Although the old saying, “You can’t put a price on memories,” holds true, there’s always a price-point necessary to make each memory comfortable. I’m commonly approached by people, who ask just out of curiosity, “So, how much does a safari cost, anyway?” Once I was at a gun shop, when a lady noticed the JD African Safaris T-shirt I was wearing. I noticed her looking at it as she just scoffed and rolled her eyes as she stated, “I’ll never get to go, that’s way out of my vacation budget.” I replied, how much do you think it costs? She answered, “I guess about $10,000.” As I answered her she could go on a nice plains game safari for as little as a few thousand dollars, she was taken totally off-guard. I seriously thought she was going to faint! Surprisingly, that very same conversation has happened more than once (without the fainting) and many of those people have went on safari since then. “So, how much do I have to spend to get my trip of a lifetime?”
So, let’s get to it! Safaris are priced in two ways: All-inclusive package or Daily Rate plus Trophy Fee:
- All Inclusive packages include a defined list of animals to be hunted, the accommodations and the amount of hunting support to be included. Typically, one could expect several trophy animal licenses, a professional hunter, vehicle trackers and skinners and lodging with meals included. All of this is specified in a package and the hunter is usually able to add on an extra trophy if one becomes available during the hunt for the current price. The key benefit of the all-inclusive package is that the hunter knows what he or she can expect to pay for the entire experience. The only “add-ons” are gratuities and enroute and air travel expenses.
- A Daily Rate plus Trophy Fee is the pay-as-you-go version of a Safari. In this arrangement, the hunter will arrange for the services of a Professional Hunter, and take trophies as they are encountered while out on the hunt. The trophies available will depend on the area hunted and depend on what is available to hunt according to local regulations. The main benefit of the Daily Rate plus trophy fee hunt is that the hunter may hunt any legally available species that there is remaining quota for. This tends to add a sense of adventure to the hunt. Typically, seasoned hunters will select this hunt option when they have already been on several safaris and are happy to just enjoy hunting in general or are looking for something special.
Pricing for these Safari options vary depending on the number of hunting days and the number of hunters. Other factors include the animal species and the locations and accommodation style. Simple All-inclusive packages that include a week of hunting in South Africa with accommodations and trophy fees for 5 animals are typically available for around $5000 or less. The Daily rate for hunting in South Africa varies depending on location and time of hunting season, but rates vary from $250 per person, per day (and up). In most camps, you can add (for a fee) observers and or family members and other hunters. In general, the lowest cost safaris are in South Africa, where the safari industry is very competitive and the hunter can shop for a very good value for money. Generally, the more remote the safari, the more expensive the fees.
Getting to Safari: One of the great benefits of living in this day and age is the availability and fairly reasonable cost of air travel. Depending on the time of year, a round-trip air travel from the East Coast of the USA to Johannesburg is available for $1200-$1500 most days. It is amazing to me that you can get on board in Atlanta and travel nonstop to Johannesburg in about 15 hours.
While any trip that involves intercontinental air-travel is not going to be cheap, a simple plains game safari can be a very good value for the money. We’ll provide you with a quality safari at an affordable price. We commonly have package specials that help to make a safari very attractive. If available, we always include those in addition to any custom quote. We can work with you on a budget you’re comfortable with to make a great memory. Quotes are free! So, give us a call or complete our Contact Form to “Step up your game!”