By Claudia Smargiasso
We get asked this question fairly often and while they are two sides to the same coin, we understand that booking your long-dreamed-of safari is a big endeavour, and something to be thought through from all angles. To ensure that our guests have the best experience, we’ve provided some guidelines below – a handy pros and cons list, if you will.
You’re specific about what you want to see and where you want to go
Booking in advance has many advantages in that you’ll have more options in terms of accommodation and flights, and able to snap up the very best spots before everyone else. This is essential for peak times, for example, if you know that you’re interested in seeing the Great Migration at the time when the herds are barreling across crocodile-infested rivers, then booking in advance will go a long way to avoiding disappointment, as camps and lodges do tend to book out earlier.
If you’re specific about what experience you’re after, then booking in advance is best. How far in advance you’ll have to book is influenced heavily by seasonality and popularity.
If you’re a family planning to travel together, or if your dates are restricted by your job or other commitments, then booking in advance is recommended.
You’re flexible and able to travel at short notice
That said, the other side of this coin, is waiting until the very last minute in the hopes of scoring a lower rate. While this is sometimes possible, it does mean you will need to have your visas and flights booked at significantly shorter notice, which can be tricky. Add to this, that you’ll also need to be available to travel within a few short weeks from the date of booking, which can be tough if you have small children or need to get approval from work.
Snapping up last-minute specials can be quite stressful in that you don’t have long to hem and haw over your choices. The deals are usually only available for a short while, and often sell up fairly quickly, leaving the indecisive slack-jawed as the deal swooshes by.
If you’re flexible and free to travel at short notice, then waiting for a last minute offer is probably for you.
Other things to consider
If you like the way booking last-minute sounds, keep in mind that this also means that unlike booking in advance, you will have to pay the full amount for your trip in advance.
Another thing to consider is cancellations. Of course, no one plans to cancel their vacation, but cancellation policies should be taken into account. The closer you get to your travel date, the bigger the cancellation fee. In fact, if you cancel your trip within 30 of days of your departure date, you’re likely to lose the full amount.
Of course, there’s usually more to booking a safari than what is detailed here. We always recommend chatting to your safari expert to ensure you get the best advice for your particular travel needs and circumstances.
Whether you thrive on the thrill and spontaneity of last-minute deal hunting or prefer the certainty and safety of planning advance, check out our special offers here or contact us to begin planning your ideal safari getaway.