Mode of Safari Travel
This is an important consideration which you may not have thought about yet.
There are many ways to travel on a safari. It depends on the country, your personal preference and, dare I say it, sometimes your budget.
Each destination usually offers a few, but not all, of these options.
In some countries where the road network is poor and the distances are great, this is the most popular way of getting around. Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe would be prime examples. Here you have ‘seat in charter’ rates which mean that you don’t have to have a private plane just for your party. You share the small plane with other travellers heading in the same direction.
In other countries, you are choosing between travelling by road or by small plane. Examples would be Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania. In some smaller countries, there are not enough visitors to have the “Seat in Charter” option. This makes fly-in safaris very expensive, especially if you are only 2-4 people.
Finally in some countries, you may use scheduled flights to fly between regions. You would then use road transfers or small planes to get to your safari lodge, or enjoy private guiding in each area. The classic example would be South Africa. (But this is also the mode of travel in Ethiopia as well.)
| * Best use of time, when time is short|
* Amazing aerial views of the country
* Allows you to combine destinations which are far apart
* It really feels like a safari
* Seat-in-charter rates make it accessible to couples or even individuals
|* It is more expensive than road safaris, especially if there are 4 of you|
* You don’t get to see so much of the country
* These are small planes (sometimes even 4 seaters) so you need to be comfortable with that idea.
This is the mode of many safaris throughout Africa. A road safari (perhaps with some flights to cover large distances) with an expert guide-driver. Great for small parties and families as then it can be no more expensive than a scheduled group tour.
|* Superb one-on-one guiding |
* Greater insight into the country
* No need to worry about logistics
* Can choose your own pace and select your accommodation
|* Often expensive for 2 people, especially in South Africa & Namibia|
* Personal taste – you are with one guide for several days. Some prefer more independence
Scheduled Group Tours
This is not our preferred option – see Cons. But it could be an option for single travellers or couples who cannot quite stretch to private guiding. But in that case, consider Self-Drive below.
A scheduled day tour in a city help to keep down costs, without some of the disadvantages of longer group tours. But many scheduled tours can be done on a private basis for not much more, especially if you are 4 or more. So if you see something you like, chat to us…
|* Affordable for a couple or single visitor|
* Meet other people
* Great for specialist interests using an expert guide in that field
* No need to worry about logistics
|* Usually ONLY go to the most popular destinations |
* Travel quickly so 1-2 nights in each place only
* Hotels tend to be larger and mid-range in standard
* No choice in where you stay
* No choice in how long you spend in one place
* You may not like the other people in the group
This all depends on where you are going. Self-drive is NOT an option we recommend for most of our safari destinations. And yet in South Africa and Namibia (only) it is one of the most POPULAR ways to get around, and one that we thoroughly endorse.
|AffordableGives you huge amount of flexibilityCan combine with all levels of accommodationGreat road network, especially in South AfricaCan combine with transfers & private touring as well||More tiring for some peopleCan be more stressful for someGenerally takes a little longer to get aroundMainly only really for South Africa & NamibiaRight-hand drive may be an issue for some|
Naturally sometimes the best solution is a mix of the above.
- Combine a fly-in safari with some self-drive to allow you to see more of a country
- Or combine some private touring with some self-drive
- Take a couple of scheduled day tours in the city but then enjoy a private tour later on