giraffes at the Giraffe Center.

Day 2-3, Mount Kenya National Park: Enjoy the dense forest here, and have your camera ready for wildlife and waterfalls! Visit Treetops Lodge where Queen Elizabeth II stayed in 1952.

Day 4-5, Lake Naivasha National Park: Rift Valley, Lake Nakuru, Nyahururu Falls

Day 6-8, Maasai Mara National Reserve: Meet local Maasai tribes people, take a hot air balloon ride, spend full days driving through the expansive park for maximum wildlife viewing.

Tanzania

Tanzania is a great safari location for first time visitors who are looking for an in depth wildlife experience, and classic African landscapes.

Day 1-2, Arusha: Stay in the luxurious Arusha Coffee Lodge and prepare for your safari getaway.

Day 3, Lake Manyara National Park: See tree climbing lions and hundreds of different bird species as you explore one of the smaller game parks in Tanzania.

Day 4, Ngorongoro: Visit the Ngorongoro Conservation Area to explore the archaeologically significant Olduvai Gorge and see impressive Ngorongoro crater.

Day 5-7, Serengeti National Park: Spend two full days exploring Serengeti National Park in your classic safari jeep. See incredible wildlife, including Great Migration activity in the mid winter months.

South Africa - Kruger National Park

South Africa is home to a number of game reserves, including expansive Kruger National Park, which was established in 1926.

Day 1-2, Cape Town: Seal Island, Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, coastal drive, Robben Island.

Day 3, Johannesburg: Apartheid museum, guided walking tour of Soweto. Optional Excursion to Moholoholo Wildlife Rehabilitation center

Day 4-7, Greater Kruger National Park: God’s Window viewpoint, Blyde River Canyon, Timbavati Reserve. See the famed “Big 5” (Lions, Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Leopard, and Rhino).

Trips that follow these itineraries:

Classic Kenya Safari with Exodus - 6 Days, value trip

Tanzania Safari Experience with G Adventures - 7 Days, premium trip

Greater Kruger Safari with Exodus - 7 Days, value trip

Or see All African Safari Itineraries

Classic Gorilla Trekking in Uganda

Gorilla trekking is a popular focus to have for a visit to Africa. The best destinations are Rwanda and Uganda.

Day 1-3, Kibale Forest: Swamp walk through Bigodi Wetlands Sanctuary. Chimp walk in Kibale forest; keep an eye out for the impressive 11 species of primates who make their home here.  

Day 4-6, Queen Elizabeth National Park: Great Rift Valley, Rwenzori Mountains, catch a glimpse of the tree climbing lions. Magombe Wetlands Sanctuary walk. Kazinga Channel cruise.

Day 7-9, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest: Spend a long patient day tracking Mountain gorillas and observe them up close in their natural habitat. The Impenetrable Forest is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 10, Lake Mburo: Wildlife viewing and game walks.

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Chimps and Gorillas of Uganda with Exodus - 10 Days, value trip

Gorilla and Chimp Safari with Explore! - 11 Days, value trip

Uganda Unbound with ROW Adventures - 10 Days, basic trip

Signature Uganda with Abercrombie & Kent - 9 Days, luxury trip

Or see All Uganda Itineraries

Highlights of Egypt in 1 Week

Impressive and mysterious, Egypt tends to fascinate everyone at some point or another and it's a special opportunity to visit the source of so much history and awe. One week is a perfect amount of time to hit all the highlights:

Day 1-2, Cairo: Guided walking tour with an Egyptologist through historic Cairo. Spend half a day in the Egyptian Museum. Ride camels out to see the Pyramids of Giza and the enigmatic Sphinx.

Day 3-6, Aswan: Temple of Abu Simbel, Unfinished Obelisk, ride a traditional felucca on the Nile River. Nubian Bazaar, Temple of Isis, Philae Temple light show, enjoy a local meal at a homestay.

Day 7, Luxor: Karnak temple complex, Colossi of Memnon, Valley of the Kings, Temple of Edfu

Trips that follow this itinerary:

Egypt Highlights with Ada Vegas Travel - 8 Days, value trip

Egypt Adventure with Intrepid Travel - 8 Days, value trip

Best of Egypt with G Adventures - 8 Days, value trip

Or see All Egypt in One Week Itineraries

Africa Trips & Tour Advice

Expansive and diverse, Africa is a land unlike any other. Offering the chance for incredible wildlife viewing, an African safari is the classic bucket list item. But Africa also offers so much more, like meeting local tribes, wine-tasting, and scenic ocean drives. Let Stride be your guide for finding the perfect trip, combining both comfort and excitement. 

Africa adventure traveler, I presume? You’re not alone. Doctor David Livingstone, Henry Stanley, Sir Richard Burton, Ferdinand Magellan . . . explorers have long been drawn to the wonders of Africa.

But your trip will be worlds easier than that of past adventurers. Stride has found the best African tours: vacation packages that showcase the continent’s top attractions, offering adventures, photo ops and memories galore.

Safari Dreams

The second-largest continent, Africa is definitely big in size -- but to many outsiders it’s an even bigger mystery. We’ll fix that. What adventuresome person hasn’t dreamed of taking an African safari, gazing upon the pyramids of Giza, haggling in a Moroccan souk or trekking across the Sahara? It’s time to get your “Dr. Livingstone on.”

A safari is the first thing that usually comes to mind when you think about visiting Africa. Translating as “to journey” in Swahili, “safari” tours offer opportunities to see animals found nowhere else.. The big ten of African wildlife are elephants, lions, hippos, Cape buffalo, crocodiles, giraffes, zebras, rhinos, cheetahs and leopards. But don’t overlook the thrill of possibly encountering a mountain gorilla, watching an ostrich sprint across the Savannah, or looking up to see a long-tailed widow bird streaking through the air.

Expert Tour Operators

Stride Travel’s knowledgeable tour operators know the lay of the land and ensure that you see as many of these majestic creatures as possible. Lions may average 20 hours of sleep per day, but veteran guides can track them down. You may spot leopards (after all, they’re notably spotted) or hippos, humongous vegetarians that can reach breakneck speeds of 20 miles an hour (one reason they’re considered the most dangerous of all African animals). Your tour vehicle may even stay neck and neck with a herd of giraffes, or come upon elephants noisily feasting on the local vegetation.

Are Egypt’s pyramids and Nile River cruises off your radar? Then we say “tut-tut.” Taking a tour to the Cairo’s Giza pyramids – also site of the inscrutable Sphinx -- treats you to an unparalleled history lesson in the marvels of ancient engineering. And a Nile River cruise will transport you in comfort to the architectural wonders of fabled Luxor while drinking in the passing panorama of rural Egypt.

Desert Treks

Desert treks can be a memorable feature of the Africa tour experience. The Sahara is as large as the U.S.’s Lower 48 and -- at just three inches of annual rainfall – is one of the driest spots on the planet. But you’ll also find incredible beauty and remarkable people who have adapted to living amid all that sand. And far to the south, watching the breeze shape the pink-hued dunes of Namibia is also pure magic.

And that’s just a taste of what you can discover on an Africa tour. Did we mention Indian Ocean beach holidays that afford romantic getaways by turquoise seas? Pointing your compass to an Atlas Mountain hike in Morocco? Visiting castle-like mud houses in the wilds of West Africa? The list of unforgettable experiences is nearly endless.

Ultimately, taking an Africa tour becomes part of who you are -- luring you back to this spectacular continent again and again.

Once you’re on your way…

• Pack some warm clothing for high-elevation areas, such as Tanzania’s Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,000-feet-plus) and Ngorongoro Crater (5,900 foot elevation). And nights can get downright chilly anywhere in Africa, even near the Equator.

• The African sun is hot. Bring wide-brimmed hats, lightweight long sleeve shirts and, of course, good sun block for your safari.

• Be prepared to get up early and out into the game park as near to sunrise as possible, while the air is still cool. That’s when the animals are up and about – but not all the competing safari vehicles will be.

• As a buffer against long hours of riding on bumpy, unpaved roads, consider bringing a seat cushion along. Cameras take a beating, too, especially from the dust (protective plastic bags help).

• As for keeping the camera steady in a safari vehicle, a tripod is best but bean bags (if supplied by your driver/guide) fit easily across the edge of roof openings and reduce shake.

• Bring a good pair of high-powered binoculars – you won’t regret it.

• Don’t ignore some of the “lesser” creatures in the wild, such as hyenas and lizards, or the bird life: ostriches, cranes, flamingos, secretary birds (named for their quill-like feathers) and nest-knitting weaver birds.

Related Guides

Countries:

EgyptNamibiaKenyaMoroccoBotswanaZambiaZimbabweSouth AfricaTanzaniaUgandaMadgascarGhanaTunisiaEthiopiaRwandaMozambiqueSierra LeoneBeninBurkina FasoSenegalAlgeria, Malawi, Togo, Gambia, Swaziland

Attractions:

Pyramids at GizaNile RiverMasai Mara National ParkOkavango DeltaVictoria FallsKruger National Park, Cape Town, Mt. KilimanjaroSerengetiNgorongoro CraterZanzibar and many more.

Top Activities:

Viewing WildlifeSafari and Game Drive 

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