There is always confusion on which Safari to choose? Well, let us explain the pros and cons of both the Safari but before starting let us make yourself clear that this is applicable for safaris conducted in Tanzania and Kenya only. It is recommended that you read and all the points stated below before concluding. So let's begin,
The pickup time will be fixed for the Group Joining, while the pickup time for Private Safari can be altered according to your convenience. If you are late for the Group Joining, then the vehicle would have left without you. However, you can join the tour, but you will have to pay extra for the separate car which will take you till the original car which you were supposed to be on.
Every client in the Group joining Safari will have a different drop location, and it will be done based on the route where the place is near. Usually, Airport Drops are done at the last as it is located in the outskirts of the city. Hence it might get delayed to travellers who are in a hurry, and everyone has to get adjusted to this factor. In Private Safari, you will have the whole vehicle for yourself, and the drop will be hassle-free.
ITINERARY AND DEPARTURE:
For Group Joining all the tours will have a fixed route and fixed date with no customization at any point. It is because not all the travellers would like to make changes in their plan. While in Private Safari you can schedule everything as you want.
The price difference between the Group Joining Safari and Private Safari will not be so much, because only the vehicle cost will be shared among the travellers in a group, rest all the charges such as park fees, accommodation is based on per person basis. The only time you feel the price difference is high when you select a camping safari which is not recommended when travelling with kids and senior citizens.
SAFARI START TIME:
Majority of the Group joining safaris begin by 7:30 AM local time from Arusha (Tanzania) or Nairobi (Kenya). Starting time is subject to change based on the itinerary you choose. While private Safari can be adjusted as per the client's request. (Subject to being able to reach the park by 4:30 PM).
BRIEFING AND BALANCE PAYMENT:
Briefing about the Safari and the balance collection will be done one day before the safari start day. Still, if customers are staying outside the city or arriving on the first day itself, it will be done before the start of the Safari. It remains the same for both Group Joining and Private Safari.
Customers in Group joining safaris are requested to follow the rules as provided by the guide during the briefing and not cause inconvenience to fellow travellers. It is highly expected in the interest of all travellers to rotate seats during the Safari with mutual understanding as animals might be spotted sometimes on the left side of the vehicle or occasionally right side of the car. Any disputes regarding seating or other things will be decided by the driver/guide and it will be final.
While in Private Safari these issues will not exist, but it is highly expected of our clients and also our guides to have a sense of mutual respect of views, opinions and cultures.
Total travelling time per day for a Group joining safaris inclusive of pick up from hotel, game drive, drop back to the hotel will be around 10 to 12 hours and can not be customized.
While for Private Safaris, Game drive timings are flexible and as per the request of customers. However, note that game drives are allowed only between 6:30 AM to 6:00 PM in all the parks and reserves
For the clients who are opting for a group safaris have restriction on the luggage such as one bag per person, and also hard suitcases are not allowed. Having more luggage will cause inconvenience to fellow travellers and will also congest the vehicle. While for Private Safari, you will have one full car for yourself, so there are no luggage restrictions.
Customers in private safaris can opt for Add-on activities (at extra cost) while on Safari like Balloon safari, Masai village, Walking Safari etc. While in Group joining itineraries, choosing for Add-on activities may not be possible as the entire Group needs to stick to the same schedule.
Finally, we conclude by saying both the private Safari and group joining have their advantages and disadvantages. Still, in terms of comfort and quality for the Safari, it is always recommended to choose private Safari, it is worth the money you will pay. While Group joining Safari is mostly meant for the solo travellers, backpackers and couples with a limited budget. It is never recommended for a family vacation, honeymooners or travelling with kids or senior citizens.