Top small group safari destinations

There’s a huge amount of choice when it comes to small group safaris. Some trips focus on a single country, and there’s usually more than enough variety to keep you busy for a week or two. On other trips you’ll move between two or more countries, for example travelling from Zambia into Zimbabwe and on to Botswana. If you’re a safari newbie, Kenya and South Africa are a safe bet thanks to excellent infrastructure and the sheer number of parks and accommodation on offer. Wherever you choose, travel is typically by land, which keeps costs down, but can involve hours bumping along sandy tracks in an open-sided 4WD so be prepared for some serious dust!

Jackson Araali, from our partner Primate World safaris, says: “Uganda offers diversity all in one country. You will find wildlife. You will find culture. You will find scenery – so many things… In the northern part you will find savannah grassland, and then the moment you start looking south you experience the mountainous region. No wonder they call it the Switzerland of Africa, because when you reach there it’s a whole new world. It’s mountainous, it’s so green, and many of the mountains are covered in mist most times of the year.”
Botswana

1. Botswana

Botswana is a pro when it comes to wildlife spectacles. Ancient migration routes are still intact, and vast swathes of wilderness, including the Okavango Delta, provide a haven for big cats, wild dogs and over 100,000 elephants. Safaris here can be hugely expensive, and a small group bush camping safari makes things a lot more affordable – while providing almost unparalleled adventure.
Kenya

2. Kenya

Kenya has put on excellent safaris for decades, and small group safaris here offer everything from high-end tented luxury to rough-and-ready overland camping expeditions. The Masai Mara is popular for the wildebeest migration, as well as Amboseli National Park for views over Mount Kilimanjaro. But don’t discount the remote stretches of the north, including the dry landscapes of Samburu National Park.
Namibia

3. Namibia

It’s the sheer variety of Namibia’s landscapes that leaves travellers reeling. You can do everything from tracking elephants through the desert, to viewing seals on the country’s desolate coastline, to Big Five watching on the plains of Etosha National Park – known for its bush camping. Prefer more comfort? Our Namibia small group safaris offer stays in upscale, locally owned lodges as well as nights under canvas.
South Africa

4. South Africa

Families and first-timers should consider South Africa. It has fantastic infrastructure, a huge selection of lodges to suit every budget and excellent camping options. Most small group safaris will take in Kruger National Park, which has nearly 20,000km2 of prime wildlife viewing territory, including Big Five habitats and almost half of the country’s white and black rhino populations.
Uganda

5. Uganda

Small group safaris in Uganda focus on Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, the world’s most famous gorilla trekking location; Kibale National Park, where you can track chimpanzees through the forest; and Queen Elizabeth National Park, which is home to elephants, lions and hippos. There’s a small but excellent selection of forest lodges and tented camps in which to spend the night.
Zambia

6. Zambia

If you’re looking for something a little different, you’ve come to the right place. Zambia is Africa’s undisputed walking safari capital, with vast South Luangwa National Park credited as being the birthplace of goosebump-inducing on-foot tracking. Add canoe safaris along the Zambezi River and nights spent camping on secluded beaches, and you’ve got yourself a world-class adventure.

Our top Small group safari Holiday

Botswana small group lodge safari

Botswana small group lodge safari

Botswana affordable lodge safari including Okavango

From €2740 14 days ex flights
Small group travel:
2021: 19 Sep, 21 Nov, 28 Nov, 12 Dec, 19 Dec, 26 Dec
2022: 2 Jan, 16 Jan, 30 Jan, 20 Feb, 27 Feb, 6 Mar, 20 Mar, 27 Mar, 3 Apr, 10 Apr, 17 Apr, 1 May, 8 May, 22 May, 19 Jun, 26 Jun, 3 Jul, 10 Jul, 31 Jul, 14 Aug, 21 Aug, 28 Aug, 4 Sep, 18 Sep, 25 Sep, 2 Oct, 9 Oct, 16 Oct, 23 Oct, 30 Oct, 6 Nov, 13 Nov, 20 Nov, 27 Nov, 4 Dec, 11 Dec, 18 Dec, 25 Dec
Travel Team
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Tips from our travellers on small group safaris

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful small group safari holiday tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your suitcase.
Taking the canoes through the Okavango Delta was magical and camping in the wild with elephants visiting during the night to eat the surrounding trees and bushes was an experience never to be forgotten.
– Anthony Stringer on our Namibia and Botswana safari holiday
“Just returned from my first African wild adventure and I’m still daydreaming of it! Couldn’t have asked for better team members and a better group. Absolutely awed day in and day out. This being my first experience camping and group travelling, I must say it has been a blast! Do not let the camping put you off!” – Violeta Maftei on our gorilla safari and the Masai Mara

“Fantastic! Amazing! Awe-inspiring! The trip of a lifetime! Our most memorable moments were our interactions with the local people. Even though we booked this safari to see the Serengeti, we also wanted to make sure we spent an equal amount of time visiting and getting to know the people of Tanzania. We will forever hold in our hearts how warm and inviting everyone was.” – Teresa VandenBosch on our Tanzania safari, culture and wildlife holiday

“Be prepared for camping in wild places; take a bright torch for trips to the toilet! You will meet some wildlife. Bring a good telephoto lens and spare batteries for your camera. Join in with camping, cooking, etc. You will be up close with others for several weeks; enjoy this as they will have lots to offer you.”
– Charlie Lloyd on our Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe expedition safari
Written by Nana Luckham
Photo credits: [Page banner: South African Tourism] [Botswana: datingjungle] [Kenya: Ninara] [Namibia: Danielle Barnes] [South Africa: flowcomm] [Uganda: Francesco Ungaro] [Zambia: Sean Peter] [Okavango Delta: Athena Lao]