It’s on many people’s bucket list: a safari where you can see some of the greatest wild animals in their natural habitat. In the East African country of Tanzania, you have the opportunity to see the Big Five: lions, elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards and buffalo.
Few people are lucky enough to make this kind of trip more than once in a lifetime. If you are planning a safari, you want to make sure you experience everything you can! Getting the most out of your trip requires a great deal of planning, which will surely be worth it.
The most important question you should ask is, “How much does a Tanzania safari cost?” Once you break down the expenses, you can make an accurate estimate of what you will need to really make the most of your trip. This will allow you to save enough so that you really do have the time of your life without worrying about money.
Here is a list of ten things to consider when calculating the costs of your safari in Tanzania.
1. Roundtrip Airfare from Home
Travel costs will depend on where you are traveling from. The price of your flight from the East Coast of the United States to one of Tanzania’s major cities like Dar Es Salaam could start at $2000.
Costs vary, depending on the time of year, and if you choose to fly coach, business or first class. For this once in a lifetime trip (and a flight that could take over 15 hours), you may choose to splurge on a seat where you can stretch out.
If you are flying from a part of the world that does not have direct flights to Tanzania, you will probably have to fly to one or two other cities en route to your final destination. You might fly through London, Brussels or another European city.
If you are flying from another city in the Southern hemisphere like Perth in Australia, a coach ticket will be closer to $1500. If you fly first class from New York via Switzerland, you might end up paying close to $10,000 for one person.
2. Traveling within Africa
Once you decide to take a trip to Tanzania, you will want to see as much as you can of this amazing country. You won’t want to be limited to one region.
After seeing the animals in the bush, you may want to check out Zanzibar for a change of pace and environment. Zanzibar is a small island off the coast of Tanzania, located in the Indian Ocean. It has pristine white beaches and a vibrant local culture.
Zanzibar is reached by ferry or plane; the flight to the island from Dar Es Salaam will cost around $60.
Furthermore, you may wish to spend more time on the African continent, especially if you have traveled very far to get there. You may wish to fly down to the tip of the continent and see South Africa or explore the northern cultures in Egypt or Morocco.
Make sure you budget for the costs of intra-Africa flights. Dar Es Salaam to Cairo may run you around $500.
One of your major expenses in your Tanzania safari will be your lodging. There is a range of accommodations available, depending on your preference.
Many travelers enjoy the experience of sleeping in tents while on safari. These tents can actually be quite luxurious, with en-suite bathrooms and beautiful furnishings.
“Glamping” in these accommodations will give you a chance to really et up close to the animals You may even hear a rhinoceros snorting around your campsite in the middle of the night!
On the other hand, you may be more comfortable in a lodge, which is more like a hotel. These facilities usually have a pool, restaurant, bar and the traditional guest services. Sometimes after a hot dusty day on the savannah, you may look forward to the comfort and familiarity of a fine hotel.
The costs of accommodation on your safari will depend on the level of luxury you choose: brands like the Four Seasons will be at the higher end of the price spectrum, but there are many options available for any budget. Ask your travel professional.
Not all safaris are all-inclusive, so it is important to ask when you are booking your trip. Like accommodations, the dining options vary widely in price and luxury.
Few lodges are a la carte. Some of the premiere establishments can charge up to $3000 per day.
If you choose this level of luxury, you will not only receive the most elite in accommodations, you will be treated to fine dining as well- including high tea and cocktails. They can also pack you a picnic lunch to take out into the bush,
Because it is hard to pop out to the local grocery store to purchase your own edibles, make sure you factor in the costs of food when you plan your safari budget.
When you arrange your safari, ask whether the excursions are included or whether you are only paying for meals and lodging. Many travel professionals will arrange everything for you for one price, but it is always important to know up front what your fees cover.
Check to see whether park fees are included. These can run up to $100 per person.
You may be in the country on business and may only have time for a day trip to one of Tanzania’s treasures. For around $400 you may be able to arrange a day-long excursion to one of the national parks where you can see Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara or the Ngurdoto Crater
Make sure you tip your guides as well! They are integral to your safari experience.
6. A Good Camera
If you have traveled halfway around the globe, you want to memorialize the experience with photographs. This is not the time to rely on your smartphone!
You may also be out in the field for hours at a time. The guide may not have a charger that fits your phone Do you really want to risk missing the photo of a lion catching its prey or a zebra and its colt because your phone ran out of juice?
Safaris are the perfect excuse to invest in a high-quality camera. You will appreciate a zoom lens and the crystal clear focus that phone cameras rarely deliver.
Your camera should be fairly rugged. Safaris can be dusty, so you will want something that performs well in demanding climates. Don’t select something too complicated: sometimes you will just need to grab and shoot to get that priceless picture.
Traveling to Africa is not without risk, and purchasing travel insurance is critical.
Although you should take all necessary medical precautions (see #9), you may still become ill from the high altitudes and unfamiliar foods. Malaria and other ailments are not unusual.
On any trip, there is always the danger of tripping and falling, and other injuries which might require medical attention.
Tanzania is a peaceful country, but depending on what other countries you may be traveling to, severe weather or political unrest may affect travel plans.
There are so many unpredictable elements that might come into play which could affect your vacation and possibly rack up high costs. By purchasing travel insurance, you protect yourself against the unexpected.
You will be able to purchase many souvenirs from your journey at the gift shops where you stay, but you will get a more authentic Tanzania experience and a better price if you go to the local marketplace. Just be prepared to bargain! Never the pay initial asking price.
You can find wood carvings, jewelry, masks, and baskets. If you toured the Serengeti, you may have encountered the cattle herding tribe of the Masai. You can purchase Masai souvenirs like blankets, beaded necklaces, and even spears.
Do not buy anything made of animal skin or horns. Items from endangered species are illegal to export. This includes anything made of ivory or tortoiseshell as well.
9. Vaccinations and Medical Items
Check with your physician before traveling to Tanzania. You want to make sure all of your vaccinations are up to date.
The United States’ Center for Disease Control also recommends that you be vaccinated for hepatitis A an B, typhoid, cholera, and rabies. It is also advised that you take prescription medications to prevent malaria before, during, and after your trip. These may or may not all be covered by your health insurance so they may entail an additional cost.
The government of Tanzania requires proof of yellow fever vaccination upon arrival if you are traveling from a country with risk of yellow fever.
Obviously, if you currently take prescription medications or require any special products or devices, you will need to make sure you have enough of these items for the duration of your trip.
10. Appropriate Attire
You won’t be able to bring a lot of clothing on your safari, so it’s important to invest in a few well-made pieces suitable for your adventure.
You will want lightweight, breathable clothing that will protect you from the sun and insects, but not make you too hot. You need a hat and comfortable shoes.
If you are staying at a fancy lodge, you will need a nice outfit for the restaurant. Mke sure it is something that is hand washable and wrinkle-resistant.
Remember also, that laundry may be an additional cost at your accommodation.
Tanzania Safari Cost May Not Be Cheap, But the Experience is Priceless
It may seem that when you calculate your Tanzania safari cost that it adds up to a high amount. However, when you consider where you are going and what you will be seeing and experiencing, you will understand that it is worth every penny.
If you save up and do your research, you can make sure that your expenditures provide you with a huge return on investment. You will have a priceless experience and memories which will sustain you for your whole life.
For more information on booking an unforgettable Tanzania safari, check out our website.