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

 | Luxurious Cape Town and Victoria Falls Tour (8 days)

Luxurious Cape Town and Victoria Falls Tour (8 days)

Two countries in 8 days may seem like a lot but with this well thought out itinerary you will see some of the regions most iconic destinations without feeling like you are rushing through it…

 | Luxury South Africa to Zimbabwe Safari (8 days)

Luxury South Africa to Zimbabwe safari (8 days)

Spot the Big Five in Thornybush Private Game Reserve and enjoy the majesty of Zimbabwe's roaring Victoria Falls ...

Stunning view from the Rovos Rail | The Ultimate Luxury Safari in South Africa (11 days)

The Ultimate Luxury Safari in South Africa (11 days)

Combine Cape Town chic with Africa's most luxurious train and an elegant Big Five safari for a stylish South African holiday...

 | South Africa and Mauritius Island Holiday (12 days)

South Africa and Mauritius Island Holiday (12 days)

South Africa has so much to offer, from spotting the elusive leopard, to exploring Johannesburg's historical sites. Include the tropical island of Mauritius for an even more unforgettable vacation....

 | 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...

 | Kruger’s Sabi Sands and Timbavati Discovery Safari

Kruger's Sabi Sands Discovery Safari (5 days)

Enjoy an authentic African safari. Game viewing possibilities are unparalleled and include the Big Five in the Sabi Sands and white lions in the Timbavati Nature Reserve....

 | Two weeks in South Africa - a luxury rail safari

Two weeks in South Africa - a luxury rail safari

Experience the best that South Africa has to offer: it's white-sand beaches, lush green wine-lands and find the Big Five wildlife in the Kruger National Park. ...

 | Best of Botswana and South Africa (11 days)

Best of Botswana and South Africa (11 days)

Experience the best of two of southern Africa's gems ...

 | 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 ...

 | 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...

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