We wanted to give you an idea (and figure it out for ourselves) of how much our self-drive safari cost. We knew that it would take us above our $100/day budget, but we figured that it would be worth it.
Total Cost of 25 day self-drive safari: $5,599.36
Throughout the safari, we used South African Rand, Botswana Pula, Namibian Dollars and US Dollars. We used the current exchange rates.
We divided this cost down into the following categories:
The transportation includes the cost of our Bushlore Truck Rental ($3001.00), gas ($685.99), various road fees, and a ferry.
We were actually quite shocked at the expense of our accommodation. We used our truck company to help us pre-book many of our campsites because we knew it would be high season for safari. We decided that it was a good choice for some of the parks in Botswana, but was probably a bit unnecessary for Namibia. We also found that the parks in Botswana were outrageously expensive, even though we were just camping. For example, there were park fees of about $28 per day. In addition to the park fees, we paid for camping. The camp grounds within the national parks are all private and they are amazingly expensive. You pay per person and they cost $50 per person, per night.
Activities (This includes all park and entrance fees): $448.73
These are the park fees mentioned above. They were much more expensive in Botswana than they were in Namibia.
We purchased 2 boxes of wine for our camping and also purchased a couple of beers here and there in the lodges.
This mostly consisted of groceries for camping. However, we did end up breaking down and buying a few meals along the way.
We purchased maps for all of the major parks. Again, the Botswana prices were much more expensive than Namibia. We also had to pay for the bathroom in a couple of places.
Our safari was 25 days, so this cost averages $223.97 per day. That definitely blows our budget. However, the good news is that because it was at the beginning of our trip, we did pay our deposits for the truck and accommodation prior to leaving. Therefore we feel as if we didn’t actually pay it now… Or at least that is what we are going to tell ourselves.