Words like custom, concierge and tailor-made have all been used to describe the type of safari we've been designing for over 25 years, and while they are all accurate, none expresses the fact that this type of safari can actually be more affordable than others because we design each one around your preferences, schedule and budget. When budget-conscious travelers call me, there are five ways I can reduce their overall custom safari cost.
1. First, I'll advise that we focus on one region or country so that there's less flying between camps, and consequently lower air travel fees. We prefer camps where our guests can experience a wide diversity of habitats: some grasslands and some forest area, for example. So when I limit a safari to a smaller region to manage air travel expenses, our guests are still assured of seeing varied terrain, and lots of different wildlife.
2. The other way for travelers to keep the custom safari cost low is to plan longer stays at fewer destinations. When we pick two of our top game reserves, and plan on three to four night stays in camp, we can create a really well-paced experience for our guests. Many of the camps have activities on offer in addition to game drives - such as walks, specialized photography options or boating excursions - that ensure that days are diverse and well-paced. Plus, you won't have to pack and unpack your bags quite so often!
3. Another consideration is to round out your safari with a destination like Cape Town, Victoria Falls, or even a beach destination like Zanzibar. Each of these locations offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and a contrast to the wilderness you'll experience on safari. At these destinations you will be charged a hotel fee, typically much lower than a safari camp fee which has to cover your guide, your activities, your meals, and the upkeep of the protected reserve.
4. Custom safaris allow us to choose from a range of excellent camps in each region. Quite often, we can modify the price of your safari by recommending a camp which shares the same wilderness area with a more expensively priced camp (compare Mashatu Tent Camp to Mashatu Lodge, for example). We routinely visit and carefully select all the properties we use, so regardless of the price, your safari experience will be first-rate.
5. If you have flexibility in the time of year you can travel, you may want to consider taking a safari in Africa's "Green Season," or summer, between December to March. Conveniently timed when the northern hemisphere's weather is at its coldest, Africa's Green Season offers a warm welcome to travelers, and often at a considerable savings. This time of year game viewing includes newborn, wild babies, and the landscape explodes in vibrant floral displays and a kaleidoscope of colors, drawing hobbyist and professional photographers alike.