In our technology-entangled lives, the desire to disconnect, even just for a few days, has never been greater.
An African safari holiday — with its awe-inspiring wildlife and large expanses of wilderness areas (often with limited mobile service) — offers the ideal escape for those seeking solace from their screens.
In this post, we explain why a safari is the ultimate digital detox holiday, we provide tips to make the most of your time away from the screen, and Murielle Vegezzi, Safari Product Manager for Discover Africa Safaris, shares her top safari spots for unplugging and reconnecting with Mother Nature.
Why safaris are the best digital detox holidays
- Remote Destinations: Most safari destinations are located in remote wilderness areas, national parks, and reserves. These places often have limited mobile service, ensuring that from the moment you arrive, your devices are less likely to have internet connectivity.
- Immersion in Nature: On a typical safari day, you’ll spend six to eight hours in a vehicle, surrounded by breathtaking wildlife and landscapes. With the beauty of nature and the knowledge of your guide, the desire to check your phone every five minutes shrinks, especially when there’s little-to-no mobile coverage.
- Selective Connectivity: While many safari lodges offer internet connectivity in communal areas, they often intentionally disable Wi-Fi in individual rooms. Whether it’s due to the practicality of being in a mobile-tented camp or a deliberate choice to encourage guests to unwind, this limited access promotes true relaxation.
- New Experiences: The sheer number of new safari experiences, from meeting fellow travelers to enjoying the stark contrast from city life, ensures your mind unwinds. The constant need for updates and notifications fades as you immerse yourself in the safari experience.
Tech tips for disconnecting while on holiday
- Embrace Airplane Mode: Initially, you might find yourself reaching for your phone frequently. However, switching to airplane mode not only conserves your battery, but also reduces the urge to check for updates. Within a few days, this can become a new, refreshing habit.
- Limit Push Notifications: If going completely offline seems daunting, start by reducing the number of apps that send you notifications. Prioritize essential communications and mute the rest, especially social media and other non-urgent apps.
- Take Advantage of Sleep Mode: Set specific periods where your phone won’t disturb you, like during the evening or early morning. Most phones allow customisation, ensuring only urgent messages get through. This tool enhances your safari experience and can be a lasting habit for a more peaceful daily life once your holiday is over.
Our top 5 digital detox safari destinations
Venture into the heart of Africa’s most pristine landscapes, where the modern world fades away, replaced by the timeless rhythms of nature.
Murielle Vegezzi, Safari Product Manager for Discover Africa, has travelled extensively around Africa. Here are her top five destinations (with lodge recommendations in each) for disconnecting and taking a deep dive into Africa’s wonders.
The Okavango Delta is a unique inland delta, with its waters giving life to a myriad of animals and birds.
Exploring its channels and lagoons by mokoro (traditional canoe) offers a serene and close-up view of its rich biodiversity.
The Enigmatic Okavango Delta – Escape into the heart of Botswana’s Okavango Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Recommended lodge: Kwara Camp
The Serengeti is a vast ecosystem that’s home to the iconic Great Migration, where millions of wildebeest and zebras traverse its plains.
Its diverse habitats, from savannahs to forests, harbor a rich variety of wildlife, including the Big Five.
The Majestic Serengeti National Park – The Serengeti is not just a park; it’s an experience.
Recommended lodge: Alex Walker Serian camps
Etosha’s vast salt pan is a unique backdrop for wildlife viewing, especially during the dry season when animals congregate around waterholes.
The park is home to rare species like the black rhino and the desert-adapted elephant.
The Ethereal Landscapes of the Namib Desert – Namibia’s desert landscapes are like no other.
Recommended lodge: Serra Cafema
The Maasai Mara is renowned for its exceptional populations of lions, leopards, cheetahs, and the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle, and wildebeest.
Its vast grasslands and rolling hills offer a picturesque backdrop for an unforgettable safari experience.
The Legendary Masai Mara National Reserve – The Masai Mara is synonymous with African safaris.
Recommended lodge: Alex Walker Serian camps
Known as the birthplace of the walking safari, South Luangwa offers an intimate encounter with wildlife.
The Luangwa River attracts a plethora of animals, making it a prime spot for leopard sightings.
The Wild Heart of South Luangwa National Park – Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park offers an authentic African safari experience.
Recommended lodge: Tena Tena
A safari holiday is more than just an adventure; it’s an opportunity to break free from the digital chains that bind us.
By choosing this unique experience, you’re not only treating yourself to the wonders of the wild but also giving yourself the peace that comes from a genuine digital detox.
Dive into our curated list of top safari destinations, where nature’s grandeur promises a rejuvenating break from your screens. Let nature be your muse, and let the digital world fade into the background.
Ready for a digital detox holiday in Africa?