based: London, UK
Tailor-made holidays to over thirty destinations worldwide, from a flexible, independent travel company. The Holiday Place can organise transport, tours and accommodation to suit suit personal preferences and budgets. Check them for multi-centre holidays, all-inclusive family trips, couples breaks, cruises, safaris, honeymoons, activity breaks, scuba diving, fishing and golf holidays.
| tailor-made | sightseeing | golf | diving/snorkelling | animals/safari | lake & river cruises | ocean cruises | sea fishing/angling | honeymoon | family | Worldwide |
based: Cusco, Peru
Personalized South American travel and luxury tours in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. Kuoda Travel offers responsible and customized luxury travel, visiting South America's most extraordinary destinations. From world-class Amazon cruises to Galapagos island hopping tours – from the wonders of Machu Picchu, to the heavenly landscapes of the Uyuni Salt Flats.
| sightseeing | escorted tours | tailor made | lake & river cruises | animals/safari | archaeological tours | gastronomic | walking/trekking/hiking | family/child friendly | Peru | Ecuador | Bolivia |
Latin America Travel Company (The)
based: London, UK
An independent, family-run tour operator providing quality, private and bespoke holidays in Latin America; tailor-made trips visit Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands and Peru. Trips are created from the ground up, with fully customised itineraries to match specific interests; their website shows examples of popular routes for inspiration.
| tailor-made | sightseeing | animals/safari | railway tours | Argentina | Brazil | Chile | Costa Rica | Ecuador| Galapagos | Peru |
Orangutan Odysseys Featured Site
based: Melbourne, Australia
Combined adventure/educational tours in Indonesia and Malaysia, visiting orangutan habitat. Orangutan Odyssey supports conservation efforts for the survival of endangered orangutans and the protection of their habitat, using tourism to help raise awareness and supporting local non-profits.
| animals/safari | Indonesia | Malaysia |
based: Kent, UK
Long-established, experience, independent travel company specialising in bespoke travel and private tours worldwide. Pettitts design journeys offering authentic experiences with dedicated local guides, 24/7 overseas support and genuine first-hand knowledge. Tours are ABTA & ATOL protected. Destinations include India, Indochina, Far East, South America, Africa, Middle East, Russia and Central Asia.
| tailor-made | sightseeing | animals/safari | Worldwide | South America | Africa | Middle East | Asia | Russia |
Signature African Safaris
based: West Sussex, UK
Go on a safari in Africa with Signature African Safaris – including tailor-made and small group trips to Botswana, Namibia, Malawi and many more beautiful destinations. Also special interest holidays including birdwatching, diving and honeymoon trips.
| animals/safari | birdwatching | wedding/honeymoon | diving/snorkelling | Botswana | Malawi | Mozambique | Namibia | Congo | Tanzania | Zambia | Seychelles |
South America Odyssey
based: London, UK
Tailor-made holidays and honeymoons to the South and Central America. South America Odyssey specialises in itineraries to Latin America including Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
| tailor-made | animals/safari | walk/trek/hike | trekking peaks | diving/snorkelling | horse/pony trekking | sailing (large boat/sail ship) | wedding/honeymoon | family | South America |
based: London, UK
Tailor-made Tanzanian safaris and honeymoons. Tanzania Odyssey specialises in remote safaris to Selous, Ruaha, Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Tarangire, and beach breaks to the Indian Ocean islands including Zanzibar, Pemba and Mafia.
| animals/safari | walking/trekking safaris | aerial safaris | horseback safaris | diving/snorkelling | wedding/honeymoon | family | Tanzania |
Tell Tale Travel
based: London, UK & California, USA
Authentic holidays and soft adventure travel away from the tourist trail in Thailand, Sri Lanka and Brazil. Offering holidays with a difference, an insider experience courtesy of their unique network of local people. Offering mainly private tours for couples or families, plus a few small group departures specially designed for solo travellers.
| tailor made | family | native peoples | animal/safari | gastronomic | cookery | singles | ethical/ecotourism | Thailand | Sri Lanka | Brazil |
SCOTLAND: Shetland Islands wildlife holidays
Wildlife spotting holidays in the Shetland islands, to the far North-East of the Scottish mainland, a wilderness area packed with wildlife and stunning natural scenery.
This trip samples the best of the natural heritage of these islands, including a wealth of bird life like fulmars, guillemots, great skuas, curlews, golden plovers, razorbills, kittiwakes and puffins; wonderful wild flower displays; and sealife which includes seals, dolphins, porpoises and perhaps killer whales.
A special feature of these trips are the dedicated otter-watching/tracking days with expert local guides.
• Honeymoon safaris are as popular as ever and are often offered as as dedicated packages, perhaps including special features and extras for the bride and groom. These sort of packages will use the most romantic destinations and accommodation, perhaps secluded villas or extreme luxury camps. Many are offered as a safari/beach combination, for example teaming a safari in Tanzania or Kenya with the beaches of Zanzibar, or a South African safari with a beach break in Mozambique or Mauritius. If you're looking for a honeymoon safari package then compare it with similar trips that don't carry the 'honeymoon' label – while you'll sometimes find there are discounts and special offers for honeymooners, you'll also find some load the price the other way.
Something to look out for, a few travel companies offer a wedding/honeymoon gift list service that allows contributions to be made towards the cost of the honeymoon instead of the usual toasters and towels. Also see the Travel-Quest honeymoon section here».
• Budget safaris, at the other end of the scale many people are looking for an economical safari.
One option is an African overlanding tour, this will enable you to see a lot of the continent and it's wildlife at a reasonable cost. It's also one of the safest ways to get in some budget animal viewing, particularly for people travelling solo – also look at the Travel-Quest overlanding section here».
An alternative is to make it a DIY trip and look at hostels like the Enchoro Wildlife Camp» in the Maasai Mara Reserve, Kenya's top safari destination. This sort of hostel offers basic budget accommodation and there are usually guides available to book as required – look for more budget safari hostels here».
Self-drive is another option for a less expensive trip, see below.
• Self-drive safaris can be achieved by simply booking car hire from the airport and using the metalled roads and basic safari lodges in the National Parks. Or it can be a much more adventurous affair that uses 4x4 vehicles fully equipped for camping in the bush. Some of these come fitted with roof-top tents which adds a whole new dimension to the camping experience, offering a safe haven and a great vantage point – above roaming animals and below the stars. Dedicated 4x4 camper vans are another option, or the lodges can be used instead. Guided self-drive is yet another option – here a number of vehicles will travel together with an experienced safari guide showing the way in a lead vehicle.
With plenty of forward planning self-drive can be done as a DIY trip, but there are companies offering to package it up and who will deal with: vehicle rental, camping equipment, lodge bookings, planning and itineraries and the booking of extras like add-on guided safaris or beach accommodation. When looking for a travel company to set up a self-drive trip, look for one that offers vehicles with things like: long-range fuel tanks, fridges, air-conditioning, extra spares, maps and GPS, radios/phones, and a support service that will help if you run into problems.
Be aware that in many African countries and in most National Parks you are not allowed to drive off-road, also that you will almost certainly have to camp in designated camping areas, although these are often unfenced and allow animals to roam within them. Each country has it's own rules, so do your research if you're on a DIY trip, or ask your travel company if you've gone for a package.
• Specialist safaris offer a whole other range of options, from the more standard walking and fly-in trips; to the very niche: safaris by elephant, on horseback, for photography, via rivers, and accessible safaris for those with disabilities. And then there are primate safaris, migration safaris focused on the annual movements of particular herds (wildebeest, gazelle or zebra etc.), family safaris, marine conservation, wildlife volunteering and overland tours. These are covered in our sub-categories, see the index at the top of the page»