Tanzania Safari Prices
A safari is not a cheap holiday. No matter what destination you choose, there is no hiding the fact that a safari holiday will generally cost more than your average beach getaway. That said, the pricing of safaris vary dramatically allowing for everyone to find something to suit them. We say that the starting point of a seven-day safari and beach combination in Tanzania is around $4,500 per person, however children’s prices do vary and there are many different offers and deals that can be had.
Tanzania is a great option as a safari destination, with some of the best wildlife viewing on the planet and a great variety in pricing, you can’t go wrong with a safari here. A huge bonus is that it is also very accessible to Zanzibar, making it the perfect place for a safari and beach combination.
The North of Tanzania is famous for being home to the Ngorongoro Crater and the vast sweeping plains of the Serengeti. With the Wildebeest Migration being accessible all-year round, the North of Tanzania is rightly marked as one of the best wildlife viewing destinations on the planet. Due to the amount of travel involved to visit these two destinations in the North of the country, the prices of a Northern Itinerary do tend to be higher than you may find in the South of Tanzania.
The Ngorongoro Crater is probably one of the more expensive parts of the trip, with many fees and a recent increase in pricing, a trip into the Crater does come at a cost. That said, the accommodation surrounding the Crater does vary greatly meaning that lodges range in price between $700 per person per night up to $2,000. Whilst the drive into the Crater is included, there are a few other tips to look out for:
- A driving itinerary from Arusha through to the Crater is often a better value option and allows you to explore Lake Manyara National Park on an afternoon as you head towards your accommodation by the Crater. You will have your own private vehicle and guide for the duration of your stay by the Crater.
- If you want to fly, you will generally spend more money, especially if you are a group of more than 2 people, but the ‘fly-in’ accommodation tends to be more luxurious, lavish and tends to be on an all-inclusive basis which includes other activities like hiking and Masai village visits.
Generally, after the Crater you would fly into the Serengeti. With the migration being a year-round spectacle in the National Park, anytime of year will give you the chance to see this spectacular phenomenon.
Whilst July-October and late December – end of February see the peak season prices, if you do not mind the potential of some rain, the shoulder and green seasons of April and May give some of the best value options and see many lodges drop their prices by over half!
With an abundance of lodges in the Serengeti, there are of course different styles and prices that vary.
The permanent camps like Nomad’s Lamai tend to be at a higher price and you wouldn’t be surprised to pay up wards of $1,500 per person per night. That said, Nomad are offering a five for four deal for their camps, making them more affordable.
In contrast, the migration tented camps do tend to be cheaper, however they don’t have the same type of facilities like a swimming pool that the permanent camps have. Chaka Camp is a luxurious, but no-frills camp and is great value at about $650 per person per night in the high season. &Beyond’s Serengeti Under Canvas is one of the higher priced tented camps and reaches around $1,200 per person per night in the same season, but there are so many options in between! If you are on honeymoon, then the &Beyond lodges offer a 50% off one partner, making them very good value for money. With this in mind, make sure you mention if you’re travelling for a special occasion when talking to us. Obviously with the increase in price comes an increase in luxury and extravagance so if you can, it is certainly worth spending that extra money.
The South of Tanzania comprises of the Selous Game Reserve and Ruaha National Park. Generally, due to the cheaper and shorter flights and great value accommodation, a Southern itinerary tends to work out at better value for money. Whilst flying is the only way to get around on a Southern circuit, the proximity to Zanzibar makes it perfect for that dream safari and beach combination.
With Selous being Africa’s largest game reserve and Ruaha the size of South Africa’s Kruger, the scale of the Southern wildlife areas is hard to comprehend, especially as they both only have a handful of lodges in them. Whilst out on a game drive, it is a rarity to see other vehicles from other lodges and with such vast areas to explore, there is a true wild and untamed feeling to these places.
A lush green landscape that mirrors the Okavango Delta, the Selous is a wonderful wildlife destination. Without the high prices that Botswana charge, the Selous can offer brilliant, boating, vehicle and walking safaris. Although the wildlife isn’t in the same density as the Delta or the Serengeti in the North of the country, the wildlife viewing here is spectacular. Whether it’s the aquatic life on the meandering waterways, mating lions or a pack of wild dogs, the Selous wildlife is spectacular.
If you are on a stricter budget, it is the perfect destination. With lodges like Lake Manze that start at around $450 per person per night in the low season, it is great for a safari and beach short getaway. For ultra-extravagance, Nomad’s Sand Rivers or Beho Beho top the price list at around $1,200 per person per night, and Siwandu offers a brilliant mid-range price point at around $850 per person per night.
In contrast to the Selous’ bright green landscape is the exceedingly dry and baobab studded Ruaha National Park. With herds of buffalo that can number over a thousand, to the increasingly large lion prides that do battle with the bovines, Ruaha is famous for its battle of giants. Whilst game viewing here is exceptional, it makes the perfect combination with the Selous.
Prices are similar to its Southern counterpart with prices starting at around $450 per person per night at Mdonya River Camp (Lake Manze’s sister camp) and they offer a great six for five deal. The middle of the range pricing for the camps of Ikuka and Jongomero are exceptional value for money and with their four for three deals, you cannot get better value for money! At the top end of the price list, but no more luxurious than Ikuka is Jabali Ridge, priced at about $1,100 per person per night.
Whilst the camps are similar in price and the landscapes differ dramatically, the main difference in the Selous and Ruaha are the flights to getting there. Whilst Selous is slightly more flexible to get to, with three flights a day, the single flight to Ruaha leaves early in the morning and is double the price (it is longer though) than the flight to the Selous. It also often means an overnight stay in Dar es Salam is needed.
Western Tanzania is a far-flung and often never-heard-about place. With Katavi and Mahale making up the more frequented parts on this side of the country, they make Selous and Ruaha look like well-trodden areas.
The West is rather an expensive place to get to, with flights only operating twice a week, a full-round circuit for the flights alone cost $1,500 per person!
The reason to visit Mahale is for its chimps. Nomad’s Greystoke Mahale is the best place to stay here and as well as chimp trekking, hikes into the surrounding rainforests, relaxing on the shores of Lake Tanganyika and kayaking on the lake itself, it makes for a brilliant few days of adventure and relaxation. Priced at over $1,600 per person per night, it certainly doesn’t come cheap though.
Hopping over to Katavi finishes off this circuit beautifully. With buffalo herds that dwarf those in Ruaha and crocodiles that find shade in the riverbank crevices, Katavi is waiting to be discovered. The beauty of Katavi is in its walking safaris and authentic bush camps. There certainly aren’t the levels of luxury that you find in the other wildlife havens in Tanzania, yet this adds to the experience. Again, Nomad run our favourite camp here. Chada is a small, eloquent and back-to-basics camp and is priced at just over $1,000 per person per night.
Out of all three options, the West of Tanzania isn’t for the feint-hearted and certainly isn’t for first time safari goers, but if you are after something different and special, it certainly makes for an adventure of a life time.
Now it is worth also mentioning that specials and deals are changing all the time, as well as the many other lodges and options not mentioned above so we definitely recommend you contacting us either my email or by phone. One of our Africa experts would love to talk through all the different possibilities with you.