According to Godfrey Willy, founder of African Traits and a native Tanzanian, a great safari is comprised of three main parts. This trio of crucial elements form the foundation of his business which he created to support his local community and share the beauty of his home to those seeking that special “something else” in their holidays.
NUMBER ONE, PROFESSIONALISM
A great deal of work goes into the creation of a safari. Godfrey explains that behind the scenes there is ongoing research, planning and creative thinking. But the customer experience rides almost entirely on the professionalism of the guide.
“For example,” he continues, “Our guides know all about the animals, their habits and where to find them. They also offer great customer service, thinking ahead as far as the customer experience is concerned and being able to engage the guest with good humour and accurate information.”
Additionally, unlike many other companies, African Traits drivers and guides are not limited by the amount of petrol during their tour, making sure to cover a big area of park during their visit. This also empowers the guides who can make decisions while on tour about where to go to make sure the clients have the best safari experience.
“We’ve made unlimited game drives our culture,” explains Godfrey, “The way we see it, wildlife can be unpredictable and sometimes you have to drive a little further or a little longer to make sure your clients get the best results possible.”
NUMBER TWO, DESTINATION AND TIMING
Matching a client’s expectations to what is achievable in the safari business can be tricky. As Godfrey explains, we are visiting these wildlife parks as spectators only and the animals there are under no obligation to cooperate with us and follow a script! This is why destination and timing are so important.
“You need an operator who doesn’t just know the destination, but has an intuitive understanding of the place,” he says, “An operator who can share their wisdom and experience at the planning stages of a safari to make sure that you are most likely to see what you want to see. And, importantly, the operator should be able to manage a client’s expectations throughout this process.”
African Traits safaris are led by highly experience guides who are experts at their trade and are knowledgeable enough to avoid the overcrowded areas. This helps them find those spots in the park that have fewer human visitors but more animals. This takes an intimate understanding of the landscape and the animals that live there.
“You’d be amazed at how much can influence a safari,” he says, “The seasons and migratory patterns of last year affect the safari tours and the nature of the animals today. I’ve seen other businesses fall short simply because they don’t take the organic nature and timing of our work into consideration.”
NUMBER THREE, LOGISTICS
Finally, the computability, specifically with the kind of vehicle and the accommodation, is something that needs to be carefully considered prior to a safari. Godfrey believes that guests need to have a feel of African nature while on tour, but still be able to enjoy their preferred level of comfort.
“Some people like camping on the ground and others prefer beds,” he reflects, “Some like to be immersed into the wild and surrounded on all side by nature and others prefer to have flushing toilets and WIFI. You have to match the accommodation to the guest because a good night sleep will make for greater enjoyment.”
To make sure their clients get the best of their African safari experience, African Traits ensure to alternate between hotels and tented camps so that their clients get the chance to try both options. With a wide selection of hotels and tents of different levels available, it is as much about the post-safari ambiance as the comfort of the pillow and mattress.
“So, if a safari lasts seven days,” he explains, “A guest will have the opportunity to enjoy overnight stays in tented camps and a few days in the hotels inside the parks.”
And along with accommodation, the other important factors are comfortable, safe vehicles. Afterall, most of the safari is spent inside the vehicle during a game drive travelling through hot weather and rough terrain.
“Our vehicles are designed to make sure every client can enjoy a window seat and they are equipped with a fridge that keeps soft drinks cool at all times,” says Godfrey, “These vehicles also come with pop up roofs that provide the clients with a panoramic view during a game drive, making sure they don’t miss anything. Also, for safety each one comes with seatbelts and a fully equipped first aid kit which the guides are fully trained on how to use.”
KEEPING THINGS UPDATED
According to Godfrey, African Traits update their safaris every year and also customise their expeditions based on the client’s needs and wants. Additionally, their professional team are always happy to give ideas or make suggestions. At the end, it is important that their clients have the best itinerary for the most unforgettable experiences.
Photography plays a large part in today’s travel world. Shareable images drive interest to new locations and there is the constant push for those elusive “one of a kind shots”. Whether you’re a professional or amateur photographer, a social media influencer or just want to have something uniquely yours to hang on your wall, a photography safari may be for you.
African Traits make use of special vehicles for photography tours that have been designed with photographers in mind. This is also backed up by experience and the abovementioned intuitive understanding of where to go to get those perfect shots.
African Traits have always been closely linked to the community and as a business they are involved with Neema Village, this is the baby orphanage where they rescue abandon children. Godfrey also mentions that they work together with the organisation called Hands and Hearts for Humanity who focus on providing clean water in Africa. This incredible organisation has already dug over one hundred water wells in Tanzania.
“We have a few important measures in place to make sure all our clients are safe when travelling with us: to begin with, all our guides have completed the safety procedure course . We all wear face masks while with clients, use hand sanitisers and provide them in our safari vehicles as well.”
THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR AND BOOK.
Godfrey explains that for those who are looking to make bookings now, The Great Migration is coming up soon. This year they’ve had perfect weather, so the chances are it’s going to be spectacular.
“Also, we have new exciting adventures coming up soon,” he says, “These are yet to be published on our site but will include unique luxury Kilimanjaro climbs, wildlife and cultural safaris too.”
PRICE: Between $300 and $700 per day
TELEPHONE NUMBER: +255 658 552 186
*The Lost Executive Ltd cannot be held responsible for any experiences had with African Traits. No matter how amazing. You should always do your research prior to booking.