Just how much does a safari in Uganda cost?
A Uganda safari tour is unlike a tour anywhere else in Africa. While certain countries like Tanzania, Botswana, and Zambia let tourists fly right into the national park, a Uganda safari tour is more likely to have a combination of driving and/or flying.
What we love about this – and what makes a Uganda safari so unique – is that you get the chance to not only see some spectacular wildlife, but you also get to meet the warm and welcoming communities all over the country.
Still, we know that for all the advantages we believe a Uganda safari tour holds, it’s also important to be realistic about how much a Uganda safari tour costs.
As Uganda safari specialists, we have years experience giving tours throughout the Pearl of Africa – and East Africa in general.
Today we’re helping you understand the true price of a Uganda safari holiday with the following guide.
Rules Of Thumb About Budgeting for a Uganda Safari
Before we get into the hard numbers, we want to share a few general ideas that will affect the pricing of your Uganda safari tours.
- DIY Isn’t Always Possible – In many European countries, it’s possible to put together your own itinerary and see everything you want to see without the help of an intermediary. In Uganda, it is helpful to have a local partner’s connections to help you make your transfers, line up your wildlife permits, and more.
- Private Isn’t Always Pricier – One of the core distinctions between types of Uganda safari tours is group tours versus private tours. A group tour often has a set start date and a fixed itinerary and people from all over the world can sign up to be a part of it. A private tour is made to your exact specifications – including itinerary, accommodations, and departure dates. That means a private tour can also come in at a lower price than the pre-fixed group or package price.
- Uganda Is Affordable – In comparing data from over 5,600 safaris, Safari Bookings found that Uganda is on par with Tanzania, Namibia, and South Africa as far as budget accommodations and private accommodations go, and cheaper than countries like Botswana across the board.
Average Costs Per Day For A Uganda Safari
Using data from our friends at Safari Bookings, it’s possible to have a general idea of what your Uganda safari will cost per person, per day, and per accommodation.
Here are some guidelines:
- Budget Camping Tours in Uganda
- Private: 300€ per person per day
- Group: 250€ per person per day
- Budget Accommodation Safari Tours in Uganda
- Private: 275€ per person per day
- Group: 225€ per person per day
- Mid-Range Accommodation Safari Tours in Uganda
- Private: 425€ per person per day
- Group: 275€ per person per day
- Luxury Accommodation Safari Tours in Uganda
- Private: 600€ per person per day
- Group: 550€ per person per day
These costs do exclude international flights, tips, and any other personal expenses.
Variables That Affect The Cost of a Uganda Safari
A few of the variables affecting the cost of a Uganda safari tour are style of accommodation, length of stay, and group size. Below we explain them in more detail.
As you have seen by now, lodging is often grouped into budget, mid-range, and luxury. While there are ranges for these prices, most lodges have their own unique rates.
You can do your own research online to get a sense of a lodge’s prices, but it is likely your Uganda safari tour operator has an agreement with the lodge already and can get you a better deal.
You may say this is an obvious variable, but it sometimes has a surprising impact. Though on average the more days you stay in Uganda, the more you’ll end up paying, there are some exceptions.
Some tourists may wish to fly between national parks to save time. That comes with a higher cost. If you have the luxury of a few more days to take a more leisurely tour, your budget may reflect that.
On Uganda safari tours, you will most often be transported in a 4×4 safari car or jeep style vehicle.
The associated expenses with transportation include the driver and the fuel. Depending on the level of luxury you wish to travel in, it’s possible to upgrade to a bigger safari car. With that comfort can come slightly higher fuel costs.
While it is true that an increased group size will lead to a higher overall budget for a Uganda safari, it could end up being less per person.
Certain services like transportation and accommodation are relatively fixed, meaning you can add another person without the cost shooting up.
Other costs, like gorilla permits and meals are directly proportional to the number of travelers in your group.
The majority of your meals will be included in the quoted price of your Uganda safari. Given that you’ll be far away from cities or places to just walk around and grab a bite to eat, meal costs are factored in.
Depending on the style of accomodation, though, you may be able to request special meals or special dinners.
Tipping and Personal Expenses (Souvenirs, etc.)
Tipping is customary in Uganda, though it is not obligatory. If you receive good service, 10% is a healthy amount.
Some tour companies will include the tips for all of the service personnel – think tour guides, housekeepers, drivers, and more – in the overall cost. Others know that you prefer to share your gratuities personally.
Tour operator margin
Don’t forget that the tour operator is also a part of the cost! Your tour operator is helping with the booking of the accommodations, confirming permits, arranging transportation, and designing of itineraries – among many other tasks.
Most often, an all-inclusive package will arrive at a single price that includes both the payments for your entire tour and the commission for the aforementioned work.
Non-Negotiable Costs of a Uganda Safari
While there are many costs of a Uganda safari that can be adjusted to fit your budget, other costs are set at a firm price.
In many instances, this includes wildlife activities and park entrances. These are a few of the most popular costs:
- Uganda gorilla permit – This currently costs $700 per person, and allows you to hike to and spend one hour with a gorilla family.
- Uganda gorilla habituation experience – This extended permit costs $1500 per person, and allows you to spend up to four hours with a gorilla family.
- Uganda chimpanzee permit – This cost varies depending on where you wish to track chimpanzees. In Kibale Forest National Park, it can cost $200 per foreign non-resident, while it costs $50 in Kyambura Gorge.
- Chimpanzee habituation experience – Similar to the gorilla habituation experience, this permit is slightly more and allows for an extended stay.
- Major national parks – Uganda national parks like Queen Elizabeth, Kibale, Kidepo Valley, and Murchison Falls charge $40 per foreign non-resident.
- Smaller national parks – Other national parks, like Mt. Elgon and Mt. Rwenzori, charge $35 per foreign non-resident.
Let’s Start Planning Your Uganda Safari
For more on creating the just-right Uganda safari tour for your budget, please get in touch.