Planning finances for safaris involves considering costs like flights, accommodation, food, transportation and activities. International flights from most countries to Nairobi or Kilimanjaro range from $700-1500 return. Accommodation varies from $50-500 per night for tented bush camps, mid-range lodges to luxurious resorts. Factor in $50-100 per day per person for meals. Game drives using 4×4 vehicles go for $150-300 daily depending on the parks visited. Other costs include visas, park fees, tips and souvenirs. A realistic per day budget is $150-300 per person excluding flights.
Setting Your Budget
It is important to honestly assess your budget and what experience level suits it. Budget $2000-$2500 per person for 6-8 days to experience high-quality Kenya and Tanzania Safaris including premium amenities. Tighter $1000-1500 budgets target fewer parks but utilize budget lodges and campsites to maximize wildlife viewing. Many affordable packages are available during the best season from July to October. With diligent research into seasonal deals and packages, memorable Kenya and Tanzania safaris are very achievable.
Choosing the Right Time for Budget-Friendly Safari Deals and Discounts
Shoulder season months of April-June and November offer great value on flights, accommodation and activities as traveler volumes drop post-peak season. These months feature cooler, milder weather and fewer crowds. Early bookings 6-12 months before travel snag most discounts. Online travel agency packages tied to specific dates save 10-15% over booking components individually. Visiting multiple East African countries at once nets airline discounts versus point-to-point bookings. Combining travel periods maximizes budgets for dream multi-country safaris.
Selecting Affordable Safari Routes and Destinations in Kenya and Tanzania
For costs stretching further, focus on few famed northern Tanzania parks like Tarangire, Lake Manyara and northern Serengeti areas with similar scenery at half prices of southern Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. In Kenya, budget-friendly destinations include Laikipia Plateau and lesser-visited reserves like Meru abutting Lewa Wildlife Conservancy which offer quality wildlife spotting. Selecting mid-range lodges along wildlife drives helps optimize budgets. Combining popular parks with surprises lets destinations be explored in depth economically.
Money-Saving Tips for Booking Accommodations and Transportation
Booking direct with eco-lodges, campsites and budget hotels saves 10-15% over third-party sites. Mid-range lodges along routes allow cutting costs from camping which requires equipment and cooking fuel. Transfers and activities booked in-country get discounts versus pre-booking, needing reliable cell data access. Self-drive 4×4 rentals let budgeting for miles driven versus per day vehicle rates. Group tours offer shared transportation savings. Flying between Kenya and Tanzania saves daily driver charges versus land crossings. Advance planning supports budget-smarter travel.
Budget-Friendly Dining Options
All-inclusive packages with full-board accommodation keep food budgets predictable. Low-key eateries away from lodges offer cultural experiences and local fare at half global chain costs. Picnics comprising bread, cheese, fresh fruit purchased from markets satisfy hunger affordably. Street food stalls provide budget-tasty road snacks and cooked meals versus upscale hotels. Self-catering at lodges and campgrounds using purchased provisions also lets meals be cost controlled. Portions at lobbies alongside WiFi extend budgets.
Free or Low-Cost Safari Activities and Attractions
Many reserves and national parks in Kenya and Tanzania host impromptu guided bush walks free along with the park entry tickets. This provides budget-friendly opportunities to observe smaller wildlife at ground level that may be missed from vehicles. Tagging along with other open-sided safari vehicles on morning and afternoon game drives also shares the experience and viewing space. Budget lodges throughout the region often host additional amenities like evening bonfire gatherings and cultural presentations or dance shows by local communities at no extra fees.
Pastimes requiring no extra equipment like birdwatching along forest trails, scenic landscape photography sessions and stargazing under inky night skies also create costless adventures. Planning affordable picnic lunches with supplies purchased in nearby towns from local women’s groups or bed and breakfast establishments provides tasty memories. Relaxing activities such as swimming at beach lodges and barbecue dinners further stretch travel dollars. Opting to visit popular parks during weekday bookings versus weekends also secures accommodation 10-15% cheaper. Exploring surrounding cultural destinations by local matatu or bicycle helps extend experiences of Tanzania and Kenya Safaris economically through ingenuity.
Avoiding Hidden Costs and Overages
Comparing itineraries avoids missed activities or transfers boosting costs. Secondary Park fees exceeding quoted safari rates surprise travelers. Check baggage fees to avoid luggage charges. Travel insurance shields against unforeseen medical expenses sidelining plans. SIM data cards let finding affordable options without relying on expensive hotel WiFi. Taxis within towns need rates agreed upon before boarding. Leaving buffer in budget cushions spikes from unbudgeted souvenirs or treats. Disciplined planning facilitates truly memorable safaris affordably.
Bullet Point Summary
- International flights and 5-8 day trips cost $3000-5000 per person
- Off-season and early booking bundles optimize budgets
- Focus on 2-3 top parks and budget lodges/camping suits $1000-2000
- Direct bookings, self-driving and markets trim accommodation and food costs
- Parks’ included activities plus picnics make entertainment inexpensive
- Secondary park entry fees, Souvenirs occasionally burst frugal plans
- Budget buffers and disciplined research maximize value for lifetime experiences