by Chris Walker Bush
April 24, 2016

Booking your safari vacation, whether it's your first or not, can be at once both exciting and stressful. After all, you're putting your money and your hard-earned vacation time into this, so you want it to be as memorable and exciting as humanly possible.

Here at Shadows of Africa, we've been planning bespoke safari packages for clients from around the world for almost a decade. With a team from East Africa, Europe, the United States, the Middle East, Australia, and Asia - we're confident we are the best people to match you to your perfect safari.

With that being said, there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself that will help us to design the absolute best safari experience for you.

#1 - What is your travel budget?

African safaris can range in price from very affordable camping safaris all the way up to exorbitant luxury junkets.

Before preparing to plan your safari experience, it's important to figure out what your budget is going to be and, perhaps more importantly, where you want that budget to go.

Do you want a shorter trip with luxurious accommodations? Or are you more interested in extending your stay a few days by camping out under the stars?

Do you have a little extra cash to splash on a hot air balloon safari, a flight to Zanzibar, or an extra few days in Rwanda trekking with gorillas?

hot air balloon safari While expensive, a hot air balloon over the Serengeti or Masai Mara is a truly unique experience.

Knowing your budget and where your priorities lie are important in figuring out what your experience will be.

#2 - When are you looking at travelling?

Africa is a fantastic year-round destination, and the East African nations are especially so due to their proximity to the equator.

Are your dates set? Or are you flexible and able to travel at any time you like?

Wet season in Tanzania and Kenya means less tourists and cheaper hotel rates, while high season during the northern Wildebeest Migration is likely to see greater demand for accommodation.

Certain parks are better during the wet season or dry season, while others are perfect year round.

You'll be pleased to know that Zanzibar and the Kenya Coast are fantastic year round!

zanzibar beach Zanzibar is flawless year round.

#3 - What are your goals for this trip?

This is without a doubt the most important question you should ask yourself.

What are the sights and experiences you most want to be included on your trip?

Do you want to experience the majesty of Kilimanjaro up close?

kilimanjaro summit Climbing Kilimanjaro is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Are you eager to see chimpanzees or gorillas in their natural habitats?

Is experiencing Masai culture on your to do list?

africa amini life masai lodge Spending a day with the Masai people is an iconic African experience.

Has seeing Stone Town always been on your bucket list?

Coming to us with a list of the things you'd like your trip to include allows us to build the rest of the itinerary around that. Knowing what is most important to you is vital to tailoring the experience to your tastes.

#4 - How do you like to travel?

What is your travel style? Do you like everything to be planned meticulously? Or are you the kind who likes to fly by the seat of their pants?

Do you enjoy roughing it out in nature? Or is having a pool and a comfortable bed a priority?

four seasons serengeti The Serengeti does luxury like few other places on earth.

Do you enjoy hiking? Or are you all about those game drives and the chance to photograph animals from relative comfort?

Do you want a guide who will tell you all you need to know about the animals you see? Or are you after a guide who will sit back and let you experience it all without distractions?

Letting us know what you look for in a trip is a huge help.

#5 - What special considerations should your travel agent be aware of?

Are you travelling with kids and need there to be shorter drives and more for them to do?

Do you require WiFi every step of the way so you can stay in touch with the kids or the office?

Do you subscribe to a special diet that we'll need to cater to?

Do you require a guide with ornithological expertise or fluent in a language other than English?

We can cater to almost any special request, but we do need to know about it in advance!

What are you waiting for?

If you've gone over the above questions and you feel like you've got a clear idea in your head, why not get in touch?

You don't need to know the logistics of it all (that's our job), but contact us to get started on plotting your dream safari experience today!

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