Safaris

Kenya

At the cradle of civilization, spectacular natural beauty and bountiful herds of wildlife abound. Renowned for the Great Migration of millions of herbivores, the vast lands of Masai Mara National Reserve is home to the famous Big Five and is also a birdwatcher’s paradise.

Highlights

  • Amboseli National Park
  • Chyulu Hills National Park
  • Lewa & Loisaba Conservancies
  • Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Samburu National Reserve

AMBOSELI NATIONAL PARK
Amboseli National Park is known for its unrivaled views of Mount Kilimanjaro and the free-ranging elephant population. There are over 1,000 elephants in the ecosystem; featuring some of the largest in Africa. Underground rivers feed swamps and springs from the melting snow, forming permanent watering places for wildlife. A dry lakebed shimmers in the heat, producing mirages. Amboseli is home to more than 600 species of birdlife.

MASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE
Masai Mara National Reserve is one of the richest and most diverse wildlife areas in the world. The Reserve is home to a vast number of resident wildlife, as well as the annual Great Migration. Wildebeest and zebra join elephant, hippo, buffalo, giraffe, lion and cheetah in the Mara. The Mara River is known for its enormous crocodiles, which lay in wait for the wildebeest and zebra during the migration. Over 450 birds add to the Mara’s incredible natural diversity. The Mara is part of a huge conservation area that includes Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area in neighboring Tanzania.

SAMBURU NATIONAL RESERVE
Samburu National Reserve is home to a wide diversity of wildlife, including species only found north of the Equator; the endangered Grevy’s zebra, Beisa oryx, reticulated giraffe, gerenuk antelope and Somali ostrich. Herds of elephant bathe on the banks of the Ewaso Nyiro River.The landscape is dramatic; dry riverbeds, boulders rising out of thorn scrub, and in the background are distant hills and the Samburu tribe’s sacred red table mountain, Lololokwi.

“Truly a magnificent trip, from the very first day. Sharing it with our family was a pleasure that can’t be put into words. I can’t thank you enough for this trip of a lifetime.”

– MARGE W

Tanzania

A kaleidoscope of images – from Mount Kilimanjaro to the idyllic beaches of Zanzibar, visit ruins of Swahili city-states and meet a Maasai warrior. A land of boundless fascination, savannah grasslands and shimmering lakes provide the backdrop to herds of zebra, wildebeest, cheetah and gazelle.

Highlights

  • Serengeti National Park
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Lake Manyara National Park
  • Tarangire National Park
  • Selous & Ruaha National Parks

LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK
Lake Manyara National Park offers a wilderness experience in diverse habitats, from its soda lake to dense woodlands and steep mountainsides. Here, the Great Rift Valley is at its most impressive, with the escarpment dropping down to the lakeshore. The park is known for its unusual tree-climbing lions and vast elephant herds. The shores of the lake attract more than 400 species of birds, including pink flamingo, waterfowl and migrants.

NGORONGORO CRATER
The Ngorongoro Crater, once a gigantic volcano, is the largest intact caldera in the world. Some maintain that before it erupted, it would have been higher than Mount Kilimanjaro. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it offers a unique biosphere, which has remained virtually unchanged since the dawn of time. The ancient caldera shelters one of the most beautiful wildlife havens on earth.

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK
Serengeti National Park forms part of a huge conservation area, including the adjacent Ngorongoro Conservation Area, as well as the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Huge numbers of wildlife move freely throughout this area. The Serengeti and the adjacent Masai Mara are best known for hosting the annual Great Migration of wildebeest, during which nearly two million animals move across the plains and woodlands. Often called the greatest wildlife spectacle on earth, this dramatic event is triggered by annual rainfall patterns that determine the availability of grazing. Tens of thousands of animals follow the seasonal rains, crossing both the Grumeti and Mara Rivers in their search for fresh pastures.

SELOUS NATIONAL PARK
Selous National Park, located in southern Tanzania, is Africa’s largest wildlife area at 21,100 sq. miles. The Rufiji River flows through the northern part of the Selous into the Indian Ocean. The Selous remains one of the least exploited wildlife sanctuaries on the continent.

“The trip was outstanding; truly a life highlight for everyone. Your guides were specialists on animals, birds, plants, the culture, etc. and wonderful with the children, helped us enjoy every hour of our safari and feel safe and happy.

– MICHELLE M

The Great Migration

The Great Migration is considered one of the greatest wildlife spectacles on Earth. More than two million wildebeest and zebra migrate year-round in the Masai Mara / Serengeti ecosystem, driven by water and grazing.

Highlights

  • Kenya / Tanzania
  • Masai Mara National Reserve
  • Serengeti National Park

WHERE & WHEN?
Massive herds of wildebeest and zebras migrate between the Masai Mara and Serengeti, constantly driven by their search for fresh grazing. Predators follow the herds, making the most of every opportunity to catch their next meal. Timing of the annual migration depends on the rains; it is unpredictable and spontaneous. The best time to see the migration is generally between mid-June to the end of September, and the best place to be is in the Masai Mara. There are 15 different river crossings in the Masai Mara; some with names like Smelly Crossing, Rekero Crossing, Football Crossing, Helicopter Crossing, and Double Crossing. You need to be patient, in the right location at the right time of day, and with the right Guide. To increase your odds, consider staying at 2 different locations/camps.

JANUARY – MARCH
(Summer) central Serengeti. The wildebeest are calving, not moving as much.

APRIL – MAY
(Long rains) you could be stuck in the mud. Wildebeest move slowly towards the Western Serengeti.

JUNE
Consider both the Serengeti & Masai Mara – you’ll see them one place or the other!

JULY – SEPTEMBER
(Winter) Masai Mara is spectacular, they are on the run, crossing the Mara River.

OCTOBER
(Like June) consider both the Serengeti & Masai Mara.

NOVEMBER – DECEMBER
(Short rains) they congregate and gradually move back towards the Serengeti.

THE GREAT MIGRATION
12-day Safari includes: 1 night Nairobi, 4 nights Serengeti National Park, 2 nights Ngorongoro Crater, 4 nights Maasai Mara National Reserve, dayroom Nairobi. Luxury Tented Camps and Lodges.

“I am sitting in the day room and wanted to thank you for making our trip so special. It was an experience none of us will every forget.

– FAMILY SAFARI, JUNE 2014

East Africa - Small Group Departures

Custom Safaris offers small group departures throughout the year, staying in unique award-winning lodges and camps. Travel in comfort between iconic locations in private executive-class aircraft. This itinerary can be booked on exclusive basis. Maximum 8 passengers.Departure Dates to be advised.

Highlights

  • Northern Tanzania National Parks
  • Ngorongoro Crater
  • Amoseli & Meru National Parks
  • Loisaba Conservancy
  • Masai Mara National Reserve

SMALL GROUP DEPARTURES – LIMITED TO 8 PASSENGERS

TANZANIA CLASSIC
7-day Safari includes: 1 night Arusha, 2 nights Tarangire National Park, 2 Ngorongongoro Conservation Area, 2 nights Serengeti National Park. Luxury tented camps and lodges.

KENYA CLASSIC
7-day includes: 1 night Karen, 2 nights Amboseli National Park, 2 nights Meru National Park, 2 nights Maasai Mara National Reserve. Luxury tented camps and lodges.

KENYA CONNOISSEUR
7-day Safari includes: 1 night Karen, 2 nights Meru National Park, 2 nights Loisaba Conservancy, and 2 nights Maasai Mara National Reserve. Luxury tented camps and lodges.

Rwanda

Endless emerald-green hills and soaring mountainsides, the Nyungwe Forest is a paradise for those seeking to visit its 13 species of primates including chimpanzees and golden monkeys. One third of Africa’s bird species occupy this mild climate, just two degrees below the equator.

Highlights

  • Gorilla trekking
  • Chimpanzee trekking
  • Golden Monkey trekking
  • Parc National des Volcans
  • Nyungwe Forest National Park

RWANDA / GORILLAS IN THE MIST
3-day Safari includes: 1 night Musanze / Volcanos National Park, 1 night Kigali, private tour of Kigali, and 1 gorilla permit. Luxury hotels and lodges.

RWANDA / GORILLAS & GOLDEN MONKEYS
4-day Safari includes: 2 nights Musanze / Volcanos National Park, 1 night Kigali, private tour of Kigali, 1 gorilla permit and 1 golden monkey permit. Luxury hotels and lodges.

RWANDA’S PRIMATES
8-day Safari includes: 3 nights Kigali, 2 nights Nyungwe National Park, 2 nights Musanze / Volcanos National Park, 1 chimpanzee permit, 1 golden monkey permit, 1 gorilla permit, private full day tour to Nyanza, and private tour of Kigali. Luxury hotels and lodges.

“I’ve been lucky to have traveled from the Cape to Cairo. If I had just one hour to spend in all of Africa, it would be with your gorillas here in Rwanda. Without question, being with the gorillas is the most inspiring wildlife experience one can have.”

– LINDA FRIEDMAN

Uganda

Remote, unspoiled parks teem with wildlife – lion, elephant and buffalo. The country is known for conserving a population of critically endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, and a short excursion to the southeast for gorilla trekking is not to be missed.

Highlights

  • Gorilla trekking
  • Bwindi Impenetrable National Park
  • Mgahinga Gorilla National Park
  • Queen Elizabeth National Park

ABOUT UGANDA
Uganda lies on the equator, east of Tanzania and Kenya and west of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is smaller than the United Kingdom but boasts a spectacular array of landscapes – from snow-capped mountains and savannah to lush swampland and impenetrable forests. Its remote, unspoiled parks teem with wildlife such as the famed East Africa big game species of lion, elephant and buffalo as well as primates and over a thousand species of birds. Uganda, and its neighbor Rwanda, share the unique responsibility of conserving a population of critically endangered mountain gorillas and chimpanzees, funded in no small part through the trekking fees levied on visiting guests. Arriving at Entebbe airport in the capital Kampala visitors can embark on a full safari itinerary encompassing the best of the diverse parks, or simply a short excursion to the southeast for gorilla trekking.

“Thank you for an extraordinary trip. I had a great time. I love the philosophy of your firm. The itinerary was perfect. Your staff and guides are literally the best I have had in the world. I definitely want to come back with you for the great migration, botswana and victoria falls. You all went so far beyond the call of duty. Thank you so much.”

– CL

South Africa

The renowned Kruger National Park, as well as busy Cape Town, this is a region of sublime scenery, rich wildlife and ancient history. Here, in this land filled with wonder, gaze at the merry meerkats of the Kalahari Desert.

Highlights

  • Cape of Good Hope
  • Cape Winelands
  • Kruger National Park
  • Table Mountain
  • Robben Island

CLASSIC SOUTH AFRICA
11-day Safari includes: 4 nights Cape Town, 3 nights Phinda Private Game Reserve, 3 nights Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Luxury hotel and lodges.

SIGNATURE SOUTH AFRICA
11-day Safari includes: 4 nights Cape Town, 3 nights Kruger National Park, 3 nights Sabi Sand Game Reserve. Luxury hotel and lodges.

“Every aspect of the trip was incredible – the locations, the wildlife and especially the people. All your attention to detail made it so easy for us to just sit back and enjoy the show.”

– LAURIE

Botswana

From the crystal-clear waters of the Okavango Delta to the abundant elephant herds in Chobe National Park, this is a magical oasis. Experience a magnificent range of wild animals including graceful lechwe antelopes and brilliant birdlife.

Highlights

  • Okavango Delta
  • Kalahari Desert
  • Savute Channel
  • Selinda Game Reserve
  • Moremi Game Reserve

CLASSIC BOTSWANA WITH VIC FALLS
12 day Safari includes: 2 nights Victoria Falls, 3 nights Chobe National Park, 6 nights Okavango Delta (two different locations). Luxury tented camps and hotel.

Namibia

A photographer’s dream, Namibia is wild, stunning and filled with wide-open spaces, desert elephants and spectacular sand dunes. The exotic Himba people still live there as nomadic pastoralists.

Highlights

  • Sossusvlei
  • Etosha National Park
  • Damaraland
  • Namib Desert
  • Skeleton Coast

SIGNATURE NAMIBIA
14 day Safari includes: 1 night Windhoek, 2 nights Okonjima, 2 nights Etosha National Park, 1 night Ongava, 2 nights Mowani, 2 nights Swakopmund, 2 nights Sossusvlei, depart Windhoek. Luxury tented camps, lodges and hotel.

Zambia

One of the most cohesive and stable nations in Africa, the thundering splendor of Victoria Falls draws visitors to this gentle and peaceful country. A diversity of wildlife and intricate plant life grace the peaceful web of life in this engaging country.

Highlights

  • Victoria Falls
  • Livingstone
  • Lower Zambezi National Park
  • South Luangwa National Park

ABOUT ZAMBIA
Zambia is the undiscovered treasure trove of Africa. It shelters extraordinary natural beauty and is one of the most pristine and unspoiled wildlife havens on the continent. It is easy to see why Zambia boasts one of the largest areas of land under protection as a national park in Africa. The thundering splendor of the Victoria Falls draws most visitors to this gentle and peaceful country. Less frequented than Zimbabwe, many travellers prefer to see the falls from the Zambian side and some claim the views are even more spectacular.

Zimbabwe

Thrilling white water rafting, bungee jumping, helicopter excursions await you on the Zambezi. Herds of elephants, cheetah, giraffe, white rhino, leopards and more line the stretches of wild land brimming with life.

Highlights

  • Victoria Falls
  • Hwangwe National Park
  • Lake Kariba
  • Matobo Hills
  • Matusadona National Park

ABOUT ZAMBIA
Zambia is the undiscovered treasure trove of Africa. It shelters extraordinary natural beauty and is one of the most pristine and unspoiled wildlife havens on the continent. It is easy to see why Zambia boasts one of the largest areas of land under protection as a national park in Africa. The thundering splendor of the Victoria Falls draws most visitors to this gentle and peaceful country. Less frequented than Zimbabwe, many travellers prefer to see the falls from the Zambian side and some claim the views are even more spectacular.

Indian Ocean / Mozambique

Experience the exquisite Seychelles Islands, Reunion, Mauritius, or Zanzibar, where the trading routes of exotic ships leave a diverse cultural history. These islands personify a place of serenity in natural beauty and captivating history.

Highlights

  • Lamu
  • Seychelles
  • Mauritius
  • Maldives
  • Zanzibar

ABOUT MOZAMBIQUE
The pearl of the Indian Ocean, Mozambique boasts 1,550 miles of pristine beachfront on the mainland, with a string of beautiful and idyllic tropical islands, glittering like jewels in the warm, azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Soft, white sand beaches lined with coconut palms stretch as far as the eye can see. Mozambique has remained an exclusive destination as many of its islands and mainland beaches are isolated and secluded, offering travellers the ultimate escape. There are no golf courses or shopping malls here, but the unspoiled natural beauty and rich marine life has pushed the country to the top of the list for honeymooners, scuba divers and water sport fanatics.

SWAHILI COAST
Lamu is the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa, retaining its traditional functions. Built in coral stone and mangrove timber, the town is characterized by the simplicity of structural forms enriched by such features as inner courtyards, verandas, and elaborately carved wooden doors. Mombasa, built by the Portuguese in 1593-1596, is one of the most outstanding and well preserved examples of 16th Portuguese military fortification and a landmark in the history of this type of construction.

MALDIVES
The smallest country in Asia, the 26 Maldive atolls are the world’s lowest country. Numerous resorts have overwater bungalows.

MAURITIUS
Once a base for pirates, Mauritius was a port of call for the spice trade.

MOZAMBIQUE
Referred to as “The Pearl of the Indian Ocean, the Bazaruto Archipelago consists of five islands: Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Santa Carolina and Bangue. The area is protected as a conservation area and national park, including the coral reefs surrounding the islands.

SEYCHELLES
The Republic of Seychelles 115 islands are over 900 miles off the coast of East Africa. Used as a stopover for pirates traveling between Africa and Asia, the Seychelles are home to some of the most exclusive resorts in the world.

ZANZIBAR
Zanzibar is an example of the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa. The calm seas surrounding Zanzibar offer snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming directly from the beach. Turtle season occurs between April and August. The white coral sand beaches and spectacular coral reefs are renowned as one of the most romantic ocean destinations in the world, offering privacy and exclusivity unparalleled on the African coastline.

“I referred to Wendy’s list of top travel specialists and chose Linda Friedman of Custom Safaris. Talk about a home run, though grand slam might be more accurate!”

– BOB H

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