Self drive or guided African safari

Self drive versus guided African safari

A self drive safari through Africa is amazing and a the ultimate adventure but is is for everyone? Here are a few differences to see which type of travel style suits you best! There is no difference in budget, as we cater 4×4 self drive itineraries and guided safaris for every budget.

Self Drive in Africa

  • Flexibility, you are in charge of the day planning, you decide where and when to go;
  • Freedom on how long to watch that lion sleeping in the grass until you have the perfect picture;
  • If you get a flat tire, you need to change the tire yourself. Most of the time along a busy dusty road or in the middle of a national park with wild animals around you;
  • A self drive is more expensive than a small group safari, fully equipped 4×4 rental cars are not cheap;
  • Border crossings costs a lot of time and the paperwork can be a hassle. No guide to assist you;
  • A self drive is an adventure. Driving a heavy 4×4 vehicle though water, deep and and dirt roads will make you feel alive and kicking!
  • Never a moment to doze off. With plenty of potholes in the road you need to stay awake and allert;
  • You need to be a planner. 4×4’s consume a lot of fuel and petrol stations are rare;
  • You need to be handy with a compressor. When leaving a park, you need to pomp up your tired, when driving into deep sand, you need to release some air;
  • A self drive is perfect for those who have been to Africa before. You understand a lot more about the do’s and don’ts in Africa.
  • You have none else in the car. It’s just you are your partner/family/friends;
  • You have the freedom where to eat (you cook your own meal or look for a local restaurant)

Guided (group) safari

  • You tend to see a lot more animals on a guided safari. Your trained guide has a perfect eye for the bush and will spot many animals;
  • You learn about the bush and destination. Your guide loves to share his home country with you and will tell you everything about the history, wildlife, traditions and more…;
  • You support the local economy by providing a salary for the guide, his training which in the long run is benificial for the destination. It is the more sustainable option
  • If joining a (small) group safari, you share the safari vehicle, better for the environment;
  • Always a helping hand: border crossings, checking in a hotel, medical issues, you always have someone to help you;
  • Guides share a lot of information during after hours or when standing in line for the registration to enter a park. Where they saw a leopard, lion pray or any other exciting happening. Therefore, you have a bigger chance of spotting more wildlife;
  • You connect easier with the locals. Your driver guide speaks the local language and helps you communicate with the local people in very remote wilderness areas. It breaks the ice;
  • If we had to compare the two, a guided tour is probably slightly more safe as a guide knows the area, where to go and where not to drive at night;
  • During a group safari, you meet a lot of likeminded people;
  • You can sit back and relax.