Particularly for first-time travelers, you'll have trouble creating an itinerary if you don't set how many days you'll spend on a safari. This may cause you to spend more than necessary, have unsatisfying accommodations, or miss significant wildlife events.
Coming from 15 years of experience living and touring people in the South African wilderness, I will share how many days you need on a safari. I'm also going to explain the things that could influence your decision-making.
How Many Days Do You Need on a Safari?
For a successful safari experience, most travelers would need seven to 10 days, factoring in their arrival and departure times. If you have the budget and availability, add more days to visit African countries and experience more activities.
While this is an excellent benchmark for safari planning, the actual timeframe may vary depending on a traveler's requirements. In this article, I'll delve into the factors that impact your safari duration and equip you with valuable tips to ensure a memorable experience.
Factors Influencing the Number of Days You Need on a Safari
I typically recommend allocating at least seven to 10 days for safari tours. However, when planning an African safari tour, there are several crucial factors to consider that will impact the duration of your trip.
The country or area in Africa is one of the major factors influencing the number of days you can stay in a safari camp. However, most tours have a comprehensive seven to 10-day stay on a safari.
If you have limited time yet would like to fill your trip with as many authentic safari experiences as possible, I suggest you rule out Africa’s more remote destinations. These destinations demand additional travel time, are generally much larger, and require several days to explore.
This is why I carefully crafted an itinerary that lets you experience the best parts of an African safari. For 10 days, you get to explore the wilderness of South Africa and the Zimbabwe safaris. An exciting safari adventure in South Africa can be enjoyed even with limited time.
Game parks are conveniently located throughout the country and are way less remote. This makes accessing one or more reserves close to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and Durban much easier. They have good airports with multiple flight options daily and superb infrastructure.
There's a rich diversity of different parks and regions, including game drives, bush walks, and even a hot-air balloon ride.
In less than two weeks, you can explore countless parks and reserves in South Africa. You can choose the Greater Kruger National Park, Waterberg Biosphere, Private Amakhala Game Reserve, and Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge.
Joining one of our set departure dates is an excellent way to not worry about how many days you need to arrange for a safari trip in Africa. When you book a tour, you automatically get to spend 10 days in amazing Africa without the hassle of determining how long you should stay.
Our meticulously planned trips balance flexibility and exploration, providing ample opportunity to relax or venture out on your own. Rest assured that our groups are small and guaranteed, with a minimum of four guests maximum of 10.
Travel time also has a significant impact on the number of days you need for a safari.
Distance of itinerary spots: This refers to the distance of each destination, especially those in exceptionally remote areas. You must consider the time required to move from one part of the camp to another. For instance, traveling between game reserves and nature parks.
Mode of transportation: This includes aircraft, game drive vehicles, and other in-land transfers.
Border crossings: If you want a multi-country safari trip, consider additional travel time when doing land travel. You also have to factor in potential delays at the border.
Wildlife and Activities
Among the major factors you'll need to consider when deciding how long to stay on a safari is the extent of wildlife you want to see and activities to experience.
Many of Africa's parks boast vast, stunning landscapes and diverse wildlife. Spending around seven to 10 days on a safari is a good starting point if you have a lengthy bucket list for wildlife and activities.
While I usually recommend staying seven to 10 days on a safari, your budget grateful affects how long you can do so. Africa is home to a myriad selection of parks, reserves, and game lodges, each requiring expenses.
It's crucial to save money for a vacation trip on an African safari. You should have enough money to pay for the accommodation, activities, and other travel requirements.
This is why I've come up with a complete package where your upfront payment covers essential parts of the trip, especially the accommodation, meals, tour guide, and in-country and air transfers.
Examples of the Number of Days in a Safari
To better see why you need to book at least seven to 10 days for a safari tour in Africa, I'm sharing what you can experience in various timeframes.
Three to Four Days on a Safari
Spending three to four days on African safaris isn't ideal, although it's an option for those who need cheaper trips. If you find a good tour package, you should be able to maximize the scenery, game drive, and other local experience. Here's what you can do in Africa within three to four days:
An early morning game drive and a late afternoon game drive.
Visit the Masai Mara in Kenya or the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
Mingle with locals through cultural experiences.
Five to Six Days on a Safari
Another good timeframe for a safari trip is around five to six days. This is a good starting point for those who can't spend more than a week on vacation. Here's what I normally recommend for a five- to six-day stay in a safari camp.
See the wonders of Cape Town, from the exquisite views atop Table Mountain to the captivating history of Robben Island.
Visit the world-renowned Big Five game reserves that offer unforgettable close encounters with some of the continent's oldest inhabitants.
Stroll through the picturesque Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden or unwind on the pristine beaches.
Seven to 10 Days on a Safari
A minimum of seven days and a maximum of 10 days is a sweet spot for most African safari luxury tours. Our itinerary gives you these unforgettable experiences.
Start your adventure in Cape Town, a dynamic and vibrant city with something for everyone. Take in the awe-inspiring vistas of Table Mountain or unwind on the pristine beaches.
For an adrenaline rush, ride the cable car to Table Mountain or delve into the rich history of Robben Island and Signal Hill.
Visit the Greater Kruger National Park Area for the perfect safari adventure. It's home to an incredible variety of wildlife, including the Big Five, consisting of lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffalos. With nearly two million hectares of bushveld to explore, it's easy to spot some of Africa's most iconic creatures in their natural habitat.
Enjoy a delightful dinner cruise on the Upper Zambezi, a houseboat safari in the Chobe River, and exhilarating game drives in Moremi.
Nature enthusiasts can explore the nearby Kirstenbosch Garden or go on a thrilling whale-watching tour along the coast.
Shopaholics won't be able to resist the allure of Greenmarket Square. Meanwhile, foodies will be spoilt for choice with the plethora of restaurants and eateries throughout the city.
From the stunning Okavango Delta to the picturesque Chobe National Park, you can also go to Botswana for cultural experiences in the local villages.
End your vacation on a high note with three nights in the internationally-renowned Kruger National Park Area. Here you'll discover an array of private reserves and lodges catering to mid to high budgets.
How Long Should You Stay at a Safari Camp?
It's ideal to stay three to four days in each camp. For instance, our luxury tour package lets you relax in Cape Town for four nights, three nights at Sabi Sands and Kruger National Park, and two nights at a lodge overlooking Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
What Is the Best Period to Do Safari?
The best time to go on an African safari tour is during the dry season between June to October. You can allocate seven to 10 days for activities and wildlife adventures.
Are 10 Days Too Long for a Safari?
No, 10 days isn't too long for a safari tour in Africa. In fact, it's the average number of days for most safaris. You can even spend longer if you have the availability and budget or want to experience more activities.
Spending seven to 10 days is enough for most safari trips. Knowing the number of days to stay on safaris helps maximize the budget and the overall travel experience. Find Your Africa hosts a luxury safari group tour lasting nine nights and 10 days, with a comprehensive itinerary for the adventure of a lifetime.