The question of How much does a Safari in Africa cost? or How much an African Safari cost? is a common question of most travelers from all over the world intending to tour Africa. The cost is always based on different factors and keeps changing with time and economic situations in the different African countries.
We have tried to answer this frequently asked question below by highlighting some of the determining factors and giving the cost range. An important fact to note is that Africa safaris can be taken by anyone despite the different budgets because the safari can be tailored to meet personal budget and interests. It may be hard to state the specific cost of a safari to Africa but the following factors will help you estimate the safari cost;
There are different levels of accommodation in all national parks and tourist attractions in different African countries, this ranges from budget to luxury accommodation. Visitors who stay in budget accommodations spend less on a safari than those visitors staying in luxury accommodation. The budget Safari lodges and hotels are usually located outside the parks and other gazetted tourist centers unlike the luxury ones that are either within or close to these areas. The accommodation usually takes the greatest part of the safari tour. The difference in these accommodation levels is the level of comfort one needs but all lodges and hotels provide the basic requirements like sleeping area, shower area, food and drinks.
Length of the Safari.
Depending on the number of days one wants to spend on a safari, one can determine the cost since the more the days the more the cost and the other way round. With more days of stay one engages in more activities, more days of accommodation and more movements hence increased costs to cover all the above added expenses. So one must look at the time available for the safari in order to determine the safari cost.
The Number of People Travelling
Different people enjoy a certain level of privacy where by some choose to travel alone or in groups. So when moving in groups there the safari cost may be low as the cost is shared and more discounts are usually available for group travelers. Assume one was to hire a car alone and bear the cost alone, he/ she would incur more money than when the car cost is shared.
Different countries charge differently for any safari and also the national parks and tourist attractions in these countries are located in the different parts from the main city centers therefore to ease with which you access these areas determines the safari cost. Taking an example of Uganda as one goes to do gorilla tracking, Bwindi Impenetrable national park where the activity is done is far away from Kampala and Entebbe where visitors enter the country therefore it will increase the safari cost unlike in Rwanda where Volcanoes national park is just two hours from Kigali making it cheaper.
The Activities Done During The Safari
In different countries there are different activities to participate in and these are charged differently. Taking an example of gorilla tracking, this is done in three countries Uganda, Rwanda and D R Congo where by the permits cost USD 700 in Uganda, USD 1500 in Rwanda and USD 400 in DRC so depending on the country visited and activity taken one can determine the safari cost. Again we look at different activities like game drives, boat cruises, gorilla trekking and more all these cost differently therefore the safari cost is determined by taking into account the number and type of activities visitors wish to take part in.
There are two or three tourism seasons and these include the low season, high season and peak season. These are determined by the frequency of visitors coming into a country at a time. Different tour operators tend to charge differently depending on the season so one can be charged differently. During the peak season the safari costs are high since demand is high and the low season the prices tend to reduce as demand is low. Therefore, for those intending to cut costs they need to target the low seasons.
The Tour Company Mark up/ Administration Costs:
In organizing an Africa safari, tour companies help in planning and finding the best options available to meet a client’s needs, they also help in making bookings of permits and lodges therefore they need a commission for the service rendered. Different tour operators charge a percentage of the total cost as their commission therefore different operators will have different costs of the same safari.
The above are some of the factors to consider when determining the cost of a safari in Africa. But those factors determine the safari cost on arrival in the country to departure though it excludes costs like International flight costs, travel insurance, African visa fees, tips during the trip, vaccinations like yellow fever, extra accommodation and personal expenses like shopping.
One can try cut on the costs by following some of the tips below;