An African safari trip is one of those experiences that should be undertaken at least once in a lifetime. It is a rare opportunity that allows you the escape from reality while embarking on a life-altering adventure that will take you places only seen in movies and photographs. You may think that an African safari trip is way out of your budget, but that doesn’t have to be the case. With meticulous planning, this trip will not cost you any more than your other international travels (often lesser) but will bring you so much more than imagined.
Choosing a Destination
The first step towards taking an African safari is selecting the destination that suits your budget perfectly. The most pocket-friendly safaris have plenty of options in terms of operators and game reserves that charge in local currencies rather than US dollars. Uganda is a pretty popular tourist spot, especially if you wish to take in a gorilla tour. It has plenty of choices when considering accommodation and travel, food, and transport. Choose your destination by keeping the different costs, such as getting to the best reserves, cost of park fees, exchange rate, and game drives.
Use a Local Operator
No matter where you go, local operators and safari companies offer better rates than international companies. Choosing a local operator will give you the best of both worlds: budget-friendly tour and insider knowledge to the best reserves and wildlife. Using a local operator for an African safari also increases the likelihood of getting last minute reservations, which may be difficult otherwise.
Join a Group Safari
Group safaris come in various forms, from mature travelers to social backpacker excursion to minibus tours. Group safaris have two benefits:
- Firstly they are much cheaper than private tours and allow you to split the cost of accommodations and transport. You can also avail group rates for park fees and guides.
- Secondly, you can meet some wonderful people and make life-long friendships.
Opt for a self-drive safari
If you are looking for something with a little more freedom, then consider a self-drive safari. You can rent a vehicle and go exploring on your own to game reserves of your choice. There are many advantages to this option:
- You can customize your itinerary that suits your interests and changes it whenever the mood strikes.
- You can stop for photos whenever and wherever you like.
- The routes to take totally depend on your discretion.
- You decide where to stay the night, where to eat, and when to take a nap.
Many self-drive vehicles come equipped with a rooftop tent, making the accommodation as affordable as possible.
Irrespective of which African safari you choose, you can cut back costs dramatically by choosing your accommodation options wisely. Most destinations, like Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, have public camping facilities with full-service camps duly furnished with waterholes, electricity, and restaurants. Some wilderness sites offer a little more cleared space that is ideal to pitch a tent that may be affordable and luxurious all together. You can spend romantic nights under the African stars, which is more than you can say about hotels.
If you prefer the coziness and comfort of a roof and four walls, avoid luxury lodges and search for a budget hotel near the park gates.
Travel during off-season
The low-season, which is also the rainy season, sees a drastic drop in African safari trips rates. However, the rainy season also has other incentives such as fewer crowds and lush landscapes; it’s also a baby season for African’s famous herbivores. Who doesn’t want to see cute animal babies popping all over the place?
Choose a single destination such as Uganda gorilla trekking tours for your African safari so that you can get the most out of it within your budget. Tick your priority off your list instead of trying to fit in too many things in a tight schedule. Whichever part you opt for, make sure to experience it with a whole heart, active mind, and open arms!