Budget safari holiday in South Africa

South Africa is well-suited to budget. There are backpacker hostels and affordable B&Bs as well as self-catering options in all major centres. There are also very affordable and well-equipped campsites, usually with hot water in the ablution blocks and electricity. For transport, the perennially popular hop-on, hop-off Baz Bus connects Johannesburg to Cape Town via the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and the Garden Route. Good and very affordable coach services run along with these and most other trunk routes.

Budget safari holiday in South Africa

Most backpacker hostels offer or can arrange a variety of excursions - from half-day, wine-tasting trips out of Cape Town to multi-night Kruger safaris out of Johannesburg - at prices that cater to their intended clientele. Although restaurants in South Africa are very affordable by international standards, the cost of eating out three times a day will add up, and you can save a lot of money by self-catering and buying ingredients and drinks directly from supermarkets and liquor stores.

Low Season Rates

You’ll be able to take advantage of some very generous low season pricing offered by several safari lodges depending on the time of year that you travel for your budget safari holiday in South Africa.

Low season rates in South Africa are available from the beginning of May to the end of September when the country is experiencing its winter. Surprisingly, for Kruger National Park and many other private reserves in South Africa, this is not the rainy season. Rather, the rainy weather in Cape Town is to blame for the low season prices all around South Africa!

This is excellent news for wildlife enthusiasts, as these are the greatest months to go on a budget safari holiday in South Africa. May through September is the dry season for Kruger and Madikwe. The bush isn’t as lush and green at this time of year, allowing for greater game viewing, and the animals are more dependant on waterholes and rivers because it’s the dry season.

This also makes it easier to locate the game in the winter. This is the perfect place to go if you want to see a variety of African animals collected around a waterhole early in the morning before the heat of the day sets in on your budget safari holiday in South Africa.

Budget Safari Lodges

South Africa, in particular, has a wide choice of less expensive or budget private lodges. While they aren’t exactly budget, they provide the same game viewing experiences as their more expensive neighbours at a fraction of the expense.

You can’t go wrong with one of these budget lodges if you’re going to South Africa primarily for the animals. While the accommodations aren’t quite as polished and elegant, and the food isn’t quite as sumptuous, they offer fantastic value for money and world-class safaris.


Popular South Africa Safaris

These popular itineraries can be customised to match your budget and travel dates

 | Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa Safari Adventure (19 days)

Botswana, Zimbabwe and South Africa Safari Adventure (19 days)

Africa safari adventure will take you to the tip of the African continent...

 | South African Holiday Adventure (10 days)

South African Holiday Adventure (10 days)

Explore the southern-most city on the African continent, before jetting off to spot the Big Five...

 | Affordable Cape Town, Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls Luxury Safari (10 days)

Affordable Cape Town, Kruger National Park and Victoria Falls Luxury Safari (10 days)

Visit the most popular destinations in Southern Africa on this luxury tour for the budget-conscious...

 | Forray into the Wilderness of Sabi Sands and Madikwe  (7 days)

Forray into the Wilderness of Sabi Sands and Madikwe (7 days)

Our selection of South Africa's top safari lodges and game reserves are guaranteed to suit every taste and budget...

 | Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari (11 days)

Magical Mauritius and South Africa Honeymoon Safari

Start your trip in South Africa and finish in Mauritius. Experience the stunning beaches and the Big Five in the Phinda Private Game Reserve. ...

Aerial View of Sun City | Sun City and Madikwe Family Safari (6 days)

Sun City and Madikwe Family Safari (6 days)

From Sun City's hedonistic pleasures to the majesty of nature at Madikwe Game Reserve, this journey combines the best of two very different worlds...

 | Sabi Sands and Okavango Delta Big Five Tour (8 days)

Sabi Sands and Okavango Delta Big Five Tour (8 days)

Explore the famous reserve that offers exceptional game viewing and sight the elusive Sitatunga antelope in the Okavango ...

Romantic view | Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Deluxe Honeymoon Safari in Cape Town, Kruger and Victoria Falls (10 days)

Combine three of Southern Africa's most loved destinations into one romantic getaway and you'll share the memories forever...

 | Bespoke Safari in South Africa

Bespoke Safari in South Africa

Experience the best that South Africa has to offer, with a holiday tailor-made for you ...

 | South African Bush to Mozambican Beach Holiday (9 days)

South African Bush to Mozambican Beach Holiday (9 days)

In this exciting safari holiday, you'll get to experience both Southern Africa's bush and beach beauty...

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