Whether you’re ready to indulge in a luxurious safari with daily high tea and in-room spas, or you’re willing to rough it and want to get very close to nature and live like the locals, there is a safari within your price range.
Etosha National Park Camping Safari (Cost: around $4,000)
This safari from AfricanBudgetSafaris.com really dives into the beautiful Etosha National Park for some unforgettable game viewing. You’ll witness busy waterholes where you’ll see everything from elephant to rhino, leopards to rare birds. As a special treat, the tour stops in the charming town of Okahandja, where you can see Namibia’s largest wood carving market.
Luangwa Valley, Zambia (Cost: around $3,000)
TravelandLeisure.com tells us that husband and wife John and Carol Coppinger have been conducting safaris from their home in the Luangwa Valley for years. The couple breaks a seven night safari into three nights at Tafika (their own 12-person riverbank lodge) and two nights at both Crocodile Tree and Chikoko (three-room bush camps). The couple also offers $300 day safaris.
Mundulea Reserve, Namibia (Cost: around $5,000)
According to Telegraph.co.uk, this reserve was once just four large cattle farms. The patches of barren plains are a testament to that, but there is plenty of wildlife to see like the dramatic black-faced Impala and gorgeous botanical life. The guide takes a conservational approach to his tour, and is very knowledgeable about the history of the land.
Self-drive safaris in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa (Cost: around $3,600)
Self-Drive safaris are a great budget option, and get you really close to the wildlife you want to view. Namibia and Botswana parks are slightly harder to get to, soTravelandLeisure.com tells us you’ll want to book a tailor-made self-drive in a four-by-four vehicle through an established company like Safari Drive. You can usually find a 9 to 12 day safari for the cost listed.
Ruaha National Park, Tanzania (Cost: around $6,300)
Ruaha is a devastatingly gorgeous landscape with crooked hills, an enormous river, and stampedes of zebras roaming about, says Telegraph.co.uk. The tour takes guests across colorful game trails, where you’ll spot cheetahs, leopards, lions and more incredible animals. The red sands make for a gorgeous sunset here.
Okonjima, Namibia (Cost: around $5,900)
According to TravelandLeisure, the dollar goes a long way in Namibia. T & L describes the Okonjima Main Camp in Namibia’s Central Highlands as a casual, thatched lodge best known for the cheetah, lion and leopards that roam the area. You can rent rooms at $260 per person per night but if you want a full guided experience, travel company Poe offers a 10-day Classic Namibia Safari.
Highlights of Southern Africa (Cost: around $17,000)
On this 12 day trip offered by ClassicAfrica.com, you’ll cover a lot of ground including the “wine route” in Cape Town, historical sites like the Afrikaans Language Monument, the impressive Table Mountain and several camp grounds for game-viewing. The tour takes you to the best of the best of South Africa, and sets you up in mostly luxury accommodations.
Vumbura properties, Botswana (Cost: between $570 and $1,350)
TravelandLeisure.com suggests looking near and around upscale lodges for their affiliated, more budget-friendly spots. For example, Wilderness Safaris offers a $1,350 per night experience at the upscale Vumbura Plains camp, where you can stay in suites each with private pools and indoor-outdoor showers, or you can stay at Little Vumbura nearby for around $570 to $850 a night. Here you’ll stay in rustic tents on an island overlooking the Okavango floodplains.
The Best of Botswana (Cost: between $8,000 and $17,00) This is another safari offered by ClassicAfrica.com and is a truly luxury experience, often with high tea and hors d’oeuvres hours at every location. The trip covers the Moremi Game Reserve, the Greater Chobe Park, Victoria Falls and several other nature gems of Botswana.
Historic Ethiopia & Simien Mountain Tour (Cost: around $3,000)
This tour from AfricanBudgetSafaris.com lasts nine days and focuses on historical sites in Ethiopia, from ruins to castles, as well as several UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Highlights include the Queen of Sheba’s palace, Gondar Castle, and a 14th Century Azwa Monastry.