It’s the time of year when half the population turns to Pinterest for their Christmas decor inspiration and menu planning, while the other half makes a quick U-turn out of the tinsel-strewn shopping mall and scans the web for any last minute flight specials to somewhere remote! We aren’t all cut from the same cloth, and while the bustling shops and festive music might give some people the warm and fuzzies, others start to dream of wide open spaces and silence instead.
Sure, family time is the best time, but so are midday gin and tonics by the pool with absolutely nothing being asked of you for at least four hours. We get it; you’re torn between spending a week in near-pyjamas tripping over Christmas lights, and absorbing the African warmth under a big sun hat and a view of elephants parading across the savanna.
Here are four good reasons to spend Christmas and New Year on safari. You’re welcome.
All the feasting without the cooking or cleaning
Safaris are synonymous with overeating, in the best possible way. There is so much good food going around at every time of year and over the festive season, safari chefs really start churning out the special treatment. From early morning homemade rusks and shortbread, to fluffy frittatas, fresh fruit and mince pies, charcuterie platters and big, hearty flavours across the board, you’re definitely not going hungry. Food is so much a part of feeling nurtured and satisfied, and when you’re on safari – over Christmas time or not – you’re eating home-cooked meals that not only deliver in terms of comfort and flavour, you’re 100% on the receiving end and 0% on the prep! A safari Christmas means you have no kitchen duties assigned to you whatsoever, so forget the devilled eggs and the stewed fruit pudding you’re responsible for this year, and put those feet up!
Where? Chinzombo Camp
A rather appealing absence of (human) crowds
We generally love our own humans, and the festive season allows absent aunts, uncles, and cousins to spend quality time together and lighten the load on parents of tots! But with long overdue family catch ups comes the exponential growth in general human traffic. A quick run for an emergency litre of milk on Boxing Day morning could turn into an hour-long affair with a few thousand people in the same predicament. Long queues of people in dire need of coffee with overtired kids in tow isn’t our idea of morning fun, but what we DO kind of like the sound of is birds. The deep, resonating drum of the ground hornbill enters your sleepy subconscious just before daybreak and by the time the pink dawn transforms into gold, the outdoors are bursting with wild life. On your way to get that first cup of coffee, the only crowds you might encounter are the herds of antelope grazing on the plains. And there is no chance you’ll be out of milk!
Where? Busanga Bush Camp
Sunshine, stars, and scenery
Go where the sun shines and stars light up the sky! You’ll find both of these ingredients for a magical holiday in Africa. Specifically, the great Namib Desert. It is world famous for its wide open spaces, dunes, horizons, and scenery that will blow your mind. Sunshine is a given in the desert and while temperatures might be extreme, we promise that where we plan on sending you for Christmas in the African desert, you’ll be kept cool during the warm days and snug during the night. Once the sheer blue sky turns in for the night, it is replaced with an immense display of stars that you just don’t see anywhere else. Imagine New Year’s Eve being lit up by not fireworks, but by stars over an ancient African desert. A celebration in style, surrounded by miles and miles of sand, in the territory of desert elephants, and the start of a new year on the horizon.
Where? Sossusvlei Desert Lodge
The whole point of a holiday is to relax and unwind so that you can pick up where you left off with renewed energy and a fresh perspective. It’s a time to rejuvenate and reset, and sometimes achieving a full reset requires something as simple as a good night’s sleep. Or a few! Going to bed early after a day feasting the eyes on natural beauty, far away from the glare of a computer screen, is bound to transform your sleep. Waking up with the sunrise is energising, and sleeping in a little later is just plain luxurious. Real rest is invaluable and often over then festive season, it’s not something you typically get a lot of. Late nights, plenty of indulgence, activities and family responsibilities leave very little time for quiet, slow-paced, time out.
Where? Sabi Earth Lodge
Spending time on safari over the festive season kind of lets you off the hook, but once every couple years maybe you deserve to duck out of the fast-paced, busy, noisy, family Christmas agenda and big New Year’s Eve plans! Splurging on a summer safari and avoiding the tinsel overkill could be just the ticket for a restful, enlightening, and wild start to a new year.
Get in touch to discuss some of the best safari options for romantics, families, and escapists alike!