How to Choose A Safari - Friday, January 02, 2004

When we purchased our around-the-world ticket, our travel agent told us that it would only cost $150 for each of us to go to Africa and get four flights within the country! Though not part of our original plan, of course we said “yes”. So we began the process of researching safaris and were pleased to find out that there were some targeted towards budget travelers. Turns out that there are several types of safaris to choose from:

1 - Group Camping Safari – think tents, Thermarest, sleeping bag, 20+ people piled into a large, garbage-truck size vehicle, luggage on top, make-shift kitchen on the side, group outdoor cooking, national parks

2 - Private Camping Safari – same as above but with less people, more hiking than driving around, private game reserves with less tourists, sleep around a the fire

3 - Tented-Lodge Safari – Accommodation in large “Hemmingway-style” tents with real mattresses, wood floors, flush toilets, and tea service in the tent every morning, chef cooks for you, usually on former ranches turned into private wildlife reserve, private driver, LUXURY!! The ultimate, what everyone imagines safari to be like…

4 - Lodge Safari – Hotel accommodations in the bush, usually located inside national park, private or small group (6), food inclusive, swimming pool

Choice number one – the camping safari – is what our research told us was in our price range. We thought it would be fun to experience a safari with a bunch of new friends, albeit a bit uncomfy. We were just happy that we could go to Africa for so cheap! However, these big camping safaris had very set schedules and needed to be booked pretty far in advance. We found one that was in our time frame and sat on it for a while.

Since our around-the-world ticket allows us to change the dates and times of our flight for free as many times as we desire, we’ve become accustomed to not scheduling to far in advance. Why box ourselves in??? So for Israel and Turkey, we weren’t exactly sure how long we planned to stay. We weren’t quite ready to book the camping safari and did one last web check to see if we could find a company that was a bit more flexible with timing.

Lucky us! We found a company that would let us choose our safari date 1 week before the trip, as long as we worked out the itinerary beforehand. And guess what? For the SAME price as the Camping Safari, we snagged /upgraded to a Lodge safari. No, we don’t get to share a van with 20 other people and make new friends, but who cares? We get to sleep in REAL beds and have someone else cook for us! We have enough friends… Pretty sweet deal.

Previous Posts: 

Monthly Archives: 

Copyright © 2002- www.theharalsons.com