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Cost of an African Safari - Tips on What to Consider

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Duba Plains Luxury Guest Tent in in the heart of the Okavango Delta , Botswana.   Photo courtesy Great Plains Conservation

Duba Plains Luxury Guest Tent in in the heart of the Okavango Delta , Botswana. Photo courtesy Great Plains Conservation

An African Safari is one of the world's greatest adventures, and there are several components that play a role in determining your trip costs. Understanding your priorities allows you to maximize your trip budget with flexibility. Customized by our safari experts for you, your trip should reflect your goals. The following information will guide you through which factors impact cost as you prioritize what is ideal for your safari journey.

1. Determine your Destination and Season

The Great Migration of wildebeests and zebras in Tanzania

The Great Migration of wildebeests and zebras in Tanzania

Are you interested in seeing elephants more than lions? Or would you rather spend your afternoons looking for exotic birds? Knowing that you want to see the Great Migration will also change the season and place of your safari experience, as opposed to wanting to trek gorillas or search for rhinos.

Not all safari destinations are created equal for all experiences. The destination you choose should be based on the experiences you want and the wildlife you would like to see. A safari travel specialist can help you make the right decisions based on your needs, goals, and timeline.

2. East Africa vs. Southern Africa

Sirikoi House in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya.

Sirikoi House in Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya.. Photo courtesy of Sirikoi

Southern Africa leads the way in modern luxury safaris with premier destinations and private concessions. East Africa is not far behind in terms of luxury but generally focuses on the classic iteration of a safari, especially with its higher density of wildlife and the romance of authentic experiences blended with luxury elements.

Unless you have a particular interest in a specific region, country, or annual event, either destination reveals different but equally enchanting soulful perspectives of the safari experience. The debate about visiting East Africa versus Southern Africa for your safari is truly about what you wish to see and experience in terms of wildlife, as the hospitality of Africa is incredible no matter where you go.

3. National Park vs. Private Concession

Group of lions enjoying the river in Selinda Reserve, Botswana

Group of lions enjoying the river in Selinda Reserve, Botswana

A national park is a government-owned and managed property while a private concession is a privately owned game reserve.

While both adhere to similar principles of management in terms of wildlife protection, conservation and safety, a private concession often offers a few more liberties to those staying on the grounds. Generally, a private concession allows fewer visitors, highly-skilled guides, and the ability to track wildlife deep into the bush. Rather than stay on the defined roads, your guide can take you in any direction with options for night drives, walking safari, and other site-specific options.

4. Accommodations

Luxury accommodations at Dulini Lodge in Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa.  Photo courtesy Dulini

Luxury accommodations at Dulini Lodge in Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa. Photo courtesy Dulini

Your accommodation options can make a significant difference to the overall cost of your African safari. Some of the definitions blur or are used interchangeably when talking about lodges and camps because of the various different types of accommodations available across the safari landscape. For instance, a mobile camp and luxury camp can offer an experience equally as luxurious as staying in a lodge but the definitions may change depending on the country you will be visiting. Types of accommodations include:

  • Lodge
  • Tented Camp
  • Permanent Camp
  • Mobile Camp
  • Private House

A safari gives you access to the greatest show on earth, from millions of migrating animals to a view of Mount Kilimanjaro, intimate wildlife interactions from unique perspectives to a view of the mist rising from Victoria Falls. Both East Africa and Southern Africa have their highlights found in luxury lodges to the unique wilderness emphasizing the importance of how your goals and preferences affect the cost of your trip.

A safari expert is ready to guide you

Mokoro safari at Sanctuary Baines Camp in Bostwana

Mokoro boat safari at Sanctuary Baines Camp in Bostwana

For the best advice, you can speak with a safari expert who can better assist you on finding the right safari experience for you based on your safari dreams, and on the many variables that can impact your safari budget. Fill out a Trip Request for further details, our contact our team with any questions at 1-888-265-9707.

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