African Budget Safaris
Affordable safaris on TourRadar
Embarking on a safari in Africa is one of the most incredible things a traveller can do in their life. Watching the sunrise over the plains, witnessing the Great Migration in Tanzania, or just enjoying every second in one safari park after another; there's truly nothing like it.
But if you want to do it all on a tight budget, is it possible? Of course! We've carefully assessed all African safaris and customer reviews on TourRadar and handpicked these affordable safaris from high quality tour operators:
4 Days, 3 Nights Tanzania Budget Camping Safari To Serengeti And Ngorongoro4 days • (2)From $790
7 Days Masai Mara, Lake Nakuru and Amboseli budget Safari7 days • (15)From $1,981
Budget Safari Price Tanzania, 4-Day4 days • (1)From $2,500
Tanzania Camping Adventure6 days • (11)From $2,199
Kenya Wildlife Safari8 days • (51)From $1,310
Southern Africa Encompassed: Bush Camps & Wildlife Spotting15 days • (14)From $2,399
How to compare safari tours
Compare price per day
Some safari price tags can leave you with sticker shock, but you should always look at one number more closely. Make sure to check the price per day for your potential safari, rather than the total price - the price per day will allow you to see where, exactly, your money will be going, and you can get the most bang for your buck with some careful consideration.
TourRadar Tip: Sort by lowest price per day, then adjust trip length and departure date.
Never assume that something will be included in the final price of your safari; it's always better to assume nothing is included and be pleasantly surprised than it is to experience the nasty shock of realizing you didn't budget enough money! Many tours do include these extra fees, but always make sure to check with your tour operator, as these fees may considerably increase your tour's total price. Ask about fees for park entrances and transfers, meals, and tips for guides and trackers. Read more on the cost of an African safari.
Check time spent on game drives
When comparing different safari options, always measure the itineraries based on how long you'll actually spend watching wildlife. While it may seem obvious, many travellers don't consider the sheer size of their destination - whole days of your safari can be spent driving! Determine how many game drives and other opportunities you'll have to spot wildlife in each safari you're considering and go from there.
How to find a cheap safari
Go during low or shoulder seasonSome destinations need to be visited at their peak for the best experience, but that is simply not the case with safaris. Most safari destinations are amazing year-round, and there's always something to be found no matter when you visit. Not only will you find your flights and accommodation less expensive, but visiting during the low season often comes with benefits such as seeing newborn animals and jaw-dropping birdlife!
Consider camping and budget lodgingWhile those Instagram-worthy safari lodges may look amazing, they come at a steep price. You don't have to break the bank on accommodation on a safari, though it's certainly possible! If you're looking to save money, consider a camping safari or budget accommodation. Note that these options will usually be located outside of the safari park and game reserve, with the cheapest options fairly far away.
Join a groupEmbarking on a safari on a group tour is one of the best ways to maximize your time while also saving money. Not only will you share costs for transport, the services of local guides, and some food expenses, travelling with a tour group means you'll be able to share the experience with like-minded individuals while enjoying the safety and comfort that a group tour provides. This is an especially good option for solo travellers, or travellers new to international travel.
Explore one destination at a timeWhile it would be amazing to be able to experience multiple countries over the course of one safari, expenses can quickly add up when you're travelling from country to country on a safari. Consider the cost of visas, vaccinations, and transportation: Africa is massive, and travel between countries often requires flights. Visiting one destination per visit allows travellers to keep costs low while totally immersing them in one country's unique culture and sights.
Travel by roadIf ticking multiple countries off your list during your safari is a must, the most cost-effective way of doing so is through travelling by road. While it will take significant time (some drives often last up to 10 hours), it's a great way of saving money. In addition, travellers are treated to stellar views of their destination and given a chance to rest up and get to know their travel companions along the way.
Hunt for best dealsBefore you decide to go on a safari, it's important to determine where you'd like to go, when you'd like to do it, and what you'd like to see. Once you know that, then you can start looking for the best deals on your destination and dates! TourRadar is home to thousands of safari trips, from the luxurious to the budget-conscious: you're sure to find something that suits your needs, at a price that suits your budget! Check out some of our best safari deals here.
Best destinations for a budget safari
Because there are so many incredible safari destinations all over Africa, it can be difficult to decide where, exactly, travellers will have their dream experience. If you can't quite decide, we've put together a few tips and tricks for budget safaris in a few of our favourite destinations.
For travellers visiting Masai Mara National Reserve, consider camping in one of several safe and secure sites; budget campsites are located just outside the park. The off-season for safaris in Kenya coincides with the country's rainy season - from March until June and then from October to December. Keep in mind that, while you may experience some rain, visiting Kenya for a safari during the rainy season often means incredible birdlife sightings. While Masai Mara National Reserve is Kenya's most popular destination, there's much more to the country! Budget safari-goers should consider alternate parks, such as Amboseli and Tsavo East National Park.
When planning a safari trip to Botswana, consider your safari type - while fly-in safaris can be a great way to see animals from the heart of the action, they're much more expensive. Opt instead for a "mobile" safari, and camp or stay in budget lodges while travelling. Note that Botswana is one of the more expensive countries to visit on a safari, so travellers dreaming of visiting should consider a tour to maximize their savings, and avoid travel from June to September; this is the peak season and most expensive time to visit.
Budget travellers, rejoice: South Africa is home to some incredible national parks - SANParks (South African National Parks) manage 20 of them (including the famous Kruger National Park), and you'll find cheap lodging throughout them all! Some parks allow walking safaris, which provide travellers with a more intimate and up-close experience with South Africa's wildlife. The best part? Walking safaris are often cheaper, as companies don't need to pay for transportation. The months of May through September are considered South Africa's low season, but this is actually the best time to spot animals in the country's north!
Uganda is best known for its incredible gorilla safaris, but, unfortunately, there are a number of ways these experiences can drain your bank account unexpectedly. Make sure your safari guide and operator is legitimate: illegitimate guides may charge extra fees that will leave travellers paying much more than they should for a safari. Watch out for companies that take advantage of gorilla trekking's high price tag and advertise "cheap" gorilla safaris, as they are often scams. The wet seasons in Uganda take place from March until May and September through November; these off-peak months are a great way to save money during your safari.
Consider visiting in November: not only will you enjoy off-season rates on flights, accommodation, and attractions, you'll still be able to see everything that makes Tanzania so special. Be prepared for rain, though! If you're looking to travel to the Ngorongoro Crater, it's easier than ever to travel during the off-season; the crater enjoys beautiful weather year-round, and travellers are practically guaranteed to see the Big Five. For travellers looking to save on transfers, Tarangire National Park is located near the Arusha Airport, so travellers looking to save on transfers should consider making this park their main safari stop.
Zambia is an affordable safari destination: the average daily cost of travel in this country is about $31 USD and travellers will enjoy lower prices for travel between the months of May and October - this rainy season will still provide ample opportunities for animal sightings! Most travellers fly into Lusaka Airport with the intention of flying further domestically - to save money on this travel, take advantage of Zambia's coach, rail, and even river transfers to your destination!
Budget safari reviews
Namibia Nomad with Absolute Africa"The Namibia Nomad tour exceeded all expectations that I had prior to departing. Not only was the route excellent and included a number of interesting stops and activities to partake in, but our guide Peter did an excellent job in coordinating all members of the tour and requisite meals. During the three weeks on the truck I do not recall eating the same dinner twice which speaks to Peter's cooking prowess. (...)" Read more
Cape to Namibia - 14 days with On The Go Tours"(...) Camping turned out to be so much fun and we experienced so much in a day that it was hard to wrap my head around the beauty and diversity of what I was so fortunate to be experiencing. I trusted the driver with my life, the guide had excellent knowledge of the areas we visited and the cook made a point of impressing us every single day - creating fantastic meals with the ingredients he picked up along the way. (...)" Read more
Serengeti & Zanzibar Wanderer (Zanzibar to Nairobi) with Dragoman"I had an amazing time. I always felt safe and well informed. We did so much in 2 weeks and I did everything I wanted. I was always safe and well looked after and our cook was the best." Read more
Cape Town to Vic Falls with Intrepid Travel"Excellent experience. Even the most basic of campsites exceeded my expectations in terms of cleanliness and facilities. Guides (tour guide, driver and cook) all had excellent personalities and were always ready to offer help and assist when required. 10/10" Read more
The Absolute Safari with Absolute Africa"Fantastic tour with lots of activities included. Very nice and helpful crew all the from Nairobi to Johannesburg. It´s definitely worth the money all the way through. Best recommends" Read more
Okavango Experience with Intrepid Travel"Very happy with the tour, Jays information, sense of humour and assistance made everything run smoothly. Sandile the driver assisted in so many ways other than driving, and Lizzy and Nosipho made delicious meals every day. Thank you all for a great experience." Read more
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