8 Great Exquisite East African Wildlife Safari Tips

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Best Africa Small group Tailor-made tours-Giraffe in Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by Augustine Tours

Wondering how much it costs to go on an African wildlife safari and when to plan a safari trip to Africa? Five things you need to know about exquisite East African wildlife safari in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

First Time on an African Tailor-made Travel Holidays

Most first-time safari goers need African wildlife safari guide tips. Find tips for your first African safari on private or group tours when looking for gorilla trekking, and wildlife game drives in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Burundi. Somebody I met during a trade fair in Berlin last year asked a few questions about how she should prepare for a wildlife safari to Rwanda & Uganda she was about to book with our company.

This got me thinking about writing a few tips that would be useful to anybody thinking of an African safari for the first time. Yes, to get things put together- food, accommodation, guides for a pleasant safari experience, everyone does a bit of research about the destination. This might be through books, online travel guides, or recommendations from friends. Below I thought about a thorough list of things one would need to consider when planning an African safari.

African Elephant-Akagera National Park
Elephant, Akagera National Park, Rwanda

Africa Wildlife Safari Experience

Yes, safari is probably the word usually associated with a trip to Africa whether it involves flying tours or game drives for a wildlife experience with the Big Five- lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard. While renting a car whether for a self-drive can be possible, not so many people find it the best way to roam alone in the countryside in searching for lions, tiger, cheetahs, and so many other animals Africa accommodate.

This is the stage where you need assistance from a professional whose task is crafting an itinerary, ground transportation, and guidance. The tour company gets you a driver that will be waiting for you at the airport as you are about to start your amazing vacation in search of the African wildlife safari experience. You are in good hands as the company arranges lodges and meals and possibly anything you may require for a pleasant stay.

Time to spend on an African Safari

zebras in akagera national park in rwanda
Zebras in Akagera national park in Rwanda

Two weeks is generally the best duration for African vacation packages. Given the time you will need to spend in each area(park) for a different experience, the number of nights- usually two or three nights for each lodge, two weeks should be the recommended duration for an exquisite safari. The day is usually divided into two parts an early morning game drive with an afternoon one.

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This makes two full days in lodges to see the maximum of animals you can.  Although the dry season June- October might be the best season for an African wildlife safari, you can always enjoy your vacation with lush vegetation, hippos, elephants, and giraffes among other animals that await to amaze you. The dry season is particularly known as the best time to see the great migration of wildebeests and zebras between Kenya and Tanzania in Serengeti National Park. You got to see a lot beyond counting.

Cost of an African Wildlife Safari Package

As a lifetime experience, a safari to Africa is possible in various versions depending on the accommodation comfort you opt for. Whether you opt for a certain type of accommodation, it would be useful to know a few types of accommodation styles you might choose from when inquiring about safari quotes. A general overview of accommodations ranges from budget camping, mid-range lodges, luxury, and luxury plus lodges and camps.

Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge 2 Augustine Tours
Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, Rwanda

The question that comes to mind is usually how much does an African safari cost? The average safari cost for private safaris lies between $300 and $700 per day per person depending on the activities involved in your itinerary. Small group safaris cost may drop due to transportation and other group activities fees shared with other participants and the cost range between $250 and $600.

Gorilla trekking Tour Costs

A Gorilla trek Uganda journey is another sought-after wildlife experience.  The provided figures are just a piece of general information, the actual cost of your safari should come from your safari wish list. A luxury wildlife safari can cost $1000 upwards per night per person. For Gorilla trekking safaris, costs are down to the accommodation options available at the destination, with some lodges charging per night between $1000- $3500 and above. A four-day luxury Rwanda gorilla safari can cost around up to $4000 per night. 

The best way is to talk to the safari company planning your trip and let them know your travel wishes. Tips for drivers and hotel staff can be either paid in local currency, dollars, or euros as you wish. Where meals are not included in the safari package, $20-$50 would be enough for decent food and tips.

The safari company for your Africa wildlife tour packages

While you might be googling the best African safari company or simply wondering how to choose your ideal African safari planner, my advice would be to define first the right safari for you.  Viewing the Big Five is obviously a bucket list component for many wildlife adventure fanatics but not all have the same expectations for their African wildlife safari trip.

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Encounter of tourist and mountain gorilla in African jungle.
An encounter between a tourist and a mountain gorilla in Rwanda

Not all safaris are equally designed so are safari takers’ expectations different. While some travelers may have a specific interest in certain types of animals, others are simply looking for out-of-common travel activities- tailor-made travel holidays.

Everyone who thinks of a destination has already an idea of what they want to do. Experts in bespoke travel listen to your travel wishes, and with local expertise, they can always suggest new things to do on your itinerary. Local expertise plays an important role in polishing the traveler’s raw itinerary.

Tea plantations Rwanda Augustine Tours
Walking through tea plantations field in Rwanda

In February 2019, as I was meeting a couple that had booked an 18-day tour of Rwanda and Burundi, I learned something special about planning tours although this has been my job for over 10 years.

I looked at other tour companies from the UK and chose yours because you came up with the best proposal at the best cost, you were available to advise and sort out any questions, while some companies we used to deal with just wanted to book us in specific hotels and lodges we didn’t want, possibly because they have good commissions”. 

When planning an African wildlife safari, listening carefully to the traveler’s questions about the budget and a wish list is key to a successful deal for both parties. If you want your travel company to include cultural or educational safari packages on your itinerary, just let them know so. The local expert knows the tricks of getting you from one urban point to an unmarked corner of the country.

Animals you see in African Parks

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Elephant -Africa Wildlife Safari game drive

The Big Five- lion, elephant, leopard, rhino, and buffalo remain the most attention-drawing animals in Africa. So, a seven to fourteen-day safari in Kenya and Tanzania is worth your time and money. Besides the giants of the African jungle, countless are antelopes, giraffes, zebras, and birds worth your visit. For a life-changing wildlife experience, mountain gorilla trekking safaris are found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Augustine Tours Gorilla trekking

Accommodation during your safari

African vacation packages have diverse accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury lodges and hotels. All main parks in East Africa have the budget to luxury lodges found usually a few kilometers away designed for travelers looking for an African safari vacation package.

Some areas like tented lodges or camps provide individual cabin-like stay facilities with a bed, a private bathroom, a heated shower, and a flush toilet. All meals are served at the camp and are usually included in the accommodation price.

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Tip of the week

Beyond epic Gorilla trekking Rwanda vs Uganda toursEast Africa offers Kenya & Tanzania wildebeest migration safari experiences and more.

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