An Africa Safari Tips article just came out last week on CNN and I was blown away about some of the information they had available. Just a week ago I saw The Big 5 and found the information about the cost of an African Safari was completely incorrect. I decided to share my own African Safari Travel tips to make sure that travelers like you don’t pay thousands of dollars for a safari and don’t get chewed up by mosquitoes either.
Finding a Cheap African Safari
Finding an Cheap African Safari DOES NOT have to cost you thousands of dollars. It doesn’t even have to cost you hundreds of dollars a night. What it really depends on is how many days you want to spend on safari. You can find a 3 day safari for as little as $330 where everything is included; meals, transportation, and accommodation. Everything!
For this option you want to budget roughly $110 to $135 a day.
An African Safar that lasts two weeks should cost anywhere from $1,540 to $1,890 and definitely not anywhere above $2,000. These are budget safaris where you stay in tents and share rooms with up to 4 to people. You can also find private rooms for couples with private bathrooms. If you are interested in a more lavish experience there are tents available with jacuzzis. That is not going to cost $110 a day however.
How Many Days Do You Need for an African Safari
I purchased a 3 day safari and that was more than enough. You could book a 4 day safari and have 2 full days out in the park to ensure that you see all of the animals. On the first day we left early in the morning and had two hours at the park from 4pm to 6pm. The second day we started off very early and had a complete day at the park. The last day was an early morning safari where we spend roughly 3 hours in the park.
I was able to see all of the Big 5 and many more animals along the way.
Seeing the Animals On Safari
Be aware that animals are most active early in the morning and in the evening. During the day most animals are relaxing and posing for your pictures by laying under trees and bushes to avoid the sun and digest their food. Many of the safari drivers go out of their way to make sure that you see The Big 5. If you go to Kenya or Tanzania there will be millions of Zebras and Wildebeest to see.
If you are lucky you will see the great migration where the wildebeest cross the Mara River.
Many of the safari drivers will spot the animals for you and there is both a spoken and silent communication between them as well. When you see a cluster of safari vehicles there is usually something very important to see. Many times when one driver spots an animal the others will follow.
The Best Time To Go on Safari
Consider that Kenya sits right on the equator and part of Tanzania is split by the equator as well. The further south you go the more opposite the climate will be. July in South Africa will be December for most western tourists.
- The best time to go on safari in Kenya – late July to August
- Climate is coolest and the great migration is in full swing.
- Best time to go on safari in Tazania – August to Sept
- Climate is also nice and you get to see the great migration as well
- The best time to see safari in other countries
- July through September
Cost of Flights
When I first started looking for flights I could only find fares for $2,500. Most carriers connect in Europe so you are going to have to endure two very long flights to get to Africa. Upon further research I was able to find flights for as cheap as $1,200.
Expect to pay between $1,200 – $1,500 for the cheapest fares.
Note that July and August is the high season for Europe as well as Africa. I used my miles for my roundtrip flight to Africa which was roughly 70,000 miles.
Tips for Taking Great Pictures on African Safari
The majority of people that I have met on safari are normal people that don’t have fancy cameras. I can tell you that your normal point and shoot camera is not going to cut it. Most of the animals that you see on safari will be far away (if not very far away) from the vehicle. You can check out my post on how to choose a digital camera if you need to know how to pick out a camera.
A big Optical Zoom is the single most important thing you can choose in a camera.
Please don’t confuse optical zoom with digital zoom or total zoom. Stick to Nikon and Canon since they are widely considered to have the best lenses on the market. I personally will never buy a Canon again since my last two Canon cameras have failed me miserably. I plan on purchasing a Nikon – Coolpix S9100 which is the only small camera I could find with a massive 18X Optical Zoom. Click here to see all of my pictures from safari in Africa.
Tourist Souvenirs On Safari in Africa
Anytime you go on safari drivers and tour companies are going to take you to the most expensive places in the world to buy souvenirs. Most times on the tourist safari track shop owners know that is the only place to purchase souvenirs. You can find much cheaper souvenirs if you look for local markets rather than buying items when you go on safari.