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Solo Travelers on Safari

The concept of solo travelers on safari may seem daunting at first, especially with concerns about safety, budget, and adventure activities. With more than a decade of experience living and working in the South African wilderness, I'm sharing this ultimate guide on navigating Africa's wonders and safari destinations at your own pace.


Solo Travelers on Safari

The idea of solo travelers on safari combines solitude and shared wonder, where you can retreat to the privacy of a luxurious safari lodge or join a small group tour for companionship. Whether spotting lions from a custom safari vehicle or tracking elephants on foot during walking safaris, solo adventurers have the flexibility to immerse themselves in Africa's wilderness.

Woman sitting on the hood of a car that is parked right beside an African Safari

Going on a solo travel adventure can often evoke apprehension and uncertainty for many prospective travelers. We hope these travel tips help you recognize that solo travel holds several possibilities, self-discovery, and unparalleled experiences waiting to be embraced. Discover the transformative power of solo exploration and the liberating essence of traveling alone.

Aspect

Concerns

Solutions

Safety

Personal safety in unfamiliar environments.

24/7 support, vetted guides, secure accommodations, and emergency protocols.

Companionship

Feeling lonely or lacking shared experiences.

Small group options, communal dining, guided walks, and cultural interactions.

Customization

Personalized experiences that cater to their interests.

Tailor-made itineraries, private guides, flexible schedules, and activity choices.

Cost

Single supplements can make solo travel more expensive.

Single supplement options, shared rooms, and budget-friendly choices.

Transportation

Navigating between safari locations can be challenging alone.

Private transfers, domestic flights, and reliable driver-guides.

Wildlife viewing

Intimate, uninterrupted wildlife encounters.

Private game drives, hide sessions, and photography-focused safaris.

Cultural Immersion

Many desire authentic interactions with local communities.

Village visits, craft workshops, and local market tours.

Expertise

Solo travelers need knowledgeable guidance for a fulfilling experience.

Expert safari guides, naturalists, and local cultural ambassadors.

Accommodation

Privacy and comfort are non-negotiables.

Range from luxury lodges to eco-camps, many with private decks or plunge pools.

Solo-friendly Destinations

Some areas are better suited for independent exploration.

A curated list of top solo-friendly parks and reserves across Africa.

Choosing Between the Types of Safari Tours for Solo Travelers

For those going on a solo safari, selecting the right type of African safari tour shapes every aspect of the journey, from wildlife encounters to cultural experiences. Find Your Africa Travel understands that solo travelers have diverse needs and preferences. 


Our team offers a range of options that cater to different comfort levels, social inclinations, and adventure appetites. This creates a harmonious and fulfilling African experience.


Small African Safari Tour Group With Set Date Departures

Our small group-hosted itinerary options, such as the 10-day Southern Africa trip, provide solo travelers with a perfect blend of companionship and independence. It's capped at a maximum of 10 people for an intimate experience.


These journeys offer double occupancy accommodation to mitigate costs and foster new friendships while being fully hosted to provide a seamless adventure. Here's what you can expect from a small group tour, even if you're a solo traveler:


  • Luxury lodging is available throughout your stay, from boutique hotels in Cape Town to eco-lodges in Kruger National Park.

  • Expert guides lead game drives and cultural tours, enriching the experience with local insights.

  • Set dates make planning easier, making them ideal for those with fixed vacation schedules.

  • Small group dynamics encourage bonding over shared experiences, from sundowners to bush dinners.


Customized African Safari Tour Packages

Do you prefer to travel solo in the truest sense? Find Your Africa Travel's tailored packages are the ultimate expression of a personalized solo safari adventure.

Two lions wrestling on the ground

From favorite wildlife species to preferred luxury lodging styles, we meticulously craft each itinerary to align with the unique preferences of every solo traveler. These are the perks of opting for customizing packages when traveling solo on a safari.


  • Custom pricing options suit various budgets without compromising on quality.

  • A dedicated personal travel guide guarantees safety, provides company when desired, and offers expert insights.

  • Itineraries reflect individual passions, be it photography, birdwatching, or cultural immersion.

  • Flexibility to adjust plans on the fly, catering to spontaneous decisions as you travel solo.


Understanding Single Supplements and Single Occupancy on Safaris

Developing autonomy and maturity are among the top benefits of traveling solo. The surge in solo traveler numbers is attributed to the growing popularity of niche interests like sports tourism, mountain adventures, and self-discovery journeys — pursuits that inherently favor solitary experiences you can find in Africa!


We see that this shift poses a significant challenge to the tourism sector, requiring destinations to evolve rapidly. Accommodating a solo traveler necessitates substantial changes, from offering more single-occupancy rooms and solo-friendly dining options to curating leisure activities that closely align with these travelers' unique motivations and personal quests.


Solo travelers are increasingly drawn to the allure of exploring Africa. However, planning a safari adventure can quickly add up expenses like long-haul flights, transfers, activity fees, and accommodation costs. One significant additional cost for solo safari travelers is the single supplement rate imposed by most lodges and camps.


Single Supplement for Solo Travelers

In safari accommodations, rates are typically based on two guests sharing a room or tent per night. These rates differ from mainstream hotels, which mostly charge for the room on Safari. You are charged per person as food, drinks, and safari activities are included. 


Most lodges and camps apply a 'per person' rate and a single supplement fee to mitigate the high-cost burden on a solo tourist. The single supplement fee, ranging from 10% to 100% of the 'per person' rate, guarantees the lodge can sustain its expenses while accommodating solo guests.


Another factor that sometimes goes unnoticed is the minimum number of guests required to charter a flight. Most private charter flights require a minimum of two guests to make the flight worth their while, so charter flights are marked up for solo travelers. One big advantage is that you get double the weight allowance by paying for two!


Single Occupancy on a Safari

Single occupancy on safari is when a room or tent for two guests is occupied by a solo traveler. In such cases, lodges may charge a nominal fee to cover the cost of the unoccupied bed, which helps them maintain their financial viability. Most safari accommodations are designed for double occupancy, except for family rooms. 


Double occupancy means that two guests share a room, while single occupancy is for solo visitors who occupy a room alone. Despite being meant for solo use, these rooms often feature queen- or king-sized beds rather than single beds. 


We're experiencing a significant shift within the safari industry, with lodges and camps now specializing in single occupancy. At Find Your Africa, these specialized properties are a priority when building an itinerary and selecting properties for solo travelers.


Fears Around Solo Traveling

While the allure of solo travel is undeniable, many hesitate due to safety concerns, particularly when considering destinations like Africa that have been disproportionately portrayed negatively by the media. Media tends to cherry-pick and exaggerate negative stories, creating an inaccurate perception of Africa that doesn't reflect the reality on the ground.

Man sitting on a parked car while elephants are walking down the road

While we acknowledge these fears, we still urge solo travelers to look beyond sensationalized news, which often misrepresents entire nations and their diverse populations. Our company can guarantee that your safety is the top priority. We carefully vet destinations and partners to create a secure, welcoming environment for solo adventurers.


Embarking on a Solo Safari Adventure: Travel Tips for Solo Travelers in Africa

For solo travelers venturing into Africa's wilderness, having the right tips can transform their journey from daunting to delightful. Coming from our wealth of insider knowledge, here are tips for solo safari travelers.


1. Partner With an African Safari Specialist and Book in Advance

It's important to book early and work with an experienced African safari tour specialist to secure accommodations without single supplement charges. Starting your planning process sooner will enhance your chances of reserving a room exclusively for yourself.


Many safari lodge establishments offer a limited number of rooms without extra charges for solo safari travelers, making early booking important for securing these coveted spaces and enjoying more affordable safaris. It's a smart strategy, especially when not opting for a small group tour that might offer shared rooms.


2. Choose Your Season and Timing

Knowing when to go on an African safari is one of the most common inquiries we get. Optimal timing plays a pivotal role in mitigating additional transportation expenses. We generally recommend traveling during the low or green seasons for more budget-friendly options for solo travelers.


Rates and demand are typically lower than during peak season. The low season lets travelers enjoy reduced accommodation rates and the prospect of savoring the wilderness without crowds.


However, there are also benefits to traveling during mid- to high seasons. For example, you can minimize the likelihood of incurring extra costs, particularly on charter flights that often require a minimum passenger threshold for operation.


3. Consider Putting Together a Small Group

A fantastic way to reduce the cost of single occupancy is to assemble your own small group. At Find Your Africa, we pride ourselves on building custom packages and love to work with small private groups.


By creating your own group, we will get you a group price broken down to per person. In effect, the single occupancy cost is absorbed by the group and often waived by the property.


4. Communicate Your Preferences and Expectations

Effective communication is key to an amazing solo safari experience. Your safari specialist will carefully plan and price your solo journey to Africa. It's important to openly share any concerns, desired holiday outcomes, and budget constraints to provide a personalized and smooth experience.


Create the perfect itinerary for your trip, and communicate your preferences to your Safari Specialist. For example:


  • Do you prefer dining alone or with a group?

  • Would you like to join a scheduled group tour or prefer independence?

  • Do you have any specific interests in birdwatching or wildlife photography?

  • Are you interested in activities like hot-air ballooning or cultural interactions?

  • Are you looking for an environment suitable for young children, honeymooners, or a mature setting?

  • Do you prefer larger establishments or intimate settings?


5. Prioritize Safety When Traveling

When venturing solo in Africa, it's prudent to uphold the same safety measures practiced at home to safeguard your well-being throughout your expedition. With a comprehensive partner like Find Your Africa, every element from A to Z is meticulously managed, from flights, adventure activities, and tours to accommodations, transfers, and airport meet-and-greets. 


Meet-and-greet services and organized transfers guarantee continuous support throughout your journey. Additionally, traveling solo with our tours grants you access to a direct 24/7 helpline for immediate assistance or guidance, keeping you safe on a luxury African safari.


It also helps to share your travel itinerary with loved ones to keep them informed of your whereabouts and establish regular check-ins for added peace of mind. 


Engaging in Activities for Solo Travelers in Africa

A comprehensive 2023 survey spanning the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K. reveals that the primary driver for solo adventure is an unwavering desire to explore without being held back by others' schedules, with 66% of respondents echoing this sentiment. 

Person trying to take a video of a rhinoceros from a parked vehicle

Beyond this, the allure of spontaneity (57% wanting to do what they want when they want) and the exhilarating sense of autonomy (46% cherishing freedom and independence) underscore the deeply personal and liberating nature of solo travel.


There are a lot of things to do in Africa besides safari. Exploring activities while traveling alone provides flexibility to partake in group adventures or enjoy solitary experiences, including:


  • Game drives

  • Guided walks

  • Wine tours

  • Boat cruises

  • City excursions

  • Microlight flights over waterfalls

  • White-water rafting expeditions

  • Market explorations

  • Traditional village visits

  • Hot air ballooning

  • Mountain biking

  • Dugout canoeing

  • Camel riding


Exploring Africa Solo: Top Destinations for the Independent Traveler

Trying a solo adventure opens possibilities for those seeking self-discovery and travel independence. Whether you have the budget for a two-week safari trip or you only have a few days to spare for a safari adventure, you can travel from one African country to another for a myriad of experiences.


Are looking forward to experiencing game drives at Amboseli National Park or witnessing the Great Migration at Maasai Mara? Solo safari travelers like you can experience unforgettable journeys filled with wildlife encounters, stunning landscapes, and thriving cultures in Africa's diverse continent.


1. South Africa

South Africa is a top choice for solo travelers due to its well-developed tourism infrastructure, diverse landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. From the bustling streets of Cape Town to the majestic Kruger National Park, travelers can experience a wide range of activities, including safaris, wine tasting, and exploring historical sites like Robben Island.


2. Namibia

Namibia's surreal landscapes, including the iconic red dunes of Sossusvlei and the desolate Skeleton Coast, make it a dream destination for solo adventurers. Travelers can join self-drive safaris, encounter desert-adapted wildlife, and connect with local communities to learn about Namibia's fascinating cultural traditions. Namibia is incredibly safe and the perfect destination for adventure.


3. Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a premier safari destination for a solo adventure seeker, offering a blend of tranquility with thrills along Victoria Falls. In Hwange National Park, you can witness massive elephant herds in solitary peace, while Mana Pools National Park invites you to explore its wild beauty by kayaking along the Zambezi River.


4. Botswana

Known for its pristine wilderness areas and abundant wildlife, Botswana offers solo safari travelers the opportunity to experience the magic of the Okavango Delta, Chobe National Park, and Moremi Game Reserve. Guided safaris, mokoro rides, and luxury tented camps provide a safe and immersive way to explore the untamed beauty of this African gem.


5. Uganda

Uganda, a hidden gem in East Africa, gives a solo traveler a harmonious blend of serene landscapes and heart-pounding adventures. The country's Lake Victoria and Lake Bunyonyi provide opportunities for peaceful boating on large lakes. Another solo safari highlight is gorilla trekking in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest.

Man dressed for a safari outing, sitting on a chair while sipping on a glass of champagne

6. Kenya

Kenya has long been a magnet for the discerning solo traveler, offering the quintessential East African safari experience. The pinnacle of any Kenyan solo safari is the Maasai Mara National Reserve, where you can witness the Great Migration. Continue your solo trip to Amboseli National Park, where you can photograph the biggest elephants in East Africa.


7. Rwanda

Rwanda shines as a compact yet diverse solo safari haven, offering profound wildlife encounters and walking safaris at Akagera National Park. Volcanoes National Park, renowned as Africa's most accessible gorilla trekking destination, allows a solo traveler to have a deeply personal interaction with mountain gorillas amid the misty slopes.


8. Tanzania

Home to the iconic Mount Kilimanjaro and the wildlife-rich Serengeti National Park, Tanzania beckons solo safari travelers with its natural beauty and diverse attractions. Join a guided safari, witness the Great Wildebeest Migration, and unwind on the spice island of Zanzibar for a truly unforgettable African adventure.


9. Congo

The Republic of the Congo emerges as one of Africa's most underrated solo safari destinations, particularly for a solo traveler hoping for rare wildlife encounters. Beyond watching the different safari animals at Odzala-Kokoua National Park, birdwatchers and photographers can spend hours in quiet wildlife observation from the comfort of eco-friendly forest lodges.


Related Questions

Can You Go On a Safari Alone?

You can go on an Africa solo safari adventure, offering a uniquely personal and immersive experience in the continent's wilderness. Whether you're enjoying a serene afternoon game drive through the savannah or floating above the landscape in a hot air ballooning expedition, solo safaris provide uninterrupted wildlife viewing and self-reflection opportunities.


Which African Country Is Best for Solo Travel?

For those seeking the best solo safari experience, Kenya stands out as a top choice among safari destinations in Africa. Its combination of globally renowned parks like the Maasai Mara, excellent infrastructure, English-speaking guides, and a long history of safari tourism makes Kenya particularly welcoming and safe for independent travelers.


What Is the Average Age of Solo Travelers?

The average age of first-time solo travel enthusiasts is 47, especially for the demographic drawn to the introspective nature of wilderness experiences and often with more time and resources to invest in their journey. This age group also tends to seek out the most affordable safaris that don't compromise on quality, making them savvy shoppers in the safari market.


Conclusion

Embarking on a solo adventure through Africa is a transformative experience that allows solo travelers to connect with nature, immerse themselves in diverse cultures, and create lasting memories with amazing people. So pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and set off on a solo escapade to discover Africa's safari destinations.

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