Let’s face it, when you’re planning an African safari vacation, there are a wide range of packages and options to choose from.
So where do you start?
1. Don’t Plan by Yourself
If you’ve never travelled to Africa why would you plan your trip by yourself?
Wouldn’t you rather want an expert to help you?
This is the first step if you’re serious about creating a dream African safari vacation package.
You want an experienced tour operator on your side so you don't miss out on those special experiences only a local would know.
2. Make a Bucket List
When you think of an African safari what are the first five things that come to mind?
Do you want to see lions, perhaps the Big Five, how about beaches or romantic retreats?
Do you prefer four star, five star or diamond level accommodation?
Do you want to interact with animals, go on cultural tours or do you prefer outdoor activities like river rafting, shark cage diving, mountain biking etc.
Perhaps you want a food and wine experience or a photographic safari.
The list is seemingly endless but you have to start somewhere, so jot down the top ideas that come to mind.
3. Decide When to Go
Decide the best time of year for your African safari vacation and then ask the tour planner for country recommendations.
Cape Town for example is not great in the windy season, the Kruger can be too cold in Winter, but then further north in Tanzania or Kenya the climate may be different.
If you are flexible and can travel any time of the year, decide what’s most important.
Are you more interested in a pure wildlife safari package or do you want an African experience that includes wine lands, beaches and world-rated restaurants.
At the end of the day, the more feedback you give your tour planner, the better the experience they can create for you.
4. Decide on Your Budget
Tell your consultant your ideal budget before she starts planning your package.
African accommodation is as diverse as the wildlife. Discounts may also apply on special occasion safaris like a South African Honeymoon package for example.
For example we represent over 1,000 lodges and hotels, each with multiple pricing options.
You don’t want to waste your time or the consultants with the “give me a variety” request.
That’s not useful.
Another important point to keep in mind when planning your safari vacation is that some prices are all inclusive of meals and drinks, and some are not.
You may be thinking you’re getting a great deal, but if you have to dip into your pocket for every meal or beverage, you’ll soon be wishing you had opted for an all-inclusive safari package.
5. Consider Your Trip Duration
When planning your African safari vacation remember to include flight time in and out of Africa.
Also remember that internal flights between locations and countries eat up precious vacation time.
This is another important reason not to try plan your trip alone.
An experience safari planner will make your life infinitely easier and recommend the best airports to fly in and out of, especially when you’re making light air craft leaps from camp to camp, or considering ground transfers.
You don’t want to waste full day in transit when a little expert planning could have you sitting in a game vehicle spotting lion instead of an airport.
Working with an experienced consultant is not only the best and easiest way to plan a safari vacation, it is also the best value option.
On average our clients save 12 – 15% over direct bookings because we receive the best rates in Africa thanks to the number of bed nights we book a year.
Additionally we’re privy to specials and last minute discounts the public is not.
If you love pain and confusion then by all means venture into the unknown and plan your own safari, but if you want an insiders guide to the best wildlife locations, accommodation, tour packages and more then contact us for a no obligation quote.