Is An African Safari Really Expensive?

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Bisate Safari Lodge in Northern Rwanda

Any safari holiday will be among the most expensive trips you take in Africa, but we can guarantee it will also be among the most amazing adventures.

Africa is considered expensive for reasons like lack of infrastructure, complicated logistics and high staff to guest ratios.

The biggest reason that safari camps have high rates is precisely the reason why people want to go on safari – being in the middle of pristine bush. In general, safari areas in Africa have little to no infrastructure in place so it is expensive to build and operate a camp with even the most basic requirements such as electricity, food preparation, running water, and waste management and staff to safari camps can be difficult and costly. Everything guests use and consume while at a safari camp has had to be brought in .

Keeping a lodge or hotel running properly takes careful logistical planning because they are so isolated and even basic food may be difficult to obtain. And let’s not forget the maintenance and fuel costs of powerful 4×4 safari vehicles used all day, every day.

Another vital but expensive aspect of the safari experience is the high numbers of staff in the camp. Safari camps and hotels have several times the number of staff as guests, and generally all of the staff live at the camps and hotels due to their remote locations so accommodation, meals, uniforms, transport, and toiletries have to be provided in addition to their salaries. Many guests may not realise that aside from the managers, guides, and waiters/barmen which they see every day, there are also many people behind the scenes taking care of the kitchen, housekeeping, laundry, building & vehicle maintenance, gardening, security, and anti-poaching patrols.

the price of your safari includes park and conservation fees which are critical in the protection of these beautiful natural areas and their often endangered wildlife. Many camps sites and hotels also donate large portion of their profit to the local communities, supporting local schools, hospitals, and community projects that would not be there otherwise. As part of their conservation efforts most safari camps practice “high quality-low density” tourism, so rather than lots of guests paying lower rates they prefer to have a few guests pay higher rates which protects fragile ecosystems from mass human traffic.

Africa may be expensive compared to other destinations in the world, but we know you will appreciate your money worth.

To reduce some of the safari expenses, Travel with friends, Do a self drive, ask safari experts. Africa is a Wonderful continent to visit.

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