Are you gearing up for an African safari? Imagine incredible days and nights in the guided company of the most dangerous animals! Nothing beats the thought of this. However, most travelers find African safaris expensive. Not anymore! According to travelers in a popular travel forum, here are the most amazing tips to save big on African Safaris.
1. Read Reviews First
Those who’ve been on safaris before discuss all sorts of things in their reviews: how the journey was, what they saw, any challenges they encountered, and, at times, their overall budget. This is the information you need before contacting a tour company. You’ll know the general amount they spent and how much you’ll be churning out.
2. Know That Everything Is up for Negotiation
“I paid double for my safari, and as I interacted with other travelers, I realized they paid a fairer price. African safari prices are aspirational at best; everything is up for negotiation,” says a traveler. Usually, tour offices offer a listening ear and can go back and forth with you on the prices until you get to a soft spot.
3. Carefully Consider Your Standard of Accommodation
A travel expert advises, “The main difference between one safari charging $3000 for a four-day trip and a different one charging $700 for the same trip is its standard of accommodation. The former is lodges while the standard is camping.” You don’t need to be extravagant; you’ll have the same experience on the safari, and there’s nothing wrong with camping for a night or two.
4. Cut Out the Travel Agent
Remember, travel agents are looking to bank a good commission and will go above and beyond to sell the most expensive services to you. Cut them out of the equation and negotiate with the company directly. Understand that the supply of your safari jeep outweighs the need for safari places, and use that to your advantage to save money on what’s already a costly trip. If you can, go on a camping safari as the costs will always be lower.
5. If You Have To Use a Travel Agent, Use One in Your Country
There’s nothing as tricky as doing business over the internet and exchanging money with people you don’t know. If you don’t know where to start on booking your African safari and need help, it’s best to go with travel agents in your country. Let them do the dirty work for you, and channel all payments to them. This will give you the comfort of knowing you can get to their office and inquire if anything goes wrong with the trip; plus, it’s cheaper this way!
6. Tip Your Guide
A user adds,” One thing you’ll find out on an African Safari is that your costs depend primarily on the relationship you create with your guide.” As a generous tipper, you’ll have affordable experiences, but if you’re not as great, you could be stuck with the high prices. Locals believe in showing kindness to those who “take care of them.” For cheap intel, tip against all odds!
7. Consider a Safari Day Trip
Day trips are not as expensive as camping out on your safari. You could pay an affordable tour price to see the big five in a day. Your journey will include breakfast, lunch, and sometimes dinner; then you’re dropped off back at your pick-up point. To save even further on this kind of trip, split the costs with friends or loved ones and enjoy the wild!
8. Think About the Time of the Year
There are certain times of the year when safari prices get friendly. For instance, if you choose to travel during the December holidays, prices skyrocket as hundreds of other people want to enjoy safaris simultaneously. But should you travel around March, things are quieter as there aren’t as many visitors. People are getting off their holiday high and returning to work, urging safari operators to reduce costs.
9. Book Late
Yes, this may sound a bit ironic and counterintuitive. After all, you want to book your safari early to get the best slots. However, there’s a trick to this: safari operators say that by booking well in advance, they wouldn’t get you the best prices and discounts as they are not yet privy to the season’s prices. But booking late, or just a few weeks until your Safari, allows them to award up to 30% discounts.
10. Limit Your Days
My husband and I booked a five-day Maasai Mara Safari, but we realized the nights took up most of our budget. By the third day, we had seen everything we wanted to see and decided to ditch the last two days. This move left us with significant savings. Granted, you know you want to enjoy every nook and cranny of the wild, but limit your nights so as not to overspend. On your last night, you’ll have nothing new to discover.
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