How to plan a last minute safari

If you’ve been to Africa before you’ll know: however challenging the circumstances, there’s always a way to “make a plan”. The most short notice safari we’ve planned was booked only 72 hours before our client left for Africa and we were still making last minute tweaks while he was on the plane. Here’s how to do it.

The smallest planes are always the ones that take you to the most exciting places (in this case, Kwihala)

The finances:

  • We often get excellent deals for last minute safaris, especially if you are travelling in low season. A last minute safari during peak season can mean the flights in particular are more expensive than normal, but if you’re flexible, we can definitely still make the magic happen. Let us know what budget makes sense for you- this will help us to direct you towards the best-fitting options quickly.

The practicalities:

  • Make sure your vaccinations are up to date. Ask us about yellow fever requirements as certificates can be tricky to obtain at the last minute. A one-country safari is normally a good way around this.
  • Chat to your doctor about malaria tablets. Some anti-malarials have a short run-in time of a day or two before you get to a malarial zone, others are a week or so.
  • Check your passport. Typically passports need 6 months after the end of your safari for you to be allowed into the country, so double check as soon as you know you want to go away. Some countries in Southern Africa will require at least 2 blank pages for each country you enter.

Most importantly, the magic:

Sunset at Sirikoi.
  • Talk to us. When we hear your voice, we can work out what makes you tick, ask you questions about what you hate and probe seemingly minor points that can make or break your trip. We can get to the root of what you want most quickly on the phone. We’re based in the UK and generally stick to UK working hours, however, we have travellers based all over the world, so if you need to talk to us outside these times- ask. We’re here to help.
  • Be flexible where you can. The people who have the best adventures in Africa are always the ones most open to finding it. A rigid checklist of “musts” can often be hard to achieve at the last minute. But if we’re given a wishlist of dreams, and tell us where your priorities lie, we can usually create something pretty unforgettable. Our goal? Well, we’ve had a few clients cry when they come home for safari, so that’s what we aim for where we can.
(c) Ants nest
This is why we do it- every moment of last minute rush is worth it, to arrive somewhere like Ant’s

Read Alex’s personal guide to planning a last-minute safari.

Lastly, prepare yourself for something pretty special.

Ask the Africa Experts