The African Safari tours are a great way to get closer to nature and the natural habitats of animals. You get to see numerous wild beasts hunting other animals and this allows you to snap some great pictures to take back home. There’s adventure and an experience of a lifetime waiting for you in Africa, but all this is only possible if you go on an African Safari tour with experienced tour operators. Why not consider an African Safari with Naturetrek and it could turn out to be one of the best decisions you make.
There is a barrier to this great African adventure and that is the cost. African Safari tours can be expensive, but there is always something one can do to achieve their goals if they are determined. So, if you want to do an African safari on a budget and save as much money as you can, here are a few tips on finding economical safaris in Africa.
Research Properly and Extensively
Before visiting Africa, you need to do a lot of research. Thankfully the online channels have made it all really easy for us. We have many online portals that can help and we also have YouTube to watch some excellent tour guides on. I did extensive research on safaris. The most important factor in your research should be the cost. You need to cut the cost but still not miss the real safari experience. The best way to go about it is to divide the safari tours into days and rank them with proximity and amenities. There are African Safaris where you can enjoy a hot air balloon ride and those are going to be expensive for sure.
Preparation and Safari Gear
Many people, while going on an African safari, fail to understand the importance of traveling gear and how economical it can be if you buy it from a store nearby. I think the best way to get your hands on some good gear at economical prices is to buy safari equipment online. There are many options available and you can simply have them delivered to your place. This saves you time and money for shopping traditionally.
Types of Safaris and their costs
Many people think that there is only one type of African Safari and that’s when they go in the plains in jeeps and see animals living in their natural habitats. But there is more to this idea as there are many different types of safaris and they are divided into days. If you consider the way the tours are planned, their main types of safaris are single-day game drives, multi-day safaris, and self-drive safaris. Let’s discuss them all and see how we can save a buck on two being intelligent and wise.
These types of safaris are somehow the most expensive as multi-day safaris normally include food, accommodation, and game drives. Per my experience, they are so expensive that it is better to rule them to clean out if you are planning a budget tour. But still, if you are willing to go on an epic adventure, there is nothing better than a multi-day safari. Normally the multi-day safari cost you anywhere from $500 to $3000, but some game reserves in Africa can charge you something around $300. The best way to seek them is to find a good tour operator that can help you. You can still find them yourself if you do some digging. I remember there was this Aquila Game Reserve in South Africa that was offering a safari tour at $200 when I went there.
Full-Day Game Drives
Full-day or half-day game drives are my favorite when it comes to going to a safari tour on a budget. I always recommend them to travelers planning budget African Safari tours and I’d do the same to you.
When you are in Africa, you can easily rent a car and drive from one game reserve to another without relying on anyone else. It also saves you the extra costs of getting picked up from your hotel and then dropped off again after you are done from your safari adventure. You can also book some cheap hotels to get some other tourists to share a room with you if you want to save money here too. After all, you will just need the room to freshen up or to store your luggage. You will be out in the wilds or spending nights camping in the reserves most of your time.
Most full-day game drives or one-day safaris come with a 3-4-hour drive through the wilderness, a knowledgeable guide explaining things to you, and a meal. This meal can either be a lunch or a dinner and this solely depends on the time you are setting off on your safari adventure. Another thing that you must bear in mind is that these single-day game drives can sometimes turn out to be really challenging as many private game reserves need you to spend at least one night with them and this adds to the expense of getting a hut. You can also save money here if you bring along a camp with you. You can ask the game reserve manager about a safe place to pitch your tent and then spend the night under the stars. There could be nothing better than that!
As the name suggests, a self-drive safari requires you to drive yourself around the wildlife reserve yourself. This is a great way to save money and it also gives you the ease and flexibility to do whatever you want during your tour.
There is a drawback to this plan though. If you don’t have good knowledge of animals, you will be missing a lot on them as you go about driving yourself crazy in the reserve. Most people I have met on self-drive safaris complain about how there were no animals in the reserve. This wasn’t the truth. It was just their lack of knowledge of animals that kept them from finding the right animals at the right time. This is why we always recommend that you either get a good tour operator or research properly before going on an African safari tour.
If you are bent upon getting a self-drive safari tour, there is Addo Elephant Park near Port Elizabeth and it is home to more than 600 elephants. There are also around 20 lions and the entrance fee here averages around $18 per adult. Even if you fail to see any lions, you are guaranteed to see numerous elephants.
These were some of the things you can do to save yourself some money on your African Safari tour. There are always so many options available in Africa that you are bound to find something for yourself even when you are there on a budget. Just make sure you are keeping yourself safe from all the wild animals out there and following all the precautions. You’ll be fine even if you are on a budget. Just remember to have loads of fun there and snap some great pictures to take back home.
Bryan has visited exactly one more country than his wife, and she won’t let him forget it! Also an avid photographer, he enjoys entrenching himself within the local culture in order to learn more about the people of a place. He is the co-founder of Budget Your Trip and loves a good adventure, an exotic meal, or a passionate conversation about global events.