Q – You go all over the internet and find all kinds of advice about travel to Africa and it all sounds like so much noise. Yesterday, my therapist, yes I am being serious, told me about your site. I hope you will answer just a few questions. My wife and I are in our early fifties, I work in manufacturing, we’re in good health, and we don’t want to wait until I am retired to start seeing and doing things that take some effort. Our questions are – which tour operators in Africa are really the best, which ones should we avoid, and what month is the best time to see the “Big Five”. How do we begin the process and what will a travel agent charge us to assist?
A – We’d need to know a lot more to make really specific recommendations but let’s do the best we can:
Don’t even think about going on safari unless you are booking with one of the following established, highly respected, feet/offices on the ground firms:
Micato Safaris – Abercrombie & Kent – &Beyond – Africa Adventure Company – Austin-Lehman Adventures – Grey & Company – Wilderness Safaris – African Travel Inc. – Big Five Tours
We would recommend you avoid any firm not on this list although there could be exceptions based on your specific interests.
The best time to go depends on your interest in terms of seeing East Africa or Southern Africa. The “season” for a safari is quite extensive but many travelers go during our summer months. But this is a discussion that occurs after you select the very best program for your “safari expectations”.
The process starts with a “No Sales Pitch” discussion with a professional travel consultant. The rule of thumb should be that there are no charges of any kind when you are booking an established, brochure departure. If your agent is creating a custom safari especially for you, fees hover in the $500-$1000 Per Person range.
We hope this helps and good on you for planning Africa while you are physically able to handle the adventure.