Uganda Budget Safaris

Budget Safaris

mountain gorilla family
5 Days of game viewing including Chimpanzee tracking in Kibale and Rhinos.
A relaxed trip of 10 days highlighting a variety of tourist activities, sightseeing, launch cruise, game drives, cultural walks.
Visit the mountain gorillas and enjoy Lake Mburo surroundings.
Sightseeing of the might Murchison Falls, game viewing and boat ride to see lots of wild.
True wilderness experience, game drive and launch cruise for a variety of animals.
Participate in Gorilla tracking in the Bwindi, chimp trekking in the Kyambura Gorge, game drive in the Murchison and Queen
gorilla watching
3 day gorilla tracking in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.
4 days safari in Uganda to see the primates, gorillas, chimps and monkey variants.
Spend 12 days, fun filled adventure, visit all the best parks in Uganda, see the gorillas and more.
Gorilla Tracking and Wildlife safari to Lake Mburo, Bwindi Impenetrable and Queen Elizabeth National Parks.
On this week long safari, you will enjoy game drives, boat cruises and wildlife sightseeing.

Factors Determining the Budget Of Your Safari to Uganda

The Duration Of Your Uganda Safari

The duration of your Ugandan safari plays a role, in determining the budget needed. According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority, a short but fulfilling experience in Uganda usually requires around 4 5 days. However with this timeframe you may only be able to explore a parks and spend more time traveling instead of enjoying the amenities provided by lodges or campsites.

To fully appreciate Queen Elizabeth National Park, which covers an area of 1,978 kilometers it is recommended to allocate at least 2 3 days. Additionally it’s worth setting aside a day for a visit to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park renowned for its mountain gorilla population. These recommendations serve as a baseline; for an exploration of Ugandas diverse biodiversity encompassing places, like Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and Kibale National Park with its rich bird species concentration you might want to consider adding another 1 2 days to your itinerary.Furthermore it’s important to keep in mind the entrance fees, for the parks. Starting from 2023 non Ugandan adults will need to pay $40 per day for Queen Elizabeth park, $70 for Bwindi Impenetrable park $30 for Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary and $40 for Kibale park. These costs are quite significant for travelers on a budget. Can have a significant impact on the overall cost of the safari experience.

However with planning and mindful budgeting it is definitely possible to have a safari holiday in Uganda. In a span of 4 7 days you can immerse yourself in the landscapes. Diverse wildlife that Uganda offers without putting excessive financial strain on yourself. The key to achieving an cost effective safari is finding the balance through meticulous planning that allows you to have incredible encounters, with wildlife while staying within your budgetary limits.

How Do You Intend To Travel? Self Drive, Group Safari or a Private Arrangement?

Planning your Ugandan safari requires consideration of factors, including the style of tour that suits you best. In Uganda you have the options of Group, Self Drive or Private tours each, with its advantages and limitations. One important aspect to consider is the cost involved. Lets delve into an evaluation of these options and explore their associated expenses.

Group Safaris

For travelers on a budget Group safaris offer a cost choice. However it’s important to be aware of their limitations in terms of flexibility and exclusivity. Typically priced between $150 to $250 per day a standard group safari in Uganda includes transportation ( shared vehicles) accommodation, most meals and activities as per a determined itinerary. It’s worth noting that these group safaris usually accommodate around 8 10 travelers. Be cautious of priced safari packages around $100 per day as they often exclude essential experiences like visiting Bwindi Impenetrable National Park – home, to nearly half of the worlds mountain gorilla population.

Self Drive Safaris

Planning a self drive safari can be a choice if you value independence and flexibility. However it’s important to plan to avoid unexpected expenses.When renting a vehicle for a self drive safari you can expect to pay $60 $80, per day which includes insurance. If you prefer to hire a driver there will be a cost of $30 $40 per day. To camp in the vehicle with the added safety of a rooftop tent you’ll need to budget a $20 per day.

Additionally don’t forget about the park entrance fees when calculating your expenses. As of 2023 Queen Elizabeth National Park charges $40 Bwindi Impenetrable National Park costs $70 Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary requires $30. Kibale National Park has an entrance fee of $40.

Private safaris

For those looking for customization and flexibility in their experience private safaris are worth considering. Contrary to belief, private safaris can be affordable when traveling in a group. The cost of a safari varies depending on the level of luxury you desire. Typically starts from around $300 per person per day. This price includes private vehicle use with your guide, accommodation options meals provided throughout your journey, park fees as well, as specific activities included in your itinerary.

Keep in mind that certain specialized activities might come with costs that should be factored into your budgeting process.
For example if you want to go gorilla trekking in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park you’ll need to purchase a permit that costs $700, per person. Similarly if you’re interested in tracking at Kibale National Park, the permit fee is around $200, per person.

Expenses Not Included in Your Safari Package

When planning your Ugandan safari it’s important to consider expenses that are not typically included in the safari package. These costs include flights, visa fees, vaccinations, tipping culture and travel insurance. Lets take a look, at each of these expenditures;

1. International Flights

While some safari companies may cover the cost of flights in their packages you might find it beneficial to book the flight yourself. This way you can take advantage of flyer points or special deals. As of 2023 the average round trip flight from London to Entebbe Uganda typically ranges from £600 to £900.

2. Visa Fees

All visitors to Uganda must obtain a visa either upon arrival or online before their trip. It’s important to note that tour operators usually do not cover this expense; it is your responsibility as a traveler. As of 2023 the standard single entry tourist visa for Uganda costs $50 per person.

3. Vaccinations

Ensuring your health is protected during your journey is crucial when traveling to Uganda. It is recommended that you consult with your healthcare provider or travel doctor regarding any vaccinations and their associated costs.

By considering these additional expenses upfront and planning accordingly you can ensure an more enjoyable experience, on your Ugandan adventure.
Based on the advice provided by the CDC in 2023 it is recommended to get vaccines before traveling to Uganda, including Hepatitis A, Typhoid, Yellow Fever and Meningitis. Additionally it’s important to stay informed, about Ugandas COVID 19 entry requirements which may include presenting a PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival.

4. Tipping in Uganda

When it comes to tipping in Uganda while it is not obligatory it is customary to tip for service. Typically a standard tip of around 10% of the bill is expected at restaurants, hotels and taxis. In lodges it’s common to give a tip upon departure which is typically shared among the staff. Guides usually receive tips at a rate of $10 per day per guest. For lodge staff members, a consideration of $5 per guest is appropriate. For transfer drivers around $2 $3 per guest is customary.

5. Safari Travel Insurance

It’s crucial to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies or trip cancellations before embarking on your journey. Although accidents are unlikely to occur being prepared for any circumstances is always wise. You can explore platforms offering different insurance options or consult your tour operator, for suitable coverage recommendations

Best time To Go on a Budget Uganda Safari

The best time to go on a budget safari, in Uganda varies depending on the season. One overlooked opportunity is December, when tourist numbersre low leading to special rates and attractive deals from accommodation and safari service providers. The landscape during this time is lush after the November rains creating a backdrop for your safari.

Another rewarding option is the season from April to May also known as the ‘long rains season. Although it may be hot and humid with rain showers you can enjoy wildlife sightings and find exceptional deals on accommodation and tours due to reduced prices and fewer tourists.

The shoulder season from October to November is often underrated. Offers its advantages. During these months there are rain showers resulting in green surroundings. With decreased tourist volumes you can find budget prices for safaris and accommodations. It’s also worth noting that this period marks the peak of Ugandas birding season making it a paradise, for birdwatchers.

Best Budget Friendly National Parks in Uganda

Check out these parks and attractions for an unforgettable safari experience;

1. Lake Mburo National Park

Despite being the savannah park in Uganda Lake Mburo offers a diverse range of wildlife encounters at an affordable price. For Ugandan adults the entry fee is approximately $40 with potential discounts available during off peak seasons. Don’t miss the chance to spot zebras and impalas while enjoying budget boat trips on Lake Mburo.

2. Kibale National Park

If you’re up for thrilling chimp tracking adventures Kibale National Park is a must visit. For $40 as an entry fee you’ll get access to encounter 13 primate species and over 300 bird species within the park. Consider joining a guided nature walk to immerse yourself in the parks vibrant plant life.

3. Queen Elizabeth National Park

Home to tree climbing lions and diverse ecosystems Queen Elizabeth National Park guarantees a experience without breaking your budget. The entry fee for non Ugandans is $40.

4. Murchison Falls National Park

With an entrance fee of $40 the park showcases a combination of captivating wildlife and breathtaking landscapes. Moreover there are affordable accommodation options within the park making your trip more economical.

5. Semliki Wildlife Reserve

For those looking for a experience without breaking the bank consider visiting Semliki Wildlife Reserve. With an entry fee of around $30 this explored reserve offers attractions such as invigorating hot springs thrilling nocturnal game drives and a diverse range of bird species.

6. Visit Jinja Town

While not a destination, Jinja Town caters to adventure seekers on a budget. Engage in exhilarating activities, like water rafting on the Nile quad biking adventures or even horse riding experiences.


Budget Safari Cost For Accommodation

Camping Safari Accommodation Cost

The expenses associated with camping safaris, in Uganda typically range from US$150 to US$250 per person per day. This cost covers aspects such as transportation, camping equipment, park fees, guides and meals. However it’s important to keep in mind that the overall price can be influenced by factors like the tour operator you choose and the size of your group. Some operators may offer prices while others might charge more for services. Additionally popular destinations or places that are away from transportation hubs can lead to an increase in costs. Therefore if you have a budget the expenses for camping safaris could potentially go up to around US$350 to US$500 per person per day.

Luxury Safari Lodges Cost

On the hand if you prefer a comfortable and luxurious wilderness experience lodge safaris are a great option. A mid range lodge safari in Uganda starts at US$300 per person per day. However if you want to customize your safari according to your preferences or requirements it can cost anywhere from US$350 to over US$600 per person per day. This increase in price is due to factors such, as choosing accommodations having guides or exploring more remote and less crowded destinations.

Budget Safari Lodges Arranged By National Park

Murchison Falls National Park Lodges

Red Chilli Rest Camp

If you’re looking for a place to stay Red Chilli Rest Camp is an option. They offer budget bandas ( thatched roof huts) with shared facilities. You can choose to camp if you have your own equipment. The prices, in 2023 are around US$30 per person per night for the bandas and US$10 per person per night for camping. They also have a restaurant, bar and communal area where you can relax after your adventures. Speaking of adventures you can enjoy boat safaris and game drives while exploring the park.

Fort Murchison Lodge

Another accommodation choice in Murchison Falls National Park is Fort Murchison Lodge. They offer tents with bathrooms and cottages for a comfortable stay. The prices in 2023 are US$100 per person per night for the tents and US$150 per person per night for the cottages. Alongside their accommodations they have a restaurant, bar and even a swimming pool to cool off during days. Don’t forget to embark on game drives while staying here.

Queen Elizabeth National Park Budget Lodging

Simba Safari Camp

Moving on to Queen Elizabeth National Park, Simba Safari Camp provides tents and cottages with shared facilities. You can expect to pay around US$40 per person per night for the tents and around US$70 per person per night for the cottages in 2023. In addition to their accommodations they offer a restaurant bar. Boast a riverside setting where you can unwind after wildlife viewing along the Kazinga Channel.

Pumba Safari Cottages

If you’re seeking comfort at Queen Elizabeth National Park Pumba Safari Cottages is a choice.They provide cottages, with bathrooms.The price range starts from US$120perpersonpernight.Enjoy meals at their onsite restaurantandrelaxatthebarafteryourgame drives experience.

Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park

In Bwindi Impenetrable National Park for Gorilla Trekking you can consider staying at two accommodations.

Buhoma Community Rest Camp

The first option is the Buhoma Community Rest Camp, which offers budget rooms and dormitories, with shared facilities. The price per person per night starts at US$60 for rooms and US$25 for dormitories (as of 2023). They have a restaurant and bar available. Its conveniently located near the starting point for gorilla trekking.

Broadbill Forest Camp

The second option is Broadbill Forest Camp, where you can stay in tents with ensuite bathrooms. Prices start from US$100 per person per night (as of 2023). They also have a restaurant and bar on site. Here you can engage in gorilla trekking activities.

Kibale National Park Budget Hotels

On to Kibale National Park there are two recommended accommodations.

Kibale Forest Camp

The first one is Kibale Forest Camp offering tents with ensuite bathrooms. Prices start from US$100 per person per night (as of 2023). Along with a restaurant and bar they also have a campfire area where you can relax after your days adventures. Chimpanzee tracking is the activity offered here.

Kibale Forest Guest House

The second accommodation option in Kibale National Park is Chimpanzee Forest Guesthouse. They provide budget rooms with bathrooms starting from US$80 per person per night (as of 2023). A restaurant and bar are available, as the opportunity to partake in chimpanzee tracking activities.

Lake Mburo National Park

Eagles Nest

Lastly in Lake Mburo National Park, Eagles Nest Lake Mburo offers budget tents and cottages with bathrooms. Current Prices (, as of 2023); For tents it costs around US$60 per person per night while cottages are priced at US$90 per person per night.

Available amenities include a restaurant and bar for your convenience.

Engage in activities such as game drives and boat trips during your stay.

Rwakobo Rock

When it comes to Rwakobo Rock they offer budget rooms and safari tents equipped with bathrooms. The prices for rooms start at around US$100 per person per night while the tents are priced from US$120 per person per night.

In addition to the restaurant and bar you’ll be treated to breathtaking views at Rwakobo Rock. Enjoy guided nature walks, as one of the activities offered during your visit.