How much does an African safari cost

A night on an African safari anywhere can cost from $130 to $1,500 per person.  A budget African safari costs $150 per person while a midrange African safari can cost $400. High-end safari lodges might potentially cost $1,500- $5,500 or more per night.

The African safari chart below provides a brief overview of how much an average safari in each country will likely cost, letting you easily select a destination that suits your budget.  Our website offers a variety of trips ranging from one to 20 days so feel free to choose the one that suits your travel needs.

What Not to Do on An African Safari?

Traveler on An African Safari

There are 9 elements that influence the cost of an African safari.

Having evaluated the extra charges, you can now begin to analyze all the other factors that influence the overall cost of African safaris.

  • How long do you intend to stay on safari: We don’t need to tell you that the amount of time you spend on an African safari determines how much it will cost you. The more days you spend on safari with the same operator, the less money you will wind up paying per day. The length of the African safari is determined by the factors below.
  • Budget: This is the main factor that will influence how long you can afford to go on safari. The more money you have, the more days you can spend in each park.
  • The number of destinations to be visited: Visiting more than one destination will mean that you will spend at least one day on the road traveling to the other (That’s unless you are flying). This will add to the total number of days you spend on your Safari.
  • Animals being sought after: If you are looking to find gorillas or chimpanzees, you may end up spending more time on your safari than someone coming to Africa to see lions or elephants.
  • Length of International Flight: If you have a lot of connecting flights from your home country, you will end up having a longer trip duration on your safari than someone who had direct flights.
  • Resting Time: If you will have had a long flight, you may need to take a day or two to recover from the jetlag and this time can also be spent exploring the city and buying souvenirs.
  • How Quickly you get bored: If you are just interested in the general feeling of being on an African safari but get bored easily, you might want to spend a few days out in the bush and mix up your activities to keep things interesting.
  • Traveling season: Travelers visiting the region during the Christmas period (peak season) or the Northern Hemisphere’s summer holiday period will often encounter high prices in East Africa, including for safari packages and accommodation. The high costs of safaris can turn off many travelers, especially those traveling on a fixed budget. They could also make safaris out of reach for many travelers.

Safaris are more affordable during the off-season/ low season, making it easier to cross off your bucket list. From packages to hotels, traveling during the low season could save you a significant amount of money. Rates could range from 20 to 40 percent lower during off-peak months. Flights are also generally cheaper during the low season.

What destinations do you want to visit?

Your destination highly determines the safari costs. If the places you want to visit are a bit far from the city center, then the cost of your safari will increase but if they are nearer, you will spend less. The activities that you want to carry out on your safari will also affect the safari costs. The Southern part of an African safari, as compared to an East African safari is believed to be less expensive but the good thing is that it has good places to visit. Take time and go to Africa without worrying about the wonders of the world.

Preferred level of accommodation

Your preferred level of accommodation plays a very big role in the price of a safari. There are great budget lodges at between $100-200 us dollars per night on full board and at the same time as there are luxury options that charge between $500-5000 per night. Depending on your budget you can go for budget, mid-range, or luxury-level accommodation. Besides the length of the safari, the accommodation level can be an easy way to adapt the safari to fit your budget. If the quote you receive is lower than you expected you can upgrade yourself to luxury some nights during the trip to a nicer accommodation level.

Number of participants on the safari

For a safari, the number of people traveling together has a reasonably big effect on the final price of the safari since they share operational expenses (car, guide, and fuel). Safari companies have safari extended land cruisers that can take between 1 to 7 passengers when allowing each person to have their own window seat. If you are a solo traveler, the price will go up due to the fact that the operational expenses are not shared with anyone on the other hand if you are a family or group of friends the price per person will go down since you share the operational expenses.

Choice of activities

The choice of activities plays an important role in determining the price of a safari. In contrast to, for example, a beach holiday a safari has scheduled activities most days that take entrance fees & sometimes other charges. Gorilla trekking is an activity that brings many tourists to Uganda and Rwanda. The one activity that stands out as more expensive (a gorilla trekking permit in Uganda is per Oct 2020 charged 700 us dollars and $1,500 in Rwanda). When going for a safari you for sure wish to get the most out of it and spend enough time in the national parks, but to keep the price down village walks, community tourism, and relaxation can be mixed in on some days.

Fly-in safari or Overland/drive in

Traveling by road or air is an important factor to consider in selecting a safari. While flying is generally more expensive, it is the most efficient means of transportation, transferring you between safari camps easily and with plenty of time to enjoy activities at both camps, which is why you are on safari after all. Travel by road can be exhausting, covering considerable distances on dusty roads in safari vehicles and it is definitely time-consuming. Nevertheless, overland travel affords you the opportunity to see some of the countryside and local villages between destinations, perhaps giving you a more realistic glimpse into a day in the life of the people whose country you are visiting. For some travelers, this is the best way to go.

Location of the accommodation

Prices of hotels inside the national parks are normally higher than the prices of those outside the park. Staying outside the parks is a wonderful way of saving money. The downside is that you will usually miss the first rays of dawn or the brightness of the night if you do this. You are also likely to miss out on the fascinating and eye-catching views. Day and night time are ideal times for game viewing.

Booking your tour directly with a local agency/ tour operator.

Booking your tour directly with a local tour company means that cut the costs of middlemen travel agents overseas that tend to take huge commissions. The same applies to online travel agents like trip advisors and safari bookings. They tend to take huge commissions from listing tours from African tour and travel companies as a result, the price tends to be higher if you book through these agents. Most companies in Africa pay between $100-150 per inquiry from safari booking.

Paying a lot of money doesn’t mean that the experience is the best

It’s unfair that African safaris for so long are sold as an exclusive activity for the rich. At Active African Vacations, we put into consideration middle-income earners and we believe that everyone should be able to explore the continent regardless of their level of income.  We have tailed-made safaris that suit the needs of every traveler from self-drive safaris, to luxury, budget, and midrange safaris.

At the end of your safari with us, you will have a memorable experience that we believe will last for a lifetime.

A number of people have inquired about the difference in the experience if they choose to book a budget or luxury safari. The truth is that the price you pay doesn’t in any way reflect the quality of your experience.  Some clients prefer luxury travel while others prefer self-drive or even budget. Sleeping on your 4X4 rooftop tent costs less per day than sleeping in a hotel yet all experiences are amazing! If you are that kind of traveler who prefers exploring Africa on your own in a rented 4X4 car then you will have more fun than someone sleeping in a luxury lodge.