Safaris are generally known for being expensive, but when you take a closer look it is not so bad considering what is included.
Many safari camps and lodges are on remote locations with demanding and complex logistics to provide good and safe accommodation with good food and game activities. When you can get your supplies only by air or boat, it gets expensive to run a camp. Also maintenance needs to be spot on, otherwise the timber deck will not be safe and good anymore. All this work reflects in the lodge and camp rates and the smaller the camp the more per person, but also the better the safari experience.
To get to your camp, the next one and back to civilization you need transport. Road transfer is an option and when you are a group of people the costs per person are low. But sometimes air transfer is the only option or the best option and that comes at a different cost.
When you are in the bush you cannot go out in the evening and find yourself a restaurant for dinner. It needs to be at least full board, fully inclusive is even better with local wines and spirits included.
When you put all that together an African safari holiday price includes accommodation (the smaller and remote the camp the more luxurious), food, drinks, transfers, taxes, surcharges, levies, park fees and safari activities. The only thing extra is the international airfare, well and possible shopping in the curio shop.
A safari is the most transparent and predictable holiday cost wise. The tour is planned and you go for it with no other sights or tours you could fall for in between, which could double the price of your vacation, well with the curio shop temptation.
Happy photo safari travelling!
Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui “soul of leopard”, Travel Africa