The world’s greatest wildlife destinations are opening once more – discover them with comfort and care on an escorted tour with Saga
Whether it's a butterfly floating through a rainforest, or elephants roaming imperiously across the savannah, watching exotic wildlife in its natural habitat is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
Yet with foreign trips largely off the menu for the past year, we've all had to settle for armchair travel instead. Now, though, restrictions are lifting and it’s once again possible to experience the real thing – safe in the hands of a company known for its superb customer service.
Saga's escorted tours are the ideal way to start exploring again in style, with trips from four to 34 nights that take you to the heart of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating destinations. Throughout its 70-year history of keeping people over 50 safe and happy on holiday, the company has always been quick to adapt to change. Today, all travellers need to be fully vaccinated 14 days before departure, and Covid cancellation cover is also available for those who purchase Saga's optional travel insurance.**
Please note that international travel guidelines are constantly changing due to the pandemic, and you are advised to check the latest government advice before booking a holiday.
Thanks to transparent pricing, it’s very clear what else is, and isn’t, included in the cost of every escorted tour. The list of inclusions is gratifyingly long and guaranteed to make your holiday go as smoothly as possible. There’s a visa service where needed, VIP door-to-door travel service on all long-haul holidays, a generous 20kg checked baggage allowance, someone to carry your bags to your room at your accommodation, and – of course – the round-the-clock services of one of Saga’s highly regarded tour managers. On all-inclusive tours, all meals and a free bar are also part of the deal. Just as reassuringly, the Saga price promise means you’ll only ever pay the lowest price for your trip. So, where to go?
Exploring nature's vast spectrum in Costa Rica
Step out of your room in Costa Rica and you’re almost guaranteed to see wildlife that will take your breath away. With wild Pacific beaches to the west, pristine Caribbean sands to the east and a rugged rainforest interior, Costa Rica is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Nestled in the long arm of Central America, this hidden jewel shelters 5% of the world’s species, in just 0.03% of the globe’s surface.
Your holiday here begins with time to explore the capital, San José, and moves on to the Pacific South West before ending in the Northern ‘Alajuela’ province. Sail through the Caño Negro Wildlife Refuge to see monkeys, iguanas, sloths, turtles and caymans, or visit Mistico Park for an unforgettable walk through the forest canopy on the Arenal Hanging Bridges. Listen for howler monkeys in Carara National Park, explore a self-sufficient family farm or search for sloths in La Fortuna.
Whichever excursions you choose, Costa Rica’s incredible 875 recorded bird species will dazzle. Look for the shock of yellow that is the silver-throated tanager and the brilliant orange chest of Baird’s trogon. Marvel at otherworldly species such as the crested owl, the bizarre boat-billed heron, the spectacular fiery-billed aracari or yellow-throated toucan. You also have a chance of seeing Costa Rican swifts, hummingbirds, forest falcons, mangrove cuckoos, ibises, kingfishers and many more.
From laid-back birding and boat cruises, to hiking with local guides, Costa Rica: Jewel of Central America is a paradise you can enjoy at your own pace.
Meeting big cats in South Africa
Another destination that ticks all the boxes for nature lovers is Africa, and the word ‘safari’ – from the Swahili word for ‘journey’ – conjures up magical images of wide-open plains teeming with wildlife. It also conjures up thoughts of high price tags, but that needn’t be the case. Saga’s nine-night all-inclusive holiday at the stylish Mabula Game Lodge, which is in a malaria-free private reserve in South Africa’s Limpopo region, starts at £1,999 per person.
The trip includes seven game drives, three bush walks, and a lion-tracking experience. As well as the headline-grabbing big cats, there are honey badgers, warthogs, several types of antelope and more, not to mention 300 species of birds – the reserve runs an award-winning conservation project to save the endangered ground hornbill. Keen-eyed butterfly lovers will appreciate sightings of African monarchs, guinea fowl butterflies and broad border little yellows.
Of course, no safari experience would be complete without some downtime. At Mabula, guests can relax by the outdoor pool and at the spa (treatments extra), sip sundowners in the shade of a century-old fig tree, before heading off on a star-gazing trip that blends astronomy and local mythology. Now isn’t that just a little more exciting than another night in front of the TV?
Birdwatching on the Danube Delta
Closer to home but no less stunning is this scenic cruise to the Danube Delta. Mix wildlife watching with city tours and historic sites on this relaxed cruise. Romania’s capital of Bucharest is a heady mix of museums, parks and 17th- and 18th-century architecture, crowned by the colossus that is the Palace of Parliament. After enjoying these delights, head over to the city of Tulcea to visit the silver-domed Saon Monastery and enjoy the Danube Delta Museum, which is also an aquarium.
In Tulcea, step aboard the Spirit of the Danube and set sail on a voyage of discovery. Moor for two nights at the historic village of St Georghe, famed for its delicious locally caught fish. From here you can explore the vast Danube Delta in smaller boats, taking time to traverse the wetlands and marshes created by the river spreading out, creating a mosaic of habitats as it empties into the Black Sea.
Over 300 bird species can be seen here on Europe’s largest delta, including herons, demoiselle cranes, pygmy cormorants, white and Dalmatian pelicans, eagles, songbirds and seabirds. The Delta is also a favourite stop-off point for migrants – some, such as polar grebes and cranes, coming from as far away as Siberia.
The trip includes a guest talk from BBC Springwatch presenter Martin Hughes-Games, an excursion into Moldova to enjoy local food and dance, as well as local guides throughout, making your Birdwatching on the Danube Delta cruise a rich cultural experience.
Why you should choose Saga
We have introduced a Coronavirus Vaccination Policy to make your holiday as Covid-safe as possible.*
Travel insurance with emergency medical and cancellation cover^ for coronavirus is included with all overseas holidays.**
Packages include hotel portage, flights, transfers and more. Enjoy VIP door-to-door travel with no mileage restrictions on all river cruises and long-haul holidays, meals and a free bar on selected tours.
Flexible and relaxed
Our packages offer the perfect balance between relaxation and exploring, with many excursions and visits included in your holiday.
We work closely with our hoteliers, some of which we've worked with for more than 30 years, to ensure our accommodation meets our guidelines on great service and quality.
Book now for 2022
To book, call 0800 096 5320 and quote BOUND to receive your 5% discount.*** Costa Rica from £2,899pp for 15 nights, Mabula Game Lodge from £1,999pp for 9 nights, Danube Delta from £1,949pp for 7 nights. Please check government guidelines before travelling.
Terms & conditions
*For full details of our Coronavirus Vaccination Policy, please click here. Saga is for people over 50. **Our overseas holidays include travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch, or a price reduction if not required. Pre departure cancellation cover is provided by Saga, and only available when taking the included optional insurance. Cover is subject to medical screening. Terms and conditions apply – call for details. ***Offer is available to Boundless members and one travelling companion; please quote BOUND when calling. This offer is valid on new bookings only and cannot be combined with any other offers. This offer is not bookable online. ^Pre-departure cancellation cover is provided by Saga, and only available when taking the included optional insurance.