If you have always longed to go on an African safari but have found the costs prohibitive, well, there is a way. You can organize your own safari without having to pay those figures you had imagined! With these four budget friendly tips, you can plan your dream African safari for a fraction of what you had heard.
Watch the Park Entrance Fees
Park entrance fees at most African safari destinations will usually range between $50-$200 per person per day. In most of the parks and reserves, you will have to use the services of a certified guide. The restrictions and costs are usually intended at protecting and preserving the ecosystem and animals in the parks. There’s really no two ways about it.
Park fees vary from country to country with South Africa having some of the most attractive rates, between $6 and $10. Up north in the Serengeti in Tanzania and Masai Mara in Kenya, the fees are much higher; you could be charged $60 per person per day. Still, within the same countries some parks like Saadani in Tanzania and South Turkana in Kenya charge on between $20-30 per day. There are also cheaper day safari excursions like the Nairobi Safari Walk where they charge $20 per person.
Go for Budget Camping
While the safari is marketed internationally as a luxury-tented camp or lodge affair, these options don’t come cheap. Local safari experts advice on guided budget camping African safari. This option could cost you as little as $135 per person, per day—and this includes all park and camping fees, transport with a driver/guide, camping equipment, and all meals. Try to find as many travel companions as possible. The more people there are in the safari vehicle, the cheaper it becomes for everyone.
Visit Africa off Season
Lodges and camps usually drop rates quite significantly during the off-peak months, even by as much as half. Some of the best off-season periods to consider are early December, (before the Christmas fever) and again between April and May, which is the rainy season in East Africa. While the wet season is always avoided, this is usually “baby season.” There are calves and cubs everywhere. It is also the season of the wildebeest migration. Low season means fewer people hence a more intimate African safari experience.
Book with the Locals
The prices and terms of local operators are generally friendlier than those of international tour operators. Chances of discounts are higher since their overheads are much lower than their international counterparts. An added advantage is that these operators can help you connect with other travelers who can join your group and help bring down the cost for everyone on your safari.