Safari Planner Online Form

Safari Planner Online Form

1. Expectations/Desires/Interests:

Think of a few paragraphs or, a stream of consciousness, that includes the following:
What are your travel preferences?

2. Trip Length/Time of Year

There is no perfect time to visit Africa- each season has its advantages and seasons vary by region. Many factors are involved— above all, go when you can.

What is key, is that you plan your trip far in advance of your travel dates. If you’re planning to travel during the high season, aim to make bookings at least one year in advance of your travel dates. If you want to try to maximize the amount of game you see, the best time to travel is the “high season”. This occurs during the dry months when the vegetation is limited and views are less obstructed and when the animals tend to congregate around fewer water sources. Of course, the high season is the most popular time and thus the prices at the camps/lodges are at their highest and can be fully booked-up 12-18 months in advance.

Some camps/ lodges in certain areas offer low season rates during the year—these can be significant discounts off the high season rates. Depending on the area, this may mean denser vegetation, more dispersed wildlife and a chance of afternoon showers. It can also mean a chance to see newborn and young antelope, beautiful green landscapes, fewer travelers and the ability to book with less advance planning.

3. Accommodation Style

There is a range of accommodation options to consider depending on your comfort level and style preference. Tented or reed and thatched accommodations allow you to be close to nature, meaning that the camp is un-fenced and wildlife can roam in and around camp. Many love these options but for those who prefer brick and mortar cottages/lodges are an option in some locales. Note that tented does not mean ‘less expensive’. In fact, some of the most luxurious/high end safari accommodations are tented with some having living room areas and large bathtubs! There are three different types of tented accommodations:

1) Dome, walk-in tents: these are typically used on mobile safaris, usually on a group type of trip experience where dome tents are erected at a different site every one/two/few nights. Cot beds with an en-suite eco-loo/shower, considered to be rustic/basic.

2) Seasonal camps with tents or reed/thatched: these type of accommodations are used in very remote places, especially locales that are inaccessible during the rainy season, comfortable tents and reed/thatched accommodations are common. Both styles have en-suite loos usually with a flushing toilet. This style is considered to be rustic, for the traveler who prefers a proper bed (v.s a cot) when it comes to comfort.

3) Semi-permanent tents where the camp is, for all intent and purposes, built to last many seasons. You have to touch the walls in order to realize that it is canvas. Full en-suite bathrooms, some with bathtubs along with indoor and outdoor showers. Everything looks permanent however the building materials/site is able to be de-constructed without leaving an impact on the environment it was built in. These come in a large variety of comfort (and budget) levels.

4) Brick and mortar: cottages, homes and lodges. These put a bit of cement between you and the bush and tend to have amenities such as air conditioning. These go from mid-range to higher end but typically, the semi-permanent camps are the most luxurious.

4. Budget

This is one of the most important decisions to make when planning a safari and key for us to make recommendations and design an itinerary that is appropriate for you. Our passion is to help our clients get off the beaten path, develop a deeper understanding of the people and places they are visiting, to travel in a responsible manner, and to have a fun, memorable travel experience.

This means we focus on sending our clients to smaller, intimate camps, often in more remote parks and private concession areas. The places we recommend tend to be a bit pricier than mainstream trips not because of the level of luxury, but rather because this affords our clients the benefit to get away from the mass tourism- to experience pristine wilderness, be with highly skilled guides and have more authentic experiences. Our clients have always said it is worth the investment.

Some things to keep in mind: Going on safari will probably be one of the most expensive trips you will ever take. We recognize this, respect this and thus make every effort to work within your budget and provide you with the best value for money. As such, we’ve never heard anyone say it wasn’t worth every penny! In general, the more remote, private and game rich the areas, the pricier the safari. Safari camps/lodges range from $450 – over $3,000 per person per night. Keep in mind that the costs tend to be “all inclusive” – including meals, drinks, activities, park fee, etc.. Our philosophy is to invest in a great experience in “the bush” and, if needed, cut back in urban areas.

On safari, “luxury” generally comes in the form of experiences rather than accommodation amenities. Higher priced camps are often that way due to their prime locations and offerings such as having fewer people in a vehicle, highly qualified guides, quality vehicles, policies that don’t limit the amount of kilometers, etc.. These are the things that we believe (and our clients keep telling us) really make a trip special and unique. This means that some of the more basic, tented camps are some of the more expensive. More often than not, the price is first related to “the experience”. Of course there are camps/lodges that do offer luxurious accommodations. Some of these camps/lodges are less expensive than more basic camps as the focus is more on the accommodations than the experience.

At Global Sojourns, we focus on the experience first and the accommodations second. However, for those who enjoy their amenities, there are some wonderful camps/lodges that offer luxury both in terms of accommodation and experience. Some people will save for years, knowing that going to Africa can be a trip of a lifetime. Subsequently they are tempted to fit too much into a short time and spend valuable time in transit. Instead, we suggest that you focus on seeing and experiencing certain areas more in depth. Then, consider a future visit to other regions (there is so many amazing places to see and experience!)

Other factors that can impact the cost of a safari include:

· which country/regions you visit

· # of countries/regions you visit

· when you travel (high/low season)

· privacy/size of the camps/lodges

· remoteness

· quality of guides and vehicles

· policies regarding # of people in a vehicle & distances included

· amenities

· choosing to travel by air or land to the camps/lodges

· time spent in urban areas vs. the bush

· length of trip

Global Sojourns is committed to recommending camps that offer the best value whether your price is mid-range or high. Also, unlike a number of operators/ consultants, we are completely independent in what we recommend to our clients. While cost will always vary depending on locations, seasons, accommodations, etc., we will always make every effort to provide you with an outstanding itinerary while staying within your budget.

Please indicate the per person price range (excluding international air) that you hope to stay within for this trip: * Required

5. Etcetera…

Please use the following space to write additional thoughts. We are available to discuss any questions that you may have along the way. We look forward to working with you!