How to Find an Affordable African Safari

A safari in Africa is something that should be experienced at least once in your life and shouldn’t have to break the bank. Finding an affordable African safari is easy enough with a little careful planning. There are many ways to cut down on the cost of a safari so that you don’t have to consider any other international destination. By carefully following our guide below, there is no reason why a safari in Africa shouldn’t be your next vacation spot.

How to Find an Affordable African Safari

Choose a Self-Drive Safari

woman taking photo of giraffe on self drive

Self-drive safaris are ideal for travelers on a tight budget and for those who feel more comfortable being in control of their own schedule. In South Africa, almost every game reserve can be accessed by road and can be combined with other top destinations. You could visit include cities such as Cape Town and Durban, or explore the famous Garden Route, before heading into big five game reserves such as Shamwari, Phinda, Pilanesberg, Madikwe, and the Kruger National Park.If you keen to explore the Garden Route then take a look at our collection of tours.Self-drives are also possible in Namibia and although the distances between destinations can be relatively long, the scenery and attractions along the way make it a pleasant drive. There is so much to see and do in this part of the world, from deserts to game reserves and pristine coastlines. A self-drive trip in Namibia is a great option for travelers looking to explore for longer periods of time. For a real adventure, here is a real classic tour of Namibia.

Choose Your Destination Carefully

two people having sundowners on a game drive in kenya

Ultimately, the most important element of any safari is getting out into the African wild.When looking for an affordable African safari, it is really important to carefully consider the destination. African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Botswana offer the most incredible safari experiences but with a price tag in US Dollars. Several of the prime game viewing areas in these countries are within fairly undeveloped locations, which means that in some instances travelers can only fly in and out by charter plane. Choosing a safari in remote locations also means higher operational costs for the lodges and camps - flying in supplies and running generators for electricity. If you are planning a visit to any of these countries, it is important that you consider destinations that are accessible by road. Great options include Chobe National Park, Moremi Game Reserve, and Zambezi National Park. Staying in reserves that can be reached by road from major airports will be more cost effective than those that require you to fly in and out by charter plane. South Africa is generally a good choice for travelers on a tight budget, offering a wide range of lodges and tented camps, and several game reserves that can easily be reached by road. From Johannesburg, one could easily access Pilanesberg Game Reserve or Madikwe Game Reserve which is a little further out. The Kruger National Park is also accessible from Johannesburg and traveling by road can take on average between 4 and 5 hours, on the basis that you have chosen a lodge just outside or within the southernmost region of the park.

Reduce the Number of Nights on Safari

Boat safari with views of a mother and baby elephant

Choosing a safari that includes a variety of activities allows you to explore the African bush in shorter space of time.When traveling to Africa for a safari, it is important that travelers understand that the more nights you spend on safari, the higher the costs of your trip will be. Most safaris in private game reserves and remote locations offer accommodation on a fully inclusive basis. This means that your meals, local branded beverages, and safari activities are generally included in the nightly accommodation rate. To minimize costs further, it’s often a good idea to consider combining destinations. For instance, on a seven-day vacation, one could look at three nights on safari in the Kruger and three nights in the city of Cape Town. Another good option is the combination of Victoria Falls and the renowned Chobe National Park. There are several variations one could consider.To really make the most of a shortened safari, one should consider fly-in safari options. They are convenient and save on time, allowing you to enjoy the African bush for as long as possible.For a short getaway to the Kruger, here is a great three day fly-in tour.

Know When to Travel

Game drive experience in the green season

Traveling during the quieter green season allows one to truly admire and appreciate the vastness and beauty of the African bush.Make the most of your budget by traveling in the “Green Season” or shoulder season which are specific times of the year that are considered to be off-peak. The date spans vary from country to country, but one should always try to avoid traveling in the peak seasons when rates are their highest. For instance, Botswana is busiest between June and October, whilst in the months of May and November prices at several lodges drop by as much as 30 percent and the game viewing remains exceptional. The Green Season is generally from December to March in Botswana, and although rainfall is expected, the landscape is lush and is the ideal time for viewing newborn babies and incredible bird life. You could save up to 50% on your accommodation during this period.

Use a Local Tour Company


Booking with a reputable African travel company ensures a seamless and unforgettable vacation.When traveling to Africa, it is always a good idea to use a local tour company that specializes in trips to Africa. Most often than not a travel expert will be able to suggest destinations and lodges that will drastically reduce the costs of your trip. Africa travel experts are extremely knowledgeable and will always have access to special offers available at lodges and camps throughout the year. This includes pay stay deals! Using a reputable travel company such as means that you will have the support of a dedicated safari expert every step of the way, and reassurance that your trip will be carefully crafted to include lodges and destinations that are best suited to your interests and budget. Need help planning your trip? Let us guide you.

Join a Mobile Camping Safari

Mobile camping safari in Kenya.

Mobile camping safaris bring you that much closer to nature without having to give up too much of the modern comforts.Mobile camping safaris can be the most cost-effective way of exploring the African wilderness. They vary in size and move from one place to the next, bringing you that much closer to nature. The accommodation is tented and meals are prepared over an open fire. Mobile camping safaris in some regions like Zambia often move around by canoe along the Zambezi River. Mobile camping is an exhilarating experience that truly immerses you in nature. If you eager to immerse yourself in nature then be sure to check out these tours.

Spend Less on Comfort

camp fire at tydon safari camp kruger national park

An affordable safari is about choosing to experience the wild without the bells and whistles of a luxury lodge.Lapping in luxury is always a great way to spend your vacation, but one has to be mindful of this when looking for an affordable African safari. In Africa the more lavish and exclusive the accommodation, the higher the nightly rate. It is always a good idea to consider three-star luxury lodges that may be positioned just outside of prime game viewing areas. Three-star lodges in Africa are comfortable, with tasteful rooms, great facilities, and warm hospitality. Have a look at our our collection of three-star luxury lodges offer convenient access to top attractions here.Let us help you find a safari that best suits your travel needs and budget. Our team of Safari Experts are the best at finding an affordable African safari and are standing by to answer all your questions.

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