The Basics: African Safari Time & Cost
As with any type of travel the first thing you need to determine is how much time do you have to travel and an idea of your budget. International airfare and lodging will usually be the two largest items in your safari budget. For safari travel it is often helpful to think about your budget in terms of per person per night. For example to stay at a lodge is often quoted as $500 pppn (per person per night). In addition to lodging costs the other largest expense is transfer costs, i.e. how do you get around. Many lodges include game drive activities, meals, and many even include drinks and laundry so it is important to know what is included. On the lower budget end your price may just include lodging and everything else, even your game drives may be additional costs. Make sure to have a clear understanding of what activities and amenities are included in any price quoted.
Beyond these major costs other typical expenses include vaccinations/malaria meds, guide and staff tips, trip insurance, and visas. Camera equipment, binoculars, reference books, and perhaps some safari clothes are common purchases but not required.