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Know Your Tour Type: Tailored or Scheduled?

If you’re planning an Africa safari vacation and doing research online, you’ll come across various types of tours: private, tailored, set departures and scheduled. The difference between these tour types isn’t always obvious and is made trickier by industry jargon. The reason you need to know the difference is simply to make sure you book a tour style that is right for you.

Broadly speaking, there are two main tour categories: tailored and scheduled. Both types offer packages with varying inclusions (like meals, accommodation, activities and transfers), different comfort levels, and assorted added-value extras. The biggest difference between the two categories is how much freedom you have to choose what happens when while on safari and the other people with whom you’ll share those included activities and meals.

If you’re weighing up a scheduled tour against a tailored tour, our expert definitions will help you work out which one is right for you.

Tailored vs Scheduled
A tailored safari is one of the best ways to experience Africa.

Tailored

If you’ve decided to go on vacation to Africa, you probably have an experience or destination in mind – a focal point for your itinerary. To help you understand what other attractions and experiences work well with your focal point, we publish tours and safaris put together by our experts. Once you see a combination that you like, our experts adapt the itinerary around your dates, preferences and other important factors, like travelling with children or grandparents, or celebrating a special anniversary. 

Our tailoring service doesn’t cost you anything extra – it’s the value you get when you book through a quality travel company like Go2Africa. Our safari experts match your proposed dates, preferences, needs and budget to the most suitable accommodation and activities, make sure you’re informed about easy add-ons and that you’re getting the best value for your time and money.

Tailored vs Scheduled - Tailored holidays
We'll match your needs and requirements to give you the best experience possible.
Tailored vs Scheduled - Tailored holidays
From all out luxury in the most spectacular natural locations, to simply experiencing Africa on your own terms, a tailored trip is best.

Tailored

If you’ve decided to go on vacation to Africa, you probably have an experience or destination in mind – a focal point for your itinerary. To help you understand what other attractions and experiences work well with your focal point, we publish tours and safaris put together by our experts. Once you see a combination that you like, our experts adapt the itinerary around your dates, preferences and other important factors, like travelling with children or grandparents, or celebrating a special anniversary. 

Our tailoring service doesn’t cost you anything extra – it’s the value you get when you book through a quality travel company like Go2Africa. Our safari experts match your proposed dates, preferences, needs and budget to the most suitable accommodation and activities, make sure you’re informed about easy add-ons and that you’re getting the best value for your time and money.

Tailored vs Scheduled - Private Tailored
Experience Africa entirely at your own pace on a private tailored journey.
Tailored vs Scheduled - Private Tailored
Get the best of both worlds by staying in a fully serviced luxury villa.

Tailored Set Departures

There are a handful of exceptional safari experiences that operate on set or fixed departure dates. The ones we recommend include luxury train journeys on Rovos Rail or the Blue Train, and mobile safari expeditions in iconic destinations like Botswana. While these tours happen on set dates, we tailor-make the rest of your itinerary. Most importantly, we know from firsthand travel experience that these iconic experiences are absolutely worth the constraint of set departure dates.

Tailored vs Scheduled - Tailored set departures
A luxury train journey with Rovos Rail is a great example of a tailored set departure.
Tailored vs Scheduled - Tailored set departures
On a Botswana mobile expedition, your guides will tailor the experience entirely to your group's interests.

Scheduled Tours and Set Departures 

Generally, scheduled tours depart on set, non-negotiable dates, feature a circuit of popular attractions bundled around a theme, and are designed for medium to large groups of strangers travelling in a bus or similar vehicle with a driver-guide. These tours are not customisable but are often the cheapest option. An example of this tour type that you may be familiar with is a Contiki tour - in Africa you'll find a wide range of this type of tour using various vehicles, group sizes and covering a wide range of destinations. Scheduled and set departure tours definitely offer the most cost-effective way to see many attractions in a single tour but we don’t believe that this is the best way to explore a destination as complex, rich and diverse as Africa. What you save in cash, you lose in freedom to do your own thing.

Seasonal Departures

It’s worth noting that certain safari events depend on natural, seasonal factors, like rainfall, which means you have to travel at specific times of year to experience them.

Two highly recommended seasonal safaris:

 

Tailored vs Scheduled - Seasonal Departures
Know when to go to see the annual Wildebeest Migration in all its splendour.
Tailored vs Scheduled - Seasonal Departures
A green season safari in Botswana - in time to see the zebra migration - is a great example of timing your travels to get the best out of Africa.

Scheduled Tours and Set Departures 

Generally, scheduled tours depart on set, non-negotiable dates, feature a circuit of popular attractions bundled around a theme, and are designed for medium to large groups of strangers travelling in a bus or similar vehicle with a driver-guide. These tours are not customisable but are often the cheapest option. An example of this tour type that you may be familiar with is a Contiki tour - in Africa you'll find a wide range of this type of tour using various vehicles, group sizes and covering a wide range of destinations. Scheduled and set departure tours definitely offer the most cost-effective way to see many attractions in a single tour but we don’t believe that this is the best way to explore a destination as complex, rich and diverse as Africa. What you save in cash, you lose in freedom to do your own thing.

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