Solo travel might seem like a daunting prospect, and holidays with friends can give you the confidence to explore further afield. However, the world’s too big to wait around for someone else every time you want to go on an adventure – don’t dismiss the idea of an African horse safari just because you don’t have a pal to go with. If you’re always waiting for someone else you may never get to go on that bucket list trip, experience the magic of an African sunset or sleep under a blanket of stars.
Travelling solo can raise concerns about safety, loneliness and forming friendships with people on your trip, and, while these thoughts can make solo travel seem scary, they shouldn’t stop you from exploring. At the end of the day, if you have a sense of adventure and an open mind you’ll soon see that a horse safari is perfect for going solo. Here’s why…
1. Freedom to go where you want, when you want
This is probably one of the biggest reasons people like to travel on their own – not to have any restrictions on your destination, schedule or budget. There’s nothing more frustrating than having to change your plans a hundred times to fit your friend’s schedule. If you feel spontaneous, you can book at a moment’s notice without worrying about your friend having to cancel all their plans to fit in with yours. This often means you can take advantage of last-minute special offers for your bucket list trip, too.
2. Form new friendships
Nine times out of 10 there’ll be at least one other solo traveller on your trip, so you’ll have an instant travel companion. Arriving in a strange airport in a new country can be daunting, but you’ll likely meet your fellow adventurers waiting for your transfer. With all of you feeling a bit nervous, you’ll immediately have a connection. It may seem counter-intuitive, but when you travel alone it’s often easier to strike up a conversation with strangers – you’ll likely forge life-long friendships and may even find the ideal travel partner for your next big adventure.
3. Everyone has a shared interest – horses
When everyone around you has an interest in horses, there’s always something to talk about. In your normal everyday life, there are certain things your colleagues and non-horsey friends just won’t understand. Even though your travel companions may be from all over the globe, with different cultures and languages, you’ll be able to bond over your shared love of horses.
4. Avoid single supplements
Sometimes travellers feel they’re penalised for travelling alone. Unlike many holidays, horse safaris are generally pretty flexible, and many are designed with solo travellers in mind. Unless you’re adamant about having your own room, you’ll likely avoid paying single supplements. There’s no extra charge if you’re happy to share with another solo-traveller of the same gender. If having your own room is important, you can either pay the extra fee or ask about rides that have first come, first serve single rooms.
5. Meet like-minded people
A certain type of traveller chooses Africa as their holiday destination. They’re adventurous, outgoing, and open-minded – probably very much like yourself. Going solo provides an opportunity to embrace new cultures and immerse yourself in a whole new world. You’ll learn how to interact with people from all walks of life, and being on an activity-based holiday means there’s always an amusing event or amazing wildlife sighting to chat about in the evenings, too.
6. Gain self-confidence
One thing is for sure, you won’t be the same person on your return. Plunging into the vast unknown and facing your fears is incredibly empowering and leaves you with a new perspective on life. You’ve flown halfway across the world, met strange and interesting people, traversed some challenging landscapes and had some close encounters with some of Africa’s incredible wildlife. You haven’t just survived – you took on Africa alone and loved it!
Africa’s landscape is highly addictive and exploring it on horseback is an experience you’ll never forget. But don’t just take our word for it – Gemma joined a solo safari in the Tuli Block of Botswana last year. She said: “Go for it! Travelling alone may seem scary, but you’ll soon see you’re capable of so much more than you imagined. I’ve become such close friends with the other girls in one short week. We had a lot of fun together and still stay in touch now we are home again. We’re even planning our next adventure together! I’m so glad I did it, even though I was a bit nervous when I started the adventure I’d go back in a heartbeat!”
Whether you’re a fearless nomad or someone who wants to push their personal boundaries, what better time to discover the freedom of solo travel?
For more information, visit africanhorsesafaris.com