A safari can be a really memorable and exciting experience, and although it is worth adding to your bucket list of adventures, to book an affordable African safari can be a little difficult. Finding an African safari that is cheap but still gives you the experience you want can be a little difficult.
However, don’t let that quench your travel lust; you are still going to get the adventure that will leave you satisfied. Get your bags all packed up; there’s a trip waiting for you – this time, it is tailored to your budget.
Here in our article, we will help you get through all the difficulties and guide you on how to book an affordable African safari tour at some of the continent’s most unique locations that will give you that unique safari experience that you so dream of. You definitely won’t want to miss any of this.
Guide on How to Book an Affordable African Safari
Stay Longer in One Place
One way to reduce your spending when setting up your African safari is to reduce the number of trips you make, as it is much better to stay in one place as opposed to paying for transportation from one park or game reserve to another.
Choose a park or game reserve where you will want to spend your vacation. When choosing, let your decision be based on the type of experience and what you want to see during your safari.
This is because each park or game reserve has a type of animal or experience it offers. Kruger National Park in South Africa and Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park are the places to be if you want to see the Big 5 (elephant, lion, rhino, leopard, and African buffalo). Make a trip to the Masai Mara in July and November and the Serengeti from December to July to witness the Great Wildebeest Migration.
Choose countries that don’t require entry visas
Another thing to consider when you want to book an affordable African safari is the country of choice. Does the country you are choosing require an entry visa, as this is one thing that can eat into your budget? These entry visas can be really costly and affect your budget. However, not every country requires you to purchase these visas, so it is best to go for the one that is best for your budget.
Kenya charges $50 USD for their entry visa per adult, while Tanzania’s entry visa is $50 USD for both adults and children. However, South Africa doesn’t charge entry visas (visitor permits) for many nationals.
Before you plan your safari trip, you have to check to see if the country you choose charges any of these fees. Find out the requirements in terms of a visa and the costs before you begin your trip.
Pick the right travel destination
Another thing you should consider when you want to book an affordable African safari is your destination. Picking the right destination for your safari adventure plays a great role in how much you spend, so you have to choose carefully.
As we mentioned previously, Tanzania and Kenya can be really expensive with their visa fees, high national park fees, and the distance you have to cover to get to these destinations.
Safaris in countries like Botswana and Zambia are more affordable compared to East Africa, where some of the locations are too remote and can only be accessed through a charter plane, increasing your expenses.
Countries that should be on your mind when choosing your safari destination in Africa are South Africa, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. These countries, with their favorable exchange rate, low accommodation, and great infrastructure, offer you great value for your money.
Go during the low/green season
When planning your safari trip, it is best to try going during the low season, as this season tends to coincide with the rainy season. Accommodation prices, as well as the cost of safari tours, are less expensive by this time, and the weather is also beautiful by this time.
Fewer tourists tend to show up by this time, so most of the lodges are empty, which is the reason for the lower cost. The fewer crowds allow you to enjoy the unique safari experience that you crave.
Another reason why this is also a good time to book your African safari is that the bushes that are usually brown due to the sun will be all lush and emerald, with the rain transforming the landscape into a breathtaking picturesque view.
Choose a national park over private game reserves
If you are on a budget and looking to book an affordable African safari, the best option for you is the national parks. They are a lot better, regardless of your budget, than private game reserves.
The difference between national reserves, or parks, and private game reserves is that one is controlled and run by the government, while the other (private game reserves) is owned and run by private individuals or entities.
The advantage of the national park is that it has more land and animals compared to the private reserve. Accommodation within the park comes in several forms, depending on your budget. You have the option to choose camping or luxury lodges. However, they don’t allow night trips, only day trips.
As for the private game reserves, which are privately owned, rules are usually set by the owners of the reserves on how they are used. This reduced the number of things you could do there. The cost of accommodation in private reserves is expensive and may not be very budget-friendly.
However, in private reserves, you get to experience the safari at night and see some of the nocturnal creatures that only come out at night. That is something you won’t get to do at the national game reserve, which only allows day trips. Here, you also get a more exclusive safari experience; you are also allowed to do other activities, like horseback riding, biking safaris, and camel riding.
However, these are all dependent on your budget. And for a more budget-friendly option, you should pick a national park.