Most tour operators who you book through should have some form of financial bonding in place, a further level of protection is provided by paying by means of a credit card. Since there is limited usage of the credit card, there is low usage of credit cards and the few companies that are accept credit cards are charged high commission fees that are passed onto you. A surcharge for payment by credit card depends on the credit card processing company.
If anything goes wrong you can apply to your credit card supplier for redress.
With most agencies, you don’t have to pay the full amount to book your safari. Most agencies charge 30% of the total price of a safari as down payment.