A custom safari is a safari tailored to your needs. Our team of Africa travel specialists will help you set a realistic budget, explain how to maximize wildlife viewing, minimize insects, avoid uncomfortable weather and crowds, and diminish the chances of you being cooked in a pot while natives dance circles around you – to be clear that latter comment was sarcasm.
Our Africa experts will help you choose the right number of days and the best areas to visit. We will discuss the level of comfort you desire. We prefer intimate safari properties located right in amongst the animals – rooms with comfortable beds and en suite bathrooms. We like places that offer a good variety of activities.
Ruckomechi Camp in Zimbabwe is a great example of a comfortable tented camp with en suite bathrooms
Unlike many companies who will book anything and everything we are very selective. We do our best to avoid marginal areas, impersonal hotels and crowds. We do not book cut price minibus safaris with city based guides who have no clue what the animals in each area are up to. These are often sold as private safaris where you get your own guide and vehicle for your entire trip in Kenya / Tanzania… sounds great but now you won’t get to hang out with expert camp guides who know the animals in each area. You also don’t get to view wildlife from each camp’s open safari vehicles – and open vehicles are so much better for game viewing than closed vehicles. Check out our blog post on this subject:
Lastly we do not set limits on how many miles you can drive each day – seriously, they do that.
We will advise where to spend, and where to save, maximizing your travel dollar. With our low price guarantee you are ensured a great value!
As a jumping off point you can estimate US $5,000 + international flights per person for a comfortable, value oriented, all inclusive safari 8-10 days in length. Depending upon the total number of days, areas visited, and style of accommodations costs could easily surpass US $10,000 per person, and go much higher for those seeking the most luxurious properties.
Myth #1 Custom safaris are expensive. This is like saying restaurants are expensive. It completely depends where you go and what you order. With our low price guarantee you are ensured a great value!
Myth #2 Group trips are less expensive. They can be… or they can be a packaged tour being resold by a travel agent in San Diego for double what it should cost. Also you rarely find the best properties on group trips as blocks of rooms need to be reserved for months and months to see if travelers sign up… the most sought after properties, which typically have the best wildlife viewing, aren’t going to stand for that. Therefore most group trips utilize larger, hotel properties, which we won’t touch.
Myth #3 Custom safaris are private. Custom safaris can be private if we book all the rooms at a location but that would get really expensive for Mr. and Mrs. Smith who only need 1 room. Most custom safaris are designed for 2 to 6 guests. We often use air taxis to fly you between the various camps and lodges avoiding the cost of chartering your own private aircraft. This also helps to avoid mind numbingly long, dusty days, driving on bumpy roads, and maximizes your time in the big-time wildlife areas.
While at each safari property you have your own room with en suite bathroom (or rooms depending upon the number of guests in your party) and you can enjoy the company of other enthusiastic safari guests on activities and at meal times. The professional guides who live at each safari property know the lay of the land and where to find the game. After your stay at one lodge / camp you fly onwards to the next where you meet your new guide and can enjoy the company of the guests at that lodge or camp.
On a custom safari you have way more flexibility as to where to go and when to travel compared to joining a group trip. On a custom safari you won’t get stuck with the German man who won’t stop talking for 2 weeks. You can be as social, or antisocial, as you want to be. On a custom trip you get better guides as they live at each camp / lodge – right in amongst the animals. Win, win, win, win!
So where to begin? Check out our 2020 African Travel and Safari Report
Where to Go and When – an independent expert’s opinion based on 30+ years travel experience with country ratings for Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zanzibar, and Zimbabwe.
Learn which safari hotspot earned a 6 out of 10 rating. Uncover what Oprah called Africa’s best kept secret.
Learn how to avoid insects, crowds, and uncomfortable weather while maximizing wildlife!
Places to avoid – why the biggest name may not provide the best safari experience.
Learn where we love to stay! Our experts spend 2 to 3 months of each year inspecting properties in Africa. Many do not live up to the hype whilst others are stupendous.
How much does a custom safari cost along with sample itineraries.
Learn how to maximize your travel dollar by traveling during certain times of year.
Hot spots – the newest safari properties and why you might want to check them out!
Africa’s top 3 spots for maximum wildlife viewing.
Bonus – a $250 Ultimate Africa Safari Travel Voucher to be used towards your ultimate safari!