One common notion about African safaris is that they are notoriously expensive holiday choice, especially in popular destinations like Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. Yes, there is some truth to this notion. Safaris can indeed take a chunk from your finances, and while it’s worth every cent, there are many ways to still experience the best of Africa without emptying your bank account. One of them is opting for a group joining safari tour. This is when a traveler or group of travelers join other like-minded tourists on a safari adventure.
Group joining safaris have become increasingly popular these days and with good reason. For one, it is an excellent way of cutting down on costs since travelers in the group share the expenses like fuel, tour activities, guides, and even accommodation. At the same time, it is also an ideal way to share the experience with new friends.
What’s it like?
Thinking of joining a group for your next safari adventure? Here are some things you can expect:
- Budget-friendly — As a general rule, the more people in the group, the more affordable the tour will be. That’s why group joining safari tours are so popular among budget travelers. By splitting the various necessity costs, like fuel, feeding, vehicles, and accommodation during the trip, more people can experience the thrills of the African bush.
- Less Intricate Planning Involved — Planning the details of a safari trip can be quite dreary. From everything you intend to do to places you want to see, and even sorting through the available accommodation options in each park, you got your hands full, especially if you’re not using a tour operator. On the other hand, joining a group means less planning and even you even get to benefit from the shared rates.
- Make New Friends — A group joining tour affords you the opportunity to share the exciting safari experience with lots of new people. These travel companions could be a surprising highlight of your trip as you get to socialize with travelers from diverse backgrounds and learn not only about the wilderness but also about each other! During sundowners and campfire nights, you might also be glad for the company as you relive the day’s adventures and clink bottles to your one-of-a-kind adventures.
- Less Flexible Itineraries — This is a given, considering the fact that the itinerary will have to cater to multiple people with varying interests. For instance, you may be looking forward to spending your time tracking elephants but someone else in your group is more interested in tracking rare bird species. In order to create a harmonious safari experience, the itinerary will need to be fixed since it has to cater to everyone. Keep in mind that in some cases, meal times and breaks are also scheduled.
- Game Drives in a Non-private Vehicle — For many travelers, game drives represent the quintessence of a safari tour, but since you will be part of a group, you may not always get a good seat in the vehicle. Window seats are usually a big deal but it is never guaranteed when traveling with a group, especially a large one. What usually happens is that from time to time, you and your fellow travelers will switch seats so that everyone can at some point, get the window seat and enjoy better game viewing and camera action.
- Possible time inconveniences — You don’t have much control over the timing of the various safari activities. What’s more, not everyone in your group will be staying in the same camp or lodge so there is always the possibility of delays in starting some activities since you’ll have to wait for everyone to make it to the designated pick-up and drop-off points. In some cases, the activity may be canceled since many group tours have a required minimum of participants. If this number is not met, then the activity may be canceled or rescheduled. This can be quite frustrating, especially if the activity was something you were already looking forward to.
Who is Group Joining For?
As you can see from the features above, a group joining safari tour is not for everyone. If you are a loner or simply prefer to keep to yourself during your trip, then you’re better off booking a private safari. Also, if you’re traveling with your family and have little kids, then group joining may not be ideal. However, if you are an adventurous, budget-conscious traveler, whether solo or with your partner, and are willing to compromise a little comfort and a little time, then a group-joining safari could make a great adventure for you.
Are you planning to explore the wild and rich African wilderness? Get in touch with us today to discuss your safari travel options.