LEVEL OF LUXURY
In general, the more luxurious the safari, the more expensive the trip. Safari camps can range from $250 to $1000 per person per night, not including transfers from one region/camp to another, which are frequently by air. However, the cost at most safari camps and lodges normally includes all your meals, game drives and most other game viewing activities on offer. Sometimes drinks and laundry are also included in the rate. So when you consider the additional cost of these other components, relative to the average price for a 4-5 star hotel (room only), the safari rate is quite a bargain! Always allow for tips and souvenirs when planning your “spending money”. Exchange rates and fuel prices fluctuate, and can have an impact on the final cost of your safari in some cases. Similarly, governments periodically change visa fees, park fees, tourism levies or sales taxes, which can impact travel costs. Try to determine what you can realistically afford, and keep in mind that in general, you get what you pay for: safaris are no exception. Do not buy into the popular misconception that because much of Africa is “third world”, accommodations and services are cheap. At Go Safari, we are admittedly fussy about the quality of service and lodging we offer, and we are especially particular about the guides and operators we use, because they will determine not only the success of your game viewing, but also the value and quality of the whole experience and eventually – your memories of South Africa!
LENGTH OF TRIP
The per-day-per-person-budget is a good rule of thumb for determining how long you can travel. Simply shortening a trip by a few days can sometimes cut the cost by hundreds of dollars. Moving around less usually saves on costly transfers or regional flights and can also make for a more relaxed, focused experience. With most camps and lodges, three nights will afford you a good opportunity to see what characterizes the area, and to partake in all the activities on offer at a relaxed pace. Moving around more can often result in seeing less of what you traveled to Africa for in the first place! On the other hand, the time and expense in getting to Africa is significant, so we would encourage you to spend as much time as you possibly can in this amazing part of the world. Rushing your trip to save money is rarely worthwhile, and while many clients find themselves going back time and again, Africa is still a distant and a remote destination – and this might be one of few, if not your only opportunity to go on safari!
SELECTION OF CAMPS, LODGES AND HOTELS
Go Safari has always maintained complete independence and objectivity when selecting and recommending specific safari camps, lodges and hotels for our clients. This allows us the freedom to combine whatever areas, properties and activities we believe will suit you best, without the limitations and extra cost of inbound operators or destination managers. We enjoy a great reputation and wonderful relationship with properties and ground handlers all over Southern Africa, and as our client, you share in the advantage of various preferred rates, combination packages and incentive fares, as well as preferential treatment as very important guests! Let us suggest the ideal combination of properties, venues, activities and destinations for your trip to ensure that you have not only the best possible safari experience based on your own interests and preferences, but also the best value for the money that you’re spending on this dream trip!
The safari portion of your trip is likely to be the most costly. 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 than a safari camp because you pay for meals, tours and other activities, on an “a la carte” basis—as you choose during your stay. Combining a safari with a few days at the beach or with a self-drive tour along the Garden Route in Cape Town in South Africa, for instance, can make a trip more affordable.
High season prices can vary quite dramatically from the low season rates for the same safari camps and lodges. Rates for high season are applicable for a reason, as often the game viewing is at its best during these times of year and space is at a premium. However, if peak game viewing is not critical and you are flexible with your travel dates, you can still have a wonderful safari experience at a considerably lower price when traveling in low or “green” seasons. The bonus is that you will find the areas less crowded and have less difficulty confirming space.
For any assistance or information regarding your planned safari to South Africa and the Kruger Park or the many surrounding luxury camps please do not hesitate to contact the South African safari experts - Go Safari.