One of the best experiences anyone can have in life is the beautiful sights of wildlife and nature in their most unique forms. And the best way to have these sorts of experiences is none other than an African safari.
African Safari is a trip or an expedition by a group of people, mostly tourists, to some enthralling destinations in Africa, mostly the Eastern parts of the continent, to observe animals and other fantastic works of nature in their natural habitat. It is a very beautiful experience that one does not forget in a hurry. From the unique flora and fauna at the Botswana safari to the amazing greenies of the Tanzania safari, there is simply no better way to embrace the primal call of nature than to embark on an African safari. However, many people wrongly presume that it costs so much to go on a safari, and as a result, many have deprived themselves of the opportunity to bask in this incredible experience. But from my many safari experiences, I’ve come to discover that an African safari doesn’t necessarily have to drill a hole in your pocket if you don’t want it to. To that end, here are some tips on how you can plan an interesting and mind-blowing African Safari without breaking the bank.
Carefully choose your safari
The interesting thing about an African safari is that visitors are always spoilt with choice when it comes to choosing their destination. From the world-renowned Tanzania safari to the Greater Kruger in South Africa, there is always plenty to choose from, which means that tourists, and visitors alike, have the liberty of choosing a safari that fits their budgets. Usually, some of the factors that contribute to the expensiveness of a safari include park fees, game reserve fees, visas, vaccinations, food, transportation, the exchange rate, and accommodation, to mention but a few. But you need not spend on all these expenses if you choose your destination carefully. For instance, there are some destinations that don’t require visitors to have visas or vaccinations. These kinds of safaris might be perfect for you if you’re on a tight budget. So, even if you don’t have top dollars to burn on an African safari, you can still do your research online to find a safari that suits your pocket. Trust me; you’ll always find one!
Choose local operators
It goes without saying that using a local tour guide, local safari company, or local accommodation option is, by far, better than booking via international platforms. The reason for this is that local operators will always charge you based on the standard of the country you’re visiting, while international companies will always include some hidden charges in your total safari costs. Additionally, local operators also present you with an increased chance of last-minute availability.
Going in the Off-Season during off-peak months
The lodge rates can drop by as much as half, which translates to enormous savings, most especially if you’re choosing owner-operated, lower-cost accommodations. Some of the best off-season times to consider are those times during early December, before the holiday periods and again in April to May, which is the rainy season in East Africa. You may typically avoid wet weather, but the spring is also “baby season.” Everywhere you turn, you will likely see infant giraffes, elephants, and lion cubs; it’s also the season of the great wildebeest migration. Low season also means fewer people – helping you to avoid being crowded by 25 other Land Rovers trying to get a view of the wildlife.
Compromise on accommodation
In most cases, compromising on the choice and price of your accommodation can make a world of difference in your overall safari cost. Usually, most of the national parks you’ll find in the Eastern and Southern parts of Africa are built with public camping facilities. If you’re looking to save money on your African safari, you might want to consider only those destinations that offer this perk. However, it should be noted that while some of these public camping facilities offer some essentials like waterholes, restaurants, and electricity, several others don’t. In fact, you might get to some safaris, and you’ll discover that the only form of public camping facility available is a cleared space to pitch your tent.
By and large, you do not have to be extremely wealthy to experience the magic of going on a safari—you just have to start making plans! With so many amazing parks to choose from, the only question is, where do you want to go?