Tour Operator Vs Accommodation Property: Where Best to Book Your Safari?

You’ve finally cleared the calendar and your dream vacation of a safari in Africa is about to come true. The word instantly evokes visions of adventure in the African wilderness, with giraffe and zebra roaming free, flocks of flamingos flying overhead, and gorgeous sunsets.

Now comes the fun part, planning your trip. But what’s the best way to book your safari vacation? Should you be using a tour operator or a DMC in Africa to take care of all the details and schedules for you? Or will you book your own accommodation property and safari?

If you have a lot of time and can visit more than one park for a safari adventure, a tour operator can take care of multiple-location bookings much quicker than you can. Based on their experience and knowledge with more than one lodge and park in Africa, tour operators will be able to book your accommodation and safari in each location. All you’ll need to do is follow your itinerary.

When you have limited time and will only be able to do one safari in one park, for example, the Serengeti in Tanzania, you may want to book your own accommodation directly with the camp. You can then book your safari through them, being able to pay attention to some of the finer details yourself. You’ll be able to get better prices and rates because you’re negotiating directly with the lodge rather than through a tour operator.

Using a Tour Operator for Safari

Safari tour

Most people who go on safari in more than one park book with a tour operator who does all the scheduling and planning for them. There are many different types of safaris for you to choose from, but most of them have one thing in common – the accommodations can be in some very remote locations. Africa is a huge continent and much more complex and difficult to get around than in Europe. A tour operator will be able to find all the right places to stay that fit into the safari vacation you’ve been dreaming of.


A tour operator can book multiple camps and lodges, book your air travel, and arrange for transfers and transportation. They have the connections you don’t have to quickly and smoothly plan your safari.

One-time payment

You’ll be able to make one payment to the tour operator, saving you money and time trying to make all the many payments yourself.

Avoid costly mistakes

If you’re booking your own multiple-location safari you’ve got a lot of details to work out and confirm. It can be easy to miss something that can cost you a lot of money, such as not being able to get to your next destination on time. A tour operator knows how to get you from one place to the next – this is one of their areas of expertise.

Booking Your Own Accommodation Property

Safari tour

If you only have time for one location, a better option than using a tour operator is to book your accommodation directly and then plan your safari with the camp or lodge you’re staying with. When you only have one location to plan for you’ll be able to focus on getting the best deal and negotiated rate.

Have more control

Booking your own accommodation and safari can make you feel like you’re more in control of your own vacation. You’ll be dealing directly with the people you’re staying with…the very people who are going to ensure that you have the perfect safari experience. They’ll work with you to help build the safari package that best meets the expectations of your African vacation.

Local guides

When you book your safari through your accommodation provider, you get the benefit of having a guide that knows what you want to see, one that works year-round at the camp. Your guide is extremely knowledgeable and knows which areas to visit to encounter small herds of elephants and pride of lions lazing in the sun.

Many camps and lodges offer other benefits when you book your accommodation with them. If you should decide to visit another camp in the area, the accommodation property you’ve booked may be able to help you plan a visit with other local lodges.

Off on Safari

Now that you know the differences between using a tour operator or booking your own accommodation in one of the many African parks, you’re ready to finalize your safari. Decide what you want to see, where you want to go, and what type of safari experience you want to have. There are many great destinations to choose from, such as the Serengeti. If the Serengeti in Tanzania has always been on your bucket list, you can book your accommodation property through camps such as Acacia Collections . Booking your own vacation in the Serengeti or other parks is a treasure for anyone wanting to experience Africa.

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