How important is the look and feel of a safari proposal?
The better a safari proposal captures the feeling of the actual safari destination and safari experience, the better the guest’s decision and match with his/her expectations. When planning a safari one imagines how it will feel to be eye to eye with the elephant and if this would be up close or within a distance, alone or with others, in a self-drive rental car or on a 4x4 game drive vehicle, all will feel different. And the safari proposal should send a clear message about the feeling, one can expect when being on this specific safari.
The safari feeling starts with the safari destination. Will there be lots of wildlife, will I see the Big Five? The pictures should capture the feeling of the area, the essence of landscape and wildlife, the awe one feels when being there. Just as important is the feeling of the accommodation. Not necessary the picture of the bed, proofing, that there will be a bed reflects the feeling. What is the nicest thing to do when being in your safari tent or cottage? Sitting with a view, an endless view into the bush, over the Great Plains, into the sunset. The pictures should capture that feeling of the view, the intimate connection with nature, the comfort and safety of the accommodation, providing the opportunity to safely enjoy these moments.
Just as important as pictures is the routing of a safari itinerary. For the best safari feeling there should be a flow one can easily surrender to and go with it. This is very personal, however guests who travel Africa with Roho Ya Chui “soul of leopard” seem to prefer a counter clockwise routing in Southern Africa. Most of them are coming from Europe and the United States and it might be determined by their international flights. When travelling from the U.S. to Johannesburg it might feel more natural to continue east to Kruger and then after a few days adjusting to the new environment being ready for the turn north to the Victoria Falls and west to Cape Town to close the circle again in Johannesburg. For flights from Europe might the same apply, using the energy from the overseas journey for a natural flow. This feeling will already be unconsciously present when deciding about a safari routing, as one imagines going there when reading an itinerary.
The rational parameters of decision-making will always be undermined by the much stronger unconsciousness. Even if the decision was finally made based on the rate, the safari experience won’t feel good, when the feeling was ignored when making the choice.
Guest post by Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui “soul of leopard”, Travel Africa