Kenya Safaris – Effective Tips For Cost-Cutting and Saving Big!
I know not of a single soul on planet Earth, that would not like to make some savings – of time or money. I have here a few tips on how to save on your desert safari deals to Kenya. Read on:
Consider Budget Travel on Your Safari
Budget travel does not necessarily mean pitching tents. Though that happens to be the cheapest way to travel around, you can still travel budget by opting to use budget hotels and lodges throughout your itinerary. Major cities and towns have hotels that provide decent services even without the 5star label. Even within the parks and reserves, there are lodges that offer good services with reasonable pricing. The Safari experience remains the same since you are in the same parks.
Try Joining Other Safari Enthusiasts
If you are traveling alone, or are just 2 of you, the option of joining others who may be already committed to doing a similar safari will reduce your cost considerably. This option works for persons who are willing to make a few sacrifices. For example, the fact that the other persons may be total strangers to you, may not be an easy thing to deal with. But if that is not an issue, then why not?
Travel in Groups of 6 persons or so
The cost of transport takes a huge chunk of the total cost of your safari. When you are considering doing your safari by bus, then having a group of 6 or 7 persons traveling together can result into such a saving. For example, a standard 7-day safari in Kenya, taken during the peak season (June to October) would cost US$2003 per person for 2 persons. On the contrary if there were 6 persons traveling on the same safari program, during the same period, the price would be US$1530 per person. That is a saving of about 24% for every person in that group.
Travel During Cheaper Seasons
The most expensive period to travel to any wildlife park or game reserve in Kenya is the period between June and October (is it because of the great Migration in the Masai Mara?) and between Dec 21 and January 2 (Christmas and New Year festivities). During these periods, the hotels and lodges charge higher rates and for this reason, your safari package will inevitably cost more. The periods in the months out of these are either low season, mid or shoulder, whichever term is used. Apart from the very wet months of April and May (which you would want to avoid), the other months are good enough for your safari adventure. The only thing to remember here is that if your main interest is that great migration, then you have no choice but to travel between July and October, and pay a little bit more, of course.
Avoid the Crowded Periods
Everybody wants to be in the Masai Mara Game Reserve during the migration period. This can be understood as the wildebeest migration is simply awe-inspiring. This means the lodges will be facing a high demand for their accommodation space. They know this and will therefore make you pay for it. If you have witnessed the migration before, or if it is not particularly important to you, stay away from this rush. You will save money. Mombasa experiences similar demands in the month of December, especially from December 20th.
Book Your Safari in Advance
Some hotels and safari lodges will offer discounts to persons who book and commit early. Early may mean anything from 6 months to 12 months. Look out for such offers and take advantage of them.
Take Advantage of Conferences, Meeting etc and sneak in a Safari
If you find yourself in Kenya for a conference, workshop, or any other type of business meeting, and there is a day or 2 free, consider taking a wildlife safari. There are parks that you can visit the same day and come back. There are others you can visit if you have at least 1 night. The thinking here is that your flight costs into the Kenya have already been met and you only have to worry about the safari. Think about it.
State your Budget to your Safari Operator
If you are working with a tour operator to organize your safari, let them know how much you are able and willing to spend. In most cases, they will work out a program that allows you to enjoy a decent safari within your budget. This simple act not only saves you money, it also saves you time spent on looking and shopping around.