Planning a “safari” (which simply means trip) is quite unlike the planning for most of your previous travels. The planning and anticipation of the actual trip can be almost as exciting as the safari itself!
Below are some questions to help you start the process. Please also take some time to read through our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for anything else you may have a query about.
We look forward to working with you through your discovery and planning for the holiday of a lifetime!
Where should I go on safari?
Have a look through the pages under the “Destinations” heading on the menu bar of our website. This will give you an idea of what treasures there are to see in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda.
We have also made a few sample itineraries for you to look through, from three day safaris up to a one month safari - anything is possible. Each sample itinerary has been specifically chosen simply to show you how various components of key sights can be put together to make different itineraries, depending on your specific requests. Our list of supplements can enhance any itinerary that you have chosen.
Whether your focus is on seeing the Mountain Gorillas, organising a school or corporate safari, having a special honeymoon on Zanzibar Island or meeting your sponsored child at The School of St Jude; we can work with you to put your dream East African safari together.
Ultimate East Africa
7 Day Safari
5 Day Safari
3 Day 3 Parks
3 Day Serengeti
When is a good time to go?
Please click on the following link which explains about the Four Seasons of East Africa.
Where should I fly into?
Before booking your international flight it’s best to have a draft safari itinerary already in hand as internal East African travelling costs can be reduced with some careful planning. For example, if you would like to see the gorillas then it’s best to fly into Nairobi, Kenya to start your holiday. If your safari is finishing up with Zanzibar then it’s best to fly back home out of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. If you are doing both, then it’s a good idea to look into an international airline which will allow you to fly into Nairobi and out of Dar es Salaam for little or no extra cost. Together, we can save you money by being clever and innovative regarding your itinerary so that you can afford that extra glass of wine whilst you overlook a river full of elephants.
There are three ways of getting to Tanzania:
1. Kilimanjaro International Airport. This is the closest airport to Arusha.
2. Julius Nyerere International Airport (Dar Es Salaam – Tanzania). You will then need to fly to Arusha
3. Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Nairobi-Kenya).
Safaris-R-Us can help you to arrange flights within East Africa so you can reach any destination you desire. Also accommodation between destinations in East Africa.
What is your budget?
The per-person-per-day budget is a good rule of thumb for determining how long you can travel. While there are some travellers for whom cost considerations are not an issue, most of our clients want to work within a budget and have a specific price range in mind. This is an extremely important criteria in helping us select an appropriate safari for you. The old saying “you get what you pay for,” probably holds true when planning a safari. There is a safari priced for just about everybody, but there are major differences in accommodations and services.
Accommodation plays an enormous role in determining the overall price of a safari. Different levels of accommodation can also be used within the same safari for variety and fun (for example you can camp for three nights and then lodge the last two). Anything is possible.
Generally there are 4 levels of accommodation on safaris:
-Camping safaris (with a Camping Plus option)
-Budget lodge safaris
-Standard lodge safaris
-Luxury lodge and tented camp safaris
The cost of per-person-per-day differs depending on which parks are on the itinerary, how many people are in the 4WD, what accommodation has been booked and at what time of the year the safari is going to take place.
In general, the more luxurious the safari, the more expensive the trip is. All inclusive (which means accommodation, transport, driver guide, park fees, food, camping equipment etc) camping safaris can start from $150US per person per day and then the price goes up to $1000 plus per person per day for luxury and tented camp safaris.
Safaris-R-Us is completely independent and objective when selecting and recommending lodges and camps to our clients. This allows us the freedom to combine whatever national parks, accommodation and activities we believe will suit you best, so that you get the best value for money.
Do not buy into the popular misconception that because much of Africa is “third world”, accommodations and services are cheap. At Safaris-R-Us, we like to work hard on the quality of service and accommodation that our safari packages offer because they will determine not only the success of your game viewing, but also the value and quality of the whole experience and eventually, your memories of Africa!
Tipping in East Africa generally follows the North American system so always allow for tips and souvenirs when planning your “spending money”. Exchange rates and fuel prices fluctuate and can have an impact on the final cost of your safari in some cases. Similarly, governments periodically change visa fees, park fees, tourism levies or sales taxes, which can impact travel costs.
High and low seasons
High season prices can vary quite dramatically from the low season rates (which are generally April and May). Rates for high season are that high, because the game viewing is considered to be the best during these times of year and because the northern hemisphere is on summer holidays, which means the accommodation is scarcer.
However, if you are flexible with your travel dates you can still have a wonderful safari experience at a considerably lower price when travelling in low season (and the game viewing is still very good!). An added bonus is that the areas will be less crowded and confirming your accommodation easier.
Who is travelling?
The age range and makeup of your party should also be taken into account. Some safari camps do not allow children under age 12 and some mobile camping sites do not allow guests over the age of 65.
Every party has different requirements: a honeymoon couple, a family of five or a friends’ group do not have the same needs and therefore, each safari should be a little different. While some safaris are child friendly, keep in mind that a certain amount of concentration, patience, quiet and immobility is required during game drives. However, Richard and Gemma have three young children, so have personal experience in knowing what children like to do on safari. If you are travelling on business or even alone, some safaris are a better choice than others.
Road or air travel during safari?
Travel by road or air is an important question to consider when planning your safari. Travel by air is the most efficient means of transportation, transferring you between safari camps and towns so as to maximise your game drives time. However please keep in mind that this is generally more expensive to travel that way.
Depending on the destination, some of the aircrafts are quite small (for example the planes that go between National Parks), so if you think you might have difficulties with small planes, then we need to plan your itinerary accordingly.
Travel by road can be time-consuming and exhausting because you are covering huge distances in safaris vehicles and most of the time, the roads are in poor condition. Nevertheless, for some travellers, overland travel is the only “real way” to discover some “hidden” parts of the country you are visiting. Indeed, it gives you the opportunity to experience a day in the life of the villages you’re passing through.