Safaris are clearly the perfect holiday activity. Visiting new places, seeing new and exciting things, and generally experiencing something totally outside of you normal everyday life is the perfect definition of a holiday.
When planning a safari there are number of things to consider, destinations, affordability, wardrobe, and who to have this experience with. This is where the question of whether to have a private or group safari comes in.
What is the difference between a group safari and a private safari?
A group safari is where you are part of a group of people who are booked for the same safari itinerary. It means you are not in control of the safari. Group safaris are a good opportunity to meet some new, nice and interesting people and make friends.
A private safari on the other hand is where you have control of your itinerary. You usually get to decide, where to go, what time, activities, where to stay. You make all the choices of course with some recommendation with your tour operator. Most people usually prefer private safaris.
Why do people often prefer private safaris to group safaris?
Compared to group safaris private safaris are way more comfortable in most aspects.
Because you are making most of the choices, you are bound to choose what you hope will make you happy. The choice of which parks to visit lies with you, and you can adjust your itinerary as you go along. With group safaris you do not have the freedom to change plans and visit a place just because you think it’s a good idea.
Private safari vehicles are also quite more comfortable and roomy. You will not be crowded in the vehicle, and if there are many people, they are people you know and are comfortable with.
When it comes to accommodation you can either select lodging for yourself and your group if you’re travelling with friends, or go along with the suggestions from your tour operator.
With private safaris there are no cancellations. Your itinerary goes on as planned regardless of whether it is just you visiting a place. With group safari there might some cancellations if say not enough people sign up.
Private safaris, you are pretty much guaranteed an experienced driver and wildlife guide to point out the different animals and birds to you and provide information you might want about them. Because you are the boss, you decide how long you want to stay out, when to stop and take a break or take photographs and other small and big decisions along the way.
You can sometimes change course and see places and things you had not planned to. Something that you cannot do in group safaris.
Because everything is about you will enjoy your safari in Uganda and not want to go home when it’s time to go.
Why are group safaris sometimes considered difficult?
There is always the chance that your group safari might be all good fun, excitement, good company, wonderful sights-generally a perfect trip. But there are so many reasons why they do not quite work out well for most people. Some of these reasons are..
Travelling with strangers on a bus can be trying, but try putting 6-8 strangers in a vehicle across the Ugandan plains with bumpy roads, inconceivable heat, and dust. Even small things like whether the air conditioning is on or off will be annoying. It’s the little quirks annoyances that make group safaris difficult and sometimes unenjoyable.
A group safari is basically putting together a group of people with different dreams and expectations of how their safari in Uganda should be. If these expectations are not met for each of the individuals the excitement usually dies down.
Add the little annoying behaviors everyone has such as obnoxious behavior, talking too much, and before you know it, you just can’t wait to go home and get away from these people.
Group Safaris usually use group lodging and camps and not the private intimate ones. So there is not much privacy unless you paid extra for a single supplement room. Or if your tour operator goes out of their way to find better lodging for all of you.
Tour companies operate on schedules with group safaris, so the itinerary is already laid out, and you cannot add other place to it. So you can’t make a stop at that scenic little park you see along the way if it is not on the itinerary.
Although often sold as the cheaper alternative the cost of a group safari might not be as inexpensive as portrayed. The costs are usually almost the same as you travelling with family or a group of friends you already know in a private safari.
It is simply important to read the fine print and analyze the two options carefully before choosing one. Get to know what the offerings of each option are. Find out what is included in the price; activities, permits, accommodation, meals, etc.
Group safaris can be fun too, and you get to meet new people, and there is always safety in numbers so if you feel uncomfortable doing your safari trip alone, join a group safari.
Whatever the case, make it a point to enjoy your Uganda safari trip!