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How Much Should I Plan to Spend on an African Safari?

African Safari

Luxury camps can easily cost more than $1,000 per person, per night. But you can still have a great wildlife adventure full of creature comforts for less than half that—if you take the right approach. (And remember: that price includes meals and alcohol, guided game drives, and conservancy fees.) Here, tips from T+L’s A-List travel advisors.

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Take a Selfie, Help Save a Rhino

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Every seven hours, a rhino in South Africa falls prey to poachers. The country is home to 83% of Africa’s rhinos and 73% of all wild rhinos worldwide. In recent years, rhino populations have dwindled dangerously, with three out of five species classified as critically endangered (the highest risk for extinction). In looking for ways to combat the decline, andBeyond’s Rhinos Without Borders project has started a social media campaign to help fund protection of the endangered animals by relocating them to safety. Helping is as simple as taking a photo.

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A Day in the African Bush

#singitastories - Saitoti Ole Kuwai from Singita on Vimeo.

Your day starts in the dark. At 4 o'clock in the morning, you can still hear hyenas calling. The bush is awake.

Saitoti Ole Kuwai is a field guide at the African luxury lodge, Singita. He says of his daily experience: "The area by itself is like a huge sea, so you never know what kind of fish you're going to catch. What's needed for you is the passion, the passion to wait."

From spotting a majestic female leopard to seeing zebras traverse the landscape, this video gives good reason to add "safari" to your bucket list.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Sleep Above the Lions in These Luxe African Treehouses

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It goes without saying that, even as an adult, there are few places to spend the night as cool as way up in a tree. How else do you explain the popularity of these 10 insane treehouse hotels?

But what if you're looking for something more exclusive than your standard arboreal accommodation? This trio of tree huts on the Lion Sands Game Reserve in South Africa offer privacy, luxury, and a 360-degree view of the beautiful, sometimes frightening natural world below.

SEE MORE AT THRILLIST

Photo courtesy of Lion Sands

Daily Transporter: Little Big Cat

dreamy puss

Last week, guests at Kenya’s Olare Mara Kempinski safari camp didn’t need to join game drives to see lions up close—a lioness gave birth to two cubs under the platform of one of the luxury camp’s twelve tents.

See Masai Mara in Best Life-Changing Trips

Editor’s Picks: Kenya Game Parks
World’s Greatest Animal Migrations
World’s Most Romantic Sunsets
World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

The Moment: Jawai Leopard Camp in Rajasthan

Rajasthan: Jawai Leopard Camp

It’s dinnertime, but before you lift a fork of paprika-infused lamb to your lips, you pause again to look at the stars. At Jawai Leopard Camp, a new eight-tent lodge in a remote part of India, there is little man-made light. A half-moon throws a gentle glow on the granite hills, where red-turbaned Rabari herdsmen share their land with hyenas, jackals, and even the leopard your guide pointed out on safari last night. Tomorrow you may visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Kumbhalgarh Fort or bird-watch at Jawai Bandh reservoir, but now you have just one item on your agenda: ducking into your creature-comfort-filled canvas tent for the kind of sleep that only comes after a day in the wild. All-inclusive.

Related Links:
Uncovering the Jewels of Rajasthan, India
World’s Great Animal Migrations
Best Endangered Animal Safaris

Photo courtesy of Jawai Leopard Camp

Daily Transporter: How the Zebra Got His Stripes

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A comparison of zebra habitats mapped with data about local predators, eco-regions, and insects indicates that a zebra’s stripes are an adapted defense against biting flies, according to a study just published in Nature Communications.

See Cute Baby Zoo Animals You Have to See This Year

Editor’s Picks: Family Vacation Ideas
Best Family Getaways
Best Museums for Families
America’s Best Vacations for Sports Fans

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Tanzania

wild chimpanzee

It was wildest, untouched Africa, and it was magic.
Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Goodall, the primatologist and conservationist who turns 80 years old today, arrived in Africa at age 23 intending only to visit a childhood friend’s farm in Kenya.

See Tanzania in Best Life-Changing Trips

Editor’s Picks: Tanzania
See Tanzania in World’s Greatest Animal Migrations
and Best Hotel Bathroom Views
A safari camp for chimpanzee-viewing: Greystoke Mahalepictured

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of Nomad Tanzania

Trip Doctor Series: Trekking, Walking, and Hiking (Africa)

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We’re all for seeing Africa’s amazing flora and fauna from the comfort of a vehicle, but have you ever considered stepping out of the jeep and into the wild? As someone always looking for a way to turn up that adventure dial, I know I have. In our May issue’s Trekking, Walking, and Hiking Guide, we call out veteran outfitter Robin Pope Safaris in Zambia, which happens to be the home of the walking safari, for its standout mobile camping trek through a remote part of South Luangwa National Park. Spend your days tracking lions or observing buffalo along the Mupamadzi River bank, and evenings at a roving camp with walk-in tents and Mara campfires. robinpopesafaris.net; eight days from $4,388.

Jennifer FlowersJennifer Flowers is an Associate Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.

Photo credit: Monika Hoefler and Jens Schwarz

Zambia: Q&A with Grant Cumings

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This month’s T+L includes my feature story on Zambia, which some (like me) are calling Africa’s next great safari destination. One key reason: the lodgings themselves. While big-name international safari companies have made inroads in Zambia, the field is still defined by intimately scaled (and decidedly un-corporate) bush and river camps, which hew to a more authentic, back-to-basics feel, while still offering a “luxury” level of service. Many of these properties are owned and/or operated by native Zambians, who bring a decidedly personal touch to the endeavor. Case in point: Andy Hogg, co-founder of the Bushcamp Company, whose six stylish camps in South Luangwa National Park are profiled in my story. Then there’s Grant Cumings, whose family runs two excellent properties, Chiawa and Old Mondoro, in Zambia’s Lower Zambezi National Park.

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