Tanzania Safari; How To Calculate Costs!

Tanzania; formally the United Republic Of Tanzania is a country found in East Africa – In Case you didn’t know!

Currently Tanzania is the World’s Number 1 Safari destination. For thid reason thousands of people arriving to experience the Magical wonders. When you first look into Tanzania safari prices, you might experience a moment of ‘sticker shock’ – no joking.

As a developing nation, many people expect Tanzania to be a cheap destination. However, the safari industry is big business in Tanzania, and those looking for a bargain might be surprised when they see how much a safari costs. The online operators especially those basing outside the country; the tour agencies usually they double the prices or add their percentages to make a profit.

But what goes into the cost of a Tanzanian safari?

Today at Tanzania Travel Diary, I will try to share the knowledge on fixing the Safari.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the final price tag that gets attached to your safari:

  • Duration;
  • Standard of accommodation;
  • National parks;
  • Optional activities;
  • Transfers;
  • Domestic flights;
  • Number of travelers;
  • Time of year.

All of the above come into the equation when any Tour Operators, Agencies or local Guide calculating the cost of your Tanzanian safari adventure.

A four-day camping safari with six people is going to be cheaper per person than a five-day luxury safari for two people.


Obviously, a safari’s price is influenced by its length.

For those on a tight budget, you might want to consider a shorter itinerary such as three days focusing on one park, or a safari which packs three parks into four days of exhilarating game drives.

If you’re wanting to spend longer on safari, some trips to fit a longer trip to your budget would be lowering your standard of accommodation, bringing along additional people, or choosing to visit Tanzania during low season.

Standard of accommodation

Accommodation is a huge part of the final cost of your Tanzanian safari.

Thankfully, Tanzania offers something for all budgets. From camping out under the stars to affordable lodges to tented camps to luxury properties, there is something to suit any taste.

When planning your safari, it is possible to strike a balance between comfort, cost, and staying in fantastic properties.

It might be worth including a camping safari component for a couple of nights so that you can splash out on that unforgettable luxury lodge on your last night.

They can also provide you with a mix of different styles to tailor the experience to your tastes and budget.

National Parks

Not all national parks are created equal.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti, for example, charge a much higher entrance fee than Tarangire or Arusha National Park.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area also has a crater fee that contributes to making this the most expensive day on most safaris.

Optional Activities

While unlimited game drives between 6 am and 6 pm are included in all of safaris, there are a number of optional activities that can be added to your safari.

These range from relatively affordable adventures such as guided walking safaris to pricier options such as night game drives and hot air balloon safaris.


Airport transfers from Arusha and Kilimanjaro Airport are usually included in your quote. This is mostly done for those doing Northern Circuit Safari. For Southern Safari, many fly to Airstrips in Ruaha or Selous. There are many options including bus. Ask your TO for a better way and one you can afford.

Extra Cars

Lastly, for those flying between parks or combining countries, it is important to note that on some days you will be paying for two cars.

If you’re being driven to the Isebania border crossing between Kenya and Tanzania, an empty car has to come up from Tanzania to meet you and an empty car has to drive back to Nairobi after it has dropped you off.

This can be the biggest additional cost in many cross-country or flying safaris.

Domestic Flights

Some operators can help booking for domestic flights especially those looking for beach time in Zanzibar Island after Safari. Be ware; some will add commission. It is wise you self book your domestic flights. I would recommend our National Carrier Air Tanzania.

Number of Travelers

The number of people sharing a vehicle is a huge factor in deciding the per person cost of a safari.

One person on their own is not only paying for their park entry fees and accommodation, but also bears the full cost of the car, driver, and all associated fees.

On the flip side, six people sharing a 4WD Land Cruiser are splitting the cost six ways and enjoy a much lower per person cost.

A solo safari in East Africa can be an expensive prospect, so consider bringing along a friend or loved one to make it more affordable. You’ll also have somebody to snap photos of you!

Time of Year

The last major factor in the cost of your safari is going to be the time of year you are visiting.

Prices are highest during the peak seasons of December – February and June – August, when lodges are getting plenty of business.

If you’re looking to save some money on your Tanzanian safari, consider visiting in April or May when the rainy season sees many luxury lodges lower their rates to a fraction of what they would usually be.

It’s entirely possible to enjoy a Green Season Safariwhile staying in lodges that would normally be out of your price range.

When Should I Visit Tanzania?

Tanzania offers a different experience dependent on what time of year you visit.

Safaris over the Holidays

It’s important to note that many Tanzanian properties charge a non-negotiable Christmas and New Year’s surcharge that often applies to all nights from the 24th of December until January 1st.

Many Zanzibar properties also have minimum stays of 5 – 7 nights during this period, so be prepared for a long beach escape if Zanzibar is on your radar.

While your safari quotes cover the essentials such as meals, accommodation, private game drives, park entry fees, transfers, and included activities, there are a few things you’ll need to budget for in addition.


Many lodges in Tanzania can offer laundry service, but this usually attracts an additional fee that varies from lodge to lodge.

If you think you’re going to need to do laundry during your safari, it is a good idea to arrange at least two consecutive nights at a property so that it has time to dry!

Souvenirs & Snacks

If you’re looking to enjoy an ice cold beer, a refreshing sundowner, or a late night snack at your lodge, this cost will be in addition to what you have already paid.

Some lodges on your safari might be Fully Inclusive and include selected alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, particularly if you’re staying on Zanzibar.


It is customary in Tanzania to tip the staff who make your safari so unforgettable.

As a general rule of thumb, the below should be used as a guideline:

  • Safari Driver: $15 – $20 USD per day (per group);
  • Safari Chef (when camping or climbing): $10 – $15 USD per day (per group);
  • Climbing Guide: $15 – $20 USD per day (per group)
  • Porters: $10 – $15 USD per day (per person)

These are all just a guideline, so feel free to tip more if you’re especially happy with your service.

Thank You For Reading.

When you factor in international flights and the cost of your safari, it can seem like a sizeable investment.

The cost of a Tanzanian safari is certainly not cheap, but it’s one of those once in a lifetime adventures that you’ll be talking about for years to come.

Just be careful not to fall in love, or you might make it a yearly thing…

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