For many, a safari to Africa is a once in a lifetime opportunity that is the outcome of years of saving. So it is understandable that people would want to plan it properly and not compromise the experience by putting together a last-minute trip.
We are often asked, “how far in advance should we plan our safari“? The quick answer is “ideally 9 to 12 months out”. i.e., if you are looking to travel in July/August, then we suggest you look at booking around October, the year before.
For some people though, this is an awfully long time to plan ahead. Who knows what will happen over the course of a busy year, and to pay for and confirm a trip that far in advance can be a bit daunting. But note that the planning itself only takes a few weeks, you just want to start the process well in advance.
The main reason for booking early is availability. Many of the good lodges and camps show very high occupancy rates long in advance, so to avoid disappointment, it is always best to book as soon as possible! Unlike Europe, America or Asia, there is less choice of accommodation options in East Africa and Southern Africa, particularly in safari destinations such as Botswana, Namibia and Uganda. Not only that, but accommodation is also often much smaller, and more exclusive, with many camps and lodges having between 4 and 10 rooms.
We recommend guests not to book any flights until their safari arrangements are confirmed. Booking your flights before you have your safari in place can lead to not being able to book your ideal safari, as you may be left with options that do you match your travel style or level of accommodation.
Book your safari to Africa early, and you are almost guaranteed to stay at the places your heart desires. 🙂