by Chris Walker Bush
March 26, 2018

Planning a Budget Safari in Tanzania

You've been daydreaming about planning your African safari since you were old enough to point out Tanzania on a map.

You've been building up your holiday time so that you can escape for a couple of weeks.

Your savings are in the right place and you are ready to book.

But how do you plan an unforgettable budget safari in Tanzania without having to sacrifice on quality?

We're here with five great tips to ensure your private Tanzanian safari is unforgettable without being unaffordable.

Everything you need to know about planning a budget safari in Tanzania! You don't need to be rich to plan a safari. We cover budget safaris, camping safaris, and how to explore East Africa without breaking the bank. #Tanzania #budgettravel #safari #travel #Africa Pin Me!

#5 - Avoid the Crater Rim

The opportunity to spend a night on the Ngorongoro crater rim is a hard one to resist.

Crater rim lodging not only affords you an unparalleled view of Ngorongoro Crater but also allows you early access to the park. Many crater rim properties are located inside of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and put you closest to the gate to gain entry to the crater.

However, this convenience comes at a cost. Crater rim properties are not only more expensive than Karatu properties but also attract a $59 concession fee that means you'll be paying up to three times as much for your night's sleep!

ngorongoro-serena-safari

When to Stay on the Crater Rim

If you're visiting Ngorongoro Crater on your last day and have an evening flight to catch, staying on the Ngorongoro Crater rim is unavoidable. Lodges such as Ngorongoro Wildlife Lodge and Rhino Lodge offer a more affordable option than luxury properties such as Serena Ngorongoro.

During low season (see point #1 on this list), crater rim properties become much more affordable. You should definitely include them during the rainy season.

When Not to Stay on the Crater Rim

If you're visiting Ngorongoro on your way north or if you're staying in the area for multiple days, we'd advise staying in Karatu to save money. While the crater view is spectacular, is it worth cutting a day from your dream safari elsewhere?

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Where to Stay in Karatu

We have a huge variety of lodges in Karatu to choose from, but below are a few of our favorites:

#4 - Make it a dry holiday

All of Shadows of Africa's safari tours include all of your meals but only a few properties in Tanzania provide an all-inclusive package. This means that you'll be paying out of your own pocket for every sundowner, glass of wine, or ice cold beer.

We're not saying you need to cut alcohol out of your trip completely! Limiting yourself to a cocktail for a special occasion or a single beer with dinner can lead to huge savings over the course of your trip.

Sundowners on a Budget

Don't forget that your safari vehicle comes with a refrigerator!

If you're somebody who enjoys a few beverages while you're on holiday, speak with your driver about buying some beer or wine while you're in Arusha.

You can then put this in your fridge and have a constant supply of cold beers on your trip!

safari-tanzania-group

#3 - Travel in a group

It goes without saying that traveling in a group is a great way to bring your costs down.

While Shadows of Africa does not arrange group tours, our vehicles can comfortably accommodate up to six people.

If you've got a few friends who could be persuaded to come on safari with you, this can be a great way to bring your costs down.

One of the biggest costs of a safari is car hire and car fees. These are split between everybody in the car, so the per person cost is significantly lower in a group of six than a group of two.

tanzania-accommodation-safari-camping

#2 - Go camping

There are a lot of fantastic lodges and tented camps in Tanzania, but these can quickly begin to add up over a longer itinerary.

If you don't need creature comforts such as a King-sized bed and an ensuite bathroom, camping in Tanzania can be a fantastic way to save money.

Pitching a tent under the Serengeti stars or on the shores of Lake Natron is an unforgettable experience!

Shadows of Africa provides all camping equipment as well as the services of one of our private chefs, so you won't be roughing it, either.

Whether it's a few nights on the Serengeti or a camping only safari, Shadows of Africa's staff will be on hand to make it as comfortable and fun as possible.

Elephant_Ngorongoro

#1 - Visit during low season

The #1 way to save money on a budget safari in Tanzania?

Come during low season!

April and May mark Tanzania's rainy season. While this doesn't mean constant rain, it does make tented camps a muddy prospect.

While the wet conditions give animals more sources of water, making them a bit harder to spot, a wet season safari can still be a fantastic experience.

The best part? Luxury lodges from Serena all the way up to the Four Seasons Serengeti lower their rates to attract tourists.

If you've ever daydreamed of swimming in the famous Four Seasons' infinity pool or staying at Tarangire Treetops, this is the perfect opportunity!

Even if you aren't splashing out on decadent luxury lodges, staying in Sopa and Serena properties during low season is actually cheaper than staying in medium properties in high season!

If your holiday time is flexible, a wet season safari is the ultimate way to have a great safari on a shoestring.


Are you planning a budget safari in Tanzania? Here's how you can plan a Tanzanian budget safari to the Serengeti without breaking the bank! From a camping safari to group safaris to low season safaris, here's how to have a cheap safari adventure in Africa! #budget #safari #Tanzania #travel #serengeti #africa

It's easy to plan a budget Tanzania safari!

By following the above guidelines and being honest about your budget with your Shadows of Africa safari expert, you can have an unforgettable safari on even the tightest of budgets.

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