Cheap Safari

10 Ways of Having Cheap or Free Safari in Eastern Africa

No one can deny that people mainly come to Africa for safari. Finding cheaper and better safari is the most important topic of travel forums and Lonely Planets on Africa. We have to confess that we did not visit the classic safari, yet, there was much more to do in our month long East African trip. Another controversy about safari is that while the white tourists (named mzungu by the locals) pay thousands euros (we are not kidding) for seeing a lion from their 4WD, sometimes, there are kids just 100 meters from the tourists’ routes, with huge bellies caused by hunger. The huge money brought by mzungu for safari does not reach the African economy because of the terrible corruption of East African states. If you are still not convinced and want to see the African animals anyway, we offer 10 ways of doing safari in a relatively cheap or even free way.

1. Classic organized safari.

The cheapest safaris you may find start in Nairobi. They pick you up in the morning, usually at Hilton hotel, and the trip lasts for two days. You start at 8 AM, it takes half a day to reach the national park, and, finally, from 15.30 to 18.30 you get to actual safari. They you spend a night in the park, and in the morning they bring you back. Pay attention: it two days you get only three hours of actual safari! The price for two people in 2015 was 420 euros, which includes transfer, food, park entrance ticket, accommodation, and safari drive.

2. Half-independent safari.

The cheapest, the most practical, and the least touristic variant we found is in Tanzanian Mikumi National Park. You may reach the place on your own by the comfortable bus from Dar es Salaam which goes through Mikumi village (the direction is Iringa). You may stay on a budget in Genesis Motel or VETA https://www.facebook.com/MikumiTourism/. The latter may organize the 4WD vehicle with the driver to reach the park. The park entrance fee is 20 dollars (while in other parks it starts from 90 dollars), which makes it perhaps the cheapest safari in Eastern Africa.
[notification type=”info”]A zoo is one of the cheapest ways to see the animals. Clearly, this is not the wild nature or classic national parks, where you see more cars with tourists than animals. Major zoos are situated in Nairobi.[/notification]

3. Nairobi Safari Walk

is a small green territory with the wooden path in the center. Walking along the path you will see lions, zebras, leopards, etc. Entrance fee is 22 dollars http://www.kws.go.ke/parks/nairobi-national-park

4. Nairobi National Park

is larger and more interesting that just a path, but the entrance fee is also 43 dollars per person. Pay attention: although there are discounts for the students, they only work for those who inform the park about themselves as students coming in advance by email.

5. Elephant farm

became our favorite place in Nairobi. You may get here on your own by matatu 125 or 126 starting from the railway station. The price of matatu ticket is 50-70 shillings (which is higher during the rainy season, when the drivers have to wash their car more often ). The GPS of the gates is. You enter the gates and then cover 1.5 kilometers on foot. We recommend to come by 11 AM, when they start feeding the elephants. The entrance fee is 500 shillings (7 euros). At the moment of our visit there were 30 orphan elephants: their mothers died or were killed by the hunters for their tusks. The visitors stand around the stage and watch how the small elephants are being fed and then how they take the dirt baths. The baby elephants are brought in two groups of 14 one by one, the personnel tell about them, feed them, and then the baby elephants take the dirt baths. The later helps the babies to cope with insects and the strong sun. We will certainly write about visiting the park in details, but we should also mention that it was a great pleasure to visit it.
Elephant farm

Elephant farm

Elephant farm

Elephant farm

6. Giraffe farm.

You may combine visiting the elephant farm with visiting the giraffe farm. It is really close: one kilometer by the main road and 2.5 kilometers after turning on the smaller road towards the farm (on foot or mototaxi). The entrance fee is 1000 shillings, there are eight giraffes and the place to feed them, and the giraffe food is included into the entrance fee price. Those who want may kiss the giraffe 🙂
Giraffe farm

Giraffe farm

Giraffe farm

There are also turtles and warthogs.
turtles in Kenia

warthogs in Kenia

[notification type=”info”]

Free safari

. Africa is full of animals, and to see them you do not necessarily need to pay at all.[/notification]

7. Flamingo in Singida (Tanzania).

To see the flocks of flamingos you do not need to pay thousands of euros for safari in the famous national park Natron. One kilometer from Singida (which you may reach by public bus) there is a lake where flamingos and other birds will pose for your photos for free. Find more details here.
Flamingo in Singida

Flamingo in Singida

8. Hippos in Taganyika (Bujumbura, Burundi).

Go down to the beach of Taganyika in Bujumbura and find the café from which you may watch the families of hippos swimming several meters away from you for hours for free.
Hippos in Taganyika

Hippos in Taganyika

9. Monkeys in Jozani Chwaka Bay National Park.

The park is situated in Zanzibar and it may be easily entered from the main road for free (or you better pay 8 euros entrance fee which also includes guided tour). The red colobus monkeys are hard to miss here.
Chwaka Bay National Park

Monkeys

10. Finally, keep your eyes open, since there are so many animals that one will certainly give a wink to you from some bushes.
animals in Africa

animals in Africa

animals in Africa

Cheap Safari

Cheap Safari

  • anyegorova

    Ребята, очень крутой пост, насыщенный и информативный, спасибо!
    Фото чудесные :))

    • Спасибо, Анна! Фото делались еще на старую дигитальную камеру. Она уже к тому времени изрядно запылилась, так что могло быть и лучше. 🙂 Зато был зум x14.
      После этого решено было купить зеркалку с некитовым объективом. Теперь вот после каждого путешествия шея болит 🙂