Planning a safari in Uganda? Here are some of the most important tips and guidelines to help you plan a perfect safari. Many travelers have turned to safari expeditions as the best way to spend their vacations off work. This is evident by the alarming number of tourists that come to Africa for the safari. Safari involves travelling and spending time in national parks. These national parks are normally found away from the city and thus making life a little bit different from the usual. Thereby a travel needs to make some planning both on the personal travel items and the safari itself to make it a successful one.
Below are the steps for planning a safari in Africa. When planning a safari to Africa, some people already have their hearts positioned to a country or two. Others, on the other hand are completely naïve. The tips below are to help you in planning your safari.
Where to go and what to see; Like any other safari, one of the most important parts of planning is deciding where to go. Africa is large and if you are completely naïve, your Google search bar contains something like “where to go on a safari in Africa.” For you to be able to select the best safari country, you need to know the wildlife you want to explore, for example if you want to see mountain gorillas, these can be seen in Uganda, Rwanda and DRC, in case you want to see the great Migration, Kenya and Tanzania around July to October are your best destination. The big five animals can be seen in all the East African countries.
How early to book your trip? Some people think that booking a safari a year early is most perfect. But the truth is your booking can be from a month to a year depending on the number of travelers, size of the lodge and time of the year you plan to go. In case you are going solo or as a couple, for an anniversary or a honeymoon, booking a year early is not really necessary. One year or few weeks is enough unless you have your eyes permanent on a certain location, lodge and dates. You need to note that the more time you have to prepare, the more prepared you will be in leveling expectations. Also booking so early is not good since we really don’t know what will happen with in that span of time. Going as a group, booking as early as possible is wise since you will need many rooms and safari lodges have got a limit to how many people they cater for.
Always consider travelers and preferences; Each and every traveler has got different wants and needs. Most people who travel with kids or seniors would want to have fewer places over as possible. Make sure that you check the travel routes available in your country of departure and have a list of your endorsement airlines, just in case, the kids and the adults don’t want to go on a long safari drive. Tell your tour operator about this and they arrange a special activity for them or offer them a shorter game drive. Another issue might be about diet, do you have any special dietary restrictions and if so, you need to specify these with your travel operator. Lastly, make the most of your safari. Apart from the safari game drive, what activities do you want to do; this also depends on the destination that you are to visit and the different attractions or activities in the area. For example; hot air balloons are common in Tanzania, South Africa, Namibia, Kenya as well as Botswana, mountain gorillas’ common in Uganda, Rwanda, and DRC, White water rafting in Uganda, Scenic flights in South Africa, Relaxing at the beach in Kenya and Tanzania, volcano hiking in Rwanda.
When to go; this is another important detail in planning when you intend to visit Africa. At what time of the year do you plan to go? Do you want to travel in the peak season, mid season or low season? Mostly, countries get more tourists, prices get higher and safaris get fully booked faster during the peak season. This is not the same during the low season since there are cheaper prices, less tourists and a relatively higher chance of booking your preferred safari accommodation /tour /activity with negligible lead time. You also need to make known with the seasons of your target country and the perfect time to see them. Game viewing is best done during the drier and hotter seasons though it’s good in most parts of Africa all year round.
Set your budget; setting a budget is not easy unless you have some extra dollars in the bank. So in case you want to make the most of your African experience and at the same time stay on budget, you need to set how much you are willing to spend for the safari alone. The flight costs aren’t wide ranging so you have to consider this one. The fares vary depending on your place of departure and dates of travel. You can check the airlines ahead for an idea and if you are lucky, you can get a good deal. Tour operators will always be ready to give you the best rates of each safari inquired about.
Always choose your travel provider; The African safaris are well known for their stunning natural beauty from breathtaking land scapes of the Maasai Mara in Kenya to the attractive wildlife with in Serengeti in Tanzania down to the great beauty of South Africa, it’s absolutely an adventure of a lifetime. Too many people, self driving gives them a great sense of adventure, this is true when you travel most countries with in the world, it could as well be different in Africa. The self driving safaris are more budget friendly most especially if you know where to go. You can as well travel at your own pace and this means that you will see what you really want to see and remain at places you want to stay longer. With the tour operator, you can save time from traveling from one place to place and spend more time at parks, reserves and other attractions. Operators are always more prepared and equipped with tools and they know the areas very well so getting help would be a piece of cake. And lastly the guides and driver are experts and very professional with what they are doing.
Book your flights and always get ready; the airfares vary depending on where you are traveling from, when you are going to travel and in case it’s a direct flight or a connecting one. You might want to consider your travel associates. If you have kids with in town, you might not want to have a long layover. And if you are planning for a multi country safari, you might want to check if flying to country A and out of country B is more economical than the other way round. Some people prefer booking early since this gives them an advantage of securing seats and accommodation on their desired dates and it offers them a considerably higher chance of scoring lower rates on airfare and other things.