If you have ever planned a safari, you know that the offerings are jam-packed with amazing opportunities, which is one of the biggest reasons that safaris are truly a bucket list item.
Just like every traveller, every safari is different.
Many factors go into the creation of a safari and many of them are locked in once you reserve your spot, so it’s best that you do a bit of shopping around before making a decision.
Seeing a giraffe in their natural habitat for the first time is an unforgettable experience, as is seeing the great migration in action. Planning a safari can be very exciting. However, with all of the incredible things to see, it can also feel a bit overwhelming at times.
All in all, there are three key factors in choosing the right adventure for you. They are budget/group dynamics, desired sightings, and type of safari.
Let’s dive into what that means for you
Budget / group dynamics
Creating your budget will narrow down your search in regards to location. Some locations, such as South Africa are easier to get to than others, cutting down the travel costs.
Besides location, there are a plethora of safari camps available, from budget to ultra luxury. Knowing your budget will help you create a small (but still very large pool) of options that suit your monetary needs.
Group dynamics also play a significant role in the budget.
Families may want to opt for South Africa because it’s easy to get to and offers a variety of malaria-free zones. Couples looking for a bit of luxury may want to consider Botswana, as it’s known for its more luxurious camps. However, couples looking to get off the beaten path and experience some adventure may like Zambia, and for solo travellers, Namibia offers breathtaking beauty and comforts.
Consider the capabilities of those in your group. African safaris have a wide range of offerings, and if your group requires some TLC, we’re sure there is an African safari to match those needs.
What is it that your heart longs to see in its natural habitat?
Is it watching predators in action, or maybe spotting some of the world’s most endangered species.
Deciding on what it is that you want to see, will narrow down your search to country and time of year.
If you are in search of the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, cape buffalo and rhinoceros) South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania are perfect locations. For the great migration, check out Kenya, Tanzania, and the Serengeti. If elephants are your thing, Botswana will not disappoint. As Akeela Raman, one of our travel specialists states “Botswana has placed strong emphasis to preserve its fragile ecosystems and rich wildlife. This allows for a truly African wildlife experience, earning this country the status of the “gem of Africa.” The Okavango Delta, the largest of it’s kind and can be seen from outer space and is filled with abundant wildlife and quite spectacular.”
Lastly, keep the rainy season in mind. East Africa has their rainy season from March – May and South Africa experiences rainy season December – March. Rainy season does offer some amazing opportunities to see mother’s birthing their young, however, you will get wet!
Type of Safari
There are as many types of safaris in Africa as there are animals.
Knowing what type of safari you are looking for will also help to narrow down your search. There are walking, game drive, self-drive, horseback, helicopter, and biking safaris, to name a few.
There are also a wide variety of lodge options. Each one offers something unique and will appeal to different kinds of travellers. How close do you want to get to the animals? Are you physically fit and want to get exercise daily? Are you looking to run on a set schedule, or your own schedule? Do you want to sleep under the stars, or in a structured room? Are you looking to be immersed in the local culture?
Answering these few questions will really help you get familiarized with the kind of adventure that’s right for you and your group.