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A Guide to Choosing Your Safari Travel Style

by Nika Goddard

The go-to resource for planning your safaris. Find all you need to know about the top destinations and make your wildlife travel dreams come true.
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During a safari, travelers enjoy unique experiences, such as getting up close and personal with some of the world’s most impressive wildlife in their natural habitat.

However, once you start to research the destinations, activities, and other details, you’ll soon realize that planning an African safari can be quite a laborious task.

In this article, we have put together a quick guide to help you choose a safari style that suits your needs. 

Picking the Right Country for You

leopard in africa

Africa is a large continent. There are 54 different countries, each offering unique and exciting safari adventures. 

Countries such as Kenya, Botswana, Uganda, South Africa, and Tanzania are all popular choices thanks to the abundance of wildlife and the high levels of safety they offer. All of them have highly developed tourism industries, and many of their national parks and reserves have been in operation for an impressively long time.

»Read more about the top 8 countries for an African safari

Decide What You Want to See

wildebeest migration in africa

Photo credit: Kiliholidays Tours & Safaris

For many people, a classic safari needs to include some of the most iconic wildlife, such as the Big Five animals, which comprise Africa’s iconic wildlife: lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, leopard, and rhino. Others want to witness the Great Migration, while some dream about seeing gorillas in their natural habitat.

Africa has a diverse selection of animals, and your best chance of spotting them is by visiting the region’s national parks and reserves. They can be found in many different countries, but depending on what animals you want to spot, Uganda, Kenya, Botswana, and Tanzania are all regarded as some of the best bets.

To ensure that you have the highest chance of catching a glimpse of the wildlife you want, you should do some research so that you choose the best national park, home to the animals you dream to encounter.

While most parks and reserves cover a huge amount of land, animals are extremely territorial and often need surprisingly large areas of space to roam over. Many animals are migratory and have different habits depending on what time of year it is.

Therefore, you need to be sure that you plan your safari holiday during the best time of the year so that you get the most out of your experience.

That’s why you should plan your African safari in advance. And don’t be shy to ask your organizer plenty of questions, especially if you want to experience the Great Migration or go on a gorilla trekking safari.


Picking the Right Safari Type for You

camping safari in africa

Photo credit: Safari With Us

Once you’ve chosen the country (or countries) you want to visit and what animals you want to focus on, it’s time to decide what type of safari is for you.

One of the most important things to consider when planning an African safari is the budget. And based on that, decide whether a budget or a luxury safari would suit.

When it comes to budget safaris, you should know that you don’t really need to rough it and you won’t be cooped up in windowless vans either. The options vary a lot and it pays off to do your research and ask your operator details about the accommodation, transportation, and activities. 

And speaking of accommodation, a camping safari can be a great choice for those looking for more adventure during their vacation. They too come in various forms, you can choose from budget and mid-range to luxury and ultra-luxury camps, and they fit many travel styles.

But probably the most important choice is whether you should opt for a group or private safari. Generally speaking, families traveling together as well as a group of friends will benefit from a private safari.

Especially if you are considering a multi-generation safari holiday, you’ll be happy with the intimacy and flexibility of a private safari. While you may want to go on yet another game drive, grandma will likely enjoy a lazier day by the pool. 

On the other hand, should you be traveling solo, you should opting for a group safari, which will allow you to meet likeminded people and make meaningful connections.

»Read more about group vs private safaris.


Picking the Right Vehicle for You

jeep safari in africa

Photo credit: GamilyTours

When it comes to choosing how you get around, the best safari vehicle is considered the 4x4 jeep. These vehicles are ideal for navigating off-road paths and provide maximum visibility for the occupants.

However, there are a number of other transportation options during a safari that you may want to investigate.

Canoe safaris are a great option if you’re looking to get something a little different from your experience. These usually take place in a small boat or canoe and give you a chance to get right up close to some of Africa’s amazing water life.

You can spot a wide range of birds, as well as many exciting varieties of fish and reptiles. And naturally, crocodiles and alligators are best viewed from the vantage point of a boat.

Or why not get a bird’s eye view of the African savannah and choose a balloon safari? They take place in multiple African countries. However, one of the most exciting ways to witness the savannah and the Great Migration is from a balloon safari in Tanzania.

You can also choose a walking safari if you want to do things differently. These are a great way for visitors to get closer to nature. And although most people choose a classic 2-4 hours walking safari, there are options for those who prefer to spend a lot more time in nature. A full day walking safari or a multi-day walking trail are great choices for those who want more adventure.

»Read more about what to expect when going on a walking safari.

If budgeting is your main concern, you can still have the time of your like during an affordable safari in Africa.

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