Christmas on safari? Here’s my wishlist

19 December 2018 | Maxine Stevens | Safari and Beach News

Christmas and New Year on Safari is such a special treat. You can leave the grey skies and dark days, the usual battle of who wants what and which family members you will keep happy this year. Avoid the Christmas traffic and chaos and fly away to an African safari paradise.

Christmas on safari, which I have done many times, offers a new perspective and is very liberating, where you don’t have to follow the usual Christmas rules – the wildlife certainly don’t. Christmas day in the bush is liberating, free, magical, and hot! In fact, there’s good reason many people choose an African safari in December. 

My experiences of Christmas in the bush have been a wonderful mix of African food, amazing wildlife, guests who love Christmas, others who are escaping it, and those who don’t celebrate it at all, which all makes for an eclectic and memorable Christmas day.  Each camp is different in how they celebrate Christmas, but you can be sure your game drives will be full of wildlife. Why? Because it is summer in most African destinations, which means that it’s hot and there are lots of animals.  There is something very special about having a sundowner on Christmas day in the knowledge that you are one of the few lucky people who are away from the Christmas madness, watching the most incredible sunset and having the most memorable Christmas of your life (no exaggeration we promise!)

So, to go with your Christmas safari you will need to write your letter to Santa. We think your wishlist should look a bit like this:

Dear Santa,

I’ve been ever so good this year. Please would you bring me…


These are a must in our opinion, and although your guide will always have some in the vehicle, you certainly don’t want to be fighting with your family over who gets the binoculars to see the leopard that is in the tree. We would recommend using 8x40s simply because they give you the best magnification without having to go too large and increasing the weight of your luggage.


This is one of our absolute must haves for women and men alike. It comes in so useful when on a dusty drive, or when your hair has taken a windy beating and needs tying up, and they are also great for covering up in the sun.  A scarf is so versatile on safari, so when asking for this on your Christmas list, ask for top quality cotton.

Leather Holdall or Rucksack

We would recommend a leather weekend bag – when traveling on safari, you may be going on a trip where you spend two to three nights at each camp and will being traveling between them, often on light aircraft. Its handy to have a good day bag for these journeys,

Note book 

Going on safari, for many, is a once-in-a-lifetime trip so it’s great to document every part of it. To remember your experience and to capture the essence of the emotion, the feeling of your first lion sighting, or your first African sunset. When you come home you will put it on the book shelf and may leave it there for years to come but believe me, when you do come to pick it up off the shelf and read it, your memories will come flooding back and you will be so glad you have kept the memory alive.

Hot air balloon 

This would be the ultimate safari gift for someone.  This is a big expensive present, so maybe your lovely friends and family could chip in together to buy you this awe-inspiring experience. All we want to say on this is; peace, magic, quiet, African plains – simply wondrous.

Thanks Santa!

So if you are lucky and are on the ‘nice list’ this year, maybe you will get all these lovely things for Christmas!

Wherever you spend Christmas this year, take the time to imagine a Safari Christmas. Its sights, sounds and smells are world away from what we are used to at this time of year. For us, that’s what makes this such a great experience and something you will never forget.


Written by Maxine Stevens

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