Masai mara evening

Valuable Insights for Travelling During Peak Season

December to January and June to October are some of the best times to tour East Africa. Whether you wish to visit Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, or Rwanda, this time is perfect for many adventures. From basking in the late December sun at the beach; to see the Great Migration; to climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, these seasons have something for everyone.

Because these are dry seasons in various regions, a majority of attractions are open. Therefore, you have an array of alternatives for your itinerary. 

Peak tourist seasons also provide numerous events. Another advantage of taking a trip this time of year is that the large crowds offer opportunities to meet people from different places and cultures.

One problem, though; almost everyone wants to travel during the best time for safaris. 

It means you have to contend with thousands of other tourists flocking to different destinations for holidays. Without proper planning, holidaying in peak season can be a nightmare. You might end up hating your safari adventure to the Mara simply because you didn’t anticipate how busy this period gets.

So, if your trip falls in the December holidays, January, or mid-year, then learning a few tips about peak season travel can save you considerable stress and disappointment. We compiled a few essentials to help you make the most of your getaway.

Book Early

We cannot exaggerate the benefit of well-timed reservations enough, especially if you have a limited budget. Hotels, flights, tours, and even attraction fees increase during the peak season. 

Waiting until a few days before your holiday to book services could mean paying significantly more than you would in regular time. Since a lot of people are scrambling to plan their trips as well, reservations sell out quickly. 

If you don’t book well in advance, you might have to settle for a hotel you don’t like. Imagine getting bumped off a flight because it is overbooked, then spending money for an overnight stay you didn’t plan for. An experienced tour operator can handle the minutiae of your trip while you deal with everything else necessary.

Watch Out for Deals

Discounts are rare during peak season, but not impossible to find. Airlines, hotels, and tour operators can offer goodies, particularly when promoting new products. 

If you are hoping to cut on spending, then keep an eye out for different deals. Even shedding 10% off your travel costs could make a huge difference. So, take the time to scour the web for discounts. Compare deals from various vendors to make sure you are getting decent cost savings. 

You might also get coupons that let you slash your spending on a few things. Be careful, though, not to compromise on services in the name of saving a few coins. 

Try Less Popular Spots

Visiting the Serengeti or Tsavo are wonderful experiences, but you might not appreciate the crowds present during peak seasons. So, why not visit less-known destinations?

The beauty of most East African countries is that they have numerous attractions, some of which don’t make it to travel magazines. For example, consider going to Samburu or Turkana in northern Kenya and avoid the overcrowding at the coast, eastern and central regions, which are incredibly popular. 

Ask a tour operator to recommend places that deliver the experience you want without the large tourist populations.

Spend Extra for Convenience

If your budget allows it, then you can improve travel by paying for a few extras. Lounge access at airports, for instance, keeps you away from the crowds and gives you space to rest. 

You can consider getting fast-track tickets for tours and attractions, where available. It would mean skipping long lines at entry points.

Arrive Early

One thing to never forget is that everything is slower during the peak season. Airport queues are longer, the traffic is heavier, and processes take longer than usual. 

Hence, arriving early for everything saves you a lot of hassle. You should especially be careful with pre-scheduled bookings. If you can, try to get where you need to be an hour early. Set an alarm, or two, to prevent that last-minute rush that could cost you dearly. 

The more time you save, the smoother your holiday will be.

Use Travel Planning Tools

You can make traveling during peak season less complicated with the right tools. The internet is full of planning applications designed to make trips as painless as possible. 

These tools can help you land travel deals, find accommodation, and organize tours. Search for travel planning tools according to need and settle on the most suitable ones.

Take a Break

Interacting with the large crowds that characterize peak seasons can be exhausting. Standing in long queues, waiting to see attractions, and having people talking around you for most of the day can drain the life out of you. 

Therefore, you should take a break whenever the chance presents itself. It might be an hour before a tour starts or a few minutes off the tourist trail. The point is to give yourself time to recharge. When you are well-rested, you can enjoy the sights better.

Anticipate Anything

Even the best-laid plans sometimes go awry, and that’s OK. Regardless of how many times you have been on safari, it’s impossible to see everything that could go wrong. 

For this reason, always be ready for anything. Your budget should include a miscellaneous allocation. If anything happened, you should at least have the means to cover it. 

Although it might be hard for some individuals, learn to take everything in stride. Avoid stressing over every little thing that doesn’t turn out as it should.

Remember to Have Fun

You spent enough time organizing a holiday to your chosen East African nation. Now, it’s time to enjoy it. Don’t think too much about what could go wrong. Trust that you have done everything possible to make your trip successful. 

Whether it’s a romantic getaway, adventure tour, or photo safari, relax and experience the magic that awaits.

Peak season travel is not for everyone because it can be tedious. However, when you know what to do in different situations, you can have memorable experiences, despite the busy season.