Before I actually started planning our South African safari, I thought it would cost thousands of pounds. And while that can be true, Kruger can absolutely be done on a budget. Yes, there are private reserves that offer the luxury associated with safari, but there are also affordable government run camps. The public camps plus the fact that Kruger allows self-drive through the park, means you have a lot of control over cost. Below I’ll break down how to do a South African safari on a budget.
Cost of a South african Safari
We opted to stay in Crocodile Bridget Rest Camp, which was one of the cheaper camps, but in a great location. We were in a permanent tent, which was a mid-range option — you could also rent a bungalow or spot to pitch a tent. I did feel a bit of regret when we arrived and I saw how cute the bungalows were, but our tent was actually really nice. Larger camps have these options (as well as houses, huts, and cottages), but are generally more expensive.
We stayed for three nights and it was 100 GBP total. However, there are conservation fees that depend on nationality – people from South Africa pay a much lower rate than people from the US or Europe. I support that fully, but make sure to take it into account when budgeting cost. These fees were actually more than our accommodation (an additional 120 GPB). We booked two drives with a guide, and those were 20 GBP per person.
Basically, two of us stayed in Kruger for three nights and went on two guided game drives for £300 total. What!
Who knew that going on safari can be affordable, that it’s something you can possibly do sooner rather than later! It’s so much more accessible than I thought, and now I want to do 100 more identical trips!