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What Does A Safari Cost in 2024?

March 18, 2024  By: Gretchen

Traveling to Africa is a bucket list trip for many, but also a substantial undertaking, one that’s best planned by an expert. It’s also one where you need to appropriately budget for the kind of experience you dream of for your safari. We take you through some of what goes into the cost of a safari, along with suggested daily budgeting amounts, below.

bush lunch

Trip Cost Is More Than Your Accommodations

Safaris are not a bargain vacation, nor should they be once it’s clear what goes into making the magic happen. From transportation costs (ground and light aircraft transfers) to staff (the team that takes care of you at camp, your guide and possibly tracker, to the people you never see that keep things running) and the logistics of making everything happen (the fresh fruit on your breakfast plate might be grown onsite, or could have traveled by plane or overland truck from the coast to get to you) – it is a well-organized operation that takes considerable resources to make seamlessly happen. Additionally, the lodges we work with and the places we operate need funds for conservation and research – your trip helps to make those things happen.

Additionally, when you work with experts like the team at Africa Adventure Consultants, you are able to tap into a deep knowledge base to help plan your safari. And it’s not just building out your dream trip – we provide pre-trip support that includes services like flight guidance, trip insurance options, packing tips and more, as well as 24/7 emergency support throughout your travels. Also, we are licensed and insured in the United States giving you strong consumer protection for your travel purchase.

guide and guest with lion

Group Trips versus Private, Customized Departures

Do you prefer to travel with an organized group or do you want a safari adventure that is unique to you? While we do offer some hand-selected small group set departures of 7 or fewer people, we specialize in customized, private trips for our travelers. While a small group trip can be a good choice for solo travelers or those on a budget, it’s our customized safaris that allow you to pick and choose what is important to you – what types of lodges or camps you want to experience, whether to visit private reserves or national parks (or both), whether to add on a city or beach escape to your trip and much more. We will work with you to craft a trip that matches your travel style – perhaps you would prefer tented camps to lodges or want to incorporate adrenaline activities into your safari adventure – a customized safari lets you make the most of every day (and night).

With either a customized or a small group safari, you will have the chance to meet and interact with other travelers at your camp or lodge (unless you book fully private accommodations). On a customized itinerary, you will meet new people at each stop whereas on a group safari, you would spend your entire holiday with the same set of people.

We do not sell or recommend large group safaris. Our customized and select small group departures ensure a guide and staff to guest ratio that ensures a wonderful experience for our travelers. Our guides are highly skilled, inspirational people that take travelers’ experiences to the next level. Unlike a customized safari, group safaris have set dates of departure and a fixed itinerary so there is little or no room for flexibility.

On a large group safari, you might find yourself in a middle seat or in a mini-bus. Some customized safaris include a private vehicle, while others do not. Game drives on our safaris are always done in a game drive vehicle (some open, some closed depending on destination and safari type) and we do not offer safaris that use mini-buses on game drives.

lion walking by vehicle

The Best Value Isn’t Always the Least Expensive

South Africa and Namibia offer the best value for money on safari in 2024 due to an exchange rate that is very much in favor of the US Dollar, however a bargain experience in these or any other African country might compromise accommodation size and quality (along with your own comfort!),the field experience of your guide, visiting areas that are less rich in wildlife or spending extra time in cities to keep costs down. Furthermore, you might find yourself in a middle seat on the safari vehicle with blocked views of the wildlife you’ve traveled so far to see or staying somewhere unable to accommodate your dietary needs.

man looking at elephants from deck

Watch Out for Online ‘Deals’

You might see what looks like a fantastic safari deal in your inbox, but buyer beware – these aren’t always what they seem. The price might be based on a group departure of 30 people or include stays at accommodations lacking amenities. Even worse, it could omit mandatory park and conservation fees, which can add up to a few hundred dollars per person, per day; changing the final cost of your safari substantially. You don’t want to be surprised arriving at a camp and finding that you owe four days of park fees to the tune of $600 per person!

Working with an Africa travel expert will ensure that all of the elements of your trip are clearly laid out, and you will be given a full accounting of what is included. It also doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of seasonal specials or discounts though – ask your AAC Journey Specialist about available specials for your destination.

lion in front of vehicle

Guideline for 2024 Safari Costs

While we don’t sell cut-rate safaris for the reasons we outlined above, we will plan you the best quality for the kind of trip you have dreamed of with the budget you have. For 2024 we recommend the following starting budget guidelines for safari. Please keep in mind that pricing varies by destination and season.

Luxury – $2,000+ per person per day
Deluxe – $1,000-2,000 per person per day
Value – $500 – $1,000 per person per day

Remember that these prices will be inclusive of full-board accommodation (including meals, drinks as indicated in your custom itinerary and most activities), ground transportation, excellent guides, park and conservation fees and a $25 donation to one of our partner charities. Flights and tips are not included in this price.


Are you ready to plan your dream safari with one of our expert Journey Specialists?

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Photos courtesy AAC Livingstone Club member Brian W., AAC President Kent Redding, AAC Marketing Director Beth McCabe and AAC Livingstone Club members Katelyn B. and Lindsay Grace B.