To get straight to the point: a trip to Tanzania is not cheap. Something you most likely do not want to hear right now. And perhaps not even expected. To be honest with you, a private safari is one of the most extraordinary yet expensive experiences. So what makes a safari trip so costly? And what price can you expect for your own holiday? We will explain it to you and share some valuable tips to make your safari to Tanzania more budget-friendly!
Tanzania safari prices explained
Choosing Tanzania as your next holiday destination is saying yes to a once in a lifetime experience. But it also comes at a price. Because transparency is important to us, we want to create a better understanding of what makes a Tanzania safari so costly.
1. Maintenance of the safari vehicles
The safari cars are an essential part of your trip, as you will spend a large part of your journey in them. They should not only take you safely from one park to another, but also be comfortable and allow you to enjoy the game and nature at its fullest. A flat tire can always happen. But your trip will seriously be affected when being stuck in the middle of the wilderness with serious car trouble!
Our 4WD Land Rovers and Land Cruisers are imported directly from abroad and have been specially converted for safaris. They offer extra large windows, a roof that can be raised, ample leg space, a small fridge and even charging facilities for your camera and phone. As the road conditions can be tough, we inspect and service our cars carefully every time they come back from a safari and before the start of a new trip, ensuring a continuous high standard and meeting all safety regulations.
Moreover, unlike several other tour companies, we have no limit on the kilometers driven per day. Whether you want to be out from sunrise to sunset, or you want to make an extra detour to find that leopard, you are assured of the ultimate flexibility and freedom during your safari!
2. Park entrance, conservation fees and government taxes
Tanzanian parks may be among the most expensive protected areas in Africa. But then they are unparalleled! It is not surprising that the Serengeti has been voted as the World’s Top Safari Destination time and time again.
Entrance fees are not the same for all parks. Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater belong to UNESCO Heritage Sites and are therefore more expensive than a visit to Arusha or Mikumi National Park. To enter the famous crater, you currently pay almost USD $300 for the car only, excluding the standard visitor entrance fees. Apart from the national parks and the Ngorongoro Conservation, there are also a number of Wildlife Management Areas, like Lake Natron, where the entrance fees contribute to the protection of these smaller wildlife areas.
In addition to the entrance fees for you, the car and the guide, camping fees are being charged when staying overnight in the park. Together with the park fees, and the additional taxes of 18% and Tourism Development Levy, these expenses are set by the government and make a prominent part of the travel sum for your safari.
3. Fair salaries and sustainability contribution
Our team of Tanzanian guides and drivers are highly experienced, skilled and well-trained. A guide can make or break a trip, as you will rely entirely on his driving skills. His eyes to spot wildlife. And his knowledge to share interesting facts about the destination, the people and their traditions. Fair salaries and good employee benefits are therefore imperative to us.
Moreover, we believe that we should take responsibility to involve local communities in tourism and create a positive impact by offering sustainable safaris. We alternate wildlife spotting with quality cultural experiences that are initiated or guided by local people to improve their livelihood. We offset the carbon emission of your safari in order to make sure that the domestic transport is carbon-neutral. And for every traveler we make a donation to Kope Lion to protect the lions and the Maasai communities in the Ngorongoro area. The only way to conserve the natural wonders of Tanzania is if we all contribute.
4. Guaranteed quality of safari accommodations
After a long adventurous safari day, you may long for a comfortable room. A hot shower or refreshing pool to wash away the dust. And to relax by a crackling campfire with a drink in your hand. The accommodations contribute significantly to an unforgettable experience but also to the safari price.
When designing your tailor-made safari, we carefully select the hotels and lodges that have the best price/quality offer. Our minimum standard is midrange; basic camping or budget accommodations will not make it to our list because you will always comprise on the quality, location and overall experience.
The room rates of the safari lodges and tented camps are also largely determined by the accessibility of water, electricity and fresh food. Something that is scarce in areas such as the Serengeti and needs to be carefully planned. These lodges have to take extra measures to minimize their ecological footprint. Therefore, you will pay a higher price to stay in a special location. But in the end it is more than worth it!
5. No hidden costs
What you see is what you get. Our prices are clearly set out with no small print or hidden costs. They are inclusive of private transport, overnight, meals, entrance and conservation fees, taxes, activities and any domestic flights. The only local expenses you need to consider are drinks, gratuities, souvenirs and other personal expenses.
Average cost for a safari in Tanzania
A price indication for your safari is rather complicated, because the rates very much depend on the number of people traveling, the travel period, the duration, domestic flights, type of accommodation, etc. Also the location of your lodge will affect the price; a hotel in Arusha or Karatu can be booked from US $80 per person. While an overnight in a tented camp within the Serengeti ranges from US $250 up till $1500 per person per night.
On average, the costs of a Tanzania private safari for two people staying in middle class lodges is roughly US $350 per person per day. If you are looking at a 14-days Safari & Beach with a domestic flight from Arusha to Zanzibar you may consider a budget of USD $4000 per person.
Are you traveling with children? Prices for a family safari package are surprisingly attractive since children up till 15 years pay less park fees and benefit from a 50% discount when sharing a room with their parents.
6 Tips to make your safari trip more budget-friendly
Although the sky is the limit for luxurious safari tours, the good news is that you can make your safari more affordable if you book wisely. Take advantage of these useful tips for a budget-friendly safari in Tanzania!
1. Travel in low season
Traveling in low season attracts special discounts. In months like April and May and even November, when the number of visitors drops, many accommodations also reduce their rates. This will enable you to go on a safari that would have costed double or triple in other (high season) months.
2. Travel with friends or relatives
Although we deliberately do not offer group tours to provide the ultimate flexibility and privacy, you are free to choose your own travel companions. Invite your friends, colleagues or family members to join you on this amazing safari adventure and create memories together. Moreover, by sharing the costs of the safari vehicle, the Ngorongoro Crater fees etc., you will pay much less than if you all had booked this trip separately.
3. Opt for alternative accommodations
Are you completely happy with the proposed safari itinerary but the price still stretches your budget? Check for alternative accommodations! Lodges that are located outside the national park instead of inside. Budget-friendly guesthouses that are locally run instead of a luxury safari lodge with swimming pool. You will appreciate the comfort even more when staying in a nice mix of accommodations.
4. Extend your stay
Stay longer to pay less? This may sound strange but it is true! Many hotels offer attractive discounts or free nights for prolonged stays. Therefore, book fewer hotels but stay longer in one place to take advantage of a long stay discount. It also slows down the pace of the trip and allows you to truly enjoy these special places.
5. Avoid the vehicle
Leave the car and go out. Take a tuktuk to the local market, explore the area by foot or set off for a mountain bike tour. This will particularly make a difference at the beginning or end of your safari, when you have a day at leisure. And it is environmentally friendly!
6. Go off the beaten track
Of course the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park are among Tanzania’s highlights. But these are also the areas that increase the safari price for you. Yet there are so many other, unknown, beautiful places that are worthwhile and at the same time more affordable. How about the wildlife reserve at West Kili, where you can see herds of elephants against the spectacular backdrop of Mount Kilimanjaro? Or the lesser known Mkomazi National Park where you are one of the few visitors to enjoy the rugged landscape?
Do you still have any doubts after reading this article? Then ask yourself how many times in your life you will make such a special trip? With all the hustle of everyday life, don’t you deserve to take a break and enjoy some precious quality time? To create memories together that last a lifetime? Realize that you will be visiting one of the most magical places on earth. So say yes and treat yourself that once in a lifetime experience!
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