Friday, January 17, 2014

Booking a Safari Tour – Five Easy Steps!

Are you new to East Africa? You will need to strictly follow the tour guidelines in order to be successful on your safari. The reason why this is so is that it involves quite a number of tour operators, itineraries and parks which you will be compelled to remember. However, here are 5 important steps to help you book a safari tour at the Maasai Mara Safari Park.
1. Find out if the tour operator is registered with TATO or KATO
The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and their Kenyan counterparts (KATO) ensure that their members operate according to the set standards in terms of customer service and reliability. Ensure that the company you engage when booking a safari is registered with either TATO or KATO when planning for your East African Tour. You can find information appertaining to this online using either of these two links ( or
2. Go through customer review on past customer experience about you tour operator
Facebook, Tripadvisor and other resources provide great information about customer testimonials. The quality of transport services, level of organisation, and driver expertise among other important information can be easily obtained from the experience of past clients
3. Decide the safari you want
Here, there are various things you will need to consider before making any decision about your tour. Ask yourself the following questions:
  • When do I start my journey?
  • What experience do I want and what should I see? (Things like elephants, Big cats, game viewing while relaxed, the Great Migration etc.)
  • How much do I want to spend? (Do I have enough money to enable me travel by minibus, a safari flight or using a 4x4 vehicle? What kind of luxury do I need?)
  • How long will the safari tour be?
  • What is the exact number of people on this safari?
Once you have gone through these questions and found the correct answers, you can then engage your tour operator who will be most willing to make a good plan for you and your group.
4. Know what can be included and what can not
When you are searching for an itinerary and cost, consider the following:
  • Park fees
  • Airport pickup as well as drop off
  • Domestic flights if need arises
  • All types of meals you need – It is also good to remember that all beverages will be settled at the camps or lodges. Ensure that there is an optional Flying Doctor to offer free medication in the event there occurs any emergency. Thus set aside $20 per person.
Remember activities that are optional
Since this may be your first and last safari in your life, it is important that you consider all interesting activities you can ever think off. For instance:
  • Visit to Maasai Village (20 to 25 per head) – You will definitely want to visit the village and see for yourself how the Maasai do their stuff and it is a good opportunity that provides you with a great experience.
  • Safari at Hot Air Balloon ( Set aside approx. $450/person) – Just imagine how it feels to float on the Serenget or Maasai Mara for an hour in the early times of the morning before taking your breakfast?
  • Set aside approx. $35 /person for Sundowner – It is actually the best way to relax and pass time after a day’s long activities with a bottle or two while you watch the sun go disappear on the west.
  • Bush Breakfast /Dinner (Between $40 and 60/ person) – Devour you dinner in a stunning place located far from the lodge and enjoy the privacy especially if you travelled as a couple or in a group.

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