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Fact or Fiction: Myths About African Safaris, Cost

Are the myths merely hogwash?

Over the past seven years, since opening my business, I have heard many reasons why people choose not to travel to Africa, what they believe about an African safari and why those reasons have left them with a negative view of Africa.  It is a choice, whatever that choice may be. I’ve heard it all…from the really weird  -to being kidnapped, captured and boiled in a pot, and even chased down by animals that are all over the country everywhere you turn.  Many take their cues from old movies, and even newer movies, thinking that is reality.  Most of it is hogwash, I can assure you.

I continue to write about it because I continue to hear it, even today.  So, I’d like to address the reasons I hear day in and day out about why someone can’t, won’t, or are unable to travel to Africa!  While some do imagine themselves there, after watching Discovery Channel, National Geographic Wild, or Animal Planet, not only do they think it is unreachable and unattainable, but they also think ‘it’s just too much trouble’, when they hear the talk about Malaria, or recommended immunizations.  I’m here to take all of that out of the equation.  I’m here to provide you with all the information, what you have to do and when you have to it – and then take you there.  All the worry is on me, not you!

Here are some of the most cited reasons for not wanting to go – so even if you have the slightest inclination to go…pay attention now!

After Asia, Africa is the Largest Continent

map of AfricaGeography:  Africa is not a country, it is the largest continent, after Asia, Africa is more than three times the size of the USA. Sometimes, we seem to forget that Africa is one of seven continents, and not a country within the continent. Consequently, when something occurs in Africa, it does not apply to the entire continent. Like other states, countries, cities, there is an East, West, South and North Africa. Let us direct our conversation to East Africa, a little piece of Africa on the East coast… consisting of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.

The Cost of an African Safari

Getting over the sticker shock is probably the major factor in people thinking they won’t African Safari pricinggo, can’t go, or don’t want to go.  Of course airfare is never included because it is difficult to project what that might be.  The reality is, if you think about where you’re traveling – to the other side of the world, you certainly can’t expect that it would be cheap.  But, in fact, the airfare over the past few years, has been far less than some travel to Europe. Some would call it cheap, and in comparison with other destinations, I tend to agree.

I have had guests pay over a two year period, and in fact, the February 2015 group is a good example.  They all came to a presentation in May of 2013, they made payments from then until November 2014, and followed all the guidelines. Now they’re a month away from a trip of a lifetime. Most said it was much easier than they thought it would be because they feel they are able to also have money set aside for spending.

Pricing Breakdown

The figure that most people have in mind when it comes to the cost of an African safari is $10,000.  And, in fact, many African safari’s do cost that much.  Over the years I’ve been in business, I’ve never priced a safari at $10,000, but have seen hundreds that are – without including the cost of air.  They do not have to cost this much, and I make an effort to keep all prices reasonable and affordable.  Most safaris, at least most of those organized by Destined To Travel, are mostly all-inclusive, perhaps less the beverages.  However, on many, even beverages are included.  So what looks like $700-$1,000 per night, for a 7-night safari, is really not. Included in all safaris is a nightly charge for a room, the cost of meals, transportation, vehicle fuel, transfers, oftentimes beverages, excursions, and your escort and guide.  If you compare it to other itineraries that are not all-inclusive, you would see that the cost isn’t as exorbitant as you might think.

Take the specially priced anniversary safari of $4700 plus the cost of air (estimated at $1300-$1400). The average room price across the USA, and other countries exceeds $350 per night and that doesn’t include food, or most of the other costs outlined. So if you break that cost down for everything that’s included you’ll see that at this price it is a trip that you cannot afford to pass up.  You won’t see this price again.

If Africa is at all on your LIVE list, and cost is a factor, you should not miss this opportunity.  A bucket list implies so far away, you can’t plan on there being any Africa Safaris left. A LIVE list is a do it now list.  That is the list you want Africa on.  At the rate it’s going, we simply cannot expect Africa to be what it is today.  It just won’t happen.  This is fact.

What questions do you have about pricing? The next in the series will talk about health and safety risks, and the last installment will talk about the flight, food and accommodations. See you next time….oh and don’t forget to leave your questions and comments in the comment box below! I love hearing from you!

Safari Kay

4 Comments

  1. Eydie on January 11, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    So, how many countries are in Africa?

    If, lets say, someone decided to head on over to Tanzania for vacation, and they hadn’t intended to go on Safari, what would that person expect to pay for a one-day safari tour….if there is such a thing as a one-day tour?

    • Kay on January 11, 2015 at 6:24 pm

      This is another blog. 🙂 There are 54 countries in Africa. Yes, it’s possible, you get whoever is available to do it. There are safari companies at the airport that you can book for a day, a week or more. Some people do this because they think they will get a better deal, but in fact, you get what you pay for. They may not be professional drivers, or they just may be drivers, not guides – there are so many variables. It would depend on distance, one can’t do a safari in one day – from town – the distance is too great – but they can do it the following day, but it would be to the closest park, not the Serengeti. Most professional drivers take bookings by schedule, because they live out of town, and have to arrange to meet the guests. Most people would not just be heading over to Tanzania, just to go, unless they were visiting people. You need a driver to go anywhere…

  2. Betsy Jabola on January 11, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    Thank you for getting me thinking in another direction in regards to travel. May 2015 be a positive year for you.

    • Kay on January 11, 2015 at 6:19 pm

      Thank you Betsy. Wishing the same to you in 2015.

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