This question might sound like an open door, asked by somebody who is organizing safari tours for people and of course pleading for booking safaris with an agent. But it is not that simple. It is the experience clients share, what makes discussing that question relevant.
The first reasons are the logistics. Google map might say it is a 2 hours drive, but in reality its 3.5 hours, as Google doesn’t know about the cattle on the road, people walking, even on freeways, and potholes. It is also important to know the game drive times in order to book the right flights and transfers. When your flight arrives too late you might not even get into the park anymore.
Next is the different culture, also when it comes to booking offices and especially within big organizations or chains. The online rates at the Victoria Falls hotel might be a bit lower, but you also might never get a response from them. Or transfers. It is easy in big cities like Johannesburg and Cape Town where you just take a cab, but at the bush destinations it is a different story.
And there are more things that work different than on other holiday destinations around the globe and where it is good to have a helping hand. Therefore the idea of booking your African safari holiday with an agent is not such a bad idea.
Happy wildlife snapping holiday planning!
Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui “soul of leopard”, Travel Africa