An African safari is very different from your typical holiday. Firstly, the landscape and the environment you are immersed in is one of a kind. Your days are structured with early morning game drives, a period of down-time throughout the day, and an evening of sundowners and night drives to watch incredible wild animals in their natural habitat. With all this in mind, we have put together a few tips on how to plan your African safari. Banner image: Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
1. Use a tour operator
You have come to the right place because, as a specialist tour operator, we can organize all of the different elements that make your Africa safari. Our travel specialists really are specialists. With over 25 years experience between them, both Elaine and Gemma have spent years living, traveling and working in Africa, and can offer personal and professional advice about which safari is suited for you. We will take care of everything – from the moment you arrive off your international flight. This includes all safari accommodation, internal flights, park and concession fees, and transfers. Everything will run seemingly and you will be met at all times with nothing but a welcoming, friendly smile and exceptional service. Image: Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
2. Do some research beforehand
While our travel experts will happily discuss options with you over the phone – running through the main differences between the safari experience and destinations – it’s useful to do a little research beforehand to get the ball rolling. If this is your first safari, it’s worth asking yourself questions like what your budget is, what time of year would you like to go, and what type of accommodation would you like to stay in. This will give our specialists a starting point for recommending some options. If you are an experienced safari traveler, and are used to seeing wild animals in their natural habitat, you can ask questions like do you have specific animals or species you’d like to see, is there a particular camp you’d like to stay in, and what type of safari activity would you like to do. Image: Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
3. Be realistic with your budget
An African safari is not a cheap holiday option. While there are destinations you can do on a lower budget – such as South Africa – the average safari is usually around the $5-6,000 per person mark. This varies depending on where you travel to, what time of year, and which safari camps and lodges you stay in. Speak to our specialists about realistic budgets and go from there. A lot of the costs involved with an African safari go towards the logistics: the internal flights between the national parks, the park fees, and any concession or conservancy fees. These are required for every traveler, and are issued every 24 hours you spend in the park. Image: Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
4. Plan in advance
As with most bucket-list trips, planning in advance is advised for an African safari. Some safari destinations are more seasonal than others, which in turn limits the amount of time you have to travel and plan. For example, the best time to travel to Zambia (particularly the South Luangwa National Park) is the dry season, between the June to October window. After that, the rains create black cotton soil which makes your game drives unpassable in places. In Tanzania and Kenya, there are particular times of year you can see the wildebeest migration. If you would like to see a particular event – such as a river crossing or the calving season – then plan in advance to secure the best opportunity and location for your safari in Africa. Southern africa and East Africa have different ‘best times’ of years to travel which is worth planning a safari around. Image: Ol Seki Hemingways Mara
5. Go all out!
An African safari is, for many, a trip-of-a-lifetime. The idea of being in the middle of the savannah with elephants, lions, and a host of other resident wildlife is so special. With that in mind, push the boat out when it comes to planning your African safari. Whether you are flying from the US, the UK or elsewhere, it takes a lot of time and logistics to get to Africa, so make it count when you are there! Our travel experts can recommend the best lodges, locations and experiences to make your safari as memorable as possible. Whether it’s a local mokoro boat trip, a hot air balloon ride over the Serengeti over the great migration, a microlight over Victoria Falls, or a private sundowner in Kruger National Park, we have a host of unforgettable experiences to recommend.
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