We must admit, a Pyjama Safari is a term we literally just made up. But we think it’s rather perfect, and may revolutionise the face of luxury African safaris, not just in Zambia and Malawi where we (Green Safaris) currently operate, but everywhere.
With a new global focus on maintaining social bubbles, at home and abroad, and a sudden realisation that we can be productive from home after all, and that as long as we remember not to stand up whilst the Zoom video is still on, we can wear hot pink leggings to work, a number of our expectations about social etiquette, comfort, and work-life balance are changing. And we think it’s time that luxury African safaris caught up.
Green Safaris is offering a number of fully private safari experiences, ranging from your own sprawling Ndomo House (which feels much more like a castle than a house) on the beaches of Likoma Island in Malawi, to an entire camp of Nest-shaped rooms deep in the heart of the Busanga Plains at Chisa Busanga Camp.
And if there is something to be said for a truly exclusive safari trip… it might look a bit like:
Whether you wish for cocktail or cookie classes, if you feel like challenging the kitchen team to make you a brand new dish out of your favourite ingredients from their garden, or you simply feel like a gourmet midnight snack… having your own private chef makes your travel food experience that much more personal, and therefore that much more delicious.
Luxury African safaris are an indulgent holiday, and with travellers often saving up for years to experience the beauty of wild Africa, it makes complete sense that safari-goers tend to wear a number of brand-new clothes when they meet each other around the campfire. The fun of bumping into no other travellers on your whole Green Safaris itinerary? You can prioritise comfort, fun, or even fancy dress if you like. There’s no actual law that says thou shalt not wear your onesie on a game drive.
Just nothing too brightly coloured or impractical, you are still in the bush after all: the animals won’t judge you for the sloth onesie, but they will see you coming from miles away if you wear bright red heels… and they’ll certainly hear you as you trip over multiple anthills.
Private Game Drives
Not a morning person? Doesn’t matter! You can wake up for that sunrise game drive (you really will see more wildlife at this time) and maintain your foul early morning mood until the coffee kicks in or the first herd of elephants cheer you up. Your guide won’t mind, and the only other people around are the ones who love you enough to commit themselves to a holiday in your company in the middle of the African bush.
There is something about a campfire that seems to ripple through your bones, perhaps a reminder of other animals who never lost their wild for the comfort of group fires and still howl at the moon somewhere. Singing or telling stories around a campfire is a special sort of joy, and a precious form of bonding, and with nobody else in camp you can sing Hakuna Matata (or ask one of the guides to teach you a local lullaby) as loud as you like.
At Tangala House on the Zambezi River, your private campfire even comes with a private dog…
Space for Children
Nobody is a silent, smiley, still creature at all times when they are six years old. Especially not whilst travelling! Expressing emotions – joy, laughter, teasing, tears – is an important part of growing into your best self. And an African safari is a marvellous place for children, with a million core memories to be made about why our wild places need to be preserved and protected.
However, many lodges have age restrictions in place, and for a very good reason. With other guests wandering around, safari properties don’t have the resources to ensure that inquisitive children are having fun without trying to make friends with the resident hippo. Luckily, when you book a private safari you are likely to have a little extra leeway for your children, as the lodge can make special arrangements… and you can also relax and let your little ones express themselves however they like, without worrying about affecting sensitive guests.
Let’s be honest, not all of us know how to tell the difference between an impala and a lechwe (they are both sort of beige, leaping antelopes… if that helps?). What fun then, to have a teacher to yourself so that you – or your children – can ask as many seemingly stupid questions as you like.
Education starts with the confidence to say what you don’t know, and our guides never get bored of sharing fun facts about our wild neighbours.
So there you have it: Pyjama Safaris. Welcome to the future of luxury African safaris: exclusive camps or villas where your family or group have the whole place to yourselves, your own wild isolation bubble, and much boring social etiquette doesn’t have to apply to you.
Sure, you need to listen carefully if the guides tell you that you can’t walk to your room alone at night, and we aren’t suggesting you forget your most important neighbours when on safari: the wild animals. But with an exclusive Green Safaris experience, you can control how each day looks, and exactly what you want to be doing, or wearing, in it.