Top 3 tips to make a wildlife safari cheaper
A wildlife safari in Tanzania has always been on my bucket list. Since I was just a kid I've been dreaming about the Serengeti plains. When I went to Tanzania to volunteer at the age of 28, I was surprised I could actually afford to go on a safari as well. I wish someone would have shared these tips with me sooner so here we go now!
1. Book locally
This is probably the biggest tip I can give you. Eliminating the middle man is eliminating the a chunk of the cost, and regardless of who you book with, locals will execute the safari. It doesn't come without sacrifice though: you'll have to research thoroughly and see which local tour operator you would like to go with. A small price to pay to make your dream holiday cheap and affordable.
2. Join a group
By 'join a group', I do not mean to go on a group tour with fixed start dates. A group tour will definitely help you lower the cost of your safari as well, though departure dates are not flexible and the itinerary is usually pretty fixed. Many local tour operators give you the option to "join a group". Basically this means they just fill up the car with people going on safari on the same date. They keep departure dates flexible by working together with different tour operators to join clients together. The downside is that you might end up with a driver from another company, or people you don't like. From where I stand though, the downside doesn't even come close with the upside of saving your $$$.
Tip: Joining a group is helpful if you're a group of 3 or less. If there's 4 of you already then the money you'll save isn't as big.
3. Go camping
Accommodation is a huge part of the price of a safari. Lodges in the national parks have huge costs to get water/electricity/food and other supplies to their location, and naturally this shows in the price. When you go camping, your tour operator will bring tents, sleeping bags and mattresses. You'll stay on a public campground with shared washrooms and a dining hall. A chef will join you and prepare meals. Much more economical and all the more adventure!