Travel and Explore South Africa
Herewith a quick overview of South African Safari Options
South Africa Safari Options Overview
So you are contemplating a safari to South Africa, and you are not to sure as to the various Safari Options while in South Africa. We would like to clarify some questions that we get frequently and hopefully shed some more light on the subject. At the same time should you feel that your answers have not been met then drop us a email and we will gladly assist you.
Lets first try and distinguish what types of safaris are available while in the country and we will then broaden our explanations later.
Safari an expedition to observe or hunt animals in their natural habitat, late 19th century: from Kiswahili, from Arabic safara ‘to travel.’
Generally a Safari can either be a organised safari through a specialist safari company or a self drive safari.
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A organised safari can mean that one is opting for a day safari or alternatively enjoying a overnight safari. These organised safaris can also be conducted in either a public reserve or on a private reserve.
Day Safari conducted in a Public Reserve:
A day safari may be offered as either as a 3 hour safari, half day safari or full day safari. Primarily all safaris are conducted as early as possible. Or late afternoon, this is due to the fact that all predators are more active during these hours. These safari operators may pick you up or meet you at the respective reserve entrances. In South Africa all Day Safaris are conducted in Open Game Drive Safari Vehicles. The reason being is for better sightings with a wider sight of view.
These day safaris may include catering or you may have to take some food along please do esquire prior to bookings.
Benefits of booking a organised day safari include:
• Knowledgeable rangers that know the area
• Convenience of being able to sit back and enjoy the safari
• If catering is included it truly is more convenient
• Knowing where to travel to during different times of the year takes out the guess work
• It is more costly however the amount of information and sightings that one may experience with a good ranger will undoubtedly be beneficial
Not all private reserves offer day safari’s please do inquire prior and bookings are essential. Private reserves are generally smaller than their counter parts the public reserves. Private reserves do also only offer open game drive safari vehicles in South Africa. Private day safaris may also not offer half day or full day safari options and in most cases these safari options will include catering either in the bush or at the lodge.
Benefits of booking a organised private day safari:
• Smaller areas in which to travel thus a chance of better sightings
• More Roads and Tracks
• Collared wildlife in certain reserves thus the ability to track these animals
This has always been a nice option especially for a family that would like to spend more time in the reserve and at specific sightings as on a organised safari one may not always have the same.
Self drive safaris can thus be conducted at ones own pace and one may travel to any specific area which one chooses. Should you opt for this option then prior research may be beneficial and definitely a map of the area is a must. Stop all vehicles within the reserve and ask what sightings they have had and try and spend as much time in the reserve as possible. Ensure that you have adequate water as temperatures do rise quickly in South Africa.
Benefits of Opting for a self drive safari include:
- Duration of ones self drive safari is self determined
- Area to which you would like to travel to is self determined
- The amount of time that you would like to spend in or at a specific sighting is self determined
- Cheaper costs incurred
- You determine how many passengers will join you
- Greater area may be explored in any reserve
Disadvantages of Self Drive Safari:
- Not knowing the area
- Missing out on valuable information
- Being able to sit back and relax
Overnight Safari Packages these are offered in the same manner as above by private safari operators that venture into public reserves and those that offer these packages into private reserves. The primary difference when it comes to these are mostly star grading and price related.
Public reserve safari packages are widely available on the internet due to demand the amount of safari packages has grown and one may purchase some incredible safari packages to South Africa now days. Please do take note that one should at all times research the company as much as possible as to ensure verification as to the general standing of the company in question.
Private reserve safari packages are usually offered by lodges and is all in house generally speaking. Agents may sell these on and one may always contact the lodge in question directly for discounted rates in some cases. Most packages will either be a 4 or 5 star graded package with the same accommodations. It is always important once again to research what is on offer and also to compare packages to other provinces.
South Africa Safari Options Overview & Considerations
Some points to consider when researching:
• How long has the company been in operation
• What are the companies reviews like
• What is the general consensus and how do the clients review service, standards and price
• Are the safaris offered in open game drive safari vehicles
• Are all of the vehicles insured and most importantly do all of the companies vehicles have carrier permits
• Is the company a credited safari company within the specific province
• Does the company outsource the safari packages or is it all in house
• Are the rangers accredited, filed guide qualifications, pdp’s (professional driving licence’s)
• Does the company offer passenger liability
• Compare what is on offer to other safari packages
A Safari can and should be the highlight of a holiday to South Africa the wildlife, scenery and people of South Africa are incredible. Every ranger that I have ever spoken to has always been incredibly passionate and helpful in every sense. However once again do some adequate research before booking a safari package.