The Million Dollar Safari
If you’ve got a cool mil burning a hole in your wallet and a family that loves wildlife, adventure and luxury travel, here’s the perfect deal for you.
The aptly-named Extraordinary Journeys, a high-end New York-based travel outfitter, has put together a jaw-dropping 36-day journey through seven countries in eastern and southern Africa that claims to “push the limits of what is possible on safari.” The trip combines gorilla trekking in Rwanda, Big Five game viewing on the Serengeti, boating on Lake Tanganyika, wine-tasting in Stellenbosch, beach-going in Mozambique and more, for a price of just US$1 million for a family of four. If you’re going solo or as a couple, no need to sell the yacht — the price per person is a mere $202,400.
What can possibly justify such a high price tag, you ask? Well for starters, you’ll be ferried from camp to camp and country to country in a private plane (no rubbing elbows with plebs here). An experienced private guide will oversee the entire experience from beginning to end, and will never leave your side. And of course you’ll sleep and dine in luxury: accommodation includes posh lodges, luxury safari camps, elegant boutique hotels and exclusive private villas, where high thread-count bed linens, private chefs preparing tailor-made menus, and stunning infinity pools await you.
OK, now that you’ve had time to dream and maybe even go out and buy a few lottery tickets, here are few other options you may want to consider while waiting to find out if you hold the winning numbers.
Adrenaline South Africa
If your budget’s a little smaller than $1 million but your ambition just as grand, how about the 11-day “Adrenaline South Africa” trip offered by African Travel, Inc?
Aimed at travelers of the thrill-seeking variety, the trip includes several days in Kruger National Park, one of Africa’s greatest game reserves. During a 3-day camping safari you’ll get access to parts of the park that are rarely visited, and guaranteed encounters with lion, leopard, giraffe, rhino and hippo. In nearby Hazyview you’ll walk alongside massive African elephants in the famed sanctuary. The itinerary also includes some time in Cape Town, where you’ll climb up — and abseil off — Table Mountain, but also indulge in some calmer pursuits, such as wine tasting. The nail-biting high point of the trip is the excursion to Kleinbaai Harbour, home of the famous “Shark Alley,” where you’ll plunge into the deep blue Atlantic (in a protective cage, of course) and get up close and personal with Great Whites. Prices start at $4,495 per person, double occupancy.
Across a Continent by Private Jet
Abercrombie & Kent is renowned for its pricey, custom-tailored African journeys that appeal to moneyed jet-setters. So it should come as no surprise that their “Across a Continent” trip literally jets around Africa — in a private, retro-fitted Boeing 737 with only business-class seats.
The 19-day mega-trip hits a number of eastern and southern Africa highlights: Ethiopia, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, Botswana, a mobile tented safari in Tanzania, the Skeleton Coast of Namibia, Sanctuary Sussi & Chuma in Zambia, and Cape Town in South Africa.
The first time A&K offered the trip, which departed in February 2014, the 40 seats sold out in days. So if you want to snag a spot on the 2015 trip, you better reserve soon! The price tag: a mere US$82,995 per person.
Ultimate Africa By Classic DC-3
Travcoa is marking its 60th anniversary with an epic 20-day, 5600-mile trek through six African countries. The journey, which is hosted by Travcoa’s own president, makes its way through the Maasai Mara in Kenya, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe, the Okavango Delta in Botswana, the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, as well as sites in Zambia and Tanzania.
Guests are shuttled from country to country in a propeller-powered DC-3, an aircraft that’s perfect for low-level flight-seeing and also evokes the luxury and romance of a bygone era. The plane is piloted by Captain Phillipus “Flippie” Vermeulen, who has over 30 years of commercial and private flight experience and a deep affection for Africa and the aircraft.
Limited to just 18 guests, the all-inclusive journey starts in Nairobi, Kenya on September 1 and ends in Cape Town, South Africa on September 20, 2014 and costs US$39,990 per person.