We've been trained to think that safaris cost a small fortune, which can be true. Staying at a five-star lodge can cost up to £2,000 per night, but it's not a necessity when it comes to seeing animals in their natural environment. You could book a luxury tour or you could get get economy flights and accommodation and pay your own way for under £1,000, visiting four key National Parks as you go. You may even get a glimpse of David Beckham while you're at it!
Most people find the research experience quite daunting. Unless you're an experienced traveller, it's easy to be uncertain of where to go and what to look for or even be nervous at the prospect of sorting out simple things like travel money. As a result, it's easy to either end up settling for a hefty price tag or not travel at all.
One of the best tips for a safari on a budget is to focus on the southern part of Africa. Get more for your money by staying at the government-held national park lodges rather than privately owned ones. They're exceptionally comfortable, benefiting from on-site restaurants, and a nightly rate of £50-£150 depending on your selection (standard room, bungalow, luxury tent, or a free-standing chalet). For comparison purposes, a luxurious privately run lodge such as the Little Mambo will set you back £2,000 per night, and a simple trekking day session will cost £500 excluding meals and accommodation. Here's how to make your money go a lot further on your safari trip of a lifetime!