Safari Holidays with Elite Travel Consulting
We, at Elite Travel Consulting, believe that a safari should be more than driving through the bush spotting game. A safari should be a combination of cultural and educational experiences, walking through the bush identifying animal tracks and plant life, and driving from the camp in search of ancient migrations.
Planning a safari is a challenge, and you'll find that the planning aspect is not quite the same as your previous travels. The preparation and anticipation of the actual trip can be almost as exciting as your safari itself! Elite Travel Consulting offers unique itineraries to Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa. In addition, we offer post-safari add-on stays in Dubai, Seychelles, Mauritius, and the Maldives.
The plains of East Africa and Southern Africa are the setting for a range of our exciting safari holidays. Our collection of safari experiences include air safaris, desert safaris, balloon safaris, wildlife safaris and camping safaris.
Our safaris in Kenya allows you to experience the wildlife of the world famous Masai Mara where you can take in the spectacular scenery as you search for the 'Big Five' (buffalo, elephant, leopard, lion and rhino) in their natural environment.
You can also visit the magnificent Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara and Serengeti plains in Tanzania. These Tanzanian reserves offer superb game viewing.
Planning your safari:
We are able to plan and design safaris that will meet all your expectations, and will have you planning your second trip before you return home! Planning your safari and making all the required arrangements is not something that can be done overnight; considerable communication has to be shared between us in order to plan and create the vacation of a lifetime. We look forward to sharing the beauty of Africa with you.
Safari Frequently Asked Questions
Review our Safari Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)Safari Frequently Asked Questions:
Once you have a clear idea of the kind of safari or tour you want, you can search our itineraries section for a personalized selection of trips. We look forward to answering your questions about specific itineraries you discover and to helping you decide on the perfect safari adventure! Below are the main questions you should ask yourself in the beginning the planning process:
Where should I go on safari?
No matter which game parks you visit, you are likely to see a wide array of game in larger numbers than almost anywhere else. For those of you who are as fascinated and perplexed by the great migration of the wildebeest as the scientific community, this phenomenon can be seen here most of the year, depending on where you go. July through September the migration can be seen in Kenya's Masai Mara before they move south into the Serengeti plains of Tanzania, where they ultimately congregate and bear their young in January and February. The entire herd then begins its return to the Masai Mara. Uganda in Central Africa offers gorilla trekking and a rougher safari experience for the adventure-seeker.
Many of East Africa's National Parks and highlights are accessible by both road or air, making it an easy region to navigate. For those who prefer travel by air, an efficient network of local scheduled flights links the different areas; if joining a small group, road safaris can be excellent value for those on a budget. The roads are rough, so travelers with back problems would do better to fly.
The extraordinary diversity of East Africa's landscape is not to be missed! From the snow-capped majesty of Mounts Kilimanjaro and Kenya, to the fantastic Ngorongoro Crater and savannah plains of the Masai Mara and Serengeti, this corner of the continent boasts some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. It is the Africa of your imagination, and has been a classic safari destination for decades, not only for the wildlife but also because of her sweeping, rugged, powerful beauty.
Africa is not just about animals - it is her people which make her an eternally beautiful, fascinating, and perplexing continent. Nowhere else can you witness so readily the tribal cultures of the Masai and Samburu peoples, vividly clothed and beaded in traditional garb, living the way they have for centuries. A friendly "Jambo" will elicit a ready smile and wave, and ample opportunity to learn about and share in another culture.
From the wildest and most remote safari regions to the cosmopolitan culture and beauty of South Africa, southern Africa offers astonishing hospitality and diversity:
Like East Africa, Southern Africa offers an outstanding and rewarding game-viewing experience. One of the reasons for this is that drives are conducted in open 4 x 4 safari vehicles, as opposed to the mini-van which is the most common safari vehicle in East Africa (although there are some exceptions). The open vehicle allows unparalleled visibility and the unique raised seating in some of the vehicles will spoil you forever! Guides in southern Africa are the most highly-trained and respected professionals in their field and their knowledge will be one of the main reasons that your safari to southern Africa surpasses your expectations.
Southern Africa is quite creative in terms of ways to view game. Apart from the usual game drives, you will find that many camps offer night drives as well as walks. You can also do safari by canoe and mokoro, as well as elephant back! Micro lighting, whitewater rafting and bunji-jumping are also possible.
Many of the camps can accommodate no more than 16 guests at a time, ensuring an intimate and non-touristy experience on safari. Often you will see only one or two other vehicles on a game drive and for the rest of your safari, you are truly out in the bush! This suits travelers who want to feel as though they are away from the crowds and off the beaten track.
Beyond the safari experience, the cosmopolitan cities and coastline of South Africa and the striking landscapes of Namibia can be the perfect complement to safari and we encourage you to take advantage of the contrasts of this region.
Indian Ocean area:
There is no doubt about it - some of the best beaches in the world are to be found on the other side of it! The Seychelles, Mauritius, Mozambique and the coastal isles off East Africa offer stunning, sparkling turquoise waters and the powdery white sand beaches that can be found nowhere else. They are the perfect ending for your safari, or as a destination in their own right.
The exotic island cultures in these countries are varied and complex, amalgams of native peoples, colonizing influences and migrant forces which have come together to flavor these islands with colorful languages, cuisines and customs.
Islands of the Indian Ocean offer a surprising array of indigenous species of flora and fauna, from the countless coral reefs and marine life to the remarkable coco de mer, found only in the Seychelles. Far from being a series of beach resorts, these islands can lead the interested traveler and SCUBA enthusiast on a fascinating aquatic safari!
When is a good time to go?
You will hear varying ideas about the timing of your trip, but keep in mind that people travel year round to all the destinations on this website. Each season has its advantages, so if you have set dates for travel, chances are you will be able to have a great trip no matter where you are going. It is important to understand the seasonal trends and how that will affect your trip; but remember that weather is variable and so it is quite possible to go for days without rain during the peak of the rainy season, or have thundershowers in the middle of the dry season!
East Africa and Central Africa The long rains are from early April through early June, and the short rains from late November through December. It is often less expensive to travel during the long rainy season. Dry seasons offer excellent visibility and more reliable road conditions, and game tends to congregate around the limited water sources, making the animals easier to find. July and August are generally extremely busy in East Africa, offering comfortable temperatures in addition to being a popular time for travel world-wide … so be sure to book well in advance.
Southern Africa The rainy season runs mainly from late November through mid-April in the safari regions; however if you are traveling to South Africa, the southern Cape is experiencing summer at that time and is a wonderful place to visit. The Cape area can be cold and rainy during their winter from June through August. Often high season rates for the safari regions go into effect in July so it is sometimes possible to save a bit of money by traveling prior to that - May and June can be delightful months to travel. Due to the smaller size of safari camps and lodges in southern Africa, it is necessary to book well in advance, particularly for travel from June through September. Weather Details
Indian Ocean Islands Generally the weather is similar to that of southern Africa, with the summer rains lasting from November through April, with occasional cyclones during that time. The dry season from May to October is ideal.
What kinds of activities are available?
- Canoe Safaris
- Walking Safaris
- Mobile Tented Safaris
- Elephant Back Safaris
- Horseback & Camelback Safaris
- Gorilla Trekking
- Bird watching Safaris
- Participatory Camping Safaris
What is my budget?
This is one of the most important questions to consider when selecting a trip. While there are some travelers with an unlimited budget, most of our clients have a price range in mind, which is extremely important in helping us select an appropriate safari for you. The following are factors that affect the cost of a trip:
Level of Luxury Naturally, the more luxurious the safari, the more expensive the trip. Safari camps can range from $200 to $700 per person per night, not including transfers, which are frequently by air. Try to determine what you can realistically afford, and keep in mind that in general, you get what you pay for: safaris are no exception.
Length of Trip Adding another week onto your trip can add more to the total cost than you may have originally planned. The per day per person budget is a good rule of thumb for determining how long you can travel. Simply shortening a trip by one day can cut the cost by hundreds of dollars. On the other hand, the time and expense in getting to Africa is significant. So we would encourage you to spend the extra time to tour this amazing part of the world, as rushing your trip to save money is rarely worthwhile.
Activities The safari portion of your trip is likely to be the most costly. Safari camps are generally all-inclusive, which means the cost of the accommodations, meals, guides, game activities, and park entry fees are included. Staying at a hotel or a beach resort is often less expensive than a safari camp because you pay for meals and activities, as you choose, while you are there. Combining a safari with a few days at the beach or with a self-drive tour along the Garden Route in Cape Town, for instance, can make a trip more affordable.
Season High season prices can vary quite dramatically from the low season rates. Rates for high season are in effect for a reason, as often the game viewing is at its best during these times of year and space is at a premium. However, if you are flexible with your travel dates, and can travel in low season, the price of your trip will be lower. You will find the areas less crowded and have less difficulty confirming space.
How do you like to travel?
This is probably the least tangible of all the factors, but one of the most fun to determine!
Luxury, Moderate or Rustic? The level of accommodation that you are expecting is important to consider - unabashed luxury or 2-man dome tents? We prefer an itinerary with consistent levels of accommodation throughout. It is possible to combine different levels of accommodation on different parts of your trip; however we are adamant that you have the right expectations for each of the places you go.
Who is Traveling? The age range and makeup of your party should be taken into account. Some safari camps do not allow children under age 12; some mobile camping safaris do not allow guests over the age of 55. A family has different requirements than a honeymoon couple. If you are traveling on business, this may affect our suggestion for your safari; if you are traveling alone, some safaris are better choices than others.
Small Group or Independent? Most of our clients are well-traveled and enjoy a combination of small group and independent travel. Groups are generally no larger than 8 - 16, with age limits and set departure dates. Independent travel is obviously much more flexible, allowing you to depart at any time, travel for as long as you wish, to the camps of your choice. While we call it "independent travel," there is always someone to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your safari camp or hotel, so even solo travelers can feel comfortable knowing that they will be well-looked after on the ground.
Do I Travel by Road or Air? Both options are not available everywhere; however, this is a question to consider in selecting a trip. Travel by air, while generally more expensive, is the most efficient means of transportation, transferring you between safari camps easily and with plenty of time to enjoy activities at both camps, which is why you are there! Generally the planes are small, so those with difficulties with small aircraft should plan their trips accordingly. Travel by road can be draining and definitely time-consuming. Nevertheless, it affords you the opportunity to see some of the countryside and local villages between destinations, perhaps giving you a more realistic glimpse into a day in the life of the people whose country you are visiting.
Guides and Vehicles: A great guide can make all the difference, and African Portfolio endeavors to use the best guides available. East Africa is currently standardizing its guide requirements, while southern Africa has long been known for its lengthy and intensive guide training. In East Africa, you are likely to have the same guide throughout if traveling by road, which allows you to get to know him or her, and build upon each day's experiences. If you are flying or traveling in southern Africa, you will have guides from each camp who are thoroughly knowledgeable about the concessions or National Parks that they traverse on a daily basis. Vehicles in southern Africa are generally open 4 x 4 land rovers or land cruisers, while most vehicles in East Africa are minivans with an opening roof hatch to allow you the best visibility possible. It is possible to have a 4 x 4 vehicle in East Africa, although this option is more expensive.