When it comes to African safaris, it’s definitely the case that you get what you pay for. From animal sightings to transportation and accommodation, quality costs money! But exactly how much are we talking? You’ll probably be (happily) surprised by the answers as we explore the question how much is a luxury African safari.
Calculating the Price of an African Safari
Before we get into the specifics of how much a luxury African safari is, let’s first detail precisely what you’ll get when booking the best trips in Africa. In other words, what’s included in a luxury African safari and what isn’t?
Here we have to talk in generally terms, as different tour operators in Africa will include different items in their safari packages. You can also request a bespoke safari package, personalized to your exact needs, which may vary again.
What’s Included in a Safari Package?
Usually, a safari package will include hotel or lodge accommodation, private group transportation, activities specifically mentioned on the trip itinerary (unless marked optional), meals, and the attention of an English-speaking driver-guide. So far so good!
Some tour operators will also include the price of national park fees, and chimp and/or gorilla trekking permits. Home To Africa certainly does on our Uganda safaris! But since national park fees can easily top $100 per park, and gorilla trekking permits in Uganda cost $700 per person (its $1500 in Rwanda) it’s definitely worth double checking whether these costs are included in any safari package you’re looking at.
What’s Excluded from a Safari Package?
Knowing what isn’t included on a safari package is probably even more important than knowing what is included. This is especially true when you’re trying to calculate how much a luxury African safari is.
First off, any activity mentioned as optional on the itinerary will need to be paid for, generally when you’re on the ground in the country. But your biggest additional expense is going to be your airfare. Prices are normally at their most attractive the further away from the date of departure you are. Flight tickets should be purchased as close to booking your tour as possible, to ensure there’s no issue getting you where you want to be!
In addition to your airfare, you’re also responsible for arranging your own travel and medical insurance. Further things to consider are alcoholic drinks, which are usually not covered in packages, and tips/gratuities for your driver-guide and other team members. $10-15 per person per day is considered the current standard.
Why Are Safari Package Costs So Different?
There are a multitude of reasons why safari packages can be priced so differently. It’s well worth considering the following when thinking about how much a luxury African safari is.
One thing to consider is destination. We’ve already seen that gorilla permits are twice the price in Rwanda as there are in Uganda, making Uganda safaris the top pick for many seeking to encounter these majestic creatures.
Likewise, Africa’s seasons play a big part in how much you’ll pay. As you’d expect, the most popular times to visit – during high summer for instance – command the highest prices because there is more demand. You might instead prefer to travel during a shoulder period, when the wildlife viewing is still great, but accommodation and other costs are lower.
Lastly, some tour operators simply charge more. At Home To Africa, we keep are prices as low as possible for our customers – and still manage to donate a percentage of our profits to good causes across east Africa!
For a full rundown on the factors affecting safari costs, check out are dedicated article on safari holiday package costs.
How Much is a Luxury African Safari?
Now for the numbers. It’s entirely possible to head out on an African safari for around $125 per day. That’s less than a London or New York hotel room. But you will have to strip out any idea of luxury. For that price, you’ll likely be sleeping outside of national parks, and more than likely have to pay park fees, permits, and other additional expenses on top. Budget safaris therefore rapidly become a bit of a false economy.
Although there’s really no upper limit on how much a luxury African safari is, it wouldn’t be difficult to arrange a unique personalized experience costing $2500. However, on average, a luxury African safari, with knowledgeable driver-guide, high-end accommodation, comfortable transportation, and meal plans, starts at around $750 per person per day.
For that price you get everything we’ve detailed above, which in our opinion still makes it something of a bargain! Not only do you get to experience the wonder of an African safari, but get to take a break from the stresses of everyday life and spend quality time with those you love.
What to Expect From a Luxury African Safari
On a luxury African safari you can expect the same levels of comfort and service as you would a luxury hotel or resort anywhere in the world. You might find yourself staying in a bespoke lodge on a private concession within a national park with just a handful of rooms.
Or you might end up experiencing a mobile tented camp, where everything is readied for your arrival in a new location each day while you soak up the ambience and wildlife of the plains.
A luxury African safari will also offer the chance for dedicated staff members who provide a 24 hour service, and the expertise which only ever comes with years of experience and commitment to a particular job. A tour operator based in the region, like Home To Africa, is sure to provide the best result!
Costing a Luxury African Safari
Determining how much a luxury Africa safari is doesn’t have to be complex. We’ve not only provided you with information on what exactly is and isn’t included on the average safari package, but also a rough guide to pricing, so you can find the right luxury African safari without worry!