Map of Nairobi

Many people are put off traveling to Africa on a budget because they believe it is too expensive and the continent too large to travel there economically. It is true, Africa can be expensive, but it can also be surprisingly cheap to travel there too. The basic costs of transport, daily expenses, and accommodation are low in comparison to other cities and countries, which makes it a great budget destination. The areas you need to be careful with when budgeting include safaris and adventure activities but you can make this work within a budget, too, with a little forward planning.

Savings on Accommodation

One of the ways you can save money for wildlife viewings, safaris and activities is by choosing your accommodation with care. It is important when hotel booking to choose the best hotel deal for your stay. For example, you can find budget hotels and hostels in all the major cities. You do not have to spend a lot of money on five-star locations in order to be comfortable and secure. And also, you can supplement your hotel stays with budget alternatives like camping. Camping is the ideal way to see the country on a budget and all you need is your own lightweight tent and some sleeping mats and sheets. Of course, you’ll want to sleep in a real bed from time to time but with the money saved you can splurge on a safari lodge or a city boutique hotel.

Food and Eating Out

Africa is the perfect place to save money on food costs by cooking food yourself and eating where the locals eat you’ll have a more interesting, authentic experience and you won’t spend a fortune on shopping or restaurant meals. Braais or barbeques are a popular African pastime and you will find fire pits at campsites. When you travel into a local town you’ll find plenty of chances to eat in a local restaurant where dishes are basic but tasty. Look for hotels that put on special meal deals for visitors, and for drinks offers in hotel bars.

Saving Money on Transport

Buses are cheap in Africa but the ride may not always be the most comfortable. Trains are less easy to find but more comfortable, and you can also pay more money for air conditioned buses and coaches.

Safari Savings

Safaris can be very expensive but it is hard to miss these opportunities to see wildlife and some of the stunning natural scenery in South Africa. Do your research and choose a reputable company with a good price, and perhaps you can economize by staying in a less luxurious situation. You’ll be so tired from looking out for the animals all day that so long as you have a roof over your head, you’ll be happy. You could also hire your own car and do a mini safari of your own but be aware that the guides will know exactly where to go to see the animals and you may have a more difficult time on your own, however, it can be done on a budget.

Image courtesy of Maggie Smith /

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