Cost of safari in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a beautiful landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent offering breathtaking scenery, diverse landscapes and a large number of wildlife. it is best known for the beautiful Victoria falls which are considered to be the largest ‘curtain’ of water dropping several feet below on the great Zambezi river; this is one of the 7 Natural wonders in the world and it is a UNESCO heritage site.
Many holidaymakers who wish to visit this beautiful country ask themselves how much does a safari in Zimbabwe cost. In this article we bring a breakdown of some of the key factors that affect the overall cost of your safari.
Factors that affect the cost of Safari in Zimbabwe
Cost of Optional Zambia Safaris Activities
When we talk about a safari in Africa what crosses most people’s minds is seeing the big Five animals however Zimbabwe has so much to offer to its visitors other than the traditional game drive. These ‘other activities are regarded as ‘optional activities as the guest may or may not engage in the basing on their safari budget. The more optional activities you have incorporated within your budget, the more expensive your safari will be.
Below is a table showing the cost of some of the optional activities conducted in Zimbabwe
|Cost in US Dollars|
|Activity||Foreign Visitors||locals||Residents of SADC|
|1.||Victoria Falls bungee jump||$160 a person|
|2.||White-water rafting||$130 / person / day|
|3.||Moonlight viewing||$40 / day||$15||$40|
|4.||Boat Cruise||$8 / person / cruise||$3||$6|
Zambia National Park Safari Entrance Prices
There are a number of different national parks located within Zimbabwe and each of these offers a very unique safari experience. However all holidaymakers are required to pay a park entrance fee or conservation fee as highlighted below.
|Internationals||Residents of SADC||Local citizens|
|7.||Kariba, Cunningham, Cheworw, Chizarira, Marongora||$10||$5||$8||$4||$5||$3|
|8.||Nyanga, Chivero, Kyle, Mushandike, Umzingwane, Osborne, Ewnrigg, Sebakwe||$10||$5||$8||$4||$3||$2|
Vehicle entrance fees to different National Parks
|Category||Locally Registered vehicles for Group A
|Other Parks Locally Registered vehicles
|Foreign Registered vehicle (All Parks)
|2.||Buses /Lorries (other)||20,00
|6.||Minibuses-up to 25 seats||15,00
|7.||Saloon vehicle pick-up and 4 wheel drive vehicles||3,00
Group A Parks: Kyle, Sebakwe, Matobo, Osborne, Chivero,Chimanini, Mushandike, Sebakwe, Haroni, Rusita, Umzingwane, Doma, Osborne, Ewanrigg, Chinhoyi Caves, Vumba, Darwendale, Chimanimani, Tuli, Nyamaneche, Boulton, Chipinge, Mbazhe Sanctuary, Binga, Chabalala, Mupfure, R.P, Bangala,Chirisa, Chirinda, Manjinji, Dande, Manjirenji Pan, Hartley A, Mazvikadei, Malapati, Sengwa Res, Ngezi, Chete, Umfurudzi
Cost of Zambia Safari Accommodation
Another factor that will greatly affect the cost of your safari in Zimbabwe is the cost of Accommodation. Zimbabwe offers a variety of accommodation facilities within its national parks among which are campsites, guesthouses, lodges and tented camps making it suitable for all types of travelers regardless of one’s travel budget. The cost of accommodation will be determined by the level of comfort you wish to enjoy throughout your holiday.
Table showing the average cost of Accommodation in Zimbabwe
|Category||Cost in USD per night||Cost in EURO per night|
|1.||Price of 1 star hotel||60 USD||51 EURO|
|2.||Price of 2 star hotel||114 USD||97 EURO|
|3.||Price of 3 star hotel||127 USD||108 EURO|
|4.||Price of 4 star hotel||210 USD||179 EURO|
|5.||Price of 5 star hotel||Over 350 USD||298 EURO|
Cost of Meals in Zimbabwe
The cost of meals in Zimbabwe differs basing on where you will be staying. the country is mainly a fast food destination so you will realize that an average fast food meal costs about $6.5, however you should keep in mind that food in safari lodges or sit-in restaurants costs more compared o fast food prices or even street food. so depending on your budget you may choose to book all-inclusive accommodation packages or opt to eat your lunches and dinners away from your accommodation as a more cost friendly option. Those on a really limited budget could opt for self catering guest houses or camping where you will find shared kitchen to prepare your own meals.
Solo Traveler or Group Safari?
A safari in Zimbabwe for a solo traveler visiting the country will cost more if we are look at the daily cost of a safari compared to when travelling as a group of friends, workmates, lovers or even joining scheduled group tours. While in a group you will realize that there are various costs that can be shared among the group such as vehicle cost, transportation fee, guiding fee and even when it comes to accommodation, some rooms can be shared unlike when traveling alone. It’s for that reason that budget travelers are advised to travel as a group or join group tours.
Guided Safari or Self –Drive?
Zimbabwe offers all its guests on holidays an option of either embarking on a guided safari which is normally organized by tour agents, or talking a Self drive safari. It’s obvious that the former option will give you a more comfortable safari experience as your entire trip will be well preplanned so all you need to do is sit down and enjoy the experience; however, this comes at a price. So budget travelers should opt for self-drive safaris to enable them cut down the cost. In Zimbabwe the cost of a profession safari guide ranges from $20 per day and my go as high as $100 per day especially if the guide is also going to serve as an interpreter or if you have a specialize guide say a birding guide.
Time of the Year to Visit
Zimbabwe has to main safari season that is: the High Safari season and the Low Safari Season, and each of these greatly affect the cost a Zimbabwe Safari. the High season which is in the dry season and begins in May to November sees a large number of tourists visiting the country which causes a high demand on accommodation that cause accommodation fares shooting up with some even doubling their prices a thing that raises the cost of safari. The low season on the other hand sees very low tourists entering the country which cause most accommodations and tour agents to offer very attractive discounted safari prices to lure tourists.
Duration of the safari
thanks to the diverse safari itineraries offered in Zimbabwe, holidaymakers may choose to enjoy from 3-days safari to as long as 21 days on a Zimbabwe Safari, however, the more day you spend on holiday in this beautiful country the less it will cost you especially lf we are to look at daily safari cost. Fortunately, many accommodations offer special ‘long-stay’ discounts for persons who spend more than 3 days at their facility, while other discount the cost of different safari activities for guests on a long stay. So you may choose to cut down your safari cost by opting for a longer safari stay.
Best time to visit Zimbabwe
The dry season from May to October is the best time to visit Zimbabwe on Safari as the country is generally dry with minimal rainfall and a very low malaria-risk. The game viewing at this time of the year is very rewarding however in September and October the temperatures are very high making it very hot and uncomfortable.
The Victoria Falls on the other hand can best be visited from April to May when the summer rains have just ended and the volume of water on the great Zambezi River is high. From August to December, the volume of water is low which makes it an ideal time to enjoy the different water activities such as white water rafting as the rapids are not submerged.