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- Category: Kenya
- Published on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 09:29
- Written by Administrator
- Hits: 221
Planning your itinerary
The amount of choices available can be quite overwhelming, particularly if this is your first time to Africa and perhaps your ‘trip of a lifetime’. An integral part of planning your safari is understanding what the different destinations have to offer and how this relates to what your expectations. Below are some key questions that will assist in you in finding the best option for you. After you have read through the below guidelines on planning your trip, check our Safari Options by Country and Best Selling Safaris for some itinerary ideas, but if it is all too much contact one of our experienced safari consultants with our Safari Request form or by email and with this information we can help narrow down your options and come up with the perfect trip.
When can you travel?
Timing of a safari is of utmost importance as this affects not only the weather, but also the game viewing, vegetation, correlation with important events (such as migrations), and PRICE!
If you are locked into certain travel dates due to work or school holidays, or a special anniversary or birthday celebration then you are advised to contact us to provide you with best places to visit during that time of the Year and what to expect at different times of the year.
If the timing of your travel is flexible it is of interest to bear in mind that sometimes the ‘peak season’ which is the most expensive time to travel is not always the best time to travel. There are many contributing factors that create ‘peak season’ which include: demand based on worldwide holiday times (Christmas/Easter/Summer holidays), comfortable travelling weather and perceived wildlife expectations. So although it is a good time of year to travel, there are other times of year that are just as satisfactory from a wildlife perspective that may suit you better.
It is important to advise us what is important to you on your initial enquiry so that the Safari Specialists can assist you in finding the best time for your African travel – whether your priority is fitting in with specific dates or finding a time that gets the best value, or perhaps fulfilling a special interest.
Who are you travelling with?
The type and number of people you are travelling with will also be a key factor in planning your trip. For example, if you are travelling with your partner you may want a romantic African getaway, whereas if you are travelling with your family you may be looking for something a little more ‘child’ friendly. If we are aware from the beginning who you are travelling with, it helps us find the properties and itinerary that suits you best.
Please note that if you are travelling with a group (6 or more) it is very important to book up to a year (or even more!) in advance as many of the safari lodges are limited in capacity otherwise it may be difficult to find space where you would like to go.
What are your expectations of the trip?
Africa is generally a destination for those wishing to experience something different from the norm – an adventure into a different world. The primary objective for most visitors is to see the unique African wildlife. This is balanced with other interests such as cultural diversity, visiting historical sites, adventure activities and it is most important to remember whilst on safari you are also on holiday!
Safaris take you far away from the noise and stresses of everyday life and allow you slow down and appreciate life’s pleasures – observing nature, watching the sun set, enjoying delicious food, sitting around a campfire, reading a book, taking a siesta and having the time to talk to the people that accompany you.
Your idea of a holiday may be to see and do as much as you can in a limited space of time, stopping only one or two nights in each place. Or perhaps this is the only break you get in the year and you want to spend more quality time in fewer destinations in order that you really have time to decompress. Let us know what your preference is so that we can offer the right itinerary for you.
The beauty of Southern Africa is that you can combine an exciting wildlife safari with a few days in a luxury resort or a beach holiday; it is all possible and just depends on your budget, available time and personal preferences.
What type of accommodation do you prefer?
It is important to remember that safari classification of luxury is slightly different to that of a high class hotel. A typical luxury safari includes a high level of service and personal care, wonderful food, drinks and above all knowledgeable guides and a unique wildlife experience. What you may not always be able to expect is electricity 24/7, hairdryers, ala carte menus and the like – however you would be surprised where you do find it!
On the flip-side if your dream African safari is a peaceful escape to the bush, you may be best suited to a private mobile safari where you are staying in a tent and surrounded only by nature.
You need to advise us what is important to you, and we will construct the best balance of comfort, luxury, service and safari experience within your budget.
How much do you want to spend?
It is a difficult but important thing to work out a budget for your trip. If you have a specific idea of what you want to spend, it is important to advise your consultant from your beginning as this will assist greatly in finding the best safari option for you.
Take note that a lodge or hotel in an exclusive or isolated destination may be higher in cost than a lodge or hotel of higher luxury/star rating in a more accessible area (city or town). It is important to understand this distinction when comparing travel between different countries, for example when comparing safari options in Kenya to safari options in Tanzania. Also when comparing itineraries, you need to take into account what is included, as a lower cost itinerary may be deceptively priced with you paying out for ‘extras’ that add up.
We at MICS Tours & Safaris Ltd can assist with your trip planning with offering honest and objective advice on what is the best value for your budget given your personal priorities.