Safaris are not a one-size-fits-all trip, there are many types with different benefits, including overland safaris, guided safaris, flying safaris, and of course, self-driving safaris.
But if you’re on a budget and considering going on one soon, you might be wondering whether you should go on a self-guided safari.
Self-guided safaris are not a bad option for those who just have a day or two and don’t mind the hit-or-miss nature of the trip.
You can head to one of the big parks in South Africa or Namibia, where there are good roads, a decent range of wildlife, and it’s easy (and safe) for tourists to drive around unaccompanied.
Just remember you won’t have the expertise of a seasoned professional guide, and there’s also a chance that you’ll end up spotting less animals.
However, there’s also a good chance you’ll still see plenty, so it’s really up to how much risk you want to take, and how much money you have to spend.
Another great thing about self-drive safaris is the cost.
You can go on a self-drive safari for less than US$100, which is very cheap compared to most safari packages.
On the other hand, self-guided safaris can be a lot more work, particularly if you aren’t experienced in the bush — it’s probably not the best idea for a first-timer.
If you don’t do your homework on planning, a budget traditional safari could end up cheaper.
If you do choose to go on a self-guided safari, you’ll also get the benefit of having more freedom to stop where you want, take your time, and enjoy some solitude in the African wilderness.
In the end, for those among us who really value freedom and independence – and perhaps already have a preliminary sense of the bush – this may indeed be your best option.