A safari in Tanzania often tops many travelers’ bucket lists. Getting up close to lions, elephants, zebras and more in the Serengeti is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. However, the dream safari also comes with a hefty price tag, especially for luxury tours.
For an unforgettable Tanzania safari, it’s important to understand all the factors that influence cost so you can plan within your budget. This comprehensive guide will walk you through typical price ranges, break down all the major costs, and give tips to save money – without compromising on experience.
## Typical Price Ranges for Tanzania Safaris
Most Tanzania safaris range between:
* **Budget/Camping Safaris – $200-$500 per day**
* **Mid-Range Lodge Safaris – $500-$1,000 per day**
* **Luxury Lodge Safaris – $1,000-$3,000+ per day**
Safari prices are generally quoted as per person, per day rates. You can expect to pay:
* **3-5 Day Budget Safari – $1,000-$2,000 per person**
* **1-2 Week Mid-Range Safari – $5,000-$10,000 per person**
* **10-14 Day Luxury Safari – $15,000+ per person**
These prices exclude international flights but include activities, tours, ground transport, guides, accommodation, park fees, meals, and transfers within Tanzania. Keep reading for a detailed breakdown.
## Major Factors That Influence Tanzania Safari Costs
Prices can range widely for Tanzania safaris depending on these key factors:
### Trip Duration
Longer itineraries that cover more ground like two weeks across Northern Tanzania cost more than quick 4-5 day targeted safaris.
You’ll want to spend adequate time on a Tanzania safari to make the international flights worthwhile. Plan at least a week if visiting the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater. Two weeks allows you to include parks like Lake Manyara, Tarangire and Mount Kilimanjaro hiking too.
### Accommodation Type
This is a major cost factor. Accommodation options include:
* **Budget Camping or Dorm Tents – $50-$150 per night**
* **Mid-Range Lodges – $200-$400 per night**
* **Luxury Lodges – $500-$1,500+ per night**
Luxury safari camps with amenities like private plunge pools, butlers, premium food and wellness activities are most expensive. Budget camping and dorm tent camps will help lower your overall safari costs.
### Safari Activities
Included game drives, walking safaris, birdwatching tours, village visits and other activities affect your per day costs. More activities mean higher guided prices but give you a more comprehensive experience.
### Park and Conservation Fees
Entry fees for Tanzania’s protected national parks and conservation areas range from $30-$100 per person, per day. These mandatory costs are per vehicle.
### Food and Drinks
Going all-inclusive takes care of meals and drinks like water, juice, house wine and beer. But premium imported alcohol, or dining outside the lodge/camp can add up.
### Flights and Transfers
Most safari quotes include transfers between parks and camps within Tanzania by road or bush plane. International flights are extra.
### Time of Year for Visit
Visiting Tanzania during the Great Migration from June-October means much higher demand, prices for tours and peak park fees. Discounts up to 25% are common in the off-season from March-May when rains are higher but wildlife still plentiful.
### Group Size
Joining small group tours with 6-10 travelers costs less per person over tailor-made private safaris. Solo supplements also apply for single travelers.
### Tour Operators
Local Tanzanian companies offer very affordable rates over global operators. But they may compromise somewhat on luxury and guides. International companies charge premiums but offer high-end experiences.
### Guides and Crew
Having a dedicated safari guide, private 4X4 driver, porters, cooks and other staff adds to your daily prices. But they definitely enhance your overall trip.
## Typical Itinerary Costs
To give you a better idea, here’s an indicative per-person price breakdown of common Tanzania safari itineraries:
### 5-Day Crater & Serengeti Budget Safari
* 2 nights camping in Ngorongoro Conservation Area – $300
* 2 nights camping in Central Serengeti – $400
* Game drives and crater tour – $500
* Park fees for 2 parks – $200
* Ground transport and driver guide – $300
* Meals – $200
**Total: $1,900 per person**
### 10-Day Mid-Range Lodge Safari
* 2 nights in Lake Manyara area lodge – $600
* 2 nights central Serengeti lodge – $800
* 2 nights southern Serengeti lodge – $800
* 2 nights Ngorongoro Crater rim lodge – $800
* 2 nights Tarangire National Park lodge – $600
* Game drives, walking safaris, night drives – $1,000
* Park fees for 4 parks – $400
* Ground transport – $600
* Meals & drinks – $800
**Total: $6,400 per person**
### 14-Day Luxury Safari
* 2 nights luxury lodge in Tarangire – $2,800
* 2 nights luxury lodge in Lake Eyasi – $2,800
* 2 nights luxury mobile camp in Serengeti National Park – $4,200
* 2 nights luxury lodge in Ngorongoro Crater rim – $2,800
* 2 nights luxury lodge near Mount Kilimanjaro – $2,800
* All included activities like walking safaris – $2,000
* Park fees – $600
* Internal flights – $1,200
* Private guide, trackers, porters and vehicles throughout – $4,000
* All premium meals & drinks included – $2,000
**Total: $27,000 per person**
## Ways to Save on Tanzania Safari Costs
If you’re looking to lower your overall safari costs, here are great tips:
**Visit during low season:** Avoid peak summer months and migrate with the crowds. You can save 25%+ on tours and lodging in the off-season.
**Join scheduled small group tours:** Sharing costs with 6-10 travelers makes it cheaper over private custom tours.
**Self-drive and camp:** Driving yourself and camping inside parks is the most affordable option, though permitted parks are limited.
**Choose budget accommodation:** Camping, dorm tents, simple guesthouses and 3-star lodges cut down costs over 4-5 star luxury.
**Fly in combo deals:** Look for flight-inclusive package deals as part of a longer Africa trip to Nairobi/Cape Town.
**Book with local companies:** Local Tanzanian operators are the cheapest over international companies. But review safety and quality.
**Get travel insurance:** Comprehensive insurance with medical evacuation is essential for Tanzania’s national parks.
## When to Visit Tanzania for Safaris
While costs are lower in the off-season, here are the best times for safaris based on wildlife migration patterns:
* **Jan – March:** Wildebeest calving season in Ngorongoro. Low visitor crowds.
* **June – July:** Great Migration enters Serengeti. Peak rates and crowds.
* **August – October:** Migration fills the Maasai Mara. Ideal for crossings but expensive.
* **November – Mid-Dec:** Rains start, migration moves south into Serengeti. Low crowds.
## Booking Your Tanzania Safari
Here are some tips to keep in mind when planning and booking your dream Tanzania safari:
– Book 6-12 months in advance for peak summer Great Migration period.
– Research multiple tour operators and get detailed quotes to compare.
– Read reviews and talk to previous travelers about best operators.
– Book all accommodation, tours and transport upfront as parks get full.
– Have visa, vaccinations, insurance ready before departure.
– Tip your safari guides and staff during the trip if they do a great job.
While not a budget destination, a Tanzania safari is one of the greatest travel experiences out there. You can enjoy an incredible trip in a range of budgets from budget camping to luxury lodges. Careful planning for activities, parks, accommodation and tours will help maximize your time and spend. With savvy preparation, you’re guaranteed a Tanzanian safari adventure that will surpass your wildest dreams.