What is the difference between a safari and a tour?

What is the dfiference between a safari and a tour?


The words ‘safari’ and ‘tour’, are often used together. To understand the differences between the two, we define them as the following.

What is a Safari?

A ‘safari’ is where guests spend consecutive days (sometimes weeks) game-viewing. A typical day includes a morning game drive and an afternoon game drive. To do this, you need to be in a wildlife area, i.e. a national park, game reserve or private conservancy where you can observe, photograph and experience Africa’s wildlife.

Spending consecutive days (or weeks) on a safari is more expensive than a tour. National parks and game reserves all have entry fees. For example, entering the Masai Mara Game Reserve is US$ 80 per person daily. So, if you spend three nights (four days) in the Masai Mara, the fee is US$ 320 per person. Then, you have your accommodation, transport, and guide costs. Examples of safaris are our 9-day Botswana Discover Fly-in Safari or our 12-day Classic Kenya Wilderness Safari.

Depending on the destination, safaris use either closed 4WD vehicles or open-sided 4WD vehicles.

What is a Tour?

Tours cover more ground and are not 100% focused on game-viewing compared to a safari. For example, a 20-day TransKalahari Adventure or our 21-day Cape Town to Victoria Falls covers more than 5,000km.  Tours are more affordable because you travel in a group (12 to 16 people) and not stay in wildlife areas each night. Tours are an excellent option for first-time African travellers as they offer variety, with opportunities to observe wildlife, landscapes and culture. 

Tours use larger vehicles that cater for between 12 and 16 people.