Which Type of Safari Best Suits Your Needs

View of elephant from Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia.
When you use the Siyabona Africa you have the assurance that your arrangements have been planned by professionals.

Choosing the Safari that is Right for You

There are two main safari regions in Africa:
  • East Africa: Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda
  • Southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi.

Each of these regions, and each country, has something unique to offer - whether you travel independently, or in an organised group.When you use Siyabona Africa, you have the assurance that your arrangements have been planned by professionals; and in the event that an unforeseen problem does arise, a tour escort, local host or representative of the tour operator is generally available to assist you.

Before you begin to study what is available, we suggest you make a list of your holiday goals. This will help to keep in focus the things that are most important to you as you compare the options - what you want to see and experience, when you want to go, and so forth. Don't hesitate to contact us when questions arise - there's no such thing as a silly question when planning your well-earned vacation.There are only a few ways that you can experience a safari:
  • Lodge and/or Camping Safari
  • Guided Safari
  • Specialist Safari
  • Fly-In Safaris

Lodge Safari

Suitable for everyone.
Whether luxury or standard, this kind of safari entails your booking into a safari game lodge of your choice. Game drives and game walks are arranged by the lodge itself.

The attractions of a game lodge safari experience revolves around the ambience of the establishment, the particular ecology, climate, terrain and environment where the lodge is situated which determines the type of wild life you will encounter.

For example: Chobe in Botswana is packed with elephants. Serengeti in Tanzania is witness to the annual migration. Etosha and Kruger Park are famous for their diversity.

Guided Safaris Tours

Suitable for the more adventurous who want to do, see and participate in as much as possible.

Guided Safaris are the more traditional form of safari, and are more varied that you might think. They vary in length, group size, and budget. Also, depending on group sizes, they may or may not have fixed itinerary departure dates

Guided arrangements can also be made on a private basis, where you might only wish to travel with two or three friends, and family members. Itineraries cover the entire spectrum, from the back-to-basics camping, to luxury tented accommodation, and five-star lodges.

Experience Variety: Guided safaris can also be packaged to suit your tastes.
On a mobile safari you move from lodge to lodge, or lodge to camp to lodge - thus covering a wide area and witnessing the change in bio-diversity and wild life proliferation.

Specialist Safari

Suitable for the experienced die-hard aficionado and the serious adventurer.

Best described as private and exclusive for small groups.

Some safaris comprise both luxury lodge and roughing-it camping, with game drives and game walks.

For the "Real Deal, Up Close and Personal" - other safaris are real "frontier style" only camping, and you will be participating in the day to day activities of camp life, game tracking and communing with nature. These safaris can also be seasonal dependant. Relying on rain fall or lack of it.

For example, it is easier to get photographs of wild life in the drier months when vegetation is sparse.
You'd be surprised how easy it is to hide a bull elephant behind a bit of bush, or not see a lion three metres away in some not-so-long long grass.

Specialist safaris are excellent for:
photographic or video safaris
species specific interests, ie: birding, crocodile egg hatching, tracking game, environmental research an so on.

Independent Safari / Self-Drive Safari

Suitable for those with a sense of confident adventure.

There's no "group" on these trips, and no guide. Your private group (friends or family) accommodation is pre-booked, which gives you peace of mind regarding the overnight stops. All other arrangements are flexible - when you want to get up in the morning, what activities you would like to do, where you want to eat.

Your itinerary is designed to best fulfill the destinations you want to visit and the time you have available.

Be prepared to be flexible during your booking process. Your Siyabona consultant has expert knowledge of distance/time logistics and the terrain you will be travelling through. Sixty kilometers in the city is not like sixty kilometers in the wild when you consider possible road conditions, time of year etc. and you could be travelling at only 30kph.

Ways of getting to your safari destination.

By Road:
In the majority of cases you will be met at the airport, or collected from your over-night hotel by your safari guide, or operators representative, and driven to your lodge destination.<

Fly-In Safaris:
Suitable for people who want to see a lot, travel to remote areas, or are time constrained even when road transport is available.

Fly-safaris utilising light aircraft are highly popular, and, for the time sensitive, saves a lot of time travelling direct from area to area, or from city to game lodge.

Light aircraft reach remote lodges providing more comfort than driving a long and arduous route. The operators of such flights provide meet-and-greet arrangements, which means that you are met off your arrival flight, and directed onto your light aircraft.

On a remote fly-in safari, your pilot is also your safari guide, and travels with you everywhere.

Although self-drive arrangements suit many people, and are suitable for certain countries (South Africa and Namibia being good examples), the option of travelling by light aircraft from place to place may be the only option for more remote areas such as Botswana and Tanzania and Namibia.

Accommodation Before and After Your Safari

Unless you are flying into a country and being met at the airport by your safari operator, or returning from your safari - proceeding direct to your departing flight, you will be staying overnight (at least) in an hotel.

If you are planning to spend a few days at the start or end of your safari in the city to sight-see and meander, there's no question about it, accommodations play a key role in the success of a trip.

Many travellers say the most important one. You should pay close attention to the descriptions, locations and types of accommodation offered at the featured hotels.

Also, be aware of location of the hotels. Hotels situated just outside the centre of a city shouldn't be inconvenient if you'll be sightseeing by tour bus or if you have a rental car. On the other hand, if you are going to have a lot of free time in the cities you'll be visiting, you may prefer hotels that are centrally located.

Refer questions about the hotels to your Siyabona consultant.

Things to think of when comparing tour itineraries

  • Are you comfortable with the amount of time spent travelling by safari vehicle, overland, rail or other transportation during the tour?
  • Is there a great deal of walking involved?
  • Does there seem to be enough free time for shopping or exploring on your own, or is there too much leisure time for your taste?

Everyone has their own level of energy and sense of adventure, and there are enough choices of tours and safaris so that you can come as close as possible to your preferences without making too many compromises.

Further Considerations

Much research goes into planning guided safaris and tours, resulting in reliable and stimulating itineraries. This is particularly true in less developed destinations - where a lack of infrastructure can make independent travel more of an ordeal than a holiday.

Travelling on guided arrangements provides a measure of security and peace of mind. Tour directors themselves are well informed, and personable. Naturalists may accompany trips that include wilderness areas. Local experts may join you briefly to share their knowledge of specific areas, cultures or activities.

Some people wonder if they'll have enough independence on a guided tour. Many of our tour operators build in free time on group tours, giving travellers the best of both worlds.

Conditions of Travel

Conditions for all the tours are supplied at the time of making your reservation enquiry. This information deserves a lot more attention than it usually receives. Many important points are covered, including details about reservations, cancellations, refunds and availability of insurance.

Be sure you understand the policy concerning cancellations, changes in departure date and refunds, and any cancellation and/or modification penalties that may apply, both to land and air portions of the trip.

Other important items usually covered by the Conditions page include Meals, Accommodations, Air Transportation, Sightseeing, Baggage Allowance, Health Information and the items Not Included in the price. Remember, the Conditions page may not be as colourful as the rest of the information, but it's every bit as important in helping you reach the most informed decision.

Price

Be sure to check what's included in the price, and what's not. For example, does the price include international airfare, or is it for land arrangements only?

You can speak with one of our travel consultants about any queries you may have. Several other factors may add to the price, such as optional excursions, service charges and/or taxes, weekend air charges and high season supplements.

If you're travelling alone, there is often a supplement fee for single accommodation, and transfers.

Tour Itineraries

The day-to-day itineraries described on our web sites serve as a guide for what you can expect to see and do while on a tour. Make note of the cities, lodges and sites that you'll actually be visiting, as opposed to those places that you'll simply be driving through (often indicated by terms such as 'see' or 'view' in the itinerary). There's a big difference, and you should be aware of these distinctions to avoid disappointment. When you travel with Siyabona Africa, you have the assurance that your arrangements have been planned by professionals; and in the event that an unforeseen problem does arise, a tour escort, local host or representative of the tour operator is generally available to assist you.

Africa Safari Holidays Specialists
  • Customer Support
  • Tel: +27 21 424 1037
  • Fax: +27 21 424 1036
  • Contact by Mail
  • Business Hours
  • Mon - Fri. 08:00 - 17:00
  • Saturday. 08:00 - 12:00
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