First time on Safari?
We know. The safari world is daunting. So many destinations, so many options, such a wide variation in pricing. It is difficult to know where to start.
That’s why we believe it’s often easiest to start with a simple phone call where you can ask all sorts of questions and bounce ideas around. Obviously, we’re hoping that this website will help. But here are a few tips to start…
Where to go?
It’s almost impossible to recommend one wildlife region above another – each has its own unique charms, ‘special’ animals and outstanding guides.
For first-time visitors, we’d probably recommend South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe or East Africa. South Africa offers the broadest range, from the world’s finest lodges in private game reserves (some non-malarial), to more affordable lodges and even National Park rest camps.
In East Africa, Tanzania and Kenya both offer one of the classic safari experiences in Africa – witnessing great herds of game migrating across acacia-studded plains. Combine this with relaxing by the Indian Ocean.
All of our Destinations can be done by a first-time visitor, especially if you have specific interests.
If possible, spend some time looking through this website to look at some of our sample safari itineraries. This will give you a sense of costs and specific things that you may like to do.
Private or Group Travel?
Many people see a group tour on a website and assume that’s the only way to do it. The reality is that probably only 10-20% of safari travel is done in a group format.
Invariably, we recommend private travel over group travel, especially if you are a party of four or more when the cost differential is hardly anything. Here’s why we recommend private travelling:
- The tour itinerary is tailored to you and your interests
- You can choose whatever lodges or hotels you want
- There’s flexibility to change the itinerary on the day (within reason)
- You can visit some of the less touristy areas
However – if you are a couple, or a solo traveller – then the costs of private travel may be more than you would like to spend. Group travel is one option. But there are alternatives in South Africa or Namibia, such as self-drive. Check out Mode of Travel below…
How long to spend?
Invariably, the cost and time to get to Africa means that it’s best to spend at least 11-12 nights in the country or region you would like to visit. If you only have that time, focus on three (maximum four) different destinations. Leave the rest for another time. (And there will be another time!)
If possible, we recommend 13-14 nights.
If you are retired or have more leave, then we highly recommend 2½ to 3 weeks. Given that many lodges and hotels offer 4 for 3 specials, you may not find that those extra nights will add substantially to the cost. It also depends on mode of travel. A fly-in safari will allow you to see more in a shorter time-frame. In contrast, a self-drive meander through Namibia needs more time to be enjoyable, for example.