Book a Luxury Safari on a Budget

african-safari-2014-kenya-safari

If you’re like many travelers, you prefer luxury vacations where you can enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences, which is exactly what you’ll get on an African safari. One of the great things about choosing a safari for your next vacation is that, with the right tips, you can easily book a luxury trips — even if you’re dealing with a tight travel budget. Find out how you can book a luxury safari on a budget so that you can enjoy a high-quality vacation at an affordable price.

Plan for the Off-Season

As with any popular travel destination, the best way to save money on your trip is traveling during the off-season. If you’re interested in a luxury trip to Africa but don’t want to break the bank, booking your holiday for the low season is the best idea.

When we talk about low and high seasons in Africa, what we’re discussing is the amount of rain. The high season is the highest time of year, which means there will be less vegetation and easier game viewing.

The low season is the greener, wetter season, and because of the increased rain, this time of year doesn’t draw as many travelers. Because there will be fewer tourists, prices will be a lot more affordable, making it easier to book luxury experiences for an excellent price. Also, while there will be thicker vegetation, you should still be able to see exotic animals on your vacation.

Choose a Self-Drive Safari

If you’re interested in going on a luxury safari on a budget, one of the most effective ways to save money is by booking a self-drive safari. Instead of booking a guided safari tour, which can get expensive, you can find an affordable rental car and drive yourself around Africa.

Before you book your self-drive safari, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. For example, the ease with which you’re able to drive yourself around depends on the country that you visit. In some countries, such as South Africa, driving yourself around should be very easy, as there are major roads that are well-maintained. In other countries, you’ll need to navigate remote, bumpy trails, which can be difficult, especially if you’ve never visited Africa before.

Work With the Right Company

Although there are several ways you can save money while booking a luxury experience for your safari, your best option is working with the right safari travel company. If you’ve never been on a safari before, booking a trip on your own can be tricky, and you may end up paying a lot more than you should.

Working with an experienced safari company means you’ll have access to the best safari activities, and you should also be able to find great deals on your trip. You can even get advice about what activities you should book and which aren’t worth the time or money.

If you’re looking for a high-end holiday, booking a luxury safari is an excellent idea. With a little preparation and the right advice, you should be able to book a trip filled with exciting experiences while staying within your budget.

 

Plan a Safari with Your Older Parents

where-can-I-go-on-self-drive-african-safari

One of the best things about being an adult is becoming friends with your parents and being able to go on vacation with them as equals. If you’ve been wanting to thank your parents for a lifetime of love and support by treating them to a vacation, then you should consider booking a once in a lifetime trip such as an African safari.
Going on a safari with your parents is an experience than none of you will ever forget, especially if you’re careful about booking your vacation. If your parents are a little older, for example, you want to make sure that you’re reserving a safari that they can enjoy safely. Here is some advice for booking a senior’s African safari where you and your older parents can create memories that will last for a lifetime.

Think About Health

Everyone needs to consider their health before booking an African safari, but this issue is especially important for older individuals. Before you book your next safari, you need to think about your parent’s health and how comfortable they are with physical activity.

For example, many older people have trouble walking for long distances, and if your parents have mobility issues, then you may want to avoid a walking safari. Avoiding safari areas with a high risk for malaria may also be a good idea, as older people can have trouble dealing with this disease.

Talk About Everyone’s Interests

Your goal when booking a senior’s African safari is to plan a vacation that both you and your parents will enjoy. Before you start making reservations, you should sit down with your parents to talk about what they’re looking for out of their vacation.

What type of vacations do your parents normally prefer? Are they the type of people who are always up for adventure, or is relaxation more their goal? Not every safari is perfect for every traveler, so you want to make sure that your trip includes a mixture of activities that will be enjoyed by both your parents and yourself.

Be Prepared for an Emergency

While everyone hopes that their vacation will go off smoothly, unexpected emergencies are a fact of life. Before you leave for your safari with your parents, you need to make sure that you have a plan in place for dealing with an emergency if one occurs.

Buying traveler’s insurance, for example, is a good idea. With the right insurance plan, you can avoid losing money if you miss your flight and will be covered if you or your parents need medical attention on your vacation.

While we’re on the subject of medical attention, you should think about going on safari near a major city if your parents have any ongoing medical issues. Traveling near a large city means you’ll have quick access to a medical facility if there is a situation that needs immediate attention. Taking the time to plan for emergencies means you’ll have a much safer, more enjoyable safari with your parents.

If you’re thinking about going on a senior’s African safari with your parents, keep this information in mind so that everyone has a great trip.

Essential Items You Need on Your Next Safari

where-can-I-go-on-self-drive-african-safari

There is no vacation quite like an African safari. On your trip, you’ll see sights of which you’ve only dreamed, and will be able to experience activities that will be hard to forget. However, like any trip, the key to making sure you have the best time possible is being certain you have the right equipment.

Traveling in Africa requires much different equipment than your typical holiday, and learning about a few of the items you need to pack will guarantee a fantastic trip. Here are some essential safari items that you need to make sure you have on hand so that your next vacation is easy and rewarding.

Clothes You Don’t Mind Losing

An African safari can be very hard on your clothing, so when your purchasing attire for your trip, you want to be sure you’re investing in clothes that you wouldn’t mind leaving behind. If you’re not worried about protecting your clothes, it will be much easier for you to enjoy your trip. When your clothes tear or stain, you can leave them behind without worry.

Extras of Your Most Important Items

On your list of essential safari items, there will be some things that you will need to function on a daily basis. For example, you may need to bring along contact lenses or have a medication that you require regularly. If you use any of these types of items, you should be sure that you’re bringing along extra on your trip.

There’s nothing quite as frustrating on a vacation to use your last pair of contacts or to realize you’ve run out of a necessary medication. Packing extras of these items will make for a worry-free vacation where you’re easily able to enjoy your scheduled activities.

Lightweight Cold Weather Wear

If you know anything about Africa, then you know that temperatures can become very cool once the sun has dipped below the horizon. It is for this reason that one of the most important items to bring with you on your safari is lightweight jacket or sweater that will keep you comfortable when it gets colder outside.

With a lightweight jacket, you’ll be able to keep yourself more comfortable without taking up too much of your valuable storage space.

A Crushable Hat

You’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors on your African safari, which means you run the risk of experiencing a sunburn. Obviously, since a sunburn can greatly lessen your enjoyment of your trip, you need to protect yourself from the harsh sunlight, which is why it’s a good idea to pack a crushable hat with a wide brim.

For starters, crushable hats are very easy to pack, and can often be stored in your pocket when not in use. Second, the wide brim of these hats are perfect for a safari and will give you the protection you need so that your face doesn’t get burned from your hours in the sun.

Invest in these essential safari items, and you’ll be able to enjoy a top-notch trip that you’ll be raving about to your friends and family back home.

Safari Migration Facts You Should Know

travel-africa

When you’re planning to go on an African safari, there are several events that you should put on your itinerary. However, if you want to enjoy one of the most fascinating spectacles in the word, you should make sure that your safari will take you past The Great Mammal Migration.

This spectacular annual event includes some of the most noteworthy animals in Africa such as zebras and gazelles. However, this migration is also a dangerous affair, making it a good idea to learn a little more about this occurrence. Here are safari migration facts that you need to know if you’re thinking about going on an African safari during The Great Mamma Migration.

Basic Migration Facts

When you’re learning about The Great Mamma Migration, there are a few basics facts that are a good starting place, including how many animals are involved and the distance that the migration travels.

During the migration, as many as two million animals will travel 500 miles. The purpose of the migration is for the animals to locate a safe place to birth their offspring that also provides a dependable food supply. Because the animals travel in such large numbers, they are better able to defend themselves against predators. This is important because there are several places on the migration path where predators such as the Nile crocodile await.

If you want to avoid The Great Mamma Migration in full swing, you should try to plan your safari for the summer months of June and July.

Wildebeest Facts

Although there are a variety of animals you can see during the migration, the most interesting by far is the wildebeest, mostly due to the way that these mammals give birth.

As mentioned in the previous section, one of the main purposes of the Great Mamma Migration is finding a suitable birth location. When wildebeests find this location, they will all give birth at once. By giving birth at one time, the wildebeest parents are able to surround their young so that they will be shielded from predators.

Speaking of the wildebeest young, some fascinating safari migration facts are related to how quickly the age. After a wildebeest is born, they will be able to run alongside the adults within minutes, meaning the herd will be able to quickly move on from the birth spot and away from the predators that gather during this time of year.

Migration is Dangerous

Although migration is an important event for almost every mammal in Africa, it’s not without its risks. In fact, many of the mammals that set out on the Great Migration will not see it through to the end.

No overland migration in the world is as large as The Great Mammal Migration, and none is as deadly. It’s estimated that as many as 250,000 mammals will be killed during the migration. There can be several causes of death during the migration, including damage, heat exhaustion, and predators.

If these safari migration facts have you interested in experiencing the Great Mammal Migration for yourself, you should book your trip today so that you can experience this memorable event.

Places to Visit on Your Kenya Safari

how-to-book-your-african-safari-holiday-in-botswana

When you’re planning your African safari, one of the best places to take your trip is the nation of Kenya. Known as the gateway to Eastern Africa, Kenya is a brilliant country with plenty of diversity in its landscapes and wildlife. A safari adventure here will be a trip that you’ll never forget.

If you want to see the best Kenya has to offer, you need to make sure your safari takes you to the right locations. Whether you love wildlife, thrilling adventure or beautiful natural landscapes, Kenya has plenty to offer. Take a look at the best places to visit in Kenya and discover the adventure this great country can offer.

Mount Kilimanjaro

If you’re looking for snow in Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the few places you’ll find it. Mount Kilimanjaro is a massive mountain that offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. If hiking isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy night drives and safaris around the base where you can find massive bull elephants in their natural habitat. If you’re looking for a place to rest in between your safari outings, Mount Kilimanjaro is home to quite a few camps and lodges that offer scenic views of the mountain.

Mount Kenya

The other mountain on our list is Mount Kenya in Laikipia. A national park here was created just a few years ago where you can find a remarkably well-preserved countryside that a huge number of species call home including zebras, monkeys and even ostriches. There are also numerous private ranches around that allow free reign, so you can enjoy a safari without the limitations imposed by national parks.

Samburu

Most of the land around Samburu is a dried field of lava, but the Ewaso Nyiro River has created a beautiful oasis in the center. If the idea of a beautiful oasis is drawing you in, you’re not the only one. Numerous species of wildlife flock to this oasis all the time, and others have decided to settle there permanently. If you’re looking to catch a glimpse of the fast and elusive leopard, Samburu is the best place to go. The draw of the oasis plus the skills of a trained Maasai tracker will greatly increase your chances of spotting the smallest of the big cats.

Masai Mara

One of the most popular spots in a Kenya safari tour is Masai Mara. Here, you’ll find beautiful grassland with dense trees in several spots alongside the Mara River. Numerous species of wildlife roam this area including hippos, giraffes, zebras and more. The most interesting feature of this area is the available method of transportation. You can enjoy your Kenya safari tour via hot air balloon rather than in a ground vehicle. This allows safe low-level views of the wildlife while traveling at a speed that makes it easy to snap pictures and keep track of everything.

Nairobi

If you want to move on from Kenya during your African safari, Nairobi is where you need to go. This is the gateway to East Africa allowing you to explore other countries like Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. You can find rainforests here with elephants and gorillas.

If you’re ready for adventure, book your Kenya safari tour today. You’ll be in for a thrilling trip that you’ll never forget.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

What to Expect on a Game Drive During Your African Safari Tour

what-kind-of-african-safari-activities-are-available-around-kruger-park

When people think of an “African safari tour,” they are typically thinking of game drives. Parks like Kruger and the Maasai Mara are enormous, so riding in a vehicle is one of the best ways to cover a lot of ground without getting exhausted. You can also make sure to see some of the best viewing experiences all in short time.

You are definitely encouraged to try other sorts of activities during your stay, such as a “bush walk” walking safari or a canoeing safari upon a river, but game drives will likely comprise a large portion of your wildlife viewings and give you a chance to become more familiar with a park.

So what can first-timers expect on a game drive? Even though every experience is unique and every lodge will do drives differently, there are plenty of common threads. You can learn about a typical game drive by reading on.

Open Air Vehicles

Most game drive vehicles have an open top for maximum viewing. There are three rows of seats that can accommodate 2-3 people each. These are raised like theatre seats so that each row is taller than the one in front, with the rear row as the tallest. One person may have the option to sit next to the ranger in the front, which will be the lowest seat but one with unobstructed front views.

Usually Two Guides: A Ranger and a Spotter

You will be most likely accompanied by two people on your drive. A ranger drives the vehicle and is responsible for serving as your direct guide, telling you stories and information while answering questions. The second person is a “spotter,” who stays focused on helping you locate wildlife while keeping an eye out for possible threats.

Interacting with your ranger is highly encouraged, but try not to distract the spotter.

Game Lodges Working as a Team

Game drive operators understand that the best way for everyone to enjoy their trip and see as many animals as possible is to work together. They will usually communicate over radio when a significant find is spotted, like a family of elephants, an elusive leopard with a kill or lions sunbathing near the road.

No one wants ten cars crowded around a single lion, though, so guides refer to an implied set of etiquette rules, giving the reporting vehicle the best position while other vehicles try to hang slightly back until the first vehicle departs. You may even find yourself in a sort of “queue” as each vehicle pauses to give everyone a satisfactory photo op.

Stay patient and be respectful of other groups since this system provides the best benefits for everyone!

A Rigid Schedule

Wildlife have certain patterns throughout the day, and one of the times they are most active is in the very early morning. That means for morning drives you will be waking up anywhere from 4:30 to 6:00 a.m.

Even if you are not a morning person, it is still important to drag yourself into the 4×4 to ensure that everyone gets to leave on time and can get the most out of their drive. You can choose to sleep in at your camp instead, but you will likely feel envious if everyone comes back with stories to tell!

Evening drives are also common, usually departing around 4:00 p.m. or so. These drives usually see less action at first because the animals are still shrugging off the heat of the afternoon sun, but nocturnal animals begin to stir and get active as the sun goes down. Some lodges offer special night drives, which can come at an added cost but often see active predators and sometimes even a kill.

Plenty of Time for Snacks and Natural Business

Just because you are getting up early does not mean you will have an empty stomach! Game lodges usually provide a light “morning tea” before your drive and a heavy breakfast when you return. You can then enjoy lunch and sleep off the afternoon heat. Evening drives also have “high tea” or “sundowner meals,” which are enjoyed right in the bush.

Drivers also understand that nature calls to us all, so they will take breaks for everyone to relieve themselves in the “bush loo.” Bring your own toilet paper and a sealable, disposable bag so that you can take everything back with you. You may not want it, but the bush definitely doesn’t, either!

Book Your Perfect Lodge for Thrilling Game Drives on Your African Safari Tour

Each lodge and park offers its own set of activities and style of game drives. You can take a look at what options you may have by exploring our available safari vacation packages and then booking your exciting trip today!

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui

Magic Masai Mara, Kenya

The Maasai Mara in the south-west of Kenya is contiguous plain with the Serengeti in Tanzania and is part of the greater Mara ecosystem.  The Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) is a small fraction of this ecosystem, but fraction is kind of relative as the MMNR still measures 1500 square kilometres. The landscape is dominated by open grasslands with numerous seasonal creeks and the famous acacia trees in some areas.

If you can remember the 1980’s movie “Out of Africa” with Meryl Streep and Robert Redford that plays in the Masai Mara for the most part, this is exactly the landscape you will find when visiting today. And yes, it is even much more impressive when you are there in person as compared to the film.

2016-11-05_africa_0014

The Mara is mainly at an altitude of 1600 meters where you have the rain season from November till May and the dry season from June till November. This climate change is also responsible for what is known as the great migration, where over 1.5 million wildebeest arrive in July and leave again in November, one of the most impressive spectacles repeating itself on earth annually and the perfect background for stunning wildlife photography and cinematography.

2016-11-06_africa_0083

This makes the Mara to one of the finest wildlife destinations where you almost have the guarantee to see the big five but also cheetah, hyena, jackal, hippo, crocodile and for sure vulture whenever there was a kill.

2016-11-05_africa_0019

Vultures are one of the easiest and safest ways to find kills with sometimes even some lions around still eating, as the birds are waiting in the trees till the lions or other predators have finished their meal and leave the rest of the kill for them.

2016-11-06_africa_0064

If you are lucky you can even see some rhinos that are slowly coming back to this part of Africa.

2016-11-05_africa_0023

There are many lodges and camps to be found and you have a rich choice from very luxurious places to ones where you stay as close as possible to the animals and the nature, the tented camps, that do actually not lack too much luxury as well. We were staying in the Sand River Camp as well as the Elephant Pepper Camp and I can recommend both as being extremely friendly, authentic and as close to nature as possible, while offering all you need to feel perfect and rest between the numerous game drives.

2016-11-05_africa_0159

There is nothing like the Mara morning sky before sunrise, these are colours that cannot be described, you have to see and feel them yourself.

2016-11-06_africa_0012

This scenery evolves during the early morning hours, when you can find all kind of animals out on the grasslands like these zebras that enjoyed the green and did not seem to be scared about predators.

2016-11-05_africa_0032

But this can fool you as predators are always around, like this young male lion we found nearby sleeping in the morning sun. This male was approximately 4 to 5 years old and you can see this by the colour of the nose that is still pink but starts already getting black around the corners.

2016-11-05_africa_0047

He will be grown up with 5 to 6 years, but he is already a perfect killing machine at this age. He was roaring during the previous night in our camp close to our tent and I can tell you this sound goes through and through – you will never forget that!

2016-11-05_africa_0060

But now he sometimes is still playful at least if he is no longer hungry as he showed when welcoming his brother a few minutes later.

2016-11-05_africa_0136

You want to have adventures like this in magnificent landscape and stunning places? You want to photograph all this or take videos and want to get guidance for how to do this best and in an optimal way? Well then join me on one of the many safaris organized by Roho Ya Chui and you will have the adventure of your lifetime that you will never forget!

Peter Tomsu for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa