How to Choose the Right Africa Travel Company and the Right Safari?

Elephants, African Safari

The idea about traveling to Africa is full of curiosity and excitement but at the same time – fears. Everyone would want to have an African safari on their bucket list but not everyone decides to get there. Another thing – Africa is not of those easy-peasy destinations where you can get on your own and explore the area at your own pace. This is why many travelers and vacationers are looking for a travel company that could make their trip unforgettable and safe.

Note: The best and easiest way to find the right Africa travel company is to find the right travel agency at first. The right travel agent will help you to choose not only a trustable Africa tour-operator name but all other types of travel companies and suppliers.

As a full-service travel agency, Travelrows LLC will be happy to help you choose the right tour and safari to Africa. How? Read this article or just Contact Us.

In this article we will help you to choose:

  • The right travel company
  • The right destination
  • The right safari

The main reasons to choose right stuff above are:

  • Your safety
  • Your money
  • Your fun

How to choose the right Africa travel company?

Africa travel companies are the ones that organize tours and safaris on Africa continent. Some of them are affordable and some are luxury. When choosing the right one, the most important is your comfort and safety. Money goes after that.

Do you need a custom tailored trip?

The most expensive option (though not necessarily the most luxury) is a private custom itinerary, where everything is tailored for you. Transfers, locations, accommodations, activities – all the way you want it (or your family, friends, your private group). Does it sound like fun? Not really, just because you do not know what you want. You have never been to Africa and have no idea how it looks like. You want a professional to offer a ready tour with the best itinerary. How, read on:

Time to decide if you want it private or scheduled

As I have already mentioned – it is better to get a ready, proved (and safe!) itinerary when going to Africa. If that itinerary has reviews in internet – even better! Good thing – you can decide, if you want it private or scheduled as a group. When you have enough money to spend on an unusual vacation, you want it private – you do not have to stick to schedule and share a car with other people. It is totally your choice.

Scheduled tours and itineraries

The cheapest way for an African Safari is a scheduled tour (many of you think of those classic European bus tours right away). Well, when you are in Africa, it is still a bit different. The same things are – fixed dates, flights, popular attractions, transportation, meals and so on. But the surroundings are so much different that you are actually happy that you are not alone (and less chance that a lion will choose you for dinner 🙂 ). Transportation and accommodations are different. African Safari – is one of those, where you do not feel bored or annoyed even on a group tour.

If you ask me, what tour is the best for the first time in Africa – I will always recommend you a group tour. And if you decide to visit Africa one more time – then try private options and custom itineraries.

Good thing about Africa – group tour does not mean cheap all the time. There are great luxury group tours, if you want it on the highest level and comfort.

Back to the right travel company

In conclusion of this part of my article, I want to say, that the right travel company for you would be the one, that offers the right tour for you. Do not get into all those custom promises. Check what is in itinerary and its reviews. Reviews are very important – to see, if the company actually sticks to the itinerary and you get what was promised and what you pay for.

How to choose the right Africa destination?

Africa is a continent, not a country. There are a few countries in Africa, including so much popular South Africa that you can travel to. The main thing about choosing the right country – is safety. The second – main attractions. The third – your comfort.

* If you are going to Africa for the first time, the “must see” place on your bucket list should be Kruger National Park in South Africa. And yes, number one destination for first time travelers is of course, South Africa.

* If it is not your first trip, the best would be to compare itineraries. Let’s say you want to go to Africa again and want to pick some adventurous itinerary. Pick a trustable tour operator that offers itineraries of your budget and compare them.

* Another thing to consider the right destination – if you want to put together safari with other activities – for example, beach vacationing in Madagascar or trekking in Kenya.

Kruger National Park and private reserves around it are also perfect for those, who decides to travel to Africa on their own, without a travel company. It is safe and offers different levels of comfort – backpackers and luxury seekers will be happy.

How to choose the right Safari trip?

Africa travel is not just safari. But in this article we are talking only about safaris. For trekking, volunteering and other themed tours we have other articles. Let me know, if you are looking for something particular, I will be happy to answer your questions.

The right Safari trip should include both the comfort and the “wild” feeling. Plus the wildlife – the main purpose of any safari.

Wildlife in Africa

One of the main reasons why people travel to Africa is wildlife. The thing with animals is – different animals have different locations. You can not pick one destination and see all the African animals. Kruger National Park is perfect for beginners and seeing the Big Five ( they are: elephants, rhinos, buffalos, leopards and lions) but remember, that Camel Safari will be in Sahara Desert and Mountain Gorillas you can find in  Uganda, Democratic Republic of the Congo or Rwanda.

The other destinations for seeing the Big Five are Serengeti National Park in Tanzania and Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

Other popular wildlife safaris in Africa are:

  • Great Migration in East Africa
  • Predators in Action in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park
  • Black Rhinos in Etosha National Park
  • Elephant Herds in Chobe and Hwange National Parks

Transportation during Safari

The most popular safari transportation is a Jeep. But useful to know, that African Safaris actually offer other types of transportation options:

  • Do you want to immerse yourself in the scents of the African bush? Try a walking tour in the South Luangwa National Park.
  • Water safaris are perfect for watching birds and animals that spend most of their time in water. The most popular river destinations are Caprivi Strip (Namibia), Chobe River (Botswana), Okavango Delta (Botswana) and Lake Kariba  (Zimbabwe).
  • Other types of safaris in Africa involve hot air balloons, camels, horses and even elephants riding.

Self-driving safaris are perfect for those, who travels on their own, without a tour or are backpacking. Remember, that not all parks accept self-driving. For your safety pick Botswana, Namibia or South Africa for independent Africa travel.

Money question

As soon as you are ready with the basics, it is time to decide on how much money you want to spend in Africa. The are both affordable and luxury options but for the air tickets you will still have to pay a lot, especially if you travel from the US or Australia. Airfare cost depends on your location that is why on this page – only pricing for tours and flights are not included.

Prices in $ per person based on double occupancy and 1 week of stay:

  • South Africa: from $3000 – $5000
  • Botswana: from $2500 – $5500
  • Namibia: from $3000 – $5500
  • Zambia: from $2000 – $5000
  • Tanzania: from $2500 – $11000
  • Kenya: from $3500 – $12000
  • Rwanda: from $4500 – $8000
  • Uganda: from $5000 – $8000

The most affordable destination is Zambia and the most expensive are Rwanda and Uganda. Tour prices for Tanzania and Kenya differ a lot. Contact Us for help with finding a Safari that fits into your budget. 

* When choosing the right price for your trip, check the itinerary carefully. The same 6 (or 7, 8, 10, 14 or whatever is offered) days tour can be really cheap or super expensive. If you check the itinerary, you may realize that the cheap one has only 2 days of 6 wildlife and the expensive one 5 of 6 (or other options, depending on how long is the trip in total). The same about travel time, check how much time you will spend on getting from one place to another. This will help you to understand, where your money goes to.

Checklist for the best Africa Travel Company:

If you want to find the best Africa tour operator or supplier follow this check list:

  1. Excellent communication
  2. Safari and Africa passionate
  3. Detailed itineraries
  4. Different types of safaris offered
  5. Supports sustainable, responsible tourism
  6. Bonded, Insured or Certified
  7. Age of company or reviews

The last point has OR in it, because a new travel company does not mean that it is bad. Brand new companies often offer better services to earn travelers’ trust. You still better pick the one that has real reviews (like on forums, because fake reviews or testimonials is a common thing now unfortunately). If you are doubting about the company, you can contact us or just pick the one that earned a many years trust and famous around the world.

Useful tips that will help you to enjoy Africa

  • If you are short on time, don’t try to see too much – distances in National Parks are huge.
  • Study the distances between destinations and how much it takes to get from point A to B.
  • Pick the right accommodation, especially if your are planning a bush camp or travel with kids.
  • Safety is important, but do not be paranoid. Media is the last place to trust. Better focus on sticking to your group and vaccinations.
  • Pick one place to learn well and the best spots for photography. Beautiful pictures you take are a part of your memories.

Speaking about photos. The best photographic destinations for safaris are Okavango Delta (Botswana), Namib Desert (Namibia), Maasai Mara (Kenya), East Africa’s great lakes (and its flamingoes), Bird Island (Seychelles).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is better, a bush camp or lodge safari?

Bush camps option is something when only a sheet of canvas separates you from wildlife. If you do not want to get that close to nature, it is better to pick a lodge.

Is it a good idea to travel to Africa with kids?

Kids love animals. Huge elephants or fast cheetahs will impress them. Safari is definitely good for kids. The most important thing – to take care of their safety and health. The best family destinations are Kenya and South Africa.

What are the best destinations for African beaches?

Madagascar, South Africa, Zanzibar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Mozambique are the best countries in Africa to visit for the sea and beaches.

Where I can find tribal cultures and communicate with locals?

Safe places to go are Himba of Namibia and Maasai of East Africa.

When is the best time to go to Africa?

Africa is actually a pretty big continent with different climate and temperatures. As this article is about safaris mostly – the best time for safari is from June to October. Keep in mind, that this is only for eastern and southern parts of Africa.

What to take for the trip?

The basics you make need on a safari trip are camera, binoculars, clothes of neutral or khaki colors, a hat, warmer clothes for nights and mosquito protection. Remember about annoying flies. More information you can find in our other articles about Africa travel.

Is it safe to travel to Africa?

Your safety depends on the country and location you go. That is why it is better to stick to organized tours and popular tourist sightseeings.

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