Safaris - Private Conservancies vs National Parks - Somak Luxury Travel
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Safaris – Private Conservancies vs National Parks

A safari is an amazing experience and nothing beats the thrill of being out in the wild and seeing some of the world’s most prolific animal species. When planning your safari the main choice is between opting for a private conservancy or a national park.

Sleeping cheetah

Sleeping cheetah

There are many advantages of choosing to safari in a private conservancy over a national park, even though they tend to be slightly more expensive.

Firstly, some of the private conservancies and reserves share unfenced borders with the main national parks, meaning you would benefit from the best of both experiences –  all the advantages of the private reserve with easy access to the national park. Most safaris will include at least a full-day drive in the national park, or more, depending on the wildlife sightings, so there is no danger of missing out on the best wildlife sightings if that happens to be in the national park during your stay.

In a private conservancy you won’t encounter heavy traffic which national parks sometimes have, owing to the higher cost of entry. However, even though slightly pricier, the amount you pay goes directly towards the conservation of the wildlife and their habitat, so you’re actually assisting conservation efforts in the process.

Watchful lion

Watchful lion

National parks will have time restrictions in place for accessing the park, whereas with private reserves you get to access areas that ordinarily are off limits for national park visitors. At some private conservancies you may also be able to experience night drives and bush walks with guidance from the reserve’s security and tour guides, which is a fantastic and different experience.

The lodges and camps located in private conservancies tend to be more luxurious and smaller than the ones in national parks and you will find more exclusive accommodation. Some may even offer bush breakfasts and dinners, which are an amazing experience.

National parks on the other hand have the advantages of offering a wider choice of accommodation within a variety of price ranges, so there is something to suit every budget.

You have the option to do a self-drive safari in some parks such as Kruger National Park in South Africa, which is not available in private conservancies.

The national parks are usually in prime locations and so you are still likely to see fantastic wildlife. The national park fees also go towards helping with conservation of the park and its wildlife.

Zebra overlooking the plains

Zebra overlooking the plains

Whether you choose a private conservancy or a national park really depends on where you are going and what you are hoping to get out of your safari. With over 50 years’ of experience, we are incredibly passionate about Africa and the amazing plethora of experiences it offers discerning travellers, and we would love to help you plan the perfect safari.

We have set itineraries available for the best locations, or alternatively, we can create a bespoke itinerary for you to ensure you have the best experience, whether you choose to safari in a private reserve or national park.

Are you inspired to go on a safari? Call us on 020 8423 3000 or complete an enquiry form to receive a quotation from our booking experts.

You can also find out more on our website:



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