We probably don’t need to convince you that African safaris are an incredible experience that everyone should have at least once in their lifetime. We’re betting you already know this. But what you might not know is who to book with for an African safari like no other!
The sheer number of safari tour operators is daunting. How do you know who to book with for your African safari? We’ll guide through the whole process of deciding step by step, in a totally unbiased way.
Finding the Right Safari Tour Operator
Unfortunately, there are no instant answers with who to book with for an African safari. Google the term, and you’ll get millions of potential results, and no one’s going to want to sift through each and every one looking for the good guys.
Even so, finding a reputable safari tour operator doesn’t have to be difficult. These are the few simple rules that will help you identify the serious players in the industry.
Rule #1: Trust Your Instincts
As the old saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. For instance, if a company you’re considering is offering a price substantially below other operators for family African safaris in the same region, you should ask yourself why and how this is even possible.
Similarly, if a tour operator is reluctant to go into the details of what is and what isn’t included on any of their itineraries, this should make you wary of continuing any further with them. Good tour operators will always be happy to explain any detail of their itineraries.
For example, at Home To Africa, we’ve made sure our itineraries do exactly that – containing a list of what’s covered and what isn’t.
Rule #2: Book Your African Safari with Someone Based in the Region
Africa is a huge continent, and its top safari destinations are spread across thousands of miles. Booking your African safari with a company based in the region will help guarantee their team know exactly what their talking about.
So, for an east African safari to the likes of the Serengeti, Murchison Falls National Park, or the forests where mountain gorilla live, there’s no one better to use than a Uganda tour operator because they are based in the country and will know everything there is to know about safaris there.
Rule #3: Opt for an Operator Happy to Customize Your Trip
When you’re checking out websites and obtaining quotes, it’s likely you’ll find itineraries that are very similar to one another. And there’s nothing wrong with that per se, given most people looking for the best family safaris in Africa will want to have similar experiences. After all, the Ngorongoro Crater, Maasai Mara, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, and Akagera National Park have all become firm favorites.
However, such itineraries won’t necessarily meet your needs. If you don’t enjoy time on the beach before or after your safari, there’s little point spending three days on Lake Victoria or Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast. That said, those early morning game drives can cause fatigue, so a few days of relaxation afterwards is never going to be a bad idea.
The willingness to adapt an existing itinerary to your precise requirements also demonstrates that the African tour operator you’re dealing with will treat you as an individual and not part of the crowd. What could be better when wondering who to book with for an African safari?
Rule #4: Choose an Operator Who Gives Back
Companies who give back by funding projects in their local communities are not only supporting local people, but also helping to ensure Africa’s rich wildlife survive. So booking an African safari with a company that has such a philosophy ensures everyone gets something out of your trip.
Home To Africa donates 10% of your booking to our charity, Global ICT Care, who support women and children in east Africa with education and nutritional help.
Rule #5: Use a Company Who Have Been Around a While
Longevity is never proof of high standards or good quality. However, when it comes to African safari operators, it is reasonable to say that those who have worked in the sector for years are generally more trustworthy. Put plainly, companies which don’t come up to standard go out of business pretty quickly, as no one wants to work with them or book with them.
Further, a team that has been around for years is going to have far more knowledge and expertise in organizing your dream safari than a new company – however good that company and its staff may be. All in all, it makes operators with a long pedigree a great pick for who to book your African safari with.
Rule #6: Pick a Safari Company With an In-house Team
You know what it’s like – you book your vacation with one company only to find your transportation or included tours have been subcontracted to a second organization you’ve never heard of. This mode of working is rife with potential downsides, and worth avoiding when possible.
Instead, seek out those African safari operators who have their own in-house team of driver-guides. They will have a much better understanding of what you want from your trip, and can adapt your time in the national parks you visit to suit.
Who To Book Your African Safari With
We know it can be incredibly difficult to know who to book with for an African safari which is going to occur without any problems. That’s precisely why we’ve created this short guide, highlighting our rules on exactly what to look out for.
Before anything else, you should trust your instincts – if you’re not sure about a company, go elsewhere, there’s plenty of choice. Try to use an African safari operator based in Africa, with years of experience behind them, and who are happy (rather than complaining) about making changes to their listed itineraries.
Follow these simply rules, and we’re sure you’ll have a fantastic time exploring our homeland and all it has to offer!