Often the most enjoyable holidays when travelling solo are the more active ones, and an African safari holiday is no exception. By day, you get to join like-minded individuals from around the globe, maybe in hot pursuit of the ‘Big Five’ or encountering local tribespeople. By night, you can pull up a chair to a communal dining table for a convivial evening sharing stories and photos from your day’s drive. Alternatively, for those seeking solitude and a sense of freedom to do exactly what you want to do – no compromises – then a safari with your own personal guide could be the best solution. Whichever your preference, Red Savannah’s Africa expert, Albee Yeend, recommends travelling in the shoulder or low season when many camps will forego the single-supplement and opt for a more intimate camp.
See below for more solo-friendly safari camp suggestions.
&Beyond Lake Manyara Tree Lodge, Tanzania
Lake Manyara Tree Lodge’s attention to detail is second to none and is a great choice for a spot of indulgence. Ten leafy and impeccably presented treehouses surround the communal area with its fabulous pool, generous decks and open-air dining boma. Prior to each meal, guests are invited to watch their food being prepared in the interactive kitchen.
Activity highlights: Cycling, game drives and visiting a Maasai tribe.
When travelling solo: Avoid paying the single-supplement when travelling between September – June (excluding certain dates in December & January).
Kicheche Bush Camp, Kenya
The Masai Mara is home to six fresh and airy en-suite tents located in an unfenced position where wildlife is literally on your doorstep. Run by Darren and Emma they are committed to providing an intimate experience and as a baker in a past life, Darren’s fresh bread is not to be missed! Their friendly and relaxed approach is epitomised by a Sunday evening curry after drinks around the campfire.
Activity highlights: Games drives, bush walks, village visits, overnight fly camping and hot air ballooning.
When travelling solo: For those booking a single tent for one person Kicheche will waive the single-supplement year round.
&Beyond Phinda Forest Lodge, South Africa
The interiors of the 16 stilted suites at Phinda Forest Lodge are simple and serene with glass walls bringing the outside in; imagine witnessing monkeys swinging through the branches as you take a dip in your oversized tub. Wildlife continues to be a talking point during the evening as inquisitive bush babies look on from the overhanging trees as you chat around the camp fire.
Activity highlights: River cruising, beach outings, scuba diving, tracking Black Rhino on foot, witnessing turtles nesting and visiting an authentic Zulu homestead.
When travelling solo: Phinda Homestead do not charge a single supplement between November – June (excluding certain dates in December & January).
Camp Okavango, Botswana
An authentic camp located in the heart of the Okavango Delta, perfectly positioned for both land and water-based explorations. A generous communal terrace links the cocktail bar, lounge, library and sun deck with plunge pool, whilst the 12 en-suite tents each have their own private viewing decks.
Activity highlights: Mokoro (traditional canoe) trip, fishing and bush walks.
When travelling solo: Camp Okavango does not charge a single supplement from November – June (outside of the Peak Season).
The Hide Safari Camp, Zimbabwe
You’ll find The Hide Safari Camp tucked away in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and – as the name suggests – boasts a winning position from which to watch passing wildlife in their natural habitat. Ten tents can accommodate up to 20 guests, some of which have outdoor showers or huge bath tubs. One tent has also been designed to be wheelchair accessible. A large teak dining table adorns the communal hut and is furnished at lunch and dinner times for congenial dining.
Activity highlights: Bush walking, game drives, birding and watching the wildlife, including elephant, giraffe, zebra and lion who frequent the camp.
When travelling solo: Avoid the single- supplement when travelling in Green and Mid-Season – between November and June.
Albee Yeend is Red Savannah’s African safari expert and a Safari Awards judge. Her career in travel began accidentally after she fell in love with Africa on safari in Zambia. Since then she has travelled extensively in Africa, running luxury safari camps in Zambia and Botswana before returning to the UK.