South Africa is the ideal country for a self drive safari because many of the game reserves and national parks were designed specifically with independent safaris in mind. Hundreds of thousands of people take advantage of this fact annually.
The road network countrywide is generally in good condition and because public transportation is not as well developed here the self driver is well catered for.
The total length of the roads in South Africa is approximately 752 000 km (467 271 mi) with a large proportion of that being gravel which is suitable to be driven on by a normal two wheel drive sedan vehicle.
A self drive safari has the advantage of independence and flexibility that a guided safari lacks and it's also a very cost effective way of seeing the wildlife that Africa has to offer. In many instances a guided safari will be double the price.
To help you work out just how much you can actually save and answer the question of how much a self drive safari will cost you in the final analysis, I've set up a spreadsheet below (please be patient, it takes a little while to open) which contains all the main expenses associated with each particular park and game reserve in South Africa.
The areas covered are the Kruger, Addo, Mountain Zebra and Kgalagadi National Parks, Pilanesberg, Hluhluwe-Imfolozi (formerly Umfolozi), Ithala and Mkhuze game reserves.
After 25 years and hundreds of my own South Africa self drive safaris I've managed to get the budget to within 5% of the actual amount that I spend every time by using this spreadsheet. So you can calculate your budget with a great degree of accuracy too.
I have listed all the major costs involved for each wildlife area with the relevant links which you can click on to find the applicable expense or tariffs for the November 2007 to October 2008 season. Then type that amount in on the spreadsheet itself where it says "add the total cost to this block".
After completing all themrelevant cost blocks, add the duration of your safari and the total number of people going to the relevant blocks. The spreadsheet will then automatically calculate your total self drive safari budget per person, per day in Rand, US Dollar, Pound and Euro.
You can then use this amount to compare with quotes received from guided safari companies to determine just how much more cost effective guiding your own safari really is.
|Use the distance calculator on the right to find the distances and approximate travel times from the main centers in South Africa to the game parks and between the parks themselves (based on an average travelling speed of 110km/h, or 68mi/h)...|
The cost effectiveness of a South Africa self drive safari is clearly evident when you do the budget calculation but you will still need a little guidance to be able to successfully plan and carry out your own self drive.
That's where the Guide Your Own Safari ebook comes in handy because it's chock full of 248 pages of local self drive safari knowledge that I've accumulated over more than 25 years.
The guide contains everything you need to know about self drive safaris in eleven of the top wildlife areas in Southern Africa.