Many people do not realize just how affordable an African safari vacation can be when you use the right money-saving techniques. With some smarts, know-how and plenty of research, you can significantly reduce the cost of your trip to make it a cheap African safari tour, especially on a per-day basis.
If you are interested in spending less during your trip or finding a way to plan an affordable African safari, you can use the following money-saving tips to reduce the overall cost of your vacation.
Come During the Low Season
In places like South Africa’s Kruger Park, slow times of the year mean not only better accessibility throughout the park but also cheaper prices. Local vendors and businesses change their prices to match the season. Periods of higher demand allow them to charge higher prices, but lulls in the calendar are often accompanied by discounts to lure in more customers.
Take advantage of these times! Winter is a low season in southern and eastern African parks and reserves, for instance. Everything from lodging and airfare to tours, services, goods, food and drink can all receive hefty discounts when you visit from April to October. You can also negotiate cheaper group rates for game drives, lodge stays and other services when these business owners are more motivated to earn a sale.
Keep an Eye Out for Flight Specials, But Watch Out for Remote Airports
Flight prices change nearly every hour, so the time you buy your flight to Africa can make a huge difference in terms of the final price. Set up price alerts on services like Kayak, and look up travel blogs to see if any specials or promotions are coming up soon.
With all that said, pay attention to the hidden costs of your flight, as well. Flying into a more remote town can appear to save you money, but then you must hire a taxi or bus to reach your intended destination, tacking on extra costs. Always try to calculate the final costs of your travel when buying tickets.
Another tip: Johannesburg and Cape Town often have cheap flights to other destinations throughout Africa, so consider buying separate tickets and comparing the price to other connecting flight options.
Shop Around With Lodging and Safari Tours
Many tourists come into African countries not realizing how much cheaper goods and services typically are. They then make the mistake of booking a hotel or game lodge stay at a far higher price than would be normally reasonable.
For that reason, try to find accommodation with a good reputation for quality and safety but also rates closer to what locals would expect to pay. Unless you demand the absolute best luxury, the difference in price will not affect the enjoyment you get out of your trip.
Buy From Locals, and Realize You Can Haggle
Haggling, bartering and negotiation are all common activities at local markets in many African countries. Your best bet on a great price on artisan goods is therefore to buy directly from the artists at markets and to negotiate.
Do not be too shrewd since people are trying to earn a living through their goods, but also recognize that many quoted prices may be trying to take advantage if you are clearly a foreigner.
Use a Safari Company for Cheap Safari Tour Packages
Experienced safari companies know the best places for tours, lodging and dining that provide amazing quality service at an affordable rate. When you book a vacation package through a company like Roho Ya Chui, you can get the best deals on everything, and you are also better-equipped to estimate the whole cost of your trip.
Take a look at the pre-planned safari vacation packages we offer to get an idea of just how affordable your trip can be, or contact us for a custom safari tour package based on your budget and preferred plans.
Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui