African Safari blog

The Anatomy of a “Group” Tour – and Why We Don’t Do Them


customised authentic australian travel tour to africa

We are not in the business of providing “group tours”. We have posted before about why it is so important to us to provide you with a personal, customised African experience. We proudly provide a truly authentic African journey in which you and yours’ play a lead role and determine the course of action (well, within the realms of what nature will allow, of course!) What’s more, you can still enjoy luxury and creature comforts whilst experiencing the unbeatable adrenaline rush of an African safari.

We consistently use the words “bespoke”, “tailor made”, “customised” and “luxury” to describe our African safari holidays. To us, these words reflect the best way to experience the true Africa and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.

Large Bus Tour Groups

Many people, particularly younger people on a budget, travel Africa in large overland tour groups. Large, self-contained and purpose-built buses transport between about 10 and 30 people on a tour at any one time. Overland tours operate to a tight schedule as tour operators promise to show travellers Africa’s ‘main attractions’. Given that the tourist hot spots often span great distances, there tends to be little down time and travellers spend a lot of time in transit; that is, driving — often all day. Of course, with so many competing personalities and preferences, there are many variables and itineraries are restrictive.

If you’re a person who likes some quiet space and wants the ability to explore at leisure, or veer off the beaten track somewhat, then these large tours probably won’t be for you. In fact, you may find a tour like this makes you feel like you’re on a conveyor belt. You may feel exhausted, irritated and even a little isolated on this kind of group tour. Further, in more remote destinations, it is often impractical for large groups to wander townships and so travellers spend a lot of the downtime they have only able to socialise with the group.

Smaller Tours with a Mixed Groups of Strangers

These are more private and smaller travel group tours. They are common with safari tour operators and usually number from about 8 to 12 people. They feature mostly pre-planned destinations, itineraries and activities.

Many people opt for these kinds of tours when booking an African safari. In our experience, they often do so because they believe it will be more economical and better value for money. They figure that if they join part of a larger tour group, they’ll get everything they want out of a safari without having to pay full price.

The trouble with these kinds of tours? Sure, the guides are likely to be professional and the lodgings and amenities will be adequate. However, nature (just like children) doesn’t perform on cue. Liker the larger overland tours, these kinds of safari tours must still operate to rather rigid schedules with restrictions on viewing times. This means you can’t just drive where you like and you will almost always miss out.

Like all group tours, compromise is part of the agenda. Even if you have some choice in what creature or attraction you choose to focus on, the more vocal members of the group may voice their preferences ahead of yours and your safari adventure soon becomes a battle of wills. The only battle of wills you should be experiencing is between Africa’s mighty beasts!

Your Bespoke, Customised, Personal Travel Experience

We’ve spoken before about the myriad different reasons people are lured to Africa and that it isn’t just about seeing the ‘main attractions’. Nor should it be an experience where too much compromise renders it merely okay when it should be truly spectacular!

We know from experience (and we know that seasoned travellers will agree) that when you travel independently, what stays with you, long after you return home, is the little things that only those with a deep knowledge and experience of a country will appreciate and know.

It’s that baby cheetah that caught your eye and that you were able to go back and watch at length nuzzling its mother playfully, or the elusive leopard that you so desperately wanted to see and that you were finally able to locate with some further exploration of the area – and countless other, unexpected, whimsical, memorable and deeply personal interactions between you, the country and its inhabitants (human and animal).

We invite you to read more about what sets us apart and why you might choose a customised experience over a group tour one.

Tailored to Almost Every Budget

Sometimes people think that anything tailor-made always has to be more expensive; if only because, as a rule, it costs more to do something once than it does many times. However, we want to show the wonders of Africa to as many Australians as possible, so we try very hard to tailor our itineraries to various budgets. Please don’t assume that our safaris are out of your reach.

Indeed, our special offer to you is that a luxury, personalised safari with us will cost no more than if you organised it yourself. This means you benefit from our expertise, our time, and our constant attention in organising your trip, at no extra cost. How is this possible? It’s because we share close relationships with our service providers, established over many years. Due to our boutique nature, we also have low overheads and we pass these savings on to you.

Read about the benefits of your own private African Safari holiday

Peace of Mind

An African safari with us also gives you peace of mind in a foreign place. We are available 24/7 by phone meaning help is there if you need it and someone is always available on our emergency number if necessary. From the moment you walk through customs at the airport, to the moment you get back on the plane to head home, you will be taken care of. Read more about the Destinations Africa difference and why we’re not just a travel agency.

Still Social

Don’t think either, that a personalised travel experience means you can’t still be social and meet other travellers. After all, spending time with others with whom you get on with and enjoy their company can often be the highlight of any trip abroad. Even in your own private and customised travel package, you still have plenty of opportunities to socialise with other people and families. You can meet up with others at your place of accommodation and compare notes, chat and get to know other travellers, many of whom you may share a common interest with (after all, you’re all here in this spot at this time are you not!)

the destinations africa team for luxury authentic african travel safari holidays

If we’ve whet your appetite for an African adventure, even just a little bit, we invite you to find out more about planning a trip with your partner or your family and/or a group of friends. Contact us to talk about an itinerary suited to you, or to view some samples.


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