What Determines The Cost of a Trip to Africa?
It is well-known that a trip to Africa can be expensive. Other than high international airfares, there many other factors involved in the complexity of the price of the trip.
In safari country, trips are quite inclusive of all services, including accommodations, meals, activities, park entrance fees, cost of guides and transport. Many properties add non-premium liquor and laundry as well. On fly-in safaris such as you might find in Botswana, Kenya or Tanzania, internal flights between properties must be included. It’s best equated to a cruise that is fully inclusive of all shore excursions. Born Free Safaris’ inclusions will be clearly listed on our presentations.
While the high quality of our journeys may put some of our rates above some budget operators that cut corners, overcrowd vehicles or don’t take you to the best and proper locations, we will work with you to provide the journey you envision, within a reasonable budget, without sacrificing quality. If you’ve found a trip you like with a competitor, show it to us, and we will analyze it honestly, with your best interests in mind, and show you how we can do better, either in itinerary or cost. And if we can’t do better than the competition, we’ll tell you so. Putting you on the right path to follow your dream trip is always our number one priority, even if it the right path is with our industry colleagues.
Note: Born Free does not charge a service charge. We receive preferential rates from our suppliers and pass on excellent rates to you.
As you will see in this overview, there is a wide spectrum of items that can affect the costing.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN COMPARING TRIPS:
1. Type of accommodations
Small camps and bush lodges are generally more expensive than the big hotel chains. Tented camps are not necessarily cheaper than lodges, in fact most cases more expensive. Born Free does prefer the small properties, as this is the way to really feel the ‘real Africa’. The more remote you are, the more pristine the environment and of course the costlier due to flights and service quality. When staying in a big lodge that most ‘name’ companies use, there is nothing mystical about seeing 6 vehicles heading out parade style in the morning or circling around a pride of lions. Born Free strives to keep you away from the crowds as much as possible.
2. How many guests are in a vehicle?
Always be careful that your vehicle is not overcrowded.
3. How many game drives are included?
Unlimited or just morning and afternoon?
4. How many days are spent in parks versus towns?
5. Certain park fees are more expensive than others.
Serengeti versus Arusha National Park, for example. Ngorongoro Crater and parks which require gorilla permits are also higher than others.
6. Are there flights to bush properties included, or is the trip all driving?
7. Are there additional activities included on the trip such as night drives, village visits, entrance fees, wine tasting?
8 . Is the trip designed to maximize game viewing on your selected travel date?
Set departures dates should change locations from season to season.
1. Be aware of how much time is spent on the road versus actual game viewing and quality experiences.
Avoid trips that spend too much time going to too many places, and not enough quality time game viewing. We have popular competitors who operate good trips overall, but spend too much time going from place to place. While hitting more locations sounds good, roads are rough and when you get to a park you are still in the vehicle driving.
Born Free believes that one should do a quality of experiences over quantity of places. It is more cost effective to visit one country and do it well rather than spreading yourself thin. Spend your time game viewing, visiting villages rather than transiting from one area to another for no gain. A prime example is there is little difference in terrain between the Serengeti and the Mara.
2. Certain countries that are just costlier than others.
In some cases, it’s a case of popularity vs availability of a particular country or area. In others, it’s the cost involved with getting to the more remote regions in Botswana, Namibia, areas of Zambia or Southern Tanzania.
3. The more countries you visit, the more expensive your trip.
4. Time in cities, beach locations, areas that do not include all meals such as Cape Town, and those without park fee will cost you less.
5. It is possible to travel in shoulder season for lower costs, but we do not recommend low season.
It simply costs too much money to get to Africa not to have the best experience for the cost.
Born Free does have a highly professional independent air manager. We can organize all your flights as required. There is no need to go to an outside source.
Our prices will be the same as on-line or better. The benefit is that we can access your air once in route if a flight is delayed or other issue. If you book on-line you must be the person who calls the airline or ticketing service.
International airfares are considered all airfares between countries. That may include intercontinental flights such as those between South Africa and Victoria Falls or Uganda and Tanzania.
It is to your benefit to have as many flights on your long haul ticket as possible. It is some protection for delayed flights or lost luggage. If you are using points all segments might not be able to be ‘purchased’ together. In this case, Born Free will assist on any flights that will be needed.
We will include flights between certain areas within your safari in the total costing. They will be designated clearly on what is included on your Born Free presentation.