First Time Travelers

Our insider know-how will make your first time traveling to Africa a stress-free and unique experience...

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Why Africa?

Lounge setting of a camp or lodge, designed with local materials.

Safari-goers can choose to view large and spectacular wildlife in natural surroundings, unique to this fascinating continent.  Going on a photographic African safari is a donation, in itself, toward conserving African wildlife and habitats. A safari can be the most enjoyable and rewarding environmental contribution you will ever make.

Venturing to Africa will be your introduction to the success of conservation by local communities. Safaris have traditionally been easy on the environment but conservationists have developed it even further. Tourism to these remote corners of Africa has a positive and sustainable effect on the local communities through park entrance fees, licenses, concessions and employment. The majority of camps are using natural resources such as solar power to run their generators instead of diesel or gasoline. It feels good investing your vacation time in supporting camps and lodges that have made great strides in ECOtourism.

10 Great Reasons to Travel with The Africa Adventure Company

1. We wrote the definitive guide book on safaris to Africa  The President of our company, Mark Nolting, has written the quintessential book on traveling to Africa, "Africa's Top Wildlife Countries" - a testament to our level of expertise and dedication to giving you up to date information.

2. We specialize ONLY in Africa  While many companies offer trips all over the world our work is focused only on Africa. This has enabled us to become experts in designing African safaris, foster close relationships within the industry and benefit from special pricing on the trips we feature. Our insider knowledge of Africa is unsurpassed. We'll provide you with special access to places, guides and events that are unavailable to travelers who book online.

3. Award winning CUSTOMIZED travel planning  We pioneered customized safari travel in Africa. After 25 years it was thrilling to have TRAVEL + LEISURE select a smaller, bespoke company in their 2012 World's Best Awards. The prestigious recognition landed us in the "world's best safari outfitter" category and is testament to our excellent customer service and expert knowledge. We are recognized again in 2014!

4. One of the world's top Travel Specialists  We offer first hand, unbiased advice. All of  our consultants go back to Africa every year to stay on top of product knowledge, so there is always someone who has been where you are going! CONDE NAST TRAVELER has recognized us as one of the World's Top Travel Specialists and Tour Outfitters - an honor for 11 years in a row!

5. Affordable independent and private safaris  Many people expect private and independent safaris to be very expensive, but our clients are delighted to discover that they do not have to join a group of strangers in order to afford a great customized safari. Independent travel has never been easier.

6. Value-added adventure!  Offering safari trips to over 15 African countries, there are hundreds of parks and game reserves, safari activities and a wide range of accommodations to choose from. We do not have to tie you into one line of properties and destination. Rather we match the ones to best fit your travel style with exclusive access to some of the best guides.

7. Sustainable tourism and eco conservation  In recognition of our commitment for over 28 years, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC selected us as one of the Best Travel Adventure Travel Companies on Earth. We have whole-heartedly promoted local ground operators and guides, eco accommodations and community projects that are supporting the merits of low-impact travel and the survival of habitats.

8. Safari trips with a purpose  Our award winning travel planning is based on more than game viewing; there is purpose to making a difference! We are very involved in many African communities, giving back to conservation projects, and supporting guides at grass roots level. At the community level we assist student education through funding of scholarships. For conservation, a percentage of bookings revenue in a variety of camps goes to supporting local projects. And we run and support guide  initiatives recognizing wildlife naturalists who excel at the highest level. Because of our involvement, we were awarded the Tanzania Tour Operator Humanitarian Award by the Tanzania Tourist Board.

9. Our In-House air department Our IATA/ARC in-house air department completes the planning process with flight arrangements. By booking your air with us, we can assist if flights are changed or cancelled. And should there be a travel emergency, we can be reached 24/7.

10. Our clients come back for more! Over 70% of our business is repeat clients and referrals! What a testament to the quality of our services, and of course, the incredible beauty and wildlife of Africa!

Dining on the edge of Ngorongoro Crater.

The Value of Africa Adventure Company

The value we add lies in our insider know-how of the places we specialize in, based on our frequent and recent trips there. As professional travel consultants we listen and hear what is important to you and can make educated suggestions. Our value is in how we’ve personally tested all the hotels and transportation and activities, so that we know what’s worth paying more for, and what’s not. Our value is in the personal relationships we have with key people in the industry—connections that we use on behalf of our travelers to match you up to outstanding guides. Our value is in the special access we can provide to places and people and events that are unavailable to travelers who book online as our clients are identified as traveling under our branded umbrella.

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More about the company

The Africa Adventure Company (AAC) is headed up by Mark and Alison Nolting.

Mark has spent over 25 years exploring and researching the African continent as the author of Africa’s Top Wildlife Countries, an excellent guide book in which Mark chronicles every aspect of the safari experience. He also written the all-in-one book to take on safari, African Safari Journal, a wildlife guide with illustrations, maps, diary pages, and phrases.

Alison was born and raised in Zimbabwe and spent many years managing safari camps before joining Mark 20 years ago. She thrives in the development of refreshingly new safari programs for our repeat Africa Adventure Company travelers as well as working with sponsorship in the community and introducing volunteer programs.

Together with their wonderful office staff,  they offer the highest level of expertise for arranging low-impact and personalized travel to over 14 countries in Africa. They continue to stay ahead of the herds with professional and dedicated consultants who strive to offer outstanding guidance on trip planning.

As they look to the future, the Africa Adventure Company will continue to do what it has done best! Focus on small groups and independent travelers, promote camps that are symbiotic with nature and the community, and offer exquisite game viewing with top notch guides. They look forward to the continuing tradition of ‘safari of a lifetime’!

Accommodations and Adventure to suit all travel styles

Lounge setting of a camp or lodge, designed with local materials.

The main allure of Africa is that anyone can find an adventure there. The level of adventure and contact with nature is controlled by the traveler. Accommodation options include hotels, lodges, small camps with chalets or bungalows, houseboats, fixed tented camps and mobile tented safaris. Adventures range from game drives in wildlife parks and reserves to hot-air balloon rides to walking in the bush to horse-back riding tours to challenging mountain climbs to native canoe safaris to white-water rafting. Eco-tourism in Africa has gone through its own evolution. Many of our safari programs feature low impact accommodations where the key is the size of camps and lodges. The level of comfort is just as variable, and it ranges from simple bungalows to extravagant suites with private swimming pools. Luxury camps can cater to even the most discriminating traveler - with five-star panache, but rugged individualists can also find nirvana in earthy-chic accommodations.  Most lodges, camps and smaller hotels featured in our itineraries participate in low utilization of energy resources energy like solar power. Adventurers who want to capture life in a back-to-nature setting are always richly rewarded. Most safari locales are almost devoid of human interference, and travelers live according to a natural rhythm of life that has remained basically unchanged since the beginning of time.

Natural Attractions including World Heritage Sites

Africa boasts such a tremendous variety of attractions that everyone can find something fascinating see. In addition to fabulous wildlife, the continent delivers one of the world's largest waterfalls (Victoria Falls), the world's largest inland delta (Okavango Delta), the world's largest intact volcanic caldera (Ngorongoro Crater) and the world's highest mountain that is not part of a range( Mt. Kilimanjaro). Africa is also home to the world's largest animal migration - the Great Serengeti Migration - a movement of over 1.5 million wildebeest and zebra.

Snow covered peaks in Kilimanjaro.

Travel with a Purpose

Ndarakwai Community Voluntourism - Tanzania

Travel in Africa is an exciting and educational experience. Africa is huge. It is the second largest continent on earth, covering over 20 percent of the planet's land surface. More than three times the size of the United States, it is also larger than Europe, the United States and China combined. No wonder it offers such diversity! A tapestry of compelling cultures, ranging from the colorful Masai and Samburu tribes of East Africa to the Kalahari Bushmen and the nomadic Himba of southern Africa, are there to be discovered. Why do so many people initially choose Africa? Feature films like The Serengeti, Out of Africa, African Queen and Gorillas in the Mist, along with countless documentaries, have inspired adventure travelers to choose Africa time and time again. Many are drawn by the unique, pristine wilderness in which wildlife still abounds in an unspoiled and exciting environment. Others seek contact with vast, open spaces and traditional African cultures, which can have a meaningful effect on the human spirit - stirring and stimulating the senses, relaxing and revitalizing the mind. No matter the inspiration, travel to Africa means to go back in time and capture the thrill of something entirely different.

Underneath is the  "What Wildlife is Best Seen Where" chart which is also a very useful tool on deciding where to travel.

What Wildlife is Best Seen Where Chart  (Click image to view chart)

 

As an award winning safari outfitter and tour operator our travel planning value lies in spending time on the phone with you in order that we can cuarate all the information you have gathered in your research and match to the right Safari Style.

Driving safaris are simply safaris in which guests are driven by their driver/guide from reserve to reserve. You generally have the same guide throughout the safari, who will have a very good knowledge of all the parks and reserves to be visited. For instance many of our trips to Tanzania and/or Kenya may have a component where you drive from park to park with a private guide and vehicle. We do feature small group departures which can make it more affordable to have a high quality guide throughout, in particular with Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

On flying safaris, guests are flown to or near the wildlife reserves that are to be visited. They are then picked up at the airport or airstrip upon arrival and driven to their camp or lodge — which is usually a game drive in itself. Guides and vehicles are based at the camps and lodges at which guests will be staying. A real advantage is that the resident guides have an intimate knowledge of the area because they are usually based in the same camp for the season. Typically this would be an independent style of travel where we book all the flights and accommodations for you will join other guests at each of the camps. Again we do feature some specialist guided group departures that fly between the parks, giving you the same quality guide throughout.  These are common in Botswana, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia and Namibia.

Private departure safaris offer a more individualized experience, beginning with your choice of a date to depart on your travels. Depending on the destination, you have either your own driver/guide throughout, or the services of a guide at each stop in the itinerary. You travel by vehicle, scheduled flights or charter flights between smaller private lodges and permanent tented camps in more remote locations and we co-ordinate all these customized logistics. The private safari matches an independent style of travel to combine your preferences for departure dates, game parks and accommodations. For greater intimacy, a couple, family or friends might prefer traveling as a private party and book the services of a specialist guide.

Group safaris are pre-scheduled for you to embark on a locally guided, group expedition, traveling between game parks in each country. You stay at selected hotels, lodges, bungalows and permanent tented camps. The optimum size of a group departure is 6-10. On a scheduled, small group departure, you usually travel with mixed English speaking nationalities and people of varying ages. These group departures allows you to afford a quality guiding experience.

An African safari can be experienced in a myriad ways – all exciting!. We like to chat with you about your level of fitness so the variety of activities included in your itinerary match your expectations. Most often, game viewing is best accomplished in the early mornings and late afternoons when wildlife is most active and the lighting is more photo-friendly. Your guide plans these outings to usually last 3 to 5 hours. Depending on the park or reserve, your guide will take you on morning or afternoon game drives in search of wildlife. In some reserves you also may take night game drives to explore the world of nocturnal creatures. Other game viewing options are approaching animals from the water by boat or canoe, taking game walks and tracking footprints, trekking gorillas and chimps, riding on elephant or horse back, or viewing from above in a hot air balloon. You can take a break from pursuing wildlife and still be active. Consider visiting tribal villages; the invigorating options of white-water rafting, kayaking and fishing; hiking and climbing mountain trails; visiting relaxing at beautiful beach resorts or touring in the larger cities.

Game viewing by vehicle

Open vehicles usually have no side, rear windows or permanent roof, providing unobstructed views in all directions. They’re used in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Malawi, parts of Tanzania, and private reserves in South Africa and Kenya. Roof hatch or poptop vehicles are used in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Namibia; passengers stand up through the hatch for ease of viewing and photography.

Game viewing by boat

Canoe, mokoro (dugout canoe) and motor boats are excellent for game viewing. Elephant, buffalo, hippo and many other species that drink at the water's edge may be approached up close by boat. These excursions occur in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia and Namibia.

Game viewing on foot

A walking safari is the ultimate way to experience the African bush. The thrill of walking up to a bull elephant, black rhino or gorillas is exciting beyond words. An expert guide can help you identify birds, flowers, trees and wildlife. You will even learn how to track animals by their spoor (footprints). True walking safaris are available in Zimbabwe and Zambia.  Other styles of walking safaris are offered in Botswana, South Africa and parts of Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania. To view gorillas you trek in the forested areas of Uganda and Rwanda.

Africa Guide Book - Africa's Top Wildlife Countries

AFRICA’S TOP WILDLIFE COUNTRIES highlights and compares wildlife reserves and other major attractions in the continent’s best countries for game viewing – making the planning of the journey of a lifetime easy! African countries, and the wildlife reserves within them, vary greatly as to the types and quality of safari experiences they offer. This is the only guidebook that effectively assists readers in choosing the best destinations for the kind of wildlife experience they would most enjoy by comparing travel options among all the top wildlife countries.

Call of the Wild

Click here to read "Call of the Wild", the first chapter of the guide book "Africa's Top Wildlife Countries"

A safari to Africa is like no other trip on earth. Most who have ventured to Africa rate it as the best travel experience of their lives. Why? A safari is a real adventure! Africa allows you to experience nature at its finest — almost devoid of human interference. The continent pulses to a natural rhythm of life that has remained basically unchanged since the beginning of time.