We know you can’t wait to travel after this pandemic is over. Start saving now for an amazing post-COVID dream safari!

The “dream safari” is something the vast majority of us want to experience in our lifetime. A bucket list item, no doubt. Often, the “dream” is as far as we go but, there are a number of things you can do to make your dream of a safari a reality!  You can have an extraordinary experience that is relatively cost effective with lots of research, planning, and balancing what to spend your money on as well as what you can save. 

Envision what your dream safari will look like before embarking, including determining the costs.

  • Reach out to your tour operator to determine the approximate cost of your safari. Also, see if the tour operator can work with your budget to create a custom trip. (At Adumu Safaris, we are glad to work with a range of budgets and take pride in offering you the most for your money.) This is the point to get excited and focused on a specific itinerary, and also time to get focused on your savings goal.
  • Search on Kayak, Expedia, or similar websites to gain a sense of airfare costs.
  • Plan to purchase travel insurance, which can range from 2 – 10% of the total cost of the trip and airfare.

Do the math and set a savings goal

Let’s say that your 14-day mid-range/luxury safari and coastal holiday will cost $6500 per person plus $1200 airfare and $385 in travel insurance for a total of $8085 per adult. Let’s say you plan to take your partner as well. That’s $16170 total. Most African safaris are all-inclusive (except for souvenirs, sometimes alcoholic beverages, and any diversions you decided to take from the itinerary), so the total that you calculate is very close to all you’ll need. However, it doesn’t hurt to add a few hundred for extra items and shopping money. Let’s round everything up to $16500.

Now you can figure out how long it will take you to save. 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, 4 years…whatever it takes, it is worth it!

Understand the payment schedule

Most people should start planning their safari at least 6-12 months ahead of departure, preferably 12 – 24 months before. If you plan to save over a long period for your trip, it is ok to contact your tour operator even earlier. At Adumu Safaris, we are happy to help you dream and plan as early as you wish!

Be mindful that a deposit that can range anywhere from $500 to 30% of your trip is required at booking. Booking is not the time you reach out to your tour operator for information, but rather the time you are ready to set your dates and reserve your trip.

The balance of your trip is usually due about 2 months before departure, sometimes as late as 30 days before. Last-minute travelers (within 30 days of departure) need to pay the full balance at the time of booking.

International flights are best booked 12 months or so ahead of departure for the best rates and options. It is probably best to put a deposit on your safari, buy airfare soon after, and buy your trip insurance soon after that. Then pay your trip balance according to your tour operator’s schedule. At Adumu Safaris, we are happy to arrange payment plans that work for you so that you can book your trip while still saving for your final payments.

Do/redo a household budget and see where you can cut costs to save for your safari

Take a look at the inessential expenses. Could you be cutting items like streaming services, dining out, clothing purchases, gym memberships, entertainment, activities, other vacations? Can you reduce your cell phone bill, your internet bill, your energy bill? You would be surprised–if you keep things basic now, you can be enjoying your dream safari much sooner than you would have believed!

Use Travel Rewards Credit Cards

You can get more bang for your buck with travel rewards programs. When booking flights and lodging, you may qualify for rewards that can be used at later times. At Adumu Safaris, we have heard many clients tell us that their rewards points are paying for their airfare to East Africa and more. Carefully acquire these points while you are saving, and you might find yourself with a free flight when you are ready to go!

Other tips for lowering the cost of your safari

  • Travel with a larger group or join a scheduled safari. (We have affordable scheduled safaris for single travelers.)
  • Go on a safari during low seasons (long rains in April, May, land short rains in late October and November). NB: Not all destinations are accessible during low seasons, but many are absolutely wonderful to visit at these times.
  • Talk to your tour operator about incorporating some of the less popular parks and other off-the-beaten-track wildlife areas and cultural excursions
  • Consider extending your holiday with a homestay or volunteer stay to get to know local people and culture and give back during your journey
  • If you are on a very tight budget and don’t mind roughing it, ask about basic tent camping options
  • Find a flight deal (Google flights, Kayak, Expedia, etc.) and base your travel dates on these fares
  • Work with a tour operator (like Adumu Safaris) who customizes trips based on your budget.

Do you have more tips on how to save and afford your dream safari? We would love to read your tips in the comments section below!

Karibu Africa!

 

 

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