These insider tips will allow travelers to book their trips to Africa without paying any price while still making the most of their time.
First of all, Africa is a big place. It's like a very big place. It is three times larger than the United States and almost twice that of South America. It consists of approximately 56 different countries and is very diverse (no "African countries"). Therefore, this article must be very general and will not consider North Africa (Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, etc.).
The main tourist areas in sub-Saharan Africa are East Africa and Southern Africa. West Africa and Central Africa are generally not suitable for tourism. For a different experience-relaxing on the beach in party mode-consider visiting the paradise of Zanzibar.
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Most East African countries are both expensive and very cheap. The two-faced approach is that the locals’ lives are cheap (although not cheap for them) but expensive for tourists. Most of the local lifestyle items are cheap. Street food in East Africa is only $1 or $2 (these are usually informal roadside stalls). A 20-hour bus ride is only $15.
But for tourists, the prices of most meals will be similar to Western prices. The places where locals eat and the places where tourists eat are very different. Westerners may also use specially designed Safari vehicles to book all-inclusive Safaris, which are very expensive. National parks in East African countries are usually very expensive.
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Serengeti and Masmara are located in Tanzania and Kenya respectively, and people come to visit these national parks from all over the world. Therefore, the price is set high because tourists will pay for it.
If one wants to travel to Africa on a budget, never worry. Hurry will mean that one will pay more. People should shop around and negotiate prices (in East Africa, prices can often be negotiated).
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National parks and safari parks are usually very expensive, so save money to find cheaper and less well-known national parks.
Related: This is what makes Senegal one of the best destinations in West Africa
Southern African countries are generally more developed than East Africa (except Zambia). Prices are usually more fixed and more difficult to negotiate. If the budget is limited, avoid Botswana because it focuses on luxury tourism and is very expensive.
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In East Africa, most people will book a one-price all-inclusive Safari package, while Southern Africa is different. In countries such as South Africa and Namibia, it is easy to rent your own car and drive your own car. In these countries, the roads are in good condition and the driving habits comply with the road laws (different from the chaos on the roads in other countries).
For example, in Namibia, their main national park is Etosha National Park. If you have a self-driving tour, you will pay about 9 US dollars per person per day, plus about 3 US dollars in vehicle expenses. Camping in the national park costs approximately $22 per day. A four-wheel drive vehicle with full camping gear costs about $100 a day-up to four people can be divided into groups.
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In short (plus other fees), if you are traveling by car with a small group of people, you can have a Safari in Namibia for about $75 a day.
The same is true in South Africa and Swaziland-car rentals and self-driving tours are much cheaper. Unfortunately, in some countries in East Africa, red tape makes traveling by car more difficult and even more expensive.
Related: Things to do in Africa (other than going to the safari park)
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To save money, do more things locally. Take the local bus and eat local food. Accommodation is usually very expensive, and this is usually because their taxes are so high. In East Africa, direct booking is usually cheaper than through Booking.com or Hostelworld. Accommodation prices can usually be negotiated-especially for long-term stays.
In Africa, one should not expect to find cheap accommodation in Southeast Asia. Accommodation here is usually more expensive, but usually good. There are usually hotels to choose from, but the place you really want to go is the hotel in the game park.
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Next: Africa Travel Guide: 11 things you need to know when planning a trip
Aaron is a first-hand traveler and has visited more than 70 countries around the world. He is passionate about traveling and opening the world to other brave explorers.