7 Things To Consider When Booking An African Safari
Before jumping into what to consider when booking an African safari, did you know that safari is a Swahili term meaning, “a journey”?
In the past, this journey usually involved a lot of trophy hunting.
With certain wildlife facing the threat of extinction, thankfully, those days are just that. In the past.
If you’re planning on travelling, an African safari ought to be on your bucket list. To ensure your trip is a memorable one, it pays to consider the following when booking for an African safari.
1. Make sure to book your African safari in advance
While you’re making plans for your trip, there are so many others doing the same thing.
Safaris in Africa have become so popular over the years. It’s no surprise that many camps get booked out months or even, years in advance.
If you postpone booking for your safari, you only limit yourself and may end up adjusting your plans to fit in with what is available.
In fact –
This may end up costing your more money if the only camps available when you are ready to book are expensive than others.
2. Knowledge and experience of the guides
When booking an African safari, find out about the experience and knowledge of the tour guides at the camps you consider visiting.
A tour guide with good communication or interpersonal skills plus a wealth of knowledge can make yours a memorable trip.
Thus, it is worth it to opt for a safari camp or lodge with guides who are good at their job.
A way to know which of those camps has good (licensed) guides is to pay attention to the reviews of those camps by other guests, be it on their websites, social media accounts or on sites such as TripAdvisor.
While guide accreditation differs from one country to another, in Zimbabwe aspiring guides undergo years of extensive training before getting their license to practice.
Zimbabwe’s process of obtaining a guide license is regarded as one of the most extensive and highly reputed in Africa.
3. Duration of your trip
Another thing to remember when booking an African safari is that each night you spend at a camp will cost you.
Depending on your budget, you will have to work out the number of nights you want to spend at the camp.
One night is certainly not enough because such a short time will not allow you to fully experience the safari camp and all the activities it has to offer.
Spending more than one night may help you know more about the area, its creatures, and plants. All things said, your budget will determine how long you get to stay at one safari camp.
4. Fly-in or drive-in safari
How will you get to the safari camp?
As you search for the ideal safari camp to visit, make sure to find out how one accesses the location.
Some camps are in remote areas and this means they often aren’t accessible using road transport.
Thus, guests will have no other option but to use small planes to get to the camps.
Unsurprisingly, this mode of transport adds to the total cost of the trip. So, work within your means and select which safari camps suit your budget.
5. Know and work within your budget
Knowing what your budget is helps you – or your tour operator – to know what choices of a safari camp and activities to focus on.
The options are overwhelmingly many, and a budget eliminates some of those thus making the booking process much easier.
Of course, working within your budget may mean doing away with some of your needs.
But, it is way better to choose an option is cheap enough but does not meet all your needs instead of choosing an expensive option which is way beyond your financial means.
Going on safari is not cheap at all.
The best camps with the best activities and viewing are the most expensive.
Prices will vary not only according to the location of the camp but the season.
When booking for an African safari, work within your budget.
If you want tips on how to lower your costs without lowering the quality of your experience, read our blog here.
While the best camps might have the best activities, keep in mind that –
6. An expensive lodge doesn’t always guarantee an experience of a lifetime
Safari lodges are like hotels since they both offer a range of services with different prices.
While at a hotel you can expect to pay more for better services or a more luxurious experience, safaris tend to be more complex.
Spending more money at a safari camp may get you better lodging and food.
At cheap safaris, you may have to go without certain comforts like hot water.
However, the quality of your lodging is not a reliable indicator of the quality of the activities one can partake in.
Lastly, when booking an African safari, consider –
7. The best time to go on safari
It stands to be argued that as the seasons change so does the safari experience.
Still, when booking an African safari, make sure to find out the best time to visit the safari you plan on go to.
Prices charged during the high and the low season tend to differ, so good deals are to be had in the low season, but it is important to know the difference, as your experience may be different.
Generally, in the Southern parts of Africa, the high season is from July to October.
During that time, water sources are limited, and animals will merge at the available sources in large numbers.
When the rainy season starts, the animals disperse. The dense vegetation may make it hard to spot the animals.
On the plus side, there are lots of birds and young animals being born to see during the rainy season.
Depending on where you want to go in Africa, acquaint yourself with the seasons of that area so you can make an informed decision.
Like we said above, a safari in Africa ought to be on your bucket list. If you’re interested in exploring the beautiful areas in Zimbabwe, please click here for more information.