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How To Choose The Right Safari Operator For Your African Safari Tour?

Home How To Choose The Right Safari Operator For Your African Safari Tour?

Are you one amongst those adventure freaks who love adventure and fun in the wild yet do not want to strip themselves of the luxury and comfort of a tour? If yes, it is time you should go on African Safari Tours and experience the colossal amount of wildlife that inhabits the region. Truly, any wildlife adventure that you would like to brag about to your mates when you grow old is incomplete without Africa on your safari list.

African Safari Tour Operator

The distinct advantages of travelling with a safari operator in Africa make this the better option for most travellers, especially first-time safari travelers. Choosing a good safari operator is, however, of paramount importance, and also often neglected one. People fail to do some homework before they embark on a safari journey by blindly trusting their instinct. But to get the most out of your safari adventure, take your time researching and comparing options ahead of time, so that you don't feel rushed into making any rash decisions when planning your travels in Africa.

Here’s a useful guide we’ve prepared for first timers that’ll help you hone your search down to the best safari specialists from the ocean of African Safari Operators.

4 Key Factors To Get You Started

Firstly the best match depends on four basic factors –

  • The Quality Of The Safari Experience Provided
  • The Style Of Travel You Prefer
  • The Time You Have Available For Your Safari
  • Where In All Of Africa You Want To Go On Holiday

Let's start with the quality factor, as this is the trickiest one to gauge when researching safari operators, particularly from abroad.

1) Quality Control:

What Are Previous Travellers Saying In Their Reviews?

Quality control of various tour operators that you have listed from where you’ll pick one is the fundamental thing to do to choose the right one. It involves evaluating the quality, or reputation, of a particular operator and how they have fared serving tourists up until this point. It will also give you a sense whether or not the operator is worth the amount he is asking for and can deliver the services he’s offering. With the widespread nature of the internet and all the required information right at your fingertips, it’s now easier than ever to conduct a quality control. There are several forums dedicated to travel and holidays on the internet that allows users to share their experience and thoughts on any place, operator, or any particular tourist sightseeing spot.

Face Of Africa Reviews

The most reputable travel forums and review platforms currently are:

  1. TripAdvisor. It is probably the biggest hotel and restaurant review website which includes Africa Travel Forums and heaps of traveller reviews about operators, trips, restaurants etc.
  2. Thorn Tree Travel Forum. This is a forum of Lonely Planet, which is world’s largest digital travel guidebook publisher. Here you can post questions for other travellers to give feedback on and read what people have been saying.
  3. Safari Booking. This is a powerful search tool with over 2,000 tour operators listed for comparing safari companies, trips and travel destinations (from game reserves to countries) in Africa.

Visit any of these forums and search for the African Safari Tour Operator that you’ve on your list. You’ll find what people think of their service and how highly they’ve rated them. This will immensely help you to narrow down your list.

Who Are These So-Called Safari Experts?

There are numerous African Safari Tour companies operating in Africa. In Safari Booking alone there are 2,235 operators listed when we last checked. While most of them consider themselves as safari experts, not all of them are created equal. To further skim off the best operators, ask few questions and see how best they answer it.

Some Questions Worth Asking Are…..

1. Does the tour operator…

  • Have any credible awards, accreditation, or industry body validation?
  • Support or engage in any conservation and environmental sustainability projects?
  • Promote social responsibility and benefit or employ local communities?
  • Protect wildlife or offer hunting on any of its private safari establishments?
  • Welcome children and physically challenged travellers?

2. Is the safari operator…

  • Run entirely by the owners or managed by the family members?
  • Genuinely interested in individual’s travel plans and needs?
  • Personally invested in the success of its safari business? And if so, how.
  • Actively engaged in or connected to the places it takes travellers to?

3. How long have they been around?

  • In what year was the safari company founded and registered?
  • How many people has it successfully served?
  • Can they provide an estimation of how many safaris they have facilitated?
  • How long have the tour guides and tour operator working together for?
  • Is the operator physically located in Africa or based at the destination?
  • Have they personally stayed at the lodges they refer?
  • Have they explored and experienced the game parks and reserves they provide in their safari packages?

4. Do the safaris include…

  • Activities involving extreme sports and adventures?
  • Game drives and vehicles?
  • Guaranteed window seats of small plane, safari and game viewing vehicle?
  • Activities other than game drives, from sunset cruises to sightseeing trips and village tours?
  • Optional excursion activities like walks, night drives, cultural excursions besides typical safari drives?
  • Particular areas of focus for hobbyists like photographers, birders, historians, hikers and so on?

2) Travel Style:

One of the overlooked things when choosing between tour operators is the style of travel that you wish for. A campsite won’t cut it if you’re looking for a Luxurious Safari Accommodation with your spouse. Similarly a down-to-earth travel accommodation and personalized services won’t fit the bills if you’re tight on budget.

Luxury, mid-range or budget accommodation

African Accommodation

Not every tour operator will have the same African Safari Accommodation option that you plan for. The accommodation part plays a huge role in the final price tag of your tour package and the level of satisfaction that you expect. Hence, always double check with your operator about the housing facilities and what he’ll be providing. If you’re travelling in East Africa, you should be cautious where African standards are followed.

Types of Vehicles & Transport

Safari Vehicles In Africa

 

Take a time to check out the vehicles a tour operator will be using for transports. For long drives, 4×4 safari vehicles equipped with AC make a big difference in the comfort of your African Safari. A good tour operator will have a fleet of custom designed or open-sided 4WD vehicles to provide a better game viewing experience.

3) Duration:

The duration of the trip plays a vital role in providing the best safari experience in Africa because there so many things to see and cover. The duration should also be aligned with your needs and expectation from the tour. If you’re planning to cover many African Safari Destinations or far-apart ones, then you should have a longer duration tour. On the other hand, if you want to visit just a few of the places, then short duration tours are ideal. Most safari operators offer tours that range from three days to one to two weeks, while very few operators are capable of facilitating epic tours spanning a month or more covering multiple countries.

African Safari Duration

When you’re low on time and you have to visit several spots, an operator can articulate a tailor-made tour for you which will help ensure that everything fits in within the time frame. So you should always go for the African Safari Tour Operator that matches and has experience dealing with customers similar to your requirements.

4) Destinations:

African Safari Destinations

The majority of the safari providers in Africa specialize in a particular area bounded by specific region, countries, and wildlife areas. While there’s nothing wrong with it, but the problem arises when you have two or more things to cover as opposed to just one destination. In such scenario, your chosen tour operator might not be incapable of delivering on your request as he may not be extensively aware of the details of a destination outside of his specialty. By choosing an African Safari Tour Operator that has a wider presence often can save the day and provide a much better safari experience as he’ll be equipped with a wider range of knowledge. We, at Face Of Africa Adventures, offer safari tours in four African countries and have the presence in many of the national parks. We facilitate the following safari:

With that said, you don't have to settle for fixed or set safari itineraries offered by tour operators where you won’t be able to make any changes to the itinerary. Tailor-made or bespoke itineraries are not reserved for the luxury travellers only, there are safari operators that will customize your safari trip at mid-range and even budget levels. A good African Safari Tour Operator will be more than happy to tailor a safari to account for requirements and wishes.

Here at Face Of Africa Adventures, we put customers like you in the first place and then decide on the itinerary and routes. Our offerings range from backpackers to luxury travellers and we strive to make everyone’s dream of experience the African wildlife and safari a reality irrespective of the money they’re willing to spend. Kindly contact us at info@faceafricaadventures.com with your requirements and inquiries and one of our representatives will get back to you.

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