How to make that Kruger safari dream a reality…

Visiting and experiencing new places can sometimes seem like an unattainable dream. You always hear about how travelling forces you out of your comfort zone and allows you to discover yourself (which it definitely does!), but then you start to calculate how much that dream safari of yours is going to cost… and, all of a sudden, those epic sunsets and brilliant wildlife sightings seem more and more unlikely.

Well, we’re here to tell you that an unforgettable South African safari is actually 100% within your reach! All it takes is some smart decision making and you’re on your way.

Now, the most important thing to remember about budgeting properly and saving up for your Kruger safari is that it really doesn’t matter how long it takes you to make those financial adjustments that would allow you to travel, you’ve just got to make a decision and stick to it.

We’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you save money where you can and plan carefully but, having said that, comfortability on your safari is key. We don’t want you to budget so hard that you don’t enjoy the experience because, what’s the point of that, right?

At first, it may seem like a monster task, to be able to save up for that safari and still enjoy yourself, but it doesn’t have to be. You’d be surprised at how a few small and simple changes can push you one giant step closer to that truly authentic safari experience.

“Travel is never a matter of money but of courage.” – Paulo Coelho

Elephant sightings always make for a warm welcome in the Kruger National Park. Photo Credit: Kruger Wildlife Safaris

Let’s get started…

  1. Create A Budget And Be Realistic About It

This is probably the most obvious point to start with but it is crucial. It’s always good to have a rough idea of how much money you’ll need to travel. More often than not, your budget will change as you get more information so this tip goes hand-in-hand with proper research and the various methods that you plan to use to save money.

Try and add up how much money you have saved currently, and make a note of how much money you still need.

While you’re doing this, it’s also a good idea to decide on the kind of holiday you want to experience – what you want to see, what you want to do. This provides you with a lot of clarity when it comes to where to book your accommodation, game drives etc, and it ensures that you won’t end up choosing a safari that doesn’t actually provide you with what you’re looking for.

For example, you’ve decided that you have to see the Kruger National Park at least once in your life … which is awesome! But you also don’t know the Park very well and you want to see as many wildlife sightings as possible. Since it’s your first time here, going on safari with a tour operator is probably a good option.

Why, you ask? Well, tour operators here employ FGASA-accredited guides who know the Park inside out, and, as such, know what to look for in order to increase your chances of seeing wildlife. Plus, you’ll get to sit back and keep a lookout for animals while your guide does all the driving!

     2. Do your Homework

The Kruger National Park has been a jewel in South Africa’s crown for many, many years, and there are a number of tour operators that call the Park their base camp and home. That’s why proper research is key.

Take Kruger Wildlife Safaris … we’re a proudly Outlook company, which in itself has been in operation since 1998! Since then, we’ve had hundreds of guests come on safari with us, and they’ve all left with many wonderful memories and a host of awesome sightings to look back on.

(PS: Don’t believe us? Check out our TripAdvisor page… which, by the way, is another great research tool. Granted that 100 awesome reviews does not guarantee you anything but if a company has a good reputation and guests have had a good time with them in the past, you’re more likely to enjoy your experience with them.)

When doing your research, don’t forget to look at Specials as well as what’s included in the packages provided by the tour operators. Oh, and don’t ever hesitate to get obligation-free quotes while researching. It helps you to weigh up costs more accurately, and to ascertain if there’s anything extra that you need to budget for.

Keep in mind that some packages cover your meals, as well as a few extras. Needless to say, this is awesome because you’re getting the full value of what you’re paying for and then some.

     3. Pair Up

We’re pretty sure you know this but Per Person Sharing rates are always more reasonable than Per Person Single rates. So when planning your safari to the Kruger National Park, why not ask your special someone, your sister, brother or your bestie to join you? It’ll help when travelling on a budget and you’ll have someone there with you to share in all those epic moments!

Safariing on a Budget in the Kruger National Park is easier than you think. Photo Credit: Kruger Wildlife Safaris

       4. Ditch the Frills

We can’t stress enough how important comfort is on your holiday, but having said that, you might just surprise yourself with what you can and can’t do without when you travel. For example (and seeing as how you’re looking to safari on a budget), our Budget Safaris to Kruger Park are a great way to enjoy a good, comfortable night’s rest but still do so without unnecessary costs.

How so? Well, with our Classic package, you stay in Chalets, which means the overall cost of the package is higher. However, with our Budget Kruger Safaris, you stay in a Hut. While you’re still able to stay in a fixed structure/building, ablutions are shared … so the cost of your accommodation becomes significantly cheaper.

Your breakfast and dinner is also included in this package, as well as your game drives, which leaves you more money to spend on other aspects of your Kruger safari.

     5. Open Up A Savings Account

While you’re busy saving up for your Kruger safari, it’s good to keep in mind that some savings accounts allow you to gain interest on the money you put into them. While it may not be a huge amount of interest, depending on how much you put into the account each month, it’s still an awesome way to get more bang for your buck while you save. And if you don’t have a savings account that does this, find one! That way, you’ll also have more spending money for your safari.

Our vehicles give you the best possible game viewing experience! Photo Credit: Kruger Wildlife Safaris

Alright! So you’ve created your budget, done your research and found a safari company that you’d like to travel with – and it’s Kruger Wildlife Safaris! (Awesome choice, by the way.)

You’ve enquired with them and booked a date for your safari… so what’s next? Well, your budgeting isn’t done yet. There’s still a lot you can do in the months leading up to your Budget Kruger Safari, to ensure that you spend a minimal amount of cash on unnecessary things and more on those stunning souvenirs that you’re going to bring back home for you and your friends and family!

     6. Shop Smart Before Your Trip

You’ve obviously got to keep buying to a minimum, and only purchase the most necessary items. And that’s where shopping smart comes into play.

Now if you’re like some of us and you have a shopping problem, your greatest task is to avoid impulse buying. At any point while you’re shopping for your Kruger Budget Safari, ask yourself if you need this item, why do you need it and can you do without it. (A word of caution: Shopping smart might lead to several incidences of being caught talking to yourself in public… but it’s all for a good cause.)

      7. Give And Take

This goes without saying (though it’s always good to mention) but travelling overseas and saving up for that Budget safari usually means that you’re going to have to give up a few things, leading up to your holiday. Whether it be that extra night a week of takeaways, or that new item of clothing that you desperately want but don’t necessarily need, saving up for your holiday is definitely a give-and-take situation.

It always helps to remind yourself why you’re doing this and what you have to look forward to when you’re on that Kruger safari (we’re going to help you do that later on in this blog post, so keep reading).

     8. Pack Like A Pro

Now we’ve always said that you won’t be 100% prepared for your safari, but a good amount of planning is essential if you want to avoid unnecessary costs by having to buy essential items that you have at home, but forgot to pack.

Again, research here is key! For example – you’re planning on going on a Kruger Budget Safari – so research into the climate and general weather conditions will help ensure that you pack the right kind of clothes, and that you don’t find yourself desperately in need of a jacket or a pair of shorts when you get to your destination.

Don’t forget essentials like your phone and camera chargers, USBs to store all those amazing wildlife sighting photos on, padlocks, a torch with spare batteries and small and easy-to-pack amenities.

Another crucial item that people often forget when visiting the Kruger National Park (or South Africa in general) is sunblock. We get a great amount of sunshine here, so stay sun-savvy and pack that much-needed sunblock as well as your hat and sunglasses.

Insider Tip: Our Budget Kruger Safaris are based at Pretoriuskop Rest Camp which has a stunning pool! If you’re travelling in the warmer seasons or in generally warm weather, bring your costume and get ready to take advantage of the pool when you have some downtime.

      9. Stay Motivated

When you’re in the middle of saving, and you have to give up certain things that you love, it can be tough to stay motivated. We’ll let you in on a little secret though – it’s all in the mind. Just keep reminding yourself why you’re doing this and what you have to look forward to.

To help you with that, we’re going to paint a little picture for you of all the things that you can look forward to on your Budget Kruger Safari, as well as a few travel-centric motivational memes for you to look at when you’re in need of an emotional boost!

Your Epic Kruger Safari

If there’s one thing that we always say about a safari in the Kruger National Park, it’s that each and every sighting is unique.

With Kruger Wildlife Safaris, you’ll embark on early morning and late afternoon game drives each day that are about 3 to 3 and a half hours long. And better still, our game drive vehicles give you the perfect vantage point, so you can enjoy that sighting of a zeal of zebras grazing, a lioness catching her pride’s evening meal or the burnt orange sun dipping below the horizon in the evening.

It’s hard not to sit and marvel at the open bush land in front of you, sometimes littered with golden brown grass and sometimes with tall, forest-like green trees. The anticipation of knowing that a wildcat or majestic elephant might be hiding around each corner is almost overwhelming… but in a good way.  

We believe that the game drive isn’t the only delightful part of your experience though. A Kruger Budget Safari is as much about the cuisine you enjoy and the people you meet, as it is the wildlife you see.

A captivating culinary experience. Photo Credit: Kruger Wildlife Safaris

Breakfast and Dinner is always a social affair with guests eagerly chatting to each other about what they’ve seen on the day and what they hope to see on the next drive. There’s always laughter and the frequent sound of cheers as our talented chefs announce the menu for that meal – always a treat.

From passionate guides who love what they do and aim to do whatever it takes to try and get you that unforgettable sighting, to passionate chefs who introduce you to the tastes and aromas of truly South African cuisine, there’s something exciting to hope for and look forward to at every point of your Kruger safari…

We can’t wait to see you there!

leopard helen keller quote

For an added dose of what you can expect, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram – we regularly post sightings that our guests and guides have experienced on their safari.