African Safari Holidays for Elderly People

21st December 2018

Choosing a holiday as an elderly person is no different to deciding on a holiday destination for any other age; it is all about your unique preferences, priorities and selecting experiences which are close to your heart. Of course though, what is important to our more senior clients can be slightly different to our young honeymoon couples, for instance. The most important thing in our view is focusing slightly more on the relaxation and luxury side of things, rather than an especially hectic, action packed and busy holiday. We know that older safari goers love to focus on getting off the beaten track to the privacy of their own little slices of wilderness, and that relaxation and the little things are what transforms their memorable holiday into an adventure of a lifetime.

… And where better to relax into your adventure than in the total seclusion of the African wilderness?

Many think of Africa and in particular African safaris as the height of holiday adventure, but we can let you in on a little secret…. Safaris are a fantastic option for those who love adventurous experiences, whilst avoiding all or any physically strenuous adventure in the process – in fact, we would say that 95% of the trips we love to organise are suitable for all ages; whether you are 6, 60 or 100 years old, an African safari is an experience which should be ticked off everyone’s bucket list.

Your average day on safari consists of an early morning game drive, brunch/lunch, and (usually) a little siesta before an afternoon game drive, before dinner and falling asleep again to the sounds of the bush… Although early starts can be tiring for any aged traveller, if you can sit in a vehicle for a few hours, you can certainly go on safari. In fact, even if you cannot sit in a vehicle, you can still go on safari.

Some elderly people will be less inclined to look as far afield as the ‘wild and adventurous’ African safari as a holiday possibility, but we want to challenge this misconception & prove that the grey pound in the safari world is a huge industry – here’s why;

  1. A safari is a once in a lifetime experience, and is often on people’s bucket list… With a little inspiration and guidance from the experts it is probably the easiest holiday you will ever organise both in the planning stages, and on the ground.
  2. As soon as you land from your international flight, you basically get chauffeured from A-B and all the way back again. No stressful airport waits for hire cars, last-minute panics or looking through tour guides for the best experiences… Ensuring you have world class experiences is covered by us here at Africa Odyssey, and on the ground your activities and amazing wildlife opportunities are all waiting.
  3. We tailor make all your trips to suit you entirely. Our experts have travelled and/or lived extensively throughout Africa and to all the places which we recommend. Let us know of any physical limitations and we will be sure to find something for every kind of traveller. We have an excellent relationship with all the lodges and camps we work with and as such, we can request little things to make your stay more comfortable and enjoyable. As an example, we know the rooms which are close to the main areas for easy access to the dining areas.
  4. A safari game drive is suitable for absolutely anyone… It is one of the most adventurous, exciting yet relaxed holidays you can have. On the edge of being in the harsh and unruly African wilderness but in the comfort of your vehicle or room, there is no one who can’t enjoy the unrivalled wildlife opportunities an African safari has to offer.
  5. On safari, you will be extremely well taken care of by the intimate and personalised lodges you stay at – and honestly, on safari, nothing is to big of an ask for the staff there. The levels of hospitality exceed anywhere else in the world.

We can’t stress enough that pretty much every itinerary we love to recommend is suitable for any aged traveller. However, there are only a handful of experiences which you should probably avoid if you are physically fit, but not as physically fit as a physically fit 25-year-old!

Hiking Kilimanjaro, although some senior citizens may thrive on this kind of adventure, wouldn’t be advisable unless you are extremely fit and well trained. Of course though, you know yourself better than we do– some 25 year olds as much as some 85 year olds won’t be fully equipped to climb Kilimanjaro, so it is entirely dependent on you.

Another activity to potentially avoid if you are elderly is the walking safaris in Zambia, where you walk through the African bush from A – B and change your accommodation each night. Walking safaris this long and adventurous are niche anyway though, and only a small handful of our clients ask to do this. So it is not a choice most people make, simply because it is pretty strenuous and doesn’t make for the most relaxing of holidays.

It is good to be aware that these kind of intrepid walking safaris are not the standard walking safaris you typically find on safari. Usually they can be as mellow or as hardcore as you like – some can be half an hour long and others can be 3 hours, after each walk returning to the luxury of the lodge or camp you are staying at. In many cases the walk depends entirely on you and the level of activity you are looking for.

All in all, we can’t stress enough that elderly or not, age really doesn’t matter when deciding where to go for your African adventure. Safaris are extremely personalised and intimate holidays and as such are probably some of the most flexible; the managers at each lodge and camp will adapt to suit the unique and individual needs of every single guest.

We know the little things matter…

Due to our 20 years experience in creating inspiring African safari and beach itineraries, we really do know all our old favourites, and newly discovered spots around the continent like the back of our hands. Working with the team on the ground in each of our specialist countries for so long means we have excellent relationships with the camps and lodges, so as well as getting the best deals, we often go out to visit to see what’s changed and what’s new. From the best lit to the most private rooms, to the best guides, to the most comfortable vehicles, beds, and even to the most atmospheric camps; we really do know our stuff! Booking a tailor-made safari with Africa Odyssey means you get the details right as well as the overall experience, making the whole holiday, and not just that unbelievable cheetah sighting, a truly unforgettable experience.