Safaris & friendly hotels in Africa where solo travellers feel at home
So many travel choices open up when you’ve only got yourself to answer to. With no-one else’s quirky habits and irrational fears to take into consideration, you are free to choose on a whim and travel exactly as you please. Or so your friends exclaim, jealous of your liberation from the shackles of family expeditions.
What they overlook are the annoying downsides of travelling alone; security and safety considerations, transportation and guiding costs which are the same whether split between one person or six, the dreaded single supplements…
We’ll always do our best to get intrepid travellers where they want to go, but sometimes the logistics and costs just don’t add up. By all means ask whether a certain tour or destination works out price wise for a single traveller. But from our experience, we find that there are some places and ways of travelling that work better than others for solo travellers.
Solo Travel in South Africa
There’s no reason not to travel around South Africa independently, but we reckon that the driving distances make a pure self-drive on your own slightly daunting.
Unfortunately there is surprisingly little choice in group tours to link up with, though some of the popular tours along the Garden Route have guaranteed departures which single people can join. But you are unlikely to be able to get to the more remote or unique areas without paying a heavy price for a private tour or transfer.
So the answer may be a bit of both, joining some scheduled tours in Cape Town or along the Garden Route and perhaps adding a safari which is a convivial activity by its very nature.
Accommodation in South Africa for Solo Travellers
So which lodge or hotel should you choose? We have identified some small friendly lodges where the owners are very hands on and happy to chat. Sometimes they meet their guests for evening drinks, other times dining is around a communal table. Yet other times, there are activities on offer where you have a chance to chat to other guests if you wish to. Chat to us about your needs.
Safaris for Solo Travellers
A safari is a sociable experience by its very nature as you join others for your game drives and often dining takes place around a communal table with your guide. So most of our game lodges would be good for single travellers. So the only other factor to consider is the single supplement so we have identified those lodges which don’t charge a single supplement.
Solo Travel in Botswana
In Botswana, luxury mobile safaris with no more than eight other guests are also a great option for single travellers and offer a more rounded understanding of the country, its landscape and its people than fly-in safaris. Though far from cheap and cheerful, the ‘per night’ cost is lower than lodge accommodation. Comfort levels are high and the trips are fully serviced with camp hands to take care of all the chores. But, as with all group travel, mobile safaris will appeal most to those who are flexible and adaptable.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, if you have a lower budget but more time, then a small group camping safari will get you to most of the ‘must-see’ icons of the country. These are semi-participative trips so less luxurious than our normal suggestions but could be ideal for more easy-going travellers.
Solo Travel in Kenya
The more small and friendly safari camps on Kenya’s private ranches attract lots of solo travellers. Many of the camps charge no supplement for guests travelling alone and the popularity of the country means that most flights are charged ‘per person’ rather than ‘per chartered plane’ so solo travellers pay no more than if they travelled as part of a couple.
Guests from around the world and all walks of life tend to mix quite easily on game drive vehicles and around the dining table, united by a common interest in the natural world. We’ve run into lots of single people in Kenyan camps, from wildlife artists to off-duty models.