Safari Cost Comparison
Safari is the most expensive component of just about any trip to southern Africa, and one's choices regarding safari destinations and duration will have a major impact on the overall cost of your itinerary.
Many factors underlie the cost differences between safari destinations, and between camps/lodges within the same areas; some of the most significant cost drivers are analyzed below. The safari market in southern Africa is highly competitive, being driven by supply and demand, and there are very few pricing anomalies but, since everyone has differing priorities, it's important to probe the cost differences between destinations (or even specific properties) to ensure that your budget is most optimally allocated towards your interests and preferences. For a more detailed analysis of cost differences, we encourage travelers to email or call us (toll-free 888.227.8311).
2013 Cost Comparison Chart
||South Africa (Kruger)
Starting and ending: Kruger Airport
Starting and ending: Maun Airport
Starting and ending: Lusaka Airport
Starting and ending: Victoria Falls or Harare Airport
|3 Night Safari
||US$2,950 to US$5,990
||US$4,195 to US$7,350
US$2,290 to US$3,775
|5 Night Safari
||US$4,795 to US$9,915
||US$6,710 to US$11,345
||US$4,160 to US$6,420
|7 Night Safari
||US$5,850 to US$12,690
||US$9,230 to US$15,320
||US$6,750 to US$8,800
|9 Night Safari
||US$6,995 to US$15,390
||US$11,565 to US$19,120
||US$7,920 to US$10,590
|Off Peak Periods
||Jan-Jun 15, and Nov 1 to Dec 19 (cost saving of roughly 30%)
||Nov-Mar (cost saving of roughly 20%). Many camps are closed over this time
||Jan-Jun 15, and Nov 1 to Dec 15 (cost saving of roughly 10%)
- The costs quoted are per person sharing (single travelers almost always pay a single supplement of between 30-50%) and are fully inclusive, starting and ending at the airports listed. Rates include charter flights, accommodation, meals, activities, laundry, park fees, services of a professional guide, and (in most cases) drinks. Scheduled flights to and from the starting and ending points are not included.
- The costings are based on travel in peak season. Where applicable, off-peak periods and approximate cost savings during these timeframes are listed. Where a price range is given for peak season, this reflects the difference between mid-range and "top of the line" accommodation options.
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- Concentrations of high profile game (especially predators and/or the 'Big Five'). This is a sine qua non for any safari destination, and the most consistent factor influencing pricing.
- Camp/lodge experience. The level of style and luxury in accommodation, the quality of food and service, facilities and amenities, ambience, and attention to detail. The more expensive properties invariably excel in these elements of the overall experience.
- Exclusivity. As a rule, the fewer guests that can be accommodated in a wilderness area (i.e. the more restricted the supply), the higher the rates. This factor very often overrides luxury as a cost driver - Botswana is the most prominent example of this model of 'low volume / high value' eco-tourism.
- Remote wilderness. The further from civilization a camp, the more expensive it is to supply and operate, and the higher the access costs for guests. A lot of travelers are also willing to pay a premium for being in pristine wilderness areas.
- Guides. Many factors influence where guides want to work, but two of the most important are concentrations of game and remuneration. As a rule, the best guides like to be based at the more high end lodges/camps.
- Convenience. Camps/lodges with private airstrips that are close to camp offer increased convenience due to shorter transfer times between the airstrip and camp. This means less time in transit and more time on safari or relaxing. Such airstrips, in addition to being expensive to build and maintain, are desirable to guests and attract a premium.
- Political perceptions. The biggest factor influencing the discounted rates in Zimbabwe is the negative perception surrounding the government of Robert Mugabe. Without doubt this regime has had a very negative impact on the lives of local Zimbabweans but, as a safari destination for foreign visitors (assuming you stay within National Parks), the effect has been very limited. We are happy to discuss the pros and cons of a Zimbabwe safari.
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Let us help you plan your dream safari. call toll-free: 888.227.8311 or email us today
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