How to Choose the Right Tour for Your African Safari Dream
For many people, going on an African safari tour is a once in a lifetime deal, for financial or logistical reasons. That is why it’s of the utmost importance that your African safari is well-planned so you don’t waste time and money. So before you plan, you must first ask some important questions.
What is your budget?
While the image of African safaris seems to cater to the more affluent folks, there are tours tailored to every budget. However, in general, they are expensive endeavours. Safaris are a highly specialized type of tourism that requires knowledge and expertise.
Obviously, the bigger your budget is, the more luxury you’ll experience. The number of people in your party also affects your budget: if you’re a solo traveler, you’ll likely have to pay a single supplement. If you crave even a bit of the everyday comforts like hot water or a comfortable bed, you’ll have to pay a price on that as well. The length of your trip and the type of activities you engage in are all factors to be considered.
What type of animals do you want to see?
Different countries in Africa offer different native animals, so what you want to see will affect your destination. The popular ones usually include lions, leopards, rhinos, buffalo, and elephants. If you’re keen on seeing these animals, the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania or the Masai Mara in Kenya will suit you.
African safaris are a great opportunity to see unusual animals in their local setting. These include chimpanzees, crocodiles, and many species of birds. No matter what you choose, there are tours that can accommodate your desire to see certain animals.
What kind of experience do you want?
Are you more of an introverted type who wants to just quietly observe the animals? Or maybe you want your safari tour to be a family and friends affair. You may be a couple seeking a unique honeymoon experience. The type of travelers in your group will influence the activities and experience you’re looking to have.
There are many options for virtually all types of experience you are seeking. Whether you want a 4×4 drive, self-guided drive, a tour focused on photography, or something that signifies utter luxury, you’re sure to find a tour that can make your wildest African safari dream come true.
Does the company you choose have good reviews?
African safaris are too expensive for you to suffer through subpar quality. As with traveling, anything goes, and you might fall a victim to unexpected illnesses or other misfortunes. But as far as the lodging, transportation, and other details that are provided by your tour company, they should be up to par.
The best way to choose a tour is through the tried-and-true method, the word of mouth. If you have family, friends, or acquaintances that previously went on a tour, be sure to ask them about their experiences. There are also numerous online forums like Tripadvisor where you can gather information about other people’s experiences and possibly recommendations from. While no two African safaris will be exactly the same, drawing on other people’s experiences will help you plan your own unforgettable trip.
Do you care about responsible tourism?
Tourism should benefit all those involved. You can certainly enjoy traveling without leaving too big of a carbon footprint. The right kind of travel will benefit the local communities and conservation, thereby making everyone a winner.
African safari tours should be committed to working with lodges and camps operated by locals. They should provide a positive vision for the future of Africa. Most importantly, all rules regarding the wildlife conservation should be respected by travelers. They include not touching the animals, avoiding flash photography and making loud noises, not smoking, picking up and taking away your rubbish to mention a few.
Making the right choice
If you’re looking for a tour company that satisfies all of the above requirements, you should do thorough research. With numerous companies specializing in African safaris and tours across multiple countries, there are an overwhelming amount of itineraries to choose from. Taking into account the considerations and tips above, you should be on your way to finding a company that works closely with travelers to create a truly one-of-a-kind safari experience.
It will after all be a trip of a lifetime so choose wisely!