7 Valuable Tips for Saving Money on Safari in Zimbabwe
St. Augustine once said, ‘the world is a book and those who don’t travel only read one page.’ If you haven’t been on safari in Zimbabwe, there are some pages you are missing out on.
Travelling soothes your soul and expands your mind to experiences outside our immediate surroundings.
A luxury safari in Zimbabwe is something we recommend you experience at least once in your lifetime!
That moment in an open safari vehicle, the African Sun high in the sky, when you first sight elephants or lions off in the distance, or hear your first laughing pack of hyenas near your camp simply cannot be replicated. It is a priceless moment, a moment of understanding with Mother Nature herself.
These experiences are generally not cheap however; and there are reasons for that.
- Most Zimbabwean safari lodges are remote and situated far away from central business districts.
- Water is often pumped from a borehole.
- Electricity might be self-generated.
- The supply chain is often distant and tortuous over difficult terrain.
- Most Zimbabwean safari lodges depend on travel agents who are paid commission.
- Tourist boards take a chunk of turnover.
- Lodges often make financial contributions towards the sustainability of the nature reserves.
So a luxury safari in Zimbabwe can never be at bargain basement prices.
The following are tips designed to help tourists lower their costs while still enjoying many of the perks of a luxury safari in Zimbabwe
1. Focus on a workable itinerary.
If this is your first visit to Zimbabwe then the temptation might be to see it all.
Too many National Parks and tourist spots in one trip can be both exhausting and expensive with long fuel-guzzling journeys, short stays and multiple park entry fees.
Pick a few highlights, plan a maximum four-hour journey between stops and then stay for a few days at each enjoying an in-depth exploration of the area. You can always come back….
2. Do away with certain perks.
Work within your budget.
Glamour and safari seem to go together these days but Ernest Hemingway explored Africa with a tent, stretcher and a few camp attendants, there wasn’t a plunge pool in sight.
Do you really need such ultra-luxuries as a spa, personal butler, an air-conditioned tent, gourmet meals cooked to order and a large selection of wine.
3. Safety In Numbers.
Just like the Wildebeeste there can be some huge advantages to travelling in a “herd.”
Travel with friends, family or in an arranged group (if you can handle it). Groups can often negotiate better deals. Sharing vehicle and guide costs can be a big saving.
However, group safaris can be restrictive since the itinerary may not be flexible. Different generations of people may want different types of safaris. Choose your companions wisely.
4. Travel during off-peak seasons.
Even though roads may be harder to navigate, going on safari during the green season is cheaper than during the popular dry season.
During the wet season (usually January to April in Zimbabwe), fewer people travel.
Reduced demand pushes prices down as lodge operators aim to fill their empty beds. The upside of going on safari during the green season is that animals are breeding, the young are exuberant and frolicking, birds are migrating and in colourful plumage.
The landscape is lush, green and blossoming. Clouds shine, brood, form shapes, tint the sunset. In every direction there are extraordinary backdrops for the keen photographer or gin & tonic sipper.
5. Opt for self-drive when going on safari in Zimbabwe
A luxury safari in Zimbabwe can now be a road trip. Tourists being hassled by police road blocks is a thing of the past.
Driving yourself is not only easy on the pocket but also ensures you have the freedom to plan and adjust your route at the last minute.
There’s flexibility in stopping for breaks, picnics or taking pictures. You have the choice of roads and where to stay overnight. If camping is your thing rent a vehicle with a roof top tent. With only camping fees to pay accommodation costs are kept to a minimum and self-catering is an option.
6. If you can pitch your own tent, do it.
And whilst on the topic of camping, most national parks in Zimbabwe offer camping facilities. Prices may differ depending on whether the facilities are fully-serviced camps with amenities or simply a cleared space for a tent.
Camping facilities are a great money saving option but if you prefer the sanctuary of a building then search out cheaper accommodation at the national park chalets.
7. Take advantage of any discounts on offer.
Do research on different lodge operators, are they offering specials?
These deals might involve longer stays or travels during the off-peak season. They might have a last-minute booking rate and if there are enough of you they might do a deal.
Never be afraid to ask what’s available and when, you might be pleasantly surprised!
To Find Out Why There Has Never Been A Better Time To Visit Zimbabwe, Click Here.