Tanzania Safari Cost

Annually,  ~2 Million tourists visit Tanzania for its mesmerizing safari destinations like the mystical Ngorongoro Crater, the endless Serengeti National Park & the colossal Selous game reserve. Almost all tourists leave with cherished memories & revered photographs that will have a lasting impact for a lifetime. However, many tourists are susceptible to falling prey to scams by tour operators who tend to overcharge for the Safaris.

That being said, there are a few charges that tour operators themselves must incur, these charges do tend to jack up the prices of the safaris and the tour operators have no option but to pass them onto the customer. 

This article will list & explain the following important pointers so that you can have a seamless and hassle-free safari experience with your friends & family. 

  1. Popular types of Safari prices offerred by Africanquest for the same
  2. The various costs involved in the Safari
  3. Hidden costs involved in Tanzanian Safari
  4. Tips to budget for your Safari without compromising the safari experience

Needless to say, you can also reach out to our Safari designer via the chatbot below or simply WhatsApp us in case of any queries. 

Safari Tours & Prices

Almost all tour operators provide a shared safari in which case you can choose to share the Safari Jeep with another tourist/group of tourists or a private safari. We at Africanquest offer more variety to choose from. Additionally, we customize safaris based on every customer’s requirement to avoid any compromise with the safari experience. 

Traditionally, African Safaris were deemed to be an exotic vacation reserved for the rich and well to do. Nowadays; tour operators, Governments, Game reserves and even hotel-lodge providers have acknowledged the fact that the mid-tier and budget travellers are a huge market and have opened up the Safari experience for everyone. 

Tanzania Opulence – Luxury Safari

tanzania luxury tent

Price for 2: $4,000 – $6,000

Destinations covered: Arusha National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park, Tarangire National park,  Olduvai Gorge, Kilimanjaro basecamp

Duration: 7 Days/6 Nights

Accommodations: Luxury hotels, Eco-tourism luxury tents, African themed resorts  

Safari type: Private

 

Tanzania Splendor – Mid Range

Price for 2: $3,200 – $4,000

Destinations covered: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara/Tarangire National Park, Olduvai Gorge (Optional), Kilimanjaro foothills

Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights

Accommodations: Eco-tourism tents, African themed resorts, Lodges 

Safari type: Private

 

Tanzania Immersion – Value Safari

Price for 2: $2,300 – $3,000

Destinations covered: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara/Tarangire National Park, Olduvai Gorge (Optional), 

Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights

Accommodations: Eco-tourism tents, African themed resorts, Camping Ground accommodations

Safari type: Private Safari

Note: Based on tourist’s preference, One/two nights in Ngorongoro or in Tarangire will be a camping safari 

 

Tanzania Wilderness – Budget Safari

Price for 2: $1,600- $2,300

Destinations covered: Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire National Park, Olduvai Gorge (Optional)

Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights

Accommodations: Camping ground Safaris, Lodge in Arusha town

Safari type: Shared Safari

Note: Based on tourist’s preference, One night in Ngorongoro or in Tarangire will be a camping safari 

 We recommend the Tanzania Immersion Safari as it showcases Tanzania’s luxurious tourist destinations as well as exposes tourists to the raw wilderness of Tanzania-Imagine camping right next to grazing wildebeasts!. 

All camping grounds are protected by park rangers and there have been negligible cases of animal attacks on visting tourists

 

Costs Involved in Safaris?

As mentioned earlier, tour operators themselves have to bear a number of costs when it comes to organizing safaris. 

Due to Government Policies, in almost all cases, it is cheaper & more convenient to book a safari via a local tour operator – and it is also much safer to book one prior to your arrival. 

Here is a breakdown of the costs involved when it comes to organizing a Safari. 

Park Fees

Did you know that close to 49% of the total land area of Tanzania is under some sort of protection or conservation scheme by the Government? 

This is primarily done to prevent poaching, logging & also conserving endangered plant and animal species. In fact, of all the countries in the world, Tanzania spends the highest per capita on wildlife conservation. 

This is why the country has managed to retain its scenic beauty, wildlife, natural wonders & megafauna completely intact.

Here’s a table detailing  the park fees for Safaris to various destinations. 

 

Hotels & Accommodation

Just like the tourists are levied a charge for visiting the conservation areas – camps, lodges, eco-tents & resorts are also levied a charge for setting base in the conservation parks. 

Setting up these accommodations also costs a lot of money due to the high costs required to obtain the permissions, transportation costs involved to travel to the remote areas where the lodges are located and so on. 

Due to this, the hotels have very little option but to pass on these costs to the final customer.

Exclusivity

Although most of the parks are mind-numbingly massive, In pursuit of effecting the conservation efforts, the parks limit the number of visitors at any given point in time, in order to maintain the exclusivity of the parks. 

Safari Jeeps

The iconic safari Jeeps that you may already familiar with are custom built with a longer wheelbase & custom fittings like a roof hatch for a wild safari experience. 

These jeeps are specially designed to survive the rough onslaught that the Tanzanian terrain throws at it. The picture below shows the route towards Serengeti – which is not exactly paved with high quality tarmac. 

Maintaining these vehicles after each safari can be an expensive affair- which may not sound like much but adds onto the overall Safari cost. 

Tips to make the Safari Affordable

Now that you’re armed with this new information, you must be wondering – what can I do to make the Tanzania Safari more affordable?

We explain just that – the below mentioned tips will help you understand how to smartly plan your Safari without compromising on the safari without. 

Accommodations:

Unless you’re travelling for your honeymoon, we recommend choosing at least 2-3 camping specific accommodations. Not because it is a cheaper alternative but because it is a surreal experience in itself. 

Camping in Ngorongoro crater amidst wildebeasts and a host of other animals is an experience that one should rarely give a pass to. These camping grounds are preferred by well to do tourists as well who otherwise do not skimp on safari add-ons. 

Every camping ground in Serengeti and Ngorongoro is guarded 24*7 by highly skilled park rangers and there have been no instances of animal attacks in the camping grounds in the last decade. 

Saving money by opting for this experience is only a by-product and is by no means a compromise on your safari experience. 

We at Africanquest always recommend potential customers to choose a healthy variation of all kinds of accommodations including camping ground accommodations-which provide the rawest experience, African themed resorts and one eco-luxury tent. 

Get in touch with us to customize your accommodations as per your preference. 

Choosing a Tour Operator

As mentioned earlier, a Safari is almost always more convenient and cheaper to book via a tour operator due to the unique policies that Tanzania government has put in place via the TATO (Tanzania Association of Tour Operators)
 
Due to these policies, it is always more expensive to go out on a Safari by yourself. 

Unfortunately, there are a number of tour operators that take advantage of these policies and charge an exorbitant fee for relatively mid-tier Safaris. 

Another reason is for this is that most local tour operators are not well aware of how to go about generating sales since most of the inquiries come digitally, wherein the website owners or digital marketers change a hefty variable fee. 

We at Africanquest have championed the cause of showcasing Tanzania as an affordable destination and keep our prices as affordable as we can depending on the seasons and demand. 

Moreover, we can leverage negotiating power on the hotels and lodge providers since we generate quite a lot of business for them and this benefit is directly passed onto the customer. 

Frivolous Purchases

Okay this seems fairly straight forward but you would be surprised. Admittedly, Tanzania has a rich heritage and culture that deserves all sorts of commercial admiration but there are a few practices that are almost fraudulent. 

Safari vehicles deliberately stop over at souvernir shops, establishments and even malls that sell all items at an exorbitant rate simply because tourists can afford it. These very same items, sometimes of a higher quality and craftsmanship can be found at a local market at 1/5th the price. 

However, unsuspecting tourists fail to understand this and end up getting duped. 

If you happen to travel with us, simply let our tour guides know in advance that you would like to take a treasure trouve of Tanzanian memories back home with you and we’ll take care of the rest :). 

Stick to One Game Reserve

As mentioned earlier, one of the cost drivers for Safaris is the park fees which happens to be a one time entry fee. Naturally then, if you hop game reserves you end up spending more for relatively less time within any given game reserve. 

Not to mention the travelling costs also increase since you have to jump between destinations that can which more often than not tend to be atleast 200 kms from each other. 

We recommend this method only if you happen to be a recurring visitor.

Group Safaris

Travelling with another family/friend group to split travel costs is a good idea too. However, it does tend to hamper the experience slightly for travelers who prefer privacy. Also, a lot depends on your travel companions. 

We at African quest try to arrange for shared safaris upon special requests but most prefer a private safari since they are either with a large group or on a honeymoon trip. 

Pick the Right Season 

There is a widely held misconception that Safaris to Tanzania are great only during the July-September season. However, the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.  

Yes, there are wet seasons that are really unpleasant especially from April to May which must be avoided but the short rains from November to December are harmless and in some cases also enhances the Safari experience which makes it a good opportunity to save a buck. 

Most travellers choose the July-September season to witness the great migration which admittedly, is an absolute spectacle but not everyone wishes to shell out twice the price to witness the migration, especially when the other aspects of the Safari are even more glorious. 

Given Tanzania’s size, the seasons can vary wildly depending upon the reserve you choose. Refer to this handy article on best time to visit Tanzania which will help plan your itinerary better 🙂  

Northern Circuit Safari VS Southern Circuit Safari

Tanzanian Safaris an be broadly classified into two types

Northern Circuit Safaris 

  1. Serengeti Safari Park
  2. Ngorongoro Conservation Area
  3. Lake Manyara National Park
  4. Tarangire Safari

 Southern Circuit Safaris

  1. Selous Game Reserve
  2. Ruaha National Park
  3. Mahale National Park
  4. Katavi National Park
The Northern Safaris are more commercial in nature, more tourist friendly and more often than not the one that everyone prefers. Due to this scale, the costs of the northern safaris reduce significantly due to scale of operations. 
 
The Southern Circuit, on the other hand,  have fewer tourists, is preferred exclusively by adventure hungry travelers who wish to explore the wilder side of Tanzania and want to keep away from the crowd. Parks in the southern circuit are much more remote, receive fewer visitors and are also much larger which means more maintenance costs. Which is why southern circuit safaris are more expensive too.  
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