Yet, planning for a safari will be quite unlike planning for most of your previous journeys and that's where Safariline is able to assist. Below are some general considerations to make and things we will ask to help you plan your trip:
- We are dedicated to the preservation and conservation of our beloved wilderness.
- Our staff is supported by the most reputable safari operators and outfitters, who are experts in their field.
If you do not find a tour or safari suited to your specific needs, please contact us we'll happily recommend to arrange a customized itinerary.
How to Plan Your Trip
Eastern Africa: The long rains are from early April through early June, and the short rains from late November through December. It is often less expensive to travel during the long rainy season. Dry seasons offer excellent visibility and more reliable road conditions, and game tends to congregate around the limited water sources, making the animals easier to find. July and August are generally extremely busy in East Africa, offering comfortable temperatures in addition to being a popular time for travel world-wide... so be sure to book well in advance.
Southern Africa: The rainy season runs mainly from late November through mid-April in the safari regions; however if you are traveling to South Africa, the southern Cape is experiencing summer at that time and is a wonderful place to visit. The Cape area can be cold and rainy during their winter from June through August. Often high season rates for the safari regions go into effect in July so it is sometimes possible to save a bit of money by traveling prior to that - May and June can be delightful months to travel. Due to the smaller size of safari camps and lodges in southern Africa, it is necessary to book well in advance, particularly for travel from June through September. . For more information on game viewing and weather conditions of Southern Africa readz; "General Game Viewing in Southern Africa"
Islands: Generally the weather is similar to that of southern Africa, with the summer rains lasting from November through April, with occasional cyclones during that time. The dry season from May to October is ideal.
Budget: While there are some travelers with an unlimited budget, the majority of our clients have a price range in mind, which is extremely important in helping us select an appropriate safari for you.
Safari Camps can range from $250 to $1400 per person per night and this does not include transfers by land or by air. The more luxurious the safari, the more expensive the trip. When planning your budget keep in mind what you can realistically afford and the old adage "you generally get what you pay for" is true for safaris as well.
Exchange rates and currency fluctuations between countries can also make a difference in the overall cost of traveling to a specific destination.
A per person, per day budget is a good rule of thumb for determining how long you can travel, so by simply shortening your trip by a day or two can cut hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, the time and expense of getting to Africa is significant, so planning is essential and we encourage you to spend as much extra time touring this incredible continent as your budget allows. Distances are vast and rushing your trip to save money is rarely worthwhile.
Safari camps are generally all-inclusive, which means the cost of the accommodations, meals, guides, game activities, and park entry fees are included. Staying at a hotel or a beach resort is often less expensive at the onset but you will have to pay for meals meals and activities when you get there. By combining safari, beach and a City Sampler you can make a trip more affordable.
Age Groups: The age range of your group should be taken into account as a family has different requirements than a honeymoon couple. If you are traveling on business or traveling alone, this may affect your destination, tour or lodge choice. Some safari camps have age restrictions; not allowing children under 12, and some lodges are not condusive to persons traveling with disabilities. Overland and mobile camping safaris will have age limits for younger as well as older travelers.
Group or Independent Travel
Group travel has set departure dates and schedules, and is generally limited to 8-16 passengers. There may be age restrictions when traveling with a group. Independent travel allows more flexibility with your choice of departure dates, times, schedules, destination and camps. Termed "independent travel," you will always have someone to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your safari camp or hotel, so even solo travelers can feel comfortable knowing that they will be well-looked after on their "independent tour".
Guides and Vehicles: Safariline endeavors to use the best guides available, as a guide can make all the difference on your safari. East Africa is currently standardizing its guide requirements, while southern Africa has long been known for its lengthy and intensive guide training Guiding and vehicles by area:
East Africa: Here you are likely to have the same guide throughout if traveling by road, which allows you to get to know him or her, and build upon each day's experiences. Most vehicles in East Africa are minivans sometimes called "pop-tops" with an opening roof hatch to allow you the best visibility possible. It is possible to have a 4 x 4 vehicle in East Africa, although this option is more expensive.
Southern Africa: Whether you are flying or traveling by vehicle you will usually have guides from each camp who are thoroughly knowledgeable about the concessions or National Parks that they traverse on a daily basis. Vehicles in southern Africa are generally open 4 x 4 land rovers or land cruisers.
Modes of Travel
For the adventurous and those comfortable with driving on the left side of the road, self drive itineraries can be very economical and allow the flexibility to discover many areas you wouldn't see on a scheduled or overland tour. Driving in South Africa and Namibia have good road systems and are generally easy to navigate. Car rental companies have specific requirements for cross border travel.
An overland Safari is led by professional guides as you travel by specially modified four wheel drive safari vehicles. The land safaris travel comfortable distances, allowing ample time to savor the places of interest and photograph the wildlife enroute giving you are more realistic idea of the day to day life of the local people. Ample time is required for an overland Safari and may have age restrictions.
Fly-In Safari (Winged Safari)
With flights between camps, these are designed for those who do not have as much time at their disposal. Winged safaris, use light aircraft to land you directly on private airstrips where deluxe accommodations await. While it is generally more expensive, it is the most efficient means of transferring you between safari camps easily, with plenty of time to enjoy activities when you get there. Consideration should be made by those who have difficulties with small aircraft and plan their trips accordingly.
Types of Accommodation
Our safari lodges are located in remote, unpopulated areas. Although your accommodation is termed luxury, it can never be a Hyatt in the bush. However, you will be pleasantly surprised by the level of comfort and convenience offered. Hot showers, modern bath facilities, well stocked bars and hearty, fresh food are there to refresh after an exciting day of game viewing.
The level of accommodation that you are expecting is important to consider - unabashed luxury or 2-man dome tents. It is possible to combine different levels of accommodation on different parts of your trip; however we are adamant that you have the right expectations for each of the places you go
Once considered rustic, these camps have changed in recent years to unashamed luxury, catering to groups of 15 or fewer. Each offers small intimate dining / lounge / bar area together with beautifully furnished, individual tents. You'll sleep under mosquito netting, in rooms with ensuite bathrooms and hot showers. Most tented camps operate from generators or solar power. Nightly campfires and lanterns generate their own great safari-lore!
Tours and safaris can be designed around your specific interests:
Hiking & Trekking, Climbing, Canoeing & Mokoroing, Guided Walks, Scuba / Snorkel, Game Viewing, Botanical, Birding, Fishing, Hunting. Cultural Tours, Beach Holidays, Honeymoons/ Weddings and Anniversary Celebrations, to name a few. The list is long so please tell Safariline your specific interests and we'll be sure to incorporate those in your itinerary.