How to Choose the Right Safari for Your Next Vacation

How to Choose the Right Safari for You?

There are certainly lots of safari trips to choose from.

If you are planning to take a break from your hectic schedule and head out with your family or solo you would want to know how to optimize your holiday time. Many people prefer heading out to nature where they can explore the local vegetation, animals, birds and even marine life. A safari trip is a great way to make the most of the time you have. If you have never been on a safari before you would want to make the right choices that would allow you to optimize the time and resources you have. 

Today, you can find many local tour operators that would provide you with some of the best African safaris that you can find. However, no two safari tours are identical and therefore you need to be clear about what you expect and prefer on your safari trip. 

Let’s take a quick look at six factors that would help you choose the right safari for you and your family. 

Know your budget

choose the right safari

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Speaking of various safari trips and tours you need to know that no two safari trips would cost you the same. Different tour operators and companies design different safari tours that cater to different people and their needs. Hence, the itinerary is different and that can impact the total cost. If you are going for a custom safari tour plan you would have to know how much the total expenditure would be to help you decide your budget. 

Decide what you want to see

choose the right safari

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Generally, when we think of a safari trip, we think of predators like lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas. However, there are different types of safari tours and you must have clarity on what you want to see. For many first-time safari goers, watching Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) is the most exciting thing. 

Destinations like Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, and Botswana offer excellent Africa Big Five game viewing experiences. However, if you are interested in watching mountain gorillas you would want to head to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo

You can also opt for desert safaris that allow you to explore the desert regions of Namibia and Botswana. For marine life experience, you can head to South Africa where you can also explore the beaches and whales. Meanwhile, bird enthusiasts can look out for some of the best bird-watching destinations in South Africa, Kenya, Botswana, Tanzania, and Zambia.

Pick a mode of transport

choose the right safari

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When you are heading for a safari trip, you would likely travel in a 4X4 safari jeep. This is one of the best modes of transport for game-viewing experiences, especially in the savannas of Kenya and the bushy plains of Serengeti. However, that is not the only mode of transport you can choose. 

You can choose water safari options that allow you to head out for a boat cruise. This makes the experience even better because you get to explore the terrain from a new perspective. If you are heading to Botswana’s Okavango Delta you can make use of boat cruises and mokoro safaris that allow you to explore the swampy area in a better way than a regular 4X4 jeep. 

Walking safaris can also provide you with an exceptional experience where you walk with professional guides that have excellent knowledge of local flora and fauna, and local culture and geography. Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park is a great setting for those who prefer to walk through the grasslands. However, make sure that you bring in the best shoes for a safari tour to help you tackle those rough terrains.

Various game reserves also provide you with the opportunity to explore the area on a horseback, or you can even spend your money on an air balloon safari trip and explore the landscape from a different perspective. If you are heading for some desert safari tours you can look out for quad-bikes that you can ride across the salt pans and desert plains.

Know what accommodations are included

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Those who want to choose the right safari tour should also look out for the accommodations that are included in the package. If you are opting for a custom plan you would want to know what kind of accommodation you want for your loved ones. You can choose from different lodges, tented safari camps, private houses, and even luxurious hotels that offer you spectacular views of the landscape and exceptional vantage points to explore the an

imals around. 

The cost of accommodation would differ when you choose an accommodation which has a strategic location or opulent styling and best-in-class facilities and amenities. Various high-end private houses and hotels also come with dedicated chefs and guides that offer a complete safari experience. 

Group tour vs. Private vs. Self-drive

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Various tour operators would provide you with the option to choose between group tours and private tours. This, once again, can influence the total expenditure of your safari trip. When you opt for group tours, the itinerary is planned and has a certain set of activities allocated for each day. If you are a social person, this can be a great opportunity to meet new people and make friends and share your safari holiday experience. Choosing a group tour helps you save money and offer many more benefits. 

Private guided tours can be expensive but it also provides you with the luxury of being with your loved ones and enjoying the moments. You also have the freedom to make your itinerary and optimize the time you have as you don’t have to worry about group dynamics. 

Choosing a self-drive safari might seem like a cheaper option, but you also need to remember that not all parks allow self-drive tours. Also, when you pick a self-drive safari tour you need to manage your accommodation, food, and gas and decide your routes. This would not be an ideal choice for first-time safari visitors. However, you can head for a self-drive safari in South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. 

Beyond traditional game-viewing

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When you are planning a safari trip with your loved ones and family you need to focus on many other things than game-viewing. This is important because you have a memorable experience that you can take back home. Hence, you need to allot some spare time, so that you can get to relax and unwind and soak in the African air.

Various safari tours would also include interaction with the local tribes and village people. These interactions offer unique eye-opening experiences as you learn about how the locals are an integral part of the ecosystem. Also, the safari tour must provide you with time to shop locally and enjoy the delicious local cuisine.  

Also read: Here Are All the Countries With Zero Travel Restrictions

Now that you know how to choose the right safari, what type of trip will you be planning?

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