Kenya is the ultimate wildlife Safari destination. It is the home of the famous Big 5: The Lion, The Elephant, The Rhino, The elusive Leopard and Buffalo. You find very few other places on the African continent where you can view magnificent wild animals in their natural set up.
Kenya is also a land of immense diversity. The white sandy beaches at the coast, the snow-peaked Mount Kenya, the breath-taking landscaping of the Great Rift Valley, diverse culture and traditions manifest in the different ethnic groups and their varied languages, music, songs, dances etc
With the economic recession staggering and in no hurry to leave the household budgets, more and more people are looking at ways of enjoying vacations, including safaris without spending a fortune. The following are some ideas on how to decide on the most suitable and affordable safari in Kenya.
Private Group Safari
One of the ways to bring down the cost of travel is to find like-minded persons within your locality, family, community or even online, so that there is a considerably large number of persons – from 8 persons upwards – who want to do the same safari itinerary and at the same time. Having such a group of people automatically offers you the advantage to negotiate a bargain with travel agents, hotels, safari lodges and tour operators. All members agree upon all aspects of the safari in advance, as the safari is planned. Besides the group discount that you may win, sharing and spreading out the cost of transportation will make a huge differences in terms of cost.
The downside of group safari is that it might take quite a while before you can bring together a group of persons and convince them to buy on your idea. Diverse interests can also pose a challenge when trying to meet each individual’s desires on the safari itinerary.
Self Drive Safari
Self drive safaris, although more popular in South Africa in comparison with Kenya, can also present an affordable way to enjoy Kenya’s wildlife riches. Flexibility and freedom of choice is a major advantage here. You decide the type and size of vehicle to hire, the type of lodges to use for accommodation and the length of the safari. You are in total control of your activities and will only pay for what you really need. This obviously gives you a lot of control over the entire budget of the safari.
Self-drive safaris in Kenya calls for more planning and research, especially with regard to the itinerary routing. The road conditions and general security may demand that you engage persons who are more familiar with the destinations for first-hand information. You may seek help from friends who may have traveled recently or contact a local tour operator for guidance.
Budget Camping Safari
As the name suggests, budget camping involve traveling on budget facilities. Needless to say, this type of safari is best suitable for the young and adventurers. Accommodation and meals are normally based on budget canvas camping set up. Facilities at the campsites are comparatively basic – sometimes involving the use of sleeping bags and the like.
Set Departure Safaris
Fixed or set departure safaris also offer an affordable way to enjoy a safari in Kenya. This is a form of group safari only that group members meet at the point of commencement of the safari, as opposed to meeting in advance and planning together. Each person books his or her own seat on the spaces available on a particular departure. The saving on cost is however the same as that of private group safari. The small inconvenience is the fact that these safaris offer no flexibility in terms of activities and routine. Everything has to go as planned and everything must follow the prescribed routine.