How exactly to Plan a Safari in East Africa in 2020: DIY, Group Trips, and More!

Kenya and Tanzania involve some great safari options for East Africa and also have destinations I’ve long wished to visit. I’m not by yourself. A lot of you have asked about these places too. THEREFORE I invited Mark Wiens of Migrationology to talk about his experience and tips about how to travel for this region, see animals, rather than spend a huge amount of money!

Few activities make it to the very best of bucket lists like safaris. It’s an event popular by people all over the world, a once in an eternity chance to come in person with this planet’s most majestic and beautiful animals.

An African safari is an exciting chance to see wildlife going about their daily lives within their natural habitat, which explains why they’re just about the most popular activities on the continent.

East Africa (specifically Kenya and Tanzania) includes a huge selection of national parks offering adventurous opportunities to see wildlife close up.

A whole lot of research and planning switches into obtaining a safari fully arranged, deciding what game reserve to go to, and finding transportation and accommodation.

The industry isn’t normally suitable to long-term travelers with limited funds. The East African safari generally suits luxury tourists who would like an instant vacation and opt to pre-book an all-inclusive package trip without thinking an excessive amount of about the price.

Fortunately, there are various ways to spend less on an African safari. In this article, I’ll show you how exactly to plan an incredible safari in East Africa without breaking the lender!

Package Tours

There are countless companies offering safari packages for tourists who want to sit back rather than do any planning. These safari tours have become convenient and so are worth the money in the event that you don’t have enough time to research or if you wish in order to avoid potential hassles.

High-end package offers offer one price and generally cover from pickup to drop-off (even from the airport), including food, fees, transportation, and lodging. Anticipate to spend around $200-$500 USD each day for a package safari. They aren’t cheap!

With a package tour company, you can either join an organization with a pre-made itinerary (an excellent option for solo travelers), or you can customize a safari package with an itinerary to your liking (this program is most effective when you are already traveling with an organization).

Two excellent resources to find out more on safari tours will be the Kenya Association of Tour Operators, which is way better referred to as KATO, and the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators. Both organizations try to promote and present credibility to the safari companies that maintain a higher degree of service and an excellent value-to-price ratio. You will find a listing of companies there.

Do-It-Yourself Safari

It’s possible to accomplish a safari by yourself, but it’s far more work. Here’s ways to organize your own safari:

Rent your own vehicle Almost all game parks permit you to drive your own vehicle. This opens up opportunities for saving some cash, as well as enabling more flexibility in doing just what you want. You can rent a car and drive yourself or rent a car with a full-time driver included (this usually costs a supplementary $20-30/day).

A five-seat SUV could be rented for $75-200 each day, depending on the kind of vehicle. The business, for safety reasons, requires a specific itinerary that details where you intend on going, the quantity of passengers, and the amount of time you would like to rent the automobile.

Accommodation There are lots of lodges, hotels, and luxury camp options to select from, with respect to the park you choose. Resort rooms ought to be booked a couple weeks beforehand, especially during peak season. Rates start at $80 USD and rise from there.

If you’re an adventurous traveler who wants to be near nature and will handle the howls of animals during the night, camping is a superb budget-friendly option. In Kenya, the primary national parks offering camping options are Hell’s Gate National Park, Tsavo East, Mt. Kenya National Park, Lake Nakuru, Amboseli, and Aberdare National Park.

Permits are essential and may be arranged at the Kenya Wildlife Service office in Nairobi before moving out. The price for camping is just about $25 USD per adult per night.

In Tanzania, campsites can be found at select game parks and so are best booked beforehand. Camping is permitted in Selous Game Reserve at two designated areas: Beho Beho Bridge and Lake Tangalala. Personal camping costs around $20 USD per night per person and should be arranged either in Dar Es Salaam city center prior to going to the park, or at Matambwe or Mtemere entry stations at the Selous reserve.

Planning Your Safari: What to Know

National park entrance fees Fees for national parks are charged each day. A few of the smaller parks, like Nairobi National Park (Kenya) at $40 USD each day, or Mikumi (Tanzania) at $30 USD each day, are less costly options.

Other more famous parks like Maasai Mara (Kenya), Serengeti (Tanzania), or Ngorongoro Crater (Tanzania), can cost up to $60 USD each day, based on whether it’s high or low season. If you’re driving your own vehicle, there are separate vehicle charges aswell, often at $30-40 USD each day.

Enough time of year matters Dry season (June-October) is normally the optimum time of the entire year to see wildlife, but it’s also the priciest and busiest season. You must decide what is most effective for your schedule as well as your money. When you can, consider going on a safari right before high season kicks in.

Good guides go quite a distance Your safari guide will try to demonstrate the East African Big 5: lions, leopards, elephants, buffaloes, and rhinos. However, there are lots of other big-ticket animals that are perfect to see, including cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, giraffes, jackals, crocodiles, and scores of antelope and gazelle.

Usually, your driver will double as your guide. It really is hard to find an excellent guide, but look at different companies for a driver and concur that he includes a cunning eye for spotting wildlife.

To get this done, find a skilled driver with the official tour guide license. You can even search KATO and TATO (mentioned previously) for recommended guides that are experienced at finding wildlife. Unofficially, folks from the Maasai tribe are recognized for their incredible animal-tracking skills.

7 Tips for Going on Safari in East Africa

To assist you maximize out of the next safari in East Africa, here are a few important tips:

  • Charge your camera — Be sure you have a fully-charged camera, in addition to a spare battery and further SD cards. You don’t want to miss that perfect shot!
  • Bring motion-sickness pills — Bouncing around in a jeep all day long can make some individuals nauseous. In the event that you get car sick easily, prepare accordingly.
  • Find an ethical driver — Frequently, safari drivers will attempt to get too near to the animals, which disturbs them and normalizes connection with humans. Book your safari with an ethical company that’s concerned with the pet welfare.
  • Buy travel cover — As the probability of something going wrong are slim, it never hurts to prepare yourself!
  • Plan dust — It could get dusty in your automobile as you bounce along the dirt roads. Bring sunglasses to cover your eyes and a bandana or scarf for that person.
  • Clothe themselves in layers — The mornings on safari could be cool (particularly if you’re starting early) so bring a sweater or light jacket.
  • Bring a lot of water — Your guide and/or driver will probably have food and water for you personally, but bring extra won’t hurt. Pack a water bottle and also some snacks, in the event.

African Safari FAQ

Just how much do you tip a safari guide? In most cases, you’ll want to tip between $5-10 USD each day for your guide and driver (more if indeed they were excellent, and less if it had been only a half-day trip).

Which safari is way better Kenya or Tanzania? Both countries offer amazing experiences, so there is absolutely no wrong answer. Kenya is usually a little cheaper, nevertheless, you will get amazing game drives in both countries.

What must i wear on safari in Kenya? It’s likely likely to get warm, so dress for the growing season. You’ll be in a car the majority of the day so dress for comfort. Be sure to bring a sweater or light jacket as it could get cool in the mornings when you’re just getting started. Also, bring a hat an sunscreen.

Is Tanzania safe for tourists? Yep! Tanzania is fairly safe. So long as you practice good sense, you won’t come across any trouble.

What injections do you will need for Tanzania and Kenya? It’s recommended you have shots for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, cholera, yellow fever, polio, and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella). When visiting Tanzania, you’ll be asked to show proof a yellow fever vaccination if you’re arriving from a country with a threat of the disease (so, for instance, if you’re visiting Tanzania from Kenya, you’ll want to be sure you have proof your vaccination).


There’s always something exciting to see on a safari in East Africa. When you can take full advantage of your East African safari by doing some pre-planning, you’ll have the experience you will ever have!

Yes, a safari isn’t the most budget-friendly activity — nonetheless it is a once in an eternity chance to see one of the most amazing wildlife and landscapes on earth. By following the advice above you’ll manage to maximize out of the next safari in East African — all while saving some cash too!

Mark Wiens can be an African-raised cultural travel enthusiast and street-food connoisseur who wants to explore the neighborhood side of travel. He shares his adventures on Migrationology. <

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How exactly to Plan a Safari in East Africa in 2020: DIY, Group Trips, and More!