The African Safari is on many a dream list. But it can be an expensive dream and with all the talk about the economic down turn is it time to eBay your suitcases and keep a beady Rovos Rail Hunting Safari Cost eye on your pennies? I think not! It’s possible to go on an African safari without your bank managers blessing! Ten tips on how to find that dream adventure holiday without breaking the bank follow. It may take some research, bargain hunting and you stepping out of your comfort zone but it will be worth it!
1. Choose less obvious game reserves:
Kruger in South Africa and the Mara in Kenya are well known as the places to go for an African Safari experience. I’m not discounting these but a major advantage of visiting Zambia for your safari is it’s only just getting on the map. Game parks like North and South Luangwa have rich animal populations Rovos Rail Hunting Safari Cost and have that magical untouched feel. This is another way to save – game parks with less demand are obviously cheaper to visit.
2. Search out places with weak currencies!
This is especially advantageous if lodges take payment in the local currency. However, more often than not, rates are in US dollars. Of course this is still beneficial for British travellers!
3. Opt for small, owner-operated lodges:
Without the high overhead costs of chains, small camps are more competitive on price and flexibility. Zambia is a good choice for this because the majority of lodges are owner operated. Rovos Rail Hunting Safari Cost You’ll also get a more personalised experience with knowledgeable people who really love what they are doing.
4. Go for a self-drive experience:
If you have sense of adventure then rent a 4X4, grab a few friends, stock up on supplies and hit the road. It’s a great experience (having done it myself) but you’ll need to be aware that African countries are very large and long drives on bumpy roads might be tiresome. You’ll also need to respect the animals as they are wild after all. Before you set out make sure you research the roads, travel times, park fees and campsite facilities. This method will save on air transfers and will give you the real African fix.
5. Take a guided driving safari
If the thought of driving through unknown terrain in wild Africa is little too scary then you can opt for this option. You’ll be driven in comfortable 4×4 vehicles by an experienced Rovos Rail Hunting Safari Cost driver-guide who knows the animals and the roads. You are still likely to travel very long distances but you’ll see more of the African countryside (as above) and you’ll make major savings on air transfers and accommodation – this option often provides middle range and owner-run lodges.
6. Travel off season:
Rates drop by as much as 40% percent in many parts of Africa. The great thing about the African bush is that there is something to experience all you round.
Research exactly what you will get to see and ensure you are happy with that. (Note, not all camps are open all year round mainly because of the rainy season and how unforgiving it is to dirt track roads). In Zambia off season provides a wonderful ’emerald season’ safari, when the rivers are at their fullest (you’ll probably access the camp by boat), the landscape is bright green and in full growth and the animals are feasting – it’s the time of abundance.
7. Stay in national park lodges and government run accommodation
Okay I’m not suggesting you’ll be in the lap of luxury – that is highly unlikely. But self-catering accommodation and private bungalows can cost very little and you will still get to experience Africa – be it in raw form.
8. Visit the ‘newbies’
We all know that well-established lodges can charge a premium but new camps need to start somewhere! In order to establish their reputations they are likely to charge less – at least initially. (Zambia is a hotspot for new camps that are sprouting up everywhere).
9. Visit smaller sister camps
Many leading safari companies offer smaller sibling camps close to some of their more flagship properties. So if you can’t afford magnificent luxury then why not opt for a more rustic and natural setting for a more honest experience of Africa and its wildlife.
10. Book from the other end
If it’s possible for you to book your African safari from the country you want to visit you’ll cut the cost of international commissions often tied to the high cost of running businesses in the West. You might be less comfortable using a less known company but we did say reducing the cost of your dream African Safari might involve stepping outside your comfort zone right?
Sara Brown is instrumental in the running of the Best of Zambia site, a website dedicated to putting Zambia on the map by creating a strong internet presence and successfully promoting Zambia and those operating in Zambia. This site will help potential visitors to Zambia research this beautiful country, find the perfect holiday in Zambia, plan their trip and send out inquiries. As the site develops it will have useful links to the international development sector, commercial and investment opportunities and, local businesses and services.