11bush picnic Botswana
"Glamping in Africa"
Christine Wright

“At my stage in life 60+) I prefer travelling in comfort, so the opportunity to go glamping in Africa was very appealing. The small group approach staying in private conservancies meant we were often the only spectators. I was quite nervous about going to Africa but once I was there I felt…”  Read more…

11Victoria Falls Zimbabwe
"More game, less people"
Sue & Richard Lovett

“We did back to back Namibia with Mozambique and Botswana, with Karen. Each awesome in their own way but the standout impression is that it is definitely worth spending some extra and going off the beaten tourist track into the private conservancies. There is more game, less people…” Read more…

11Your African safari - morning tea with elephants
"Small intimate groups"
Helen & Patti Ranson

“Apart from the fact that Africa is THE destination we want to go to, travel with Karen is the only way we would do it. We have travelled to Africa with Karen 6 times now and just love the small intimate groups and the feeling that the whole trip is planned with just us in mind.  And the daily surprises!!” Read more…

Imagine this...

  • Experiencing the magic of a small group African safari
  • Staying in small luxury tented camps in private conservancies rather than busy tourist lodges in the national parks…
  • Enjoying exciting game drives in open 4×4 safari vehicles rather than a zebra-striped minibus…
  • Visiting authentic villages off the main tourist routes…
  • Walking across the African savannah with Maasai tribesmen or San Bushmen…
  • Making a difference by supporting local conservation and community projects…
  • Ending your fabulous safari with a few relaxing days at a beautiful Indian Ocean or lakeside resort…

If that sounds like your dream safari, let’s make it happen!

Questions? Talk someone who’s been there…


How do you want to travel?

11Karen with elephants

Karen's Signature Safaris

Karen’s Signature Safaris, unique small group safaris in East and Southern Africa, are personally escorted by Karen Platzer, African Encounters founder. In my 35 years of living and traveling in Africa, I’ve found some real gems to share with my fellow travellers. I’ve infected many guests with my passion for this incredible continent and they keep returning for another adventure with African Encounters!

View Karen's Safaris
11Kalahari Camp Sundowners

Small Group Safaris

Our Small Group Safaris run on scheduled departure dates. All of our trusted African suppliers share our philosophy of travelling in a small group, staying in superb camps in private conservancies away from the crowds, and supporting local communities and conservation projects. Professional local guides take great pride in sharing their knowledge and their culture with their guests.

View Small Group Safaris
11morning tea with elephants

Tailor-made Safaris

Do you have a special birthday or anniversary to celebrate? Maybe you have a particular interest in wildlife photography, bird watching or conservation? Or maybe our tour dates and itineraries don’t suit your travel plans. We can customise any of our safaris to suit, or create a completely new itinerary for you to enjoy an amazing private safari with your friends and family. 

Get in touch
Hwange, Zimbabwe


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elephant in camp lower zambezi


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Namibia balloon flight


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Kaya Mawa Malawi


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Madagascar bamboo lemur


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lion cub Amboseli Kenya


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Why choose African Encounters?

11sundowners Chobe Botswana

Genuine Small Groups

When we say small we mean up to 10 guests only. You’ll enjoy personal service and stay in our favourite luxury accommodations, each with with just 6-8 rooms, rather than a large mass-tourism resort.

11Majete elephants Malawi

We Are Your Africa Experts

We are an independent, New Zealand-owned, boutique tour operator specialising exclusively in travel to East- and Southern Africa for 35 years. We know Africa!

11school visit Zimbabwe

Making a difference

The private conservancies we stay in are community-owned, providing both employment and income, and we also support local community and conservation projects in the areas you visit on your safari.