What does a safari cost?

“The only man I envy is the man that has not yet been to Africa, for he has so much to look forward to.”

This is one of the quotes that we truly stand by at Wild Eye. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing the joy on guests' faces when they visit Africa for the first, second and even the umpteenth time to experience the wildlife, the people and natural beauty of our wonderful continent.

Picture it, a majestic male lion, sun kissed by late afternoon sun, roaring to let everyone know of his presence. It sends shivers down your spine. How about being surrounded by thousands (literally thousands) of wildebeest that have just crossed the mighty Mara River. Still not convinced? Imagine, just for a moment, that you are in the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda, and a family of gorillas cross a path right in front of you… This is Africa!

What is so amazing about the African continent, is that all the above-mentioned experiences are possible along with so much more! The diversity of wildlife, ecosystems and culture is simply unrivaled.

But, you're probably thinking: “Sounds wonderful, but it's expensive...?” Right?

In this blog post, I’ll go a little deeper into the components of a typical safari cost, and provide a breakdown of the costs associated with a safari to Africa with Wild Eye.

But, before we get to the costs, Wild Eye offers three different types of tours options: Custom, Scheduled and Private Tours, and its worth outlining these for you first.

Custom Tour

Want to find out more, simply click on "Custom Tour" above

What is a Custom Tour?

Our team of experienced tour planners work with you to build a custom travel plan tailored to the destinations you would like to visit, the duration you would like to travel for, your group size and of course, your budget.

Whilst there are many great examples of travel itineraries which generally combine the most popular attractions in a region, there will never be a package which has the ideal duration, combination of destinations or price that suits everyone. We will work with you to customize your travel plans and maximize the potential to see and experience as much as possible, for the budget you're willing to part with.

How does it work?

It’s simple really, all we need to get the ball rolling is a little bit of information from you. Our smart enquiry form contains some of the most important questions we need answered to start formulating an idea of what sort of areas and camps would best suit your needs.

One of our experienced travel consultants will then reach out to you with some initial suggestions and work closely with you to refine the itinerary to suit your specific needs.

  1. You share the details of your dream vacation including duration, number of people, preferred dates, key experiences, budget etc.
  2. We pull on decades of experience and get to work on choosing the lodges and camps best suited to your specific needs, often securing preliminary space.
  3. We work with you to refine the itinerary.
  4. You pack your bags and enjoy the journey of a lifetime knowing that our team is actively managing your experience every step of the way, leaving you to kick back and relax!
What is included?

Depending on where you go, and the experience you are after, generally what you can expect to have included on a Custom Tour is as follows:

  • Accommodation on an all-inclusive basis (drinks, food & daily activities)
  • All internal flights
  • All airport and camp transfers specified
  • Park and Conservation fees
What is excluded?

Depending on where you go, and the experience you are after, generally you can expect the following items to be excluded from a Custom Tour:

  • Passport and visa costs (if applicable)
  • Covid-19 travel testing (if applicable)
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature
  • Premium branded drinks and meals not specified
  • Transfers not specified
  • Wild Eye Guide (Custom Tours are unguided)

You can view a few sample itineraries below that showcase what a Custom Tour is all about!

There really is no limit to a Custom Tour, other than your own. It is a tour that is completely tailored to what you want out of your adventure.

Lion Sands & Cape Town Escape

Exclusive accommodation, sensory comforts, intuitive service, good food and fine South African wine come together to promise a safari in style; a Lion Sands Original. Ending off in the mothercity, Cape Town this is the best of South Africa in six nights.

7 days

A conscious journey through Zambia's South Luangwa & Lower Zambezi

The Bushcamp Company and Chiawa Safaris offer some of the last owner-run experiences in Zambia, supporting wildlife and communities surrounding both parks. A stay goes a long way in supporting their commitment.

12 days

Icons of Kenya

A truly memorable itinerary visiting the best regions in Kenya, from Giraffe Manor in Nairobi to exceptional game viewing in the Masai Mara and iconic views of elephants to the backdrop of Kilimanjaro in Amboseli. Your 12 day journey ends off on the soft white sands in Diani Beach.

12 days

Scheduled Tour

Want to find out more, simply click on "Scheduled Tour" above

What is a Scheduled Tour?

Unlike our Custom, or Private Guided Tours (info below) - which, as their names would suggest, are uniquely designed to suit specific needs and interests, our Scheduled Tours are safaris with set arrival and departure dates, predetermined group sizes and carefully constructed itineraries.

Essentially, scheduled tours:

  • Run over predetermined dates, carefully chosen to provide guests with the best possible experience
  • Cater for between 3 and 12 guests per departure depending on the country or region visited
  • Are planned to ensure the maximum amount of time spent out on safari
  • Are hosted by a Wild Eye Photographic Guide and Tour Leader at a maximum ratio of 5 guests to a single guide
  • Provide guests with daily photographic tuition and expert guidance as part of the safari package
  • Are costed on a single basis (no single supplement!)
How does it work?

All you would need to do, is pick the destination and safari itinerary that excites you the most, the travel dates that suit - and leave the rest up to our team!

What is included?

Dependent on the destination and safari itinerary, you can expect for the following to be included on our Scheduled Tours:

  • All meals and local drinks
  • All park and conservation fees
  • Accommodation on a single basis
  • Internal flights and specified ground transfers
  • Game drive activities in a private vehicle
  • Wild Eye Guide and local guides
  • Photographic and post processing tuition
What is excluded?

Dependent on the destination and safari itinerary, you can expect for the following to be excluded on Scheduled Tours:

  • Passport and visa costs (if applicable)
  • Covid-19 travel testing (if applicable)
  • Gratuities and items of a personal nature
  • Premium branded drinks and meals not specified
  • Transfers not specified
  • International flights
  • Pre and post accommodation (our team can assist with this)

Below are a couple of examples of the exciting Scheduled Tours that Wild Eye has on offer!

Big Cats & Tuskers

The mere mention of Kenya conjures up emotions strongly tied to safari of a bygone era! True adventure and excitement. And, there's good reason for this - Kenya offers some of the continent's very best wildlife reserves and is synonymous with the quintessential safari experience. This exciting adventure will take you through 3 of the country's best known regions in search of fantastic encounters with wildlife.

Mana Pools & Hwange Safari

Zimbabwe is home to one of Africa's most incredible, life changing safari experiences. Explore the enchanted Mana Pools forest, found on the southern floodplains of the lower Zambezi. Marvel at the high number of elephants that congregate during the dry season in the country's largest park, Hwange. Spend a few days simply waiting and watching as animals venture in for a drink at Kanga Pan. This safari promises to deliver everything you have dreamt of on safari and more!

Private Guided Safari

Want to find out more, simply click on "Private Safari" above

What is a Private Guided Safari?

You don’t mind spending time in the company of others, but when it comes to your safari experience, you want the undivided personal attention of one of our seasoned photographic safari guides. This is the Wild Eye Private Guided Safari Experience.

A private guided experience is centered around you & your enjoyment, in the company of a Wild Eye guide for the entire duration of the tour. It’s private and exclusive and therefore offers you the opportunity to enjoy the thrill of being on safari to the fullest, all whilst being in the company of a guide and host whose sole purpose is to ensure that you are taken care of beyond your expectation, from start to finish.

How does it work?

Similarly, to our Custom Tour process, our team creates a travel experience based on the destination(s) that best suit your interests, travel duration, group size and budget, the only difference being, your guide is on hand throughout this process. It could be trekking gorillas in Uganda, walking with elephants in Mana Pools or viewing leopards in close proximity in South Africa’s famed Sabi Sands, or, quite easily, a combination of all three. Anything is possible!

  1. You share the details of your dream vacation including duration, number of people, preferred dates of travel, key experiences, and budget with us.
  2. We get to work on choosing the destinations, camps and experiences best suited to your specific needs.
  3. You pack your bags and enjoy the journey of a lifetime knowing that our team are actively managing your experience, leaving you to kick back and relax!
What is included?
  • All meals and drinks
  • All park and conservation fees
  • Accommodation
  • Internal flights and transfers
  • All activities outlined in the itinerary
  • Wild Eye Guide
  • Personalized in-field photographic and post processing tuition
What is excluded?
  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Passport and visa costs (if applicable)
  • Covid-19 travel testing (if applicable)
  • Gratuities for local guides and lodge staff

Private Guided Tours

Travel to your dream destinations, alone or with close friends and family, in the company of a professionally qualified Wild Eye photographic guide and embark on a safari adventure you'll remember for a lifetime and a portfolio of images to show for it!

Here is everything you need to know about a Private Guided Safari!

Now that you understand the types of tours Wild Eye has to offer, we need to address the question about what a safari actually costs.

Well, it's not that simple unfortunately. There is indeed a correlation between guided and non-guided safaris, overall tour exclusivity and associated prices. The more exclusive the guided safari, the more destinations visited and the more complex the itinerary, the higher the price, right? In theory, the answer is yes. But not always.

Sometimes our expedition styled adventures to seldom explored destinations with smaller, more intimate groups out-price more mainstream safaris. But, with that being said, a safari with Wild Eye, irrespective of whether it's Custom, Scheduled or Private, is designed in such a way that as much is taken into consideration, and marked as 'inclusive' as is possible, and the price is dependent largely on whether the tour is guided or not, country and destination, lodge experience, and overall tour exclusivity.

Our Scheduled Tours can range anywhere from $ 3,300 to $ 20,000, dependent on the destination, duration and experiences, and Custom Tours or Private Guided Safari's can range anywhere from $2,000 to $100,000. The point here being, it all depends on a variety of different factors and it's not always possible to state with any degree of certainty, that a safari to Africa costs "X".

Let’s start off with a safari to South Africa:

Madikwe Safari (6 nights & 7 days)

Towering rocky outcrops, red sands, open grasslands and large waterholes drawing animals for a drink during the intense Madikwe heat, all form part of the exciting experience on offer at this malaria-free Big 5 safari destination

It’s often thought that it is simply not possible for one safari destination to “have it all” and perhaps this statement is indeed true. That said, the diverse and wildly dynamic fauna and flora of Madikwe Game Reserve is about as close as it gets.

This Safari cost is $ 3,300 and here are some of the benefits INCLUDED in this cost:

  • All meals and drinks
  • All park and conservation fees
  • Accommodation on a single basis (no single supplement)
  • Dedicated photographic and post processing tuition
  • Twice daily game drives, with flexible times
  • Exclusive use of a luxury lodge
  • Road transfers from JHB to Madikwe Game Reserve, return

An important factor to keep in mind when travelling to South Africa is that the costs are in South African Rands (ZAR) which makes travelling more affordable for overseas visitors from countries with favourable rates of exchange.

safari cost

Madikwe Safari

"I like to think of Madikwe as the 'all rounder' safari experience. The reason I say that is because its a place where you can visit as a photographer, seasoned safari goer or even as a first time experience. The red sands and beautiful backdrops lends itself to phenomenal photographic opportunities, and the lodge itself with its friendly staff and professional guides ensure you have the most comfortable stay and best game viewing experience."

Kenya

Here is an idea of what you can expect (bearing in mind that we’re now going into destinations that charge in USD) in terms of the safari cost when travelling to Kenya to witness one of the world’s greatest wildlife spectacles.

Wild Eye has our very own seasonal setup on the banks of the Mara river which plays host to both Masai Mara Experience and Great Migration Safaris from June through to November each year.

safari cost

By combining the exclusivity of the Wild Eye Mara Camp and the passion, knowledge and experience of our team, we have taken our Masai Mara Safaris to a whole new level, providing our guests with what we firmly believe to be one of the very best photo safaris on offer in the Masai Mara.

The Masai Mara Experience Safari (6 nights & 7 days) which takes place during the shoulder-seasons of the migratory movements, comes in at a cost of $ 4,450. Here are some of the benefits INCLUDED in this cost:

  • A Wild Eye photographic guide
  • Local Wild Eye East Africa guides
  • Accommodation on single basis (no single supplement)
  • All park & conservation fees
  • Daily game drives
  • All meals & drinks at the Wild Eye Mara Camp
  • In field photographic tuition
  • Post processing tuition
  • Domestic flights Wilson Airport Nairobi to Mara Serena airstrip Masai Mara, return
  • Arrival transfer on day 1 and departure transfer on day 7

The Great Migration Safari (6 nights & 7 days) which takes place during the peak seasons of the migration, goes at a cost of $ 6,450. Here are some of the benefits INCLUDED in this cost:

  • Two Wild Eye photographic guides
  • Local Wild Eye East Africa guides
  • Accommodation on single basis (no single supplement)
  • All park & conservation fees
  • Daily game drives
  • All meals & drinks at the Wild Eye Mara Camp
  • In field photographic tuition
  • Post processing tuition
  • Domestic flights Wilson Airport Nairobi to Mara Serena airstrip Masai Mara, return
  • Arrival transfer on day 1 and departure transfer on day 7

Masai Mara Experience Safari

The Masai Mara offers incredible photographic opportunity outside of the typical migration period. In fact, many an award winning image have been captured during the shoulder season either sides of the migratory movements. The Mara remains a quintessential safari experience in the Mara Experience Season and is still one of the bucket list items that any wildlife and nature enthusiast should tick off.

The Great Migration Safari in Kenya

A great migration safari in Kenya is teeming with wildlife, and with grasslands as far as the eye can see, The Masai Mara is one of the most iconic destinations in the world, ideal for many aspiring photographers or safari - goers looking to add true diversity to their portfolio. Capture sensational images of dramatic river crossings, and be immersed in the movement of thousands of animals on their annual migratory route through East Africa.

Zambia

A safari to Zambia should also be on your bucket list if you desire to travel to Africa one day. The Lower Zambezi is a destination where you simply get lost in its beauty. It offers a great variety of activities from exploring the breathtaking forests, to canoeing down the mighty Zambezi River. It's perhaps one of the most underrated parks in Africa!

The Lower Zambezi valley is a huge rift in the earth's crust, through which a mighty river flows. Over millennia, mineral-rich volcanic soils deposited by the Zambezi have nurtured lush vegetation, while old meanders and oxbow lakes add to the attraction for wildlife.

Our Treasures of The Lower Zambezi (9 nights & 10 days) safari cost is $ 8,950 and here are some of the benefits INCLUDED in this cost:

  • Two Wild Eye guides and local guides
  • Accommodation on a single basis (Including one night in Lusaka)
  • Internal flights including extra luggage
  • All transfers
  • All meals and local drinks
  • Daily safari activities in private vehicles
  • Photographic and post processing tuition
  • All park fees and community levies
  • Laundry
safari cost

Treasures of The Lower Zambezi

The Lower Zambezi National Park, by virtue of the Zambezi River and its parallel escarpment, is definitely one of Africa’s most scenic wilderness areas. Home to an impressive quantity and variety of wildlife which can be viewed by land based safari activities, from a variety of water based activities and from the camps themselves, all of which makes for a unique and exciting safari adventure.

Now when you start to move towards areas that are renowned for miles of wilderness (exclusivity) such as Botswana, Uganda & Zimbabwe average safari cost can start increasing.

Safari cost
Botswana

Beautiful Botswana is next on the list and our Best of Botswana Safari (13 nights & 14 days) will expose you to some truly unforgettable experiences. Combining four unique parks, this tour will expose guests to some of the most diverse game viewing and scenery that Botswana has to offer. From crystal clear waters found in the Okavango Delta, to the dry and harsh conditions of Savute and finally ending off on the Chobe River, this adventure is one for all wildlife enthusiasts.

This safari cost is $ 11,995 and here is a list of the benefits that are INCLUDED in this safari:

  • Wild Eye expedition leader and local guide
  • Accommodation on single basis (Including the first night in Maun)
  • Internal flights & transfers including extra luggage
  • All meals and local drinks provided, excluding premium brand drinks on the houseboat
  • All park fees and community levies
  • Photographic and post processing tuition
  • Private vehicle
  • Private camp sites
  • Exclusive use of the Chobe Princess houseboat

Best of Botswana

Combining four unique parks, this tour will expose guests to some of the most diverse game viewing and scenery that Botswana has to offer. From crystal clear waters found in the Okavango Delta, to the dry and harsh conditions of Savute and finally ending off on the Chobe River, this adventure is one for all wildlife enthusiasts.

Uganda

Here is what you can expect on a trip to Uganda with Wild Eye. Time spent in the company of Uganda’s great apes will simply never be forgotten. It’s life changing in every way. When you look into those big eyes you connect with more than just an animal, you discover a new part of your very self.

Our Best of Uganda trip (10 nights & 11 days) will truly change the way the you see the world. This safari cost ranges from $ 12,250 to $ 13,285, depending on the season that you decide on. Here is a list of the benefits that are INCLUDED in this safari:

  • All meals and drinks
  • All park and conservation fees
  • All accommodation as per Itinerary
  • 1x Flight: Entebbe to Kasese
  • 1x Flight: Kihihi to Entebbe
  • 3x Gorilla trekking Permits
  • 2x Full day chimpanzee trekking permits
safari cost

Best of Uganda

Join Wild Eye for this incredible adventure which includes not only the experience of getting close to and photographing the critically endangered Mountain Gorilla, but also two full days of trekking Chimpanzees in Uganda’s Kibale National Forest, and a two day visit to the famous Queen Elizabeth National Park, known for its tree-climbing lions. This safari itinerary to give you the opportunity to photograph a much wider diversity of subjects than purely primates and will leave you with an incredibly well-rounded portfolio of Uganda.

safari cost
Zimbabwe

One of the wildest places on earth – Mana Pools. Set up camp on the only water source in the southern parts of the Mana. Walk the scenic floodplain and sit at the feet of giants. Wait in quiet at a waterhole deep into the Mopani woodlands. Mana Pools is incredibly diverse and has so much to offer.

Now, when traveling to one of the wildest places on earth surely you would want to see the absolute BEST of that area? That is where our Best of Mana Pools Safari (10 nights & 11 days) comes in. This safari cost is $ 14,995.00 and here is a list of the benefits that are INCLUDED in this safari:

  • All accommodation specified in itinerary
  • All meals & drinks
  • All park & conservation fees
  • All safari activities
  • Private safari activities
  • 1 x Flight from Harare to Mana Pools
  • 1 x Flight from Mana Pools to Harare
  • Road transfers between safari camps

Best of Mana Pools

You gain insight into the entirety of Mana on this safari and you’ll love every second of it. You still get to see the elephants, wild dogs and lion prides on the floodplain. In addition though your stays at Kavinga & Kanga Camps will showcase the woodlands & southern reaches of Mana Pools to you in a beautiful way. Both Kanga & Kavinga offers the only water source within their respective regions during the dry season and animals flock there daily. This is a comprehensive safari experience to Mana Pools that will touch your senses in every way.

In the end, the answer to what a safari costs isn't as simple as people might think. Whether you choose a Custom, Scheduled or Private tour with Wild Eye, and irrespective of the complexity of itinerary, what we can assure you is a carefully crafted, client-centric, all-inclusive travel experience that will undoubtedly 'change the way you see the world'!

If you are interested in learning more about our offerings and travel experiences, or if you would like to understand the safari cost involved with any particular tour, feel free to reach out to me michaela@wild-eye.co.za

I look forward to hearing from you and assisting the rest of our Wild Eye team in changing the way YOU see the world.

Until next time,

Michael

What is the best Safari in Africa

When people begin to plan their perfect safari it often leads them to the age old question - "What is the best Safari in Africa?"

One of the most important factors people will consider when deciding on where to go for a safari is what they are hoping to see and where will they see those animals.

This goes for photographers as well. We often base our decision on where we are going to travel depending on what it is we want to photograph.

Now that you know when the best time is to go on Safari, have a read through this blog to find out where the best Safari destinations are in Africa, based on what it is you want to see or experience!

Different Seasons on Safari

Now that you know what the Average cost of a safari is, you may be interested to know when the best season is to go on Safari.

Different Safari seasons can give you totally different experiences, many of which a lot of people are not aware of. In short, there is no bad time to be on safari, but certain areas tend to peak at different times of the year.

In this blog you can find a breakdown on which places might be best to visit during different times of the year..

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