Anyone with an iota of interest in wildlife will doubtless have an African safari on their travel to-do list. It is, after all, a truly once in a lifetime opportunity to see nature in its rawest and most beautiful form; never failing to impress even the most hardened travel nut.
Speaking of travel nuts the Original Travel Africa team have put together some of their favourite safari destinations and experiences for 2016. And with the Rand being so favourable against the pound at the moment, South Africa and Namibia in particular are great value.
Exclusive Bush & Beach Offer – Tanzania
While Northern Tanzania steals most of the limelight, if you want to see incredible wildlife minus the crowds, head to the Selous and Ruaha National Parks in the south, before heading to the coast for some serious R&R. Enjoy nine nights combining bush and beach at three of our favourite boutique lodges, Jongomero, Siwandu and Ras Kutani from £4,070pp. Book before the end of February for travel between June and October 2016. Terms and conditions apply.
Coming face to face with a band of gorillas in the forests of Rwanda is one of life's most memorable experiences; it is a huge privilege to see these majestic (and sadly endangered) beasties in the wild. Permits to access the parks and reserves get snapped up quickly and take some time to process so if this is on your agenda this year, book now.
The original safari destination, Kenya is making something of a comeback. The glories of the Masai Mara are well documented, and for good reason, but we also love the rolling green hills of Laikipia. The private game reserves in this region mean you can avoid the crowds and inject some adventure; combine traditional game drives with walking, horse riding and quad biking.
If there's one cliché that's true about South Africa it's that it offers the world in one country, ticking quite literally every holiday box imaginable. And the safari options are no different: jaw-dropping wildlife, malaria-free reserves, minimal flight duration and time difference, and a selection of hyper luxurious camps. And with the Rand at a record low, there's no better time to be heading to South Africa.
Namibia offers something truly original and with the Namibian dollar linked to the Rand, you're guaranteed great value for money. Travelling to Namibia is as much about its magnificent landscapes as the safari game, from the hauntingly beautiful desolation of the Skeleton Coast (flying safari, anyone?) to the iconic burnt oranges and brilliant blues of the Namib Desert.