How Much Does an African Safari Cost?

An African safari costs anywhere between $125 and $1,500 per person per night. A budget safari averages $150 per night, mid-range $350 and luxury $750. The extreme top-safaris can easily go up to $1,500 per night, or more! There is literally a safari to suit every budget.

An African safari costs anywhere between $125 and $1,500 per person per night. A budget safari averages $150 per night, mid-range $350 and luxury $750. The extreme top-safaris can easily go up to $1,500 per night, or more! There is literally a safari to suit every budget.

Safari Costs (Per person per day)

The costings table here gives an instant overview of how much the average safari in each country will likely cost, allowing you to quickly choose the destination you can afford. Trips on our platform range from 1 day to 32 days in length.

Budget
Camping
Budget
Accommodation
Mid Range
Accommodation
Luxury
Accommodation
Luxury Plus
Accommodation
Private
Group
Private
Group
Private
Group
Private
Group
Private
Group
Botswana Botswana
+ -
 
Private
Group
Budget
Budget
Mid Range
Luxury
Luxury Plus
N/A
Kenya Kenya
+ -
 
Private
Group
Budget
Budget
Mid Range
Luxury
Luxury Plus
N/A
Namibia Namibia
+ -
 
Private
Group
Budget
Budget
Mid Range
Luxury
Luxury Plus
N/A
South Africa South Africa
+ -
 
Private
Group
Budget
Budget
Mid Range
Luxury
Luxury Plus
N/A
Tanzania Tanzania
+ -
 
Private
Group
Budget
Budget
Mid Range
Luxury
Luxury Plus
N/A
Uganda Uganda
+ -
 
Private
Group
Budget
Budget
Mid Range
Luxury
Luxury Plus
N/A
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe
+ -
 
Private
Group
Budget
Budget
Mid Range
Luxury
Luxury Plus
N/A
Zambia Zambia
+ -
 
Private
Group
Budget
Budget
Mid Range
Luxury
Luxury Plus
N/A
How Much Does an African Safari Cost?

Rates in USD $
Excluding additional costs, such as international flights, tips and personal items

Additional Costs Explained

 

The following list covers a few additional costs – some obvious, some less so – that you might need to add into your overall budget.

 
  • International Flights

    To keep costs down avoid flying during school holidays. Secondly, don't fly direct. Doing so is almost always more expensive than transiting a third country.

  • Visa Costs

    Rules and regulations vary by nationality and destination country, but all East African and many southern African countries charge for visas. Normally this is in the range of US$30-50 per person.

  • Accommodation

    Check your flight schedule. If you arrive in the afternoon your tour may start the next day and so you might need accommodation before the tour start. The same rule might also apply at the end of your safari if you have an early morning flight.

  • Vaccinations

    Health-wise you will probably need several vaccinations before arrival in most safari destinations. Malaria is widespread and a serious risk – it's recommended to take anti-malarial medication (seek advice from your local doctor).

  • Tips

    Tips for drivers, waiters, room staff and guides can quickly add up. Bring a couple of hundred dollars in smaller bills to cover tips. To give you a hint: US$15 per person per day.

  • Travel Insurance

    Don't even contemplate skipping this. A decent policy can cost anything from $50-$175 for two weeks.

8 factors influencing the cost of a safari

Now you’ve considered the additional costs you can start to look at all those other variables that can influence overall safari costs.

 
  • 1
    How many days you want to do a safari

    We hardly need to state that the length of time you spend on an African safari has a direct impact on how much it’s going to cost you. And the more days you spend on safari (with the same company), the less you’re going to end up paying on a per day basis.

  • 2
    When you want to go

    Visiting much of Africa during the school holidays costs more than going outside the holidays, but other local factors can also impact the cost of your safari. The majority of African national parks have periods when the wildlife spotting is better than other times. If you want to keep costs down, try visiting during a park’s off season. While this can mean less visible wildlife and, if it’s the Wet season, occasionally washed out roads, it does bring significantly lower prices, less tourists, and gorgeously lush countryside.

  • 3
    Where you want to go

    Many people are surprised to discover that much of southern Africa, where park infrastructure is often better and self-drive and camping safaris easier, offers a cheaper safari experience than East Africa.

  • 4
    What level of accommodation you are comfortable with

    As with any holiday, accommodation is going to eat up the lion’s share of your budget. Starting at the very top are the highly exclusive, tented camps often found in private or community conservancies. Deliciously romantic they might be, but there’s no getting away from the fact that these places cost a fortune. In high season many come in at a cool $2,000 per night for two people.

  • 5
    The location of the accommodation

    One good way of saving money is by staying outside of the parks. The problem with doing this is that you’ll normally miss the first dawn light or the glow of dusk. Both of which are the prime animal spotting times.

  • 6
    How to get Around

    Most camps and lodges offer morning and evening safari drives. At the very top-end places these will be conducted in custom-made luxury safari jeeps. At the opposite end of the spectrum come the pop-top minibuses used by many budget safari companies. Be careful with these. Some companies make sure that every seat in the vehicle has someone sat on it and if you get a middle seat you won’t see much.

  • 7
    How exclusive you would like your experience to be

    Head to big name parks such as Kruger in South Africa and you’ll find lower prices, but also tarmac roads and masses of other people. By contrast, head to one of the private concessions in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and you’re guaranteed peace and tranquility, but at a price.

  • 8
    Specific requirements due to interests or hobbies

    National park boards are fully aware that people are willing to pay more to see a cheetah than a hornbill (a type of bird). Visiting a park with an abundance of large and visible mammals will invariably cost you more than visiting a small, low-key park where the wildlife attractions are more specialized. If keeping costs down is important then limit your time in big-name parks and instead get excited by the birds and the bees in the smaller, lesser known protected areas.

Ready to find your Dream Safari?

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