Solo travel might be trending, but research suggests bringing your friends along for the ride is one of the key ingredients for boosting the power of happy memories. In short, travel is better shared, and Acacia Africa’s Three-For-Two Camping Overland offer makes the idea of a safari with your crew even more inviting – a saving of £4,285 available on the 62-day South Africa to Kenya. But, the experts claim, what you share is equally important.
Dr. Max Tookey, Senior Psychology Lecturer at the University of Brighton, UK comments, “While sharing our holidays and reliving the moment with friends boosts our inner joy, the more adventurous and engaging (we’re talking all five senses) your travel encounters, the greater the effect, and the more powerful those memories become in helping us to attain happiness. If you’re celebrating a milestone and engaging in an activity that requires a team effort, then you’ve hit the happiness jackpot as all these elements combined are the recipe for creating happy memories that will last a lifetime.”
Of course, Africa is home to an endless number of bucket list locations with stratospheric sensory appeal, so to help you decide on your journey Acacia Africa has picked out 10 thrilling sites that are better shared, from the roaring Victoria Falls to the Serengeti National Park – the endless plains delivering its herds of wildebeest complete with surround sound during the annual migration.
From mini-adventures to longer camping overland jaunts perfect for gappers, Acacia Africa’s Three-For-Two promo includes 50 itineraries so you can spend up to 62 days on the continent or a mere four, the operator’s Camping Overland collection covering East and Southern Africa. Discounts are valid on camping overland tours (excludes Adventure Pass) departing from now through 31 December 2020. Book before 31 August 2019.
1. DUNE 45: Nothing, not even a truly inspired #instagood shot of Namibia’s dunes, will allow you to appreciate just how vast and otherworldly this landscape is – mind-blowing views from the top of Dune 45 awaiting more adventurous travellers. If you’re making the climb with friends, you’ll be glad of the motivation as the activity is not for the faint-hearted. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £915 or (£305pp) on the 11-day Cape Desert Safari southbound FROM ONLY £610pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £20pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Windhoek – ends Cape Town. Full tour price before discount £915pp.
2. OKAVANGO DELTA: Does lolling about on the river sound like fun? Then you’re in for a real treat in the Okavango Delta, as you can have a punt at polling your own mokoro. A feast for the senses, walking safaris and some truly wild atmospheric bush camping make this brush with Mother Nature all the more edge-of-your-sleeping mat satisfying.
Africa’s last remaining wetland wilderness, the delta stretches over between 6,000 and 15,000 square kilometres of the Kalahari Desert, the UNESCO World Heritage site ebbing and flowing with the seasons, the water flowing down from the Angola Highlands. From the Big Five to unique aquatic species to some incredible birdlife, the Okavango is rich in flora and fauna, and its nightly chorus is almost spiritual, frogs, nightjars, Cape Turtle Doves and more serenading you to sleep. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £995 or (£332pp) on the 12-day Desert & Delta Express northbound FROM ONLY £663pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £340pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Swakopmund – ends Livingstone. Full tour price before discount £995pp.
3. VICTORIA FALLS: Search for #VictoriaFalls on Instagram and you’ll bring up over 200,000 posts, but no picture (and at Acacia they’ve seen a few) could do justice to this watery beast – the 354-foot force of nature, one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.
The largest falling curtain of water on the planet roars like a lion when it’s at full throttle, the smoke that thunders (its Zambian title) gushing between the rocks while enormous plumes of spray shoot up into the air. If you want to max out on happy memories, white water rafting (rafting trips run from both the Zimbabwean and Zambian sides) and tandem gorge swinging (Livingstone, Zambia) are just some of the adrenaline-charged activities on offer. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £855 or (£285pp) on the seven-day African Insight northbound FROM ONLY £570pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £70pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Pretoria – ends Livingstone. Full tour price before discount £855pp.
4. SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK: Enjoy the Serengeti during the annual migration and your ability to see might well be taking a back seat as your primary reference point. Photographer Claudia Hodkinson said it best in Getaway magazine, “The Serengeti delivers big herds of wildebeest with surround sound. I heard the migration before I saw it. The air was abuzz with bleating and grunting so thick it was almost palpable.”
All the more reason to visit, an August 2019 report by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford, claims Tanzania has the largest number of lions compared to other African countries: 8,176 lions out of the total 22,509 wild lions left in Africa. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £1,315 or (£438pp) on the 11-day Highlights of Tanzania FROM ONLY £877pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £700pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Dar es Salaam – ends Nairobi. Full tour price before discount £1,315pp.
5. BWINDI IMPENETRABLE NATIONAL PARK: There could be few sensory experiences to top gorilla trekking, as you will be hiking through densely forested undergrowth in search of one of the 17 remaining gorilla families in Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. You should be moderately fit, the two to six-hour trek involving hiking across some fairly steep slopes. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £725 or (£242pp) on the six-day Troop to the Gorillas FROM ONLY £483pp (no single supplement) + Gorilla & Chimp permit from £560pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Kampala – ends Kampala. Full tour price before discount £725pp.
6. KRUGER NATIONAL PARK: A Big 5 haunt, South Africa’s Kruger National Park is home to the greatest diversity of wild animals in Southern Africa. Once an overland guide and now Acacia Africa’s marketing manager, Arno Delport says the park is a must-see. “This is where I spotted my first ever leopard. I was there on my initial training trip as a tour leader, and the rush of excitement I felt in that one instant will stay with me forever. Just like your first skydive, being on safari is an incredibly addictive experience as you’re always looking for that initial “wow” moment, and with the wildlife on show year-round, the Kruger packs some punch.” THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £375 or (£125pp) on the four-day Kruger Safari FROM ONLY £250pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £110pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Pretoria – ends Pretoria. Full tour price before discount £375pp.
7. VILANCULOS: A coastal town on the subtropical province of Inhambane in Mozambique, Vilanculos isn’t tourist territory just yet, so now is a great time to go. The gateway to the magnificent Bazaruto Islands, the tipped-to-be scuba mecca is also known as the country’s capital of watersports. Life is best lived in the slow lane here, so take your time and savour everything from the culture to the colours. Visit the street markets and one-of-a-kind restaurants, sample sublime seafood and Portuguese specialities, head to Club 360 to enjoy their trademark rum and raspberries, and while you’re in town, set sail for Magaruque Island and dive into the blue. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £1,835 or (£612pp) on the 14-day Mozambique and Zimbabwe Explorer northbound FROM ONLY £1,223pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £160pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Pretoria – ends Victoria Falls. Full tour price before discount £1,835pp.
8. CAPE TOWN: South Africa is definitely a feast for the senses, “Love Cape Town” recently sharing a round-up of the locals’ ultimate favourite go-to activities according to taste, touch, sight, hearing and smell. As you would expect, the list includes sampling famous wines from nearby farms, but catching a wave in the cool ocean, appreciating local art at First Thursdays, watching the sunrise from the top of Lion’s Head, hearing the birds chirping at one of the many nature reserves and browsing shop spices in the Bo-Kaap also made the bucket list. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £865 or (£288pp) on the 12-day Coast, Lesotho & Cape Town FROM ONLY £577pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £70pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Durban – ends Cape Town. Full tour price before discount £865pp.
9. NGORONGORO CRATER: The largest intact caldera in the world, Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Crater measures around 20 kilometres across and 600 metres deep. Even descending to the crater floor for your safari is a thrilling adventure, this record-breaking location home to 25,000 wild animals and more lions per square metre than anywhere else on the planet. Large populations of cheetah, wildebeest, elephant, buffalo, and rare black rhino also reside here, so expect a rich sensory experience on your safari. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £1,395 or (£465pp) on the 13-day Kenya & Tanzania Adventure FROM ONLY £930pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £1,130pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Nairobi – ends Dar es Salaam. Full tour price before discount £1,395pp.
10. MASAI MARA: The annual migration is the ultimate safari experience and one of the main reasons to visit the Masai Mara. Nature in action, the herd which is made up of almost two million wildebeest and 20,000 plains game, including zebras, topi and eland, thunders across the Kenyan game reserve in search of lush grass and life-giving water. THREE-FOR-TWO saving of £1,615 or (£538pp) on the 18-day Mountain Gorillas to the Mara FROM ONLY £1,077pp (no single supplement) + Adventure Pass from £520pp Gorilla & Chimp permit from £560pp including all highlights, transport, most meals, camping accommodation and services of a tour leader/driver. Excludes return flight. Starts Nairobi – ends Nairobi. Full tour price before discount £1,615pp.
Year-round departures. Subject to availability. Acacia Africa (020 7706 4700; acacia-africa.com) SATSA membership No. 1931, Atta membership no. 20151 and ABTA No. W4093 PROTECTED. To refer back to the 3 FOR 2 promotion please see the Acacia Africa website
Acacia Africa has been nominated as the Best Holiday Company to Sub-Saharan Africa in the prestigious 2019 British Travel Awards (BTAs). The winners will be determined by the consumer, who has until 30 September to cast their vote, with the successful companies announced at the BTA Gala Awards Dinner, being held in London on 27 November 2019. An adventure travel specialist, Acacia Africa has offices in London, South Africa and Zimbabwe, the tour operator’s portfolio of over 120 budget-friendly itineraries including Overland Tours, Small Group Safaris, Short Safaris & Treks and City Breaks & Short Stays.
Dr. Max Tookey is currently Senior Psychology Lecturer at the University of Brighton (UK), and he regularly offers his input on psychology and travel. He has expertise in the areas of careers, organisational behaviour, the dark triad of organisational life and the psychology of leisure, and he has contributed to various national newspapers and magazines. For interviews and further comment please contact M7 Studio: email@example.com