Africa is a unique and diverse continent, with many countries and a staggering array of wilderness areas, safari lodges and experiences. Combine this with pricing that literally changes with the seasons, and it’s no wonder we’re frequently asked, ‘How much does an African safari cost?’ We’ll give you the broad-strokes here.
Going on safari is the ultimate adventure. But, as safaris take you to some of the planet’s most remote locations, they can also be more expensive than some other holiday options.
That’s not to say you can’t still get value for money. The key is in not being distracted by the cheapest price tag, but always looking under the hood and finding out exactly what a safari includes – or more importantly, what it excludes! A face-value price can be deceiving, and it often results in the disappointment of unmet expectations, and unexpected costs while travelling.
At Art of Safari we’re always upfront about what our safaris include, plus we ensure you get value for money in several other ways. More on that here.
So, what are African safari prices?
At Art of Safari, we’ve created three safari categories, with various price ranges: classic safaris, luxury safaris and ultra-luxury safaris. (There are others, but that would take us into the realm of overland safaris and backpacking, which is not something we specialise in.)
Classic safaris generally start from about USD3,000 per person per week outside of peak season, ranging up to USD5,000 in peak periods. They’re generally small group tours (or occasionally private) with set departure dates, travelling by vehicle and starting and ending in the same place … say, driving a loop from Nairobi, back to Nairobi over 7 nights and 8 days. They include comfortable accommodation, standard safari activities and good meals; while they don’t have the bells and whistles of luxury safaris, they offer a great safari experience at a more economical rate.
Typically, luxury safaris start from about USD6,000 per person per week outside of peak season, increasing to USD8,000 and more in peak periods. They’re usually fully inclusive of luxury accommodation, gourmet meals, most drinks, safari activities with expert guides and light-aircraft flights from place to place. Conveniently, you’ll need only open your wallet for optional extras like shopping or spa treatments (if at all). While some experiences may be on a shared basis (like game drives), the itinerary and departure dates are all fully customisable.
Broadly speaking, ultra-luxury safaris start from USD9,000 per person per week outside of peak season, and they can range up to, well, pretty much anything you’d like. These are fully inclusive of ultra-luxury accommodation, all safari activities with expert and often private guides, world-class food, premium drinks and light-aircraft flights from place to place. There’s almost no limit to ultra-luxury safaris, which can extend to luxury private villas with dedicated staff, personal guides and privately chartered planes and helicopters for transfers and exploring. The safari experiences themselves can be as exclusive as you can imagine, be it private dining on the floor of the Ngorongoro Crater, a dedicated hot-air-balloon safari over Sossusvlei for two or anything you desire.
That all said, there are a number of ways of making luxury and even ultra-luxury safaris more affordable, which you can read about here. You might also want to check our our price guarantee.
No matter what your preference though, the key to the perfect safari is consulting with a safari expert to get the best advice, best value for money and ultimately the best safari experience. Our team is available any day of the week, and we look forward to working with you.
PS It’s worth remembering that simply by going on safari you’ll be making a difference to conservation in Africa. More on that here.