There is a safari priced for just about everybody, but there are major differences in accommodations, services, transportation and food. It’s important that you consider whether you’re part of an organised tour or are interested in a custom designed tour.
The following factors will influence your budget:
Level of luxury
You need to consider how much “roughing it” you’re prepare to do when planning your safari. In general, the more luxurious the safari, the more expensive the trip.
Safari lodges can range from ZAR1400 (about $200) to ZAR6500 ($900) per person per night depending on the exclusivity, standard of accommodation, scope and quality of services and range of activities. However, the cost at safari lodges normally includes all your meals, game drives and most other game viewing activities on offer.
At the other end public reserves in South Africa offers you the opportunity to plan an excellent safari tour at less than ZAR1400 ($200) per person per night.
Length of trip
The per-day-per-person-budget is a good rule of thumb for determining how long you can travel. Simply shortening a trip by a few days can sometimes cut the cost considerably. Moving around less saves on costly transfers or regional flights.
Three nights at a specific lodge or reserve will afford you a good opportunity to partake in all the activities on offer at a relaxed pace and to view most of the wild life in that area.
However, the expense in getting to Africa is significant and you to spend as much time as you possibly can afford on the continent – one of the few places left to go on safari!
Safari lodges in private game reserves are generally all-inclusive, which means the cost of the accommodations, meals, guides, game activities, and park entry fees are included.
At public game reserves and National Parks you’ll pay extra for game drives, walks, entrance fees, meals and guides.
High season prices can vary dramatically from the low season rates for the same safari camps and lodges. During high season game viewing is at its best and space is at a premium.
High season is normally from June to August in Botswana, Namibia and countries north of South Africa.
In South Africa you’ll not find such a sharp variance in prices except duringr the June/July and December school holiday periods. You may even get good “deals” during June to August when game viewing is excellent.
However, if peak game viewing is not critical and you are flexible with your travel dates, you can still have a wonderful safari experience at a lower price when traveling in low or “green” seasons.