The Romance of Solo Travel

(above) Traveler at Borana Lodge enjoys a view of Laikipia Plateau Kenya – photo by Dirk Collins

Traveling solo is one of life’s true luxuries. A stretch of time entirely devoted to following one’s own heart and interests is enormously liberating. And when Bushtracks Expeditions has planned every detail of your safari and is with you every step of the way, comfort and safety are guaranteed.


Falling in love with Africa

It’s an electrifying moment. The male lion, muscles visible beneath velvet coat, is pacing through grassland in the shadowy dusk. Huge head raised, his roars pulse through space as a game vehicle of travelers observe him, skins prickling at the intensity of the sound. There’s wonder on every face.

This is the advantage of going on an exclusive, custom-designed safari with a small group and an expert guide: Such experiences bond those lucky enough to share them. On a Bushtracks Expeditions adventure, you’re traveling with like-minded people, be they couples, families or other solo travelers. Everybody with you is falling in love – with Africa, with the romance of being in exclusive wilderness on a private reserve, with the chance to see and experience things others have never imagined. Lonely? Impossible.


Solo traveler and safari guide during a photography game drive in Kwa Zulu-Natal South Africa - Courtesy of Phinda Zuka Lodge

Singular pleasures

Going it alone has been a discernable luxury travel trend for some years. Over 36 million Americans now live in single-person households, and many individuals in relationships also venture forth alone to pursue passions such as wildlife photography, birding, or archeology. Custom-designed safaris, meaning itineraries matched to travelers’ personal interests, allow travelers to indulge in the activities and experiences they love most (as does Bushtracks’ signature Private Jet expedition, or African Wildlife Foundation-led trips that immerse one in conservation strategies and projects).

Small-group, personalized safaris offer instant companionship for single travelers as you bump across a river bed in search of that elusive leopard on a game drive, or watch the sun sink on a river cruise; in fact, safaris can be surprisingly social! Shared interests make for genuine human interactions between singles and couples during activities. Time at the lodge can also be convivial. Guides and lodge staff are at hand, you can join others for languid sundowners, and luxurious communal areas are lovely places to daydream. Many lodges share a selection of books on the area or a small library. And there’s often the option of private dining in your room should you require some peace.


Luxurious sky bed in Okavango Delta Botswana is great for stargazing


The sublime and the beautiful

Superior safari destinations and camps (and Bushtracks knows them all!) are inherently romantic. There are the material comforts of course; bountiful meals, steaming baths, starlit beds and winking plunge pools.

Nature’s healing qualities are scientifically proven; time in nature also lights up parts of the brain associated with empathy and altruism. On safari, natural beauty surrounds you and there is the chance to reconnect with what really matters. All the better when you know that extraordinary animals like the baggy-skinned baby elephants seen earlier are protected, and people passionate about wildlife are working to preserve the wild lands around you. There’s nothing like feeling part of a greater whole. As John Muir has said, “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness”.

Communing with nature – flaming sunsets, endless horizons, moon-drenched landscapes – will touch your heart, whether you’re traveling solo or with loved ones. And don’t underestimate the power of adrenalin-charged encounters with wildlife, or the electric thrill of real exploration. As some have said, every day on safari is like Valentine’s Day, and it doesn’t matter if you’re traveling alone, with your granddad or with your soulmate. Romance is woven into everyday life.


Wild lion cub photographed during a game drive in Serengeti Tanzania - photo courtesy of Singita Serengeti House


Space to just be

Letting go of all cares is part and parcel of a Bushtracks Expeditions trip. With 30 years of experience designing high-quality custom safaris, you can trust us to deliver that romantic or life-changing experience. Bushtracks has teams of staff in the U.S. and on the ground in Africa, so there’s help available 24 hours a day and your comfort and safety are assured. We handle every aspect of your trip, from crafting an ideal itinerary to delivering you safely home. All so that you can travel with peace of mind, whether you’re on your own for your first safari, or one of our many repeat guests – perhaps returning this time with family, or a special friend.


Traveler on a hammock takes a drink as the sun sets


Start a safari love affair

With Bushtracks, there’s nothing to fear in following your passion for the wilderness and the communities who conserve it, solo or not. Come and meet people who relish the romance and balm of being in nature, in Africa, as much as you do. As Confucius said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart.”

The first version of this article was posted on 13 Feb 2020 at 12:43 PM.

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