Cheap budget safari deals in top game lodges and bush camps for safari holidays in private game reserves and parks in Africa
Looking to go on a safari that won’t break the bank, but having trouble finding cheap and affordable safari destinations? Then let the Safari Index team help you. We have hand-selected some of our favourite African budget safari options. Although driving oneself through a national park on a self-drive safari is usually the cheapest way of going on safari, there are some fantastic budget safari experiences on offer at private game lodges and bush camps in Africa. The Safari Index team has selected the following game lodges and bush camps that offer a quality safari experience, including activities such as game drives or guided walks, all meals, and comfortable overnight accommodation. Click on the links to the lodges and camps below to get full details and to make an enquiry.
Located in the Timbavati Private Nature Reserve in the famous Kruger National Park in South Africa, this rustic bush camp is unfenced, meaning guests feel truly part of the wilderness. Each comfortable furnished tent is built on a wooden deck and has a thatched grass roof. Shaded by tall Marula and Leadwood trees, the camp overlooks a watering hole where you can see plenty of wildlife.
Choose from seven different wilderness trails that take you on a big 5 safari adventure through the world-renowned Kruger National Park in South Africa. If an authentic African safari wilderness experience is what you are looking for, the Kruger Wilderness Trails are perfect. Rustic, wild and remote, these walking trails will ensure you get a taste of the real African bush and close encounters on foot with Africa’s big game can be expected! A life time experience not to be missed.
This affordable safari camp in located in the Klaserie Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park in South Africa. It comprises air-conditioned, en-suite bedrooms which lead out to the lodge pool, boma and dining area. The camp has a lookout hide that faces a waterhole and is located in an area that is home to buffalo, elephants and big cats which are regularly seen.
Safari Index have set up some amazingly affordable rates at this family-friendly safari lodge located in the world renowned Sabi Sands Game Reserve. The reserve is famed for its Big 5 and in particular its leopard viewing. The Sabi Sands also attract large numbers of general wildlife making it one of the best safari destinations in Africa. The lodge’s infinity pool overlooks the Sand River. It also has a boma in which meals are served around a fire. The air-conditioned rooms can accommodate families.
Mutale Falls Camp, located in Makuya Park bordering on to the far northern Kruger National Park in South Africa, is a remote, rustic, self-catering tented safari camp overlooking the Mutale River. Although best suited to self-drive safari enthusiasts guided game drives can be arranged. The tents are built on wooden decks and have en-suite bathrooms, and provide magnificent views of the Mutale River. Kitchen and dining facilities are communal. The area is known for spectacular birdlife and the reserve is home to the Big 5 although the cats and rhino are not often seen.
One of Safari Index’s top budget safari lodges is this modest family-owned bush camp offering traditional African safaris at a fraction of the price of other lodges. Africa on Foot is located in the Klaserie Game Reserve in the Kruger National Park in South Africa and offers guests guided walking safaris in the mornings and game drives in the afternoons. The rooms consist of rustically furnished traditional round huts known as ‘rondawels’ and guests spend the evenings chatting about Africa around an open campfire. A delightful addition to the camp is the small treehouse overlooking a waterhole which makes for a perfect spot to lazily watch wildlife from or for a sleepover for the more adventurous with the African Wilds coming alive all around you at night…
This unique treehouse camp in the Big 5 Klaserie Game Reserve which opens up to the Kruger National Park, consists of five raised chalets built on wooden stilts and offers exceptional value for money for a guided safari for those on a budget. Unfenced, the camp also has a pool and bar area where time can be spent relaxing between game drives. The timber and canvas chalets provide beautiful views of the reserve, in which prides of lion, herds of elephant and buffalo are prevalent. Guided game drives take place in the morning and afternoon.
Timbavati Safari Lodge, Orpen Gate, Kruger National Park
Located mere minutes from the Kruger National Park’s Orpen Gate, the very affordable Timbavati Safari Lodge provides a unique budget African safari experience. Its traditional hand-painted rondavels (round huts) are en-suite with ceiling fans and mosquito nets. The camp has a boma from which you can gaze at the stars around a roaring fire while listening to the sounds of the African bush. There are a plethora of optional safari activities on offer from guided game drives in Kruger to tours exploring the greater Lowveld region. It is suitable for self-drive tourists and makes a great base to explore the region from.
This fantastic small private reserve situated just outside the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park in the heart of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, Kalahari Trails offers guests a variety of accommodation options: A tented camp, a guest house, a self-catering cottage and sheltered sites for camping. The self-catering cottage sleeps up to six guests in two bedrooms and is a good choice for a family seeking privacy. The cottage has a well equipped kitchen and outside braai area. The main guesthouse has five rooms and can sleep up to fourteen people comfortably. This is a great place to watch Meerkats and other desert dwellers in their natural habitat or to explore the Kalahari on foot in a safe predator-free reserve.
Close to Johannesburg and Pretoria make this an ideal weekend destination for a bush getaway for those living in South Africa’s two major cities. Wildside camp is located in the Big 5 Entabeni Safari Conservancy in the Waterberg in South Africa and consists of thatched and tented chalets, which are rustic yet comfortable. The camp offers twice daily guided game drives as well as optional activities such as bush walks, helicopter flights from which the reserve’s wildlife can be spotted from above. There is a spa and a pool, as well as other activities, such as stargazing and bird-watching on offer.
Quatermain’s Camp, Amakhala and Shamwari Game Reserve
This intimate, rustic tented bush camp located in South Africa’s malaria-free Eastern Cape offers an authentic wilderness experience. What is truly unique is that this camp can do game drives on both the world famous Shamwari Game Reserve and on Amakhala Game Reserve in which the camp is situated. Each tent has its own private wooden deck. Meals at the camp are prepared over an open fire. The reserve is home to the Big 5 and guests can fall asleep in their private tents listening to the mesmerising cries of the African bush at night.
Ideal for both self-catering parties and those looking at a guided and full board safari experience at a very reasonable budget, the affordable Wild at Tuli Island Camp ticks all the boxes. It is located on the Limpopo river in Botswana’s Tuli Block, which is home to the famous large Tuli Elephant herds, ancient Baobab trees, and the magnificent Limpopo River system. The rooms in the island tented camp are en-suite, have outdoor showers and private decks provide views of the river. Meals at the camp are served in the boma under the stars. Guided or self-drive game drives, walks, and an overnight hide are on offer and are the perfect way to experience this African wilderness.