Tips to Plan Spontaneous Travel Adventures with Go2Africa
Last-Minute Safari Experiences in Africa
Cape Town, South Africa (June 1, 2022): It’s common for people to plan their safari trips up to a year in advance to get the best prices and availability and allow themselves time to look forward to this bucket list experience. While it’s always advisable to plan ahead for a trip to the African continent, there are many instances of visitors wanting to simply pack up and go on a last-minute safari and not everyone can commit to booking a safari well in advance. If that type of traveler is you then look no further because, with over two decades of experience in the safari business, Go2Africa can collate your travel plans in the space of a few days, with quick, expert planning.
Ready to Start Planning Your Last-Minute Safari?
Looking at availability in the next 3 months, although travel is significantly up there is still inventory available for last-minute bookings.
Southern Africa: Destinations offer more flexibility for last-minute safari bookings, and if you’re planning on traveling to only one country, there will be fewer delays and a more seamless process. Perennial safari favorite Kruger is ~60% booked out already for June - August 2022. Big five safari alternatives are between Johannesburg and Botswana, both the Waterberg and Madikwe offer fantastic malaria-free safaris, and south of Kruger in the Eastern Cape there is still availability at many of the smaller malaria-free, private game reserves.
East Africa: Planning should ideally be a maximum of ten days to a month before arrival because visas need to be purchased online. The Africa Safari Experts at Go2Africa are some of the most well-traveled, award-winning, and knowledgeable people in the industry and their sole purpose is to make sure that your entire trip is tailor-made to your specifications and far exceeds your expectations.
Both Masai Mara (Kenya), Serengeti and the nearby Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania) are ~70% full for June-August 2022.
For Kenya, alternative safari destinations with availability include Amboseli National Park and Tsavo East National Park. For Tanzania both Tarangire and Lake Manyara offer more availability for a traditional safari, whilst Mahale National Park (think chimps, forests and lakes) is a great wildlife alternative to a standard East Africa safari.
Mafia and Lamu islands offer an alternative to Zanzibar (which has limited options now) for a short hop island add-on after an East Africa safari.
TIPS TO BOOKING LAST-MINUTE
USE AN EXPERT TO BOOK
There are many reasons to book with an expert safari tour operator from first-hand experience and inside information to 24/7 on-safari support and the best flight and lodge availability, at the best prices. It’s best to consult with your expert before booking your international flight, and to take advantage of allowing them to handle the entire trip right from the beginning to your journey back home – convenient and stress-free. When using an expert to book, travelers benefit from exclusive access to experiences, as well as the resources that the average consumer is not able to or are simply not aware of.
UP-TO-DATE DOCS & VACCINATIONS
Check the validity of your passport and that it is not due to expire within 6 months. You need sufficient blank pages and to err on the side of caution, leave one page per country you’re intending on visiting.
Check if a visa is required and whether you are able to get it on arrival, or if you must wait approximately a week prior to your arrival.
Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa are countries that do not require visas for US travelers, making them excellent last-minute options.
Before making any decisions it’s vital that you understand what vaccinations are required in Africa.
Consult with your local doctor as soon as possible before you plan on leaving.
ALLOW FOR FLEXIBILITY
Be open to taking expert advice and don’t focus on a specific location or lodge for a last-minute safari booking. Instead, think of the type of experience you imagine having. Do you want to witness the Great Migration? Do you want a digital detox in the open wilderness with just you, a guide, and a mosquito net? Do you want barefoot luxury on a tropical island? If you can dream it, your Africa Safari Expert will be able to tailor-make it, but because time is a factor, certain camps and lodges could be at capacity for your chosen travel dates. Flexibility is important and Africa has a plethora of options, some well-known, some hidden gems, and some you possibly hadn’t thought possible or even existed. Another point to keep in mind is allowing some flexibility by a day on either side of your trip.
SIMPLER IS BETTER
The more destinations you include on an itinerary, the more logistically challenging it can become. If you’re traveling on a last-minute safari, you should consider trying to keep things simple to avoid any unnecessary complications. African destinations are vast and spending more time in one place can be greatly beneficial. You can immerse yourself deeper into cultural pursuits, spend more time on safari and try a broader range of experiences. Many destinations, although paired perfectly with others, can stand alone and in some cases, provide a richer travel journey.
This will also work well with the nitty-gritty of travel planning. You’ll find it easier to book space at one lodge or camp for an extended stay of say four or five nights than you would be trying to find different lodges and camps for each night.
PITFALLS OF OFFSEASON
With any travel destination, there are peak seasons and off-peak seasons, in terms of travel budgets, peak seasons will always be more expensive and in some cases, more so if you are planning on traveling on a last-minute safari. Last-minute discounts are always on offer and your Africa Safari Expert will be keenly aware of all of them, but sometimes finding space at that special lodge or camp will cost you more than you expected.
PROVIDE AS MUCH INFO AS POSSIBLE
When you are traveling on short notice, it’s imperative you be as specific as possible to be able to be presented with options that are suited perfectly for you. Take some time to research on the website, perusing tours or accommodations that you feel would be a good fit for you. This is a great springboard for an expert to work from. It’s also important to give a timeline of more than one option and your specific travel dates for a last-minute safari. The more information provided, the less stress for everyone and it saves time on going back and forth with multiple options.
What flights are you considering?
What budget are you working with?
How many days do you want to spend traveling and where?
What are your areas of interest: are you wanting a cultural experience, a conservation experience, a classic safari, or a beach escape, maybe both?
Are you traveling with kids? What are their ages?
Plan your Safari with Go2Africa now.
For any new bookings until June 30, 2022, affected by COVID-related restrictions and complications, Go2Africa commits to no cancellation fees, trip deferment with no penalties, and 100% travel credit if canceled 65 days before your travel date.
Go2Africa is a multi-award-winning tour operator based out of Cape Town that curates exceptional, personalized African vacations, specializing in safaris, plus wineland and gastronomy experiences, city escapes, beach, diving, and golf tours across the continent. Since 1998, the team has been committed to building first-hand knowledge of every destination, lodge, and activity they recommend from their 3000+ partners. Working across 15 countries in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, 100% of their revenues stay in Africa, supporting local communities and conservation projects, making a difference long after their clients return home. With an entire team of African-born and raised specialists, including seven named as Conde Nast Traveler’s Top Travel Specialists in 2021, travelers are in expert hands. From spotting the Big 5 to following the Wildebeest Migration, trekking into the rainforests to encounter endangered mountain gorillas, enjoy world-class scuba diving and whale watching, or simply enjoying sundowner drinks on an endless savannah, Go2Africa can help create the perfect experience to immerse oneself in the magic of Africa - one of life’s most incredible experiences.