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By James 31 May 2015

Planning a safari can be very hard and it is difficult to get your head around everything you need to do. However, we think that the following 10 steps should allow the planning of a trip to go smoothly and result in the best-designed trip for you…

1. Plan your trip in advance!

Safari camps are very small, with most of the camps that we use having only 6–12 rooms. The best camps sell out fast and you need to book at least six months in advance if your dates aren’t flexible! With Botswana, you often need to book more than a year in advance.

2. Call us to have a chat

The Yellow Zebra team has a lot of experience, with most of us spending some time in Africa either guiding or managing camps. We will pair you up with the most relevant specialist and they can talk you through the best options that are available to you, based on what you have told them.

3. Consider a flexible approach to planning

People often think that they know what they want to do, but their ideas may not work in practice. This may be due to a number of things, such as date of travel, activities on offer, quality of camp – and quite often it is a result of bad advice from other safari companies.

4. Do your own research

Even after talking with one of us, it is worth doing your own research to check all other options. If you find a couple of alternatives, we can give honest opinions and help to revise the itinerary.

5. Don’t overdo the safari!

You can get ‘safaried out’, when you start to feel tired and stop enjoying activities. As a general rule, I would suggest 3–7 days on safari, but there are some exceptions to this (see below).

6. Combine safari with another element!

Africa is not just about safari – you have a number of other areas that work well with some time in the bush. They include Cape Town, the Winelands, Victoria Falls, Zanzibar, and other beach destinations. These areas are also significantly cheaper, meaning that you can extend your time on vacation at a low cost.

7. What you pay for is what you get

As a rule, if there are two camps that look the same but one is more expensive, there will be a reason for this. The main reasons will be the quality of game viewing, guiding and service. I understand that this is hard to know when planning, but one of the Yellow Zebra team will have been to the camps and will be able to help you out.

8. Don’t be put off by the shoulder season

A number of the parks have shoulder seasons (May/June and November) and people get put off by the title. I am a big fan of travel during this time, because the parks are significantly quieter in terms of vehicles and the camps can be half the price. May/June is a beautiful time in most parks and November is exceptional for game as it is focussed around the dwindling water sources.

9. Use specials to reduce the cost of your trip

A number of camps will offer reduced rates if you spend time in their sister camps, some offer honeymoon specials, while others may offer discounts to families. It is a great way to keep the cost of your trip down!

10. Consider a night on arrival near the airport, to allow for recovery

Safaris are fairly demanding and it is a good idea to get fresh before you start your adventure! Otherwise you may struggle to recover after your flight…

These 10 points should help you get the exact trip that you want, at a price that you like and with the best itinerary! If you'd like to discuss a safari with YZ, feel free to contact us on +1 855 225 1155 or send us an email at [email protected]