Before booking an African safari, or expedition to anywhere in the world for that matter, one of the most critical determining factors of a traveler’s destination is the budgeting of expenses that encompass that “trip of a lifetime”. As alluring as Africa may be for foreign travelers in all its exotic wildlife, untamed beauty and rich and vibrant cultures, the cost of booking a safari through East or Southern Africa may seem considerably high in comparison to other destinations. We’ve outlined some of the most significant reasons for a safari’s high price, where your dollar is really going when you spend the money that you do, and why you won’t regret making that decision.
Destinations in Africa aren’t as easily accessible or well-developed as they are in other parts of the world, thus it costs a considerable amount to facilitate travel and the general functioning of all things.
Unlike countries in North America, Europe and other fully developed places in the world, Africa is lacking the appropriate infrastructure to accommodate efficient means of transportation without added expenses to ensure the traveler is equipped with all needs that they require. On a safari, all of the food, equipment and general supplies that are essential for you as a traveler to make use of have been transported to often very remote and far-reaching corners of these countries, so that the pristine nature of more isolated destinations can be enjoyed in comfort. Often the roads in Africa are in poor condition, outside of larger cities in particular and as far as air travel goes, there are only simple, dirt airstrips to accommodate the landing of smaller planes. These deficiencies come at a cost, as they require time consuming coordination and planning in regard to acquiring outside supplies and materials.
The service that you are experiencing during your safari is accompanied by many more un-seen employees who aid in the smooth-running details of your trip.
The level of service on a luxury African safari is of the highest standard in order to ensure every need of the traveler is taken care of – it costs money to employee these staff members and continue with the maintenance and upkeep of lodges and facilities. Although the obvious service that you experience may be coming from those that you have had direct contact with such as your driver/guide and front-of-the-line workers, the amount of staff that a lodge or facility requires to maintain the high-quality standards that it operates within is very high and often goes unconsidered. Along with the services that they are providing for you and the supplies of amenities that you require, the transportation of their own food, supplies, and general living costs in these often more-isolated areas factor into the expenses included in the price of your safari.
3. National Park Fees and Environmental Costs
Entry into national parks within Africa costs a conservation fee which assists in the preservation and protection of the land and wildlife that inhabit it.
The conservation fees that are charged upon entrance of a national park within Africa can begin to add up, and when considered, account for a significant portion of a traveler’s expenses. Along with park entrance fees, camps are also required to pay an amount to the government to have their property exist within a national park. This money spent ensures sustainable practices and the protection/conservation of each park’s natural landscape along with the flora and fauna that populate it. In other words, you are paying to protect and maintain the un-touched beauty that you experience.
Overall, the cost of an African safari may seem great, but the experience to be gained is one immeasurable, and genuinely considered “once-in-a-lifetime”. The feeling of immersive beauty and absolute remoteness is truly incomparable, and worth every penny of the amount invested into a safari holiday.
As East and South Africa are so expansive, there are countless options to decide from when considering a trip. With attractions or activities to suit a range of interests, East Africa Wild Adventures is more than happy to assist you in creating your own unforgettable, customized and finely-curated safari adventure.