How much does a safari in Tanzania cost?
Safari costs is the question we answer most frequently.
Despite not being a budget travel experience, we would like to attempt, in this article, to clarify the variables that affect the final price and to dispel the myth that safari is a very expensive holiday.
Let’s start by analyzing the main items that affect the costs of a safari:
- Number of safari days
- Types of parks to visit
- Number of people in the jeep
- Types of chosen accommodation
Number of safari days
This is certainly the item that has the greatest impact on the total cost of a safari since every extra day of safari must necessarily include the cost of the car, park taxes and accommodation.
In the safari planning, it is essential to realize which parks you want to visit considering also the distances and travel times to reach them.
Starting from Arusha, safaris can be planned for a minimum of 3 days (and 2 nights). In this case, however, it is not recommended to venture into Serengeti. Between Arusha and Seronera (central Serengeti) there are approximately 7 hours by car, with dirt roads beyond Karatu. In this case, if you want to keep costs as low as possible, you can plan a tour that will give you the opportunity to visit Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Ngorongoro crater with the right times.
If you want to add the Serengeti too, the costs obviously rise. It is also true that the thrill of spending a few days (we recommend at least 2 nights in the Serengeti) in the endless plain sleeping in tented camp in close contact with nature, will give you emotions that you will hardly find in other parks. To include the visit to the Serengeti you need at least 4 days and 3 nights of safari.
Types of parks to visit
The fees for entering the parks are not all the same and therefore this aspect must also be evaluated. In all parks, entry fees last 24 hours and are single-entry, so within 24 hours you cannot go out and come back with the same permit.
We can distinguish park fees in four different types.
1 – Serengeti e Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Even if they belong to two different governmental authorities, the taxes in these two areas are equivalent. Entry for an adult (15 years and older) costs approximately $ 72 per day. In addition, to sleep in these areas you pay from $ 35 (for camping in public campsite) up to $ 72 per night per person. For 2 nights in Serengeti, an adult should spend $ 144 for the entrance and, in addition, $ 108 for sleeping in a tented camp. Furthermore, in order to get to Serengeti, from Arusha, you must necessarily go through the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. This means you will have to add $ 72 for the outward route and $ 72 for the return (the road is mandatory unless you go towards Lake Natron).
2 – Ngorongoro Crater
Entry to the crater costs $ 295 per car ( regardless of the people within it) and lasts 6 hours. The visit to the crater also includes the $ 72 per person for daily admission.
3 – Tanzania National Parks
In regard to the parks of Arusha, Lake Manyara and Tarangire there is a daily access of $ 53 per person.
4 – Wildlife Area Management
Conservation areas have been identified where a $ 29.5 daily fee is required to enter and sleep in these areas. Included in these areas are Lake Natron (to which you can also add $ 35 per person to pay at the entrance gate) and the lodges that are located within Lake Manyara and Tarangire.
Number of people in the jeep
The number of people in the car affects the fixed safari costs that have to be faced (cars, drivers and access to the Ngorongoro crater).
The difference between 2 and 4 people brings, on a classic 6 day safari tour, a saving of about 20% per person. Being 6 people instead produces an additional saving of around 7/8% per person.
The percentages mentioned here above show that the “perfect number” for a safari is, in our opinion, 4 people as you get a good saving compared to a car with 2 people without having to give the space in the car up, which is even less with 6 people (especially for camping tent safaris in which, in addition to the equipment for 6 people, there is also the presence of the chef in the jeep throughout the safari).
Types of chosen accomodation
Talking about accomodation, a distinction must be made between a camping tent safari and a tented camp / lodge safari. Check out our article to check pros and cons of the two alternatives.
The difference between the two solutions, for a classic 6 day full safari tour between northern parks circuit, is around $ 400 per person. Another aspect to consider is the option to sleep in either double or triple accommodations. Many facilities do not allow more than 3 adults in the same room.
These in our opinion are the factors that affect safari costs. The difference between high and low season (months of April, May and November), on the other hand, has little effect: the costs of the accomodation facilities go down but slightly, leading to a saving of around 3/5% on the total cost for lodges / tented camps.
Is a safari in Tanzania really expensive?
As already mentioned, we are facing a non-economic holiday which, however, is carried out in an all-inclusive formula.
Our prices include full-board accommodation during the whole safari, 4 × 4 jeep Toyota Land Cruiser with sunroof for 360° visibility of the savannah, fridge with unlimited water and soft drinks, binoculars, charger for smartphones and cameras , unlimited mileage, entrance fees and rights and taxes to stay in reserves and national parks, professional guide in English and insurance coverage AMREF Flying Doctor.
Also during the day we will not provide the usual and repetitive lunch box but we will serve you a hot meal to be enjoyed sitting in the savannah, in places not crowded by other tourists.
We firmly believe that, for the quality of the service and the beauty of the places and the emotions that you will experience during your safari, it has a much higher value than the price paid.