Saving money on your African safari

For a continent filled with developing countries, one would think the cost of going on safari in Africa would be relatively affordable, but this is not the case.  Safaris are expensive for a number of reasons, mainly remoteness and transportation.

Lodges and camps in Africa are unique and so pricing can be explained by the fact that most are remote.  Remoteness has a price, but hand on heart, when you lay in your bed at night with the soundtrack of the bush, after a good dinner and a night drive you will not have any regrets!

A safari is an expensive experience, but it is also a priceless one at the same time.  There is nowhere else in the world where you will see/hear/smell/feel Africa and its wildlife come alive. And we can honestly say we have never had anyone who went on a safari and did not believe it was worth every penny spent!

Travel out of Peak Season
Travel in Africa is very seasonal, broadly categorised as Low, Shoulder and High season.  You can save a lot of money if you travel in ‘shoulder’ season’.   In most cases the wildlife areas you visit are as attractive as they are in the High Season, but it is still important to know and understand the main differences, so that you are able to maximise your experience for the time of year.

Get a group together
Depending on the itinerary, getting a group of friends together can provide value, particularly when you would like your own departure, and/or have specific accommodation and/or destinations you would like to visit.

Keep a watch on where you are travelling
If you visit to many different areas in Southern Africa and East Africa, this not only results in higher flight costs, but also extra transfers to and from the airport, sometimes extra nights in cities to provide a safety stop-gap should your flight be cancelled or changed to another time.

How you travel around
Your mode of transport is important.  The cost of your safari will vary extensively depending on how you travel around. On safari we use either road transfers or light aircraft transfers.  Whilst light aircraft transfers are more expensive, they are quicker and more direct; providing you more time to enjoy your safari.  In some itineraries light aircraft flights are a must due to location of the accommodation.

Advise us of your budget
Sometimes people are reluctant to provide us with a target budget for their safari in case this is used as a starting point and only more expensive safari options are proposed.  However, in our experience, providing a target budget and having this information early in the planning process, results in better value for money as it helps us identify when your expectations may not match your budget.

Long Stay Rates
Sometimes camps/lodges have long stay rates.   For example, ‘stay for 4 nights pay for 3 nights’ deals and others have ‘circuit’ rates which provide better rates if you stay with sister camps.

Plan Ahead
In Southern Africa and East Africa many of the lodges/camps are small and intimate, often with 9 rooms or less.  This means demand exceeds supply, and so we cannot emphasis enough how important it is to book early for a safari to Africa.

Mix it Up
But if you really want to stay at a particular safari camp but your budget does not extend that far, we can mix-up the accommodation. For example, you can have a few nights of luxury and then go for a more rustic tented camp for example.