Last week, we received an email from our friends at Zambia’s Mfuwe Lodge, about some of their more unusual visitors. Each year the same group of elephants return to visit the lodge, migrating straight thorough reception to eat the fruit of the nearby mango trees. Quite a sight.
This got us thinking about some of the incredible places in Africa where you get more for your money than simply experiencing the wildlife from the back of a landrover. From being guided through the bush by elephants to sharing the breakfast table with giraffes, here are our top picks for a truly wild, up close and personal alternative African experience.
Mufwe Lodge, Zambia
To see the elephants at Mfuwe Lodge, your best bet is to visit in November, when the wild mango trees are in full fruit. They’re remarkably relaxed around the lodge - stopping to investigate the keys behind reception, or talking advantage of a quick snooze on the floor! Mfuwe Lodge makes an excellent start or end to any safari in the South Luangwa, and can be combined with relaxation beside the turquoise waters of Lake Malawi.
Giraffe Manor, Kenya
Ideal for families and giraffe-lovers, Nairobi’s Giraffe Manor offers the chance to get up close and personal with these extraordinarily graceful creatures. Here you’ll be greeted by the giraffes popping their heads through the dining room window for breakfast. Irresistible for children (who’re also delighted by the friendly warthogs snuffling about on the lawn) and perfect as part of a longer Kenyan safari.
Sanctuary Stanley’s Camp, Botswana
We’ve all heard of safari in a landrover with a guide - but how about a safari on foot accompanied by elephants? Here at Stanley’s Camp in the Okavango Delta, Jambu, Thembi and Morula, three fostered elephants, take the lead and walk out each morning to give a handful of guests the experience of a lifetime - seeing the African bush through the eyes of an elephant.