How much does an African Safari in Tanzania really cost?
Turns out Tanzania safari prices are so diverse that almost any reasonable vacation budget can get you something that you will remember for the rest of your life.
If going on an African safari has been on your bucket list for like forever and the only reason it remains unchecked is your worry about the dent the experience will cause in your bank account, then I bring good news. Some 3 day safaris go for as low as $600 per person (excluding air travel, of course).
But just because the safari goes for that amount doesn’t mean you should take it. You are buying an experience and the rules of you getting what you pay for still apply.
Not that there is going to be that much of a gigantic difference. It’s not like the lion king is going to order his subjects to go into hiding when you pay $600 and then order them back to march beautifully across the Serengeti when a safari vehicle carrying those who paid $15, 000 per person comes along. Nope. Not gonna happen.
What Determines the Price of Your Safari
The difference will be in the details. The cost of your Tanzania safari will basically be determined by:
- Where you will be staying (a luxury lodge or camp, a mid range camp or just plain camping).
- The cost of your air fare to Tanzania. It is very likely that you will take care of this on your own and will not be included in the price of the safari package advertised.
- The number of days you plan to spend on your safari. A 15 day safari is definitely going to be more expensive than a 3 day safari.
There Is Something for Everyone
Your preferred accommodation type is a huge part of the cost of the safari experience. And so are the number of days your safari takes. Most of the tour companies mix luxury lodges with mid range camps so that the prices come down.
But there is something for every reasonable vacation budget.
A look into the various safari packages advertised on the net reveals this.
An African Odyssey safari priced at $ 3, 970* per person takes you through Northern Tanzania and you will spend 2 nights in the Serengeti. If the timing is right you might get to see the magnificent wildebeest migration. You will be accommodated on a mobile tented camp with reasonable luxury. Mobile tents are used for following the movement of the migrating animals. And some of them can be very luxurious. This safari then proceeds to Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro region where you will spend another 2 days. It is an awesome safari by all standards.
Another safari – this time by Safarihub – is priced at $ 1,691 and takes you to almost the same destinations over 6 days and the luxury is mid-range.
A Closer Look into Tanzania Safari Prices
I prepared a table to give you a clearer picture of what your budget will probably get you. The prices below represent prices offered by various tour companies for Tanzania safaris in the month of July 2015. The prices will probably change slightly – either downwards or upwards – depending on the season and the demand. But they will give you a good picture of what to expect. I have decided not to include the exact name of the tour companies.
|COMPANY||COST PER PERSON||NUMBER OF DAYS||THINGS EXPRESSLY MENTIONED TO BE INCLUDED IN THE SAFARI*|
|P||$183||1||The safari will be in Arusha National Park. It is more or less a private safari and you will be accompanied by an English speaking guide.|
|Q||$1,080||4||The safari begins and ends in Arusha. You will visit Tarangire, Lake Manyara region, spend some time in the Great Rift Valley and the Ngorongoro conservation area. Accommodation is in mid-range camps and tents. Park fees and meals are included. You will be accompanied by an English speaking guide.|
|P||$3, 176||5||This safari has the hallmarks of a luxury safari. You will visit Lake Manyara, The Serengeti, Ngorongoro and then proceed to Tarangire. Accommodation will be provided in luxury and mid-range lodges. Park fees and meals are included. You will be accompanied by an English speaking guide.|
|S||$8, 618||11||Airport transfer to the lodge. Flight to Tarangire and then to The Serengeti. The eighth day will be spent at a luxurious lodge overlooking the Indian Ocean. Accommodation will be provided in luxury lodges. You get three meals a day. Drinks included. Park fees paid. And you will be accompanied by an English speaking guide.|
* Most of the safaris will definitely treat you to more than they have expressly stated to be included in the safari packages. The reason some of the perks aren’t stated is to avoid legal liability and to allow for more flexibility. So expect to be wowed if you book with a good tour company.
The Safari Lodges and Camps
The safari lodges are in the wild but some of them can be better than a high end hotel suite in London, New York or Singapore. Imagine transplanting your favorite suite at The Ritz and planting it as it is in the middle of the Serengeti with tall giraffes now replacing the neighboring skyscrapers and your view is a REAL park with the horizon in the background instead of a 2 acre green patch that starts and ends in a city’s concrete jungle. Much much better.
Accommodation rates, just like the prices of your safari, vary widely. But your travel agent has them figured out and will probably ensure that you are comfortable during your stay. So don’t stress over accommodation if you’ve done your homework and booked with a reputable tour company.
Of Tastes and Preferences
From the tables above you can probably tell that the cost of your African safari is going to be determined by your tastes and preferences and what you expect to get from your safari.
People have different tastes and preferences. Your wants are probably going to be different from those of other travelers your safari company of choice has served.
Some people want their favorite wine available wherever they choose to spend the night. And it is going to take a special kind of lodge to meet those expectations.
Some people want their bathrobes designed by Roberto Cavalli himself while other people do not even notice what brand their bathrobe is.
People’s tastes are all over the place and what I consider important may be a non issue to you while what you consider very important may be the least of my concerns.
Just look around for a safari that meets most of your needs and expectations. Spot one and you’ll have found a winner. Just make sure you’ve booked with a reliable tour company.
A quick search on the Internet for the reviews of the company will tell you if you can trust them to plan and execute a memorable African safari for you.
So don’t let your African safari sit on your bucket list for another year because you are scared of some of the $15, 000 price tags you see floating on the Internet. You can find something that suits your needs at a much lower cost.
Ask around. Email a few tour companies and tell them: hey, I want to go on a safari so bad but the rent in my city ‘is too darn high’ that I am just left with $XXXX discretionary income. With that amount what can I get? I am sure you can work out something for me.
They will be kind. Very kind. And they will give you a few options. And then you will have something to work with.
That Being Said…
A vacation should not leave you financially crippled. That being said, you should not cheap out on an experience of a lifetime like an African safari. Push the envelope a little bit with your budget.
If you can afford to go on $ 10, 000 safari then by all means go for it. If your budget allows you to spend only $ 1, 000 then that is all right too. You will still enjoy your safari. It is an amazing experience that you will want to relive for the rest of your life.
Are the Tanzania Safari Prices Friendly to Your Budget?
Share with us what your budget is like for your planned African safari. And if you were to wave a magic wand and you magically found yourself in your dream African safari, how would it look like? How much would it cost? The comment section below is all yours.