This is a question that every safari traveller needs to ask and also understand. We wanted to share a simple and practical view that would help you understand the difference and also aid you in making your decision.
Lets start with a practical example that is directly linked to the end experience that you will have. Once you have decided on which person you are then you will probably have a good idea as to the experience you want and are looking for.
The Analogy : Your team wins in the championship finals. Do you want to remember the victory as the person who scored the winning points or are you just happy to be one of the players on the team ?
What we saying is that there is a fundamental difference between both of these experiences. Both of you will come away having experienced something but one will take home a far more personal experience than the other.
Right, so you are on a Open Safari Vehicle and ready to head off into the savanna –
A Shared Safari will have up to 10 guests on the vehicle that you will not know nor ever have seen before. Its great because you have the opportunity to meet new people, share the safari experience and even the cost, yes ? well not quite. The cost is usually the same and you will quickly learn that everyone has their own expectations and bucket list. Soon after the first row says they want to go straight to the Lions, the second row wants Giraffe and the 3rd row has dreams of spending the day with Elephants. As soon as you are on Safari someone needs to go to the bathroom and oh, by the way the first row is only booked for a Half Day and the rest for a Full. So can you see how this will now turn out.
Private Safaris, be it for the day or an Overnight Safari conjure up the idea of exclusivity, personalised service, a 5 star touch and that all comes with a big cost. Well thats not the truth. Particularly when visiting Kruger. Yes sure if we change the destination to one of the Private Reserves this can increase your costs but regardless there is one thing that you should never skimp on, thats the experience. Private Safaris offer you YOUR personalised story board and YOUR tailored memories and as for Kruger National Park Safaris, this can be achieved with a very middle of the range budget. What you want is your own guide, your own vehicle, your own itinerary and your own memories. This always will be the best way to experience safari.
Having your own itinerary is critical, this means that you travel with flexibility and the opportunity to tailor your experience. Once you have this finalised the last and most important element on any Safari is your guide. Your guide has the ability to completely enhance your experience. They can single handedly make or break your Safari. Great guides use an elaborate story board that is filled with interesting facts, wonder-filled stories and perfectly timed tit-bits that will leave you enthralled and always wanting more. On that day and for years to come the wildlife will stick out but a great guide will be remembered forever.
Be very clear on the type of experience you want to have. Remember not to assume that “Private” means expensive and if you have travelled so far and dreamed for so long, don’t water down your experience for the sake of a 10% saving. Invest in your experience, travel like to your own story and make memories that will be all yours.
If you would like to touch base and plan your Safari or just need some honest, on the ground experience, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org – ill be glad to share my views and help you out.