You’ve decided to finally book that dream holiday: an African safari. Each African country offers its own unique points and none of them lack incredible wildlife, spectacular scenery, fascinating history and friendly people. So how to choose?
Safari Budget: SA and Namibia FTW
A number of factors can be taken into consideration when deciding where to go. Often, the main one is the cost. Everybody has a holiday budget and choosing a more reasonable destination could mean the difference between a 6-day and a 12-day safari.
In South Africa and Namibia you get more bang for your buck (and get to see a bunch of the animal-type buck while you’re at it)!
South Africa and Namibia quote their safari prices in South African Rands (ZAR) and Namibian Dollars (NAM$) and safaris to these countries tend to be up to 40% more reasonable than safaris to the East African countries. According to xe.com at the time of going to press, exchange rates were:
1 ZAR = 0.08 USD
1 ZAR = 0.07 EUR
1 ZAR = 0.06 GBP
ZAR16 650 = USD1 332 = EUR1 166 = GBP999
ZAR11 400 = USD912 = EUR798 = GBP684
Yes, you are reading correctly. That is a 7-day trip through Namibia’s arid wonderland for just over 1000 USD/EUR/GBP and a safari in the world-renowned Kruger National Park for under 1000 USD/EUR/GBP.
What are you waiting for?
But wait, we’re not done here. To help you decide between South Africa and Namibia, let us wax lyrical about both first.
Africa’s southernmost country encompasses it all within its 1.2 million km2 area: cosmopolitan cities, arid deserts, majestic mountains, emerald forests, beautiful beaches and world-class game parks. Basically, it’s a world in one country, with the added bonus of friendly people, magnificent scenery and wonderful wildlife.
Johannesburg, colloquially referred to as Jozi, is a truly African city with a pulsing heartbeat. A hub of African business, the city also boasts incredible museums, a buzzing vibe and welcoming people.
Kruger National Park
South Africa’s showpiece, the world-renowned Kruger Park is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, with varying habitats and plenty of wildlife and birds.
Covering 20 000 000 hectares of unfenced, wild reserve, The Greater Kruger National Park (GKNP), which refers to Kruger National Park (KNP) and the over twenty private reserves to the west of the park, allows free movement of game across this spectacular area.
Within the park, accommodation is offered to suit any desire and budget – from wild camping to high-end luxury, and everything in-between.
Cosmopolitan Cape Town
Cape Town has it all – beautiful beaches, spectacular mountains, rolling vineyards, top-class restaurants and great museums and galleries.
Ukhahlamba Drakensberg and KZN
The soaring mountains of the Ukhahlamba fall down to the Kwazulu Natal coast, with its balmy seas and fantastic diving.
The Garden Route is the gem of South Africa. Emerald forests, clear rivers, pristine lakes and lagoons run down to the Indian Ocean. The weather is good, the air is fresh, the scenery is spectacular and virtually every outdoor activity you can think of is available.
Namibia is known for its stark and arid beauty. With a population of just over 2 million and covering an area of 825 615 km2, it really is the place of vast open spaces and wild Africa. It is entirely possible to drive through the more remote areas of Namibia for a whole day, without seeing another soul.
The red dunes of Sossussvlei at dawn are something to behold. As the sun rises over Africa, every hue of red and orange is seen.
This seaside village on the icy Atlantic offers beautiful coastal scenery and activities to make any adrenaline junkie's heart soar – from sand boarding the dunes to paragliding.
Etosha consists mainly of saline desert, savannah and woodlands. Its main feature is the huge Etosha Pan. The vast plains of this dried lake are a shimmering spectacle providing excellent photographic opportunities. The park boasts a variety of plant and bird life and is home to diverse wild animals, including some rare and endangered species and unusual desert species.
Book Early, or Miss Out
Please note that for certain areas, booking well in advance is recommended, to ensure that you get a place.
It is vital to book early for Namibia as there are major availability issues. Tourism in Namibia has grown exponentially – by 40% – but infrastructure and the building of accommodation facilities has struggled to keep up.
In South Africa popular destinations book up quickly – we’re looking at you, Garden Route and Kruger Park – so early booking for trips to these regions is also necessary.
Whether you choose South Africa or Namibia, or both, get hold of one of our knowledgeable ABS travel consultants and book your dream safari for 2018.