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How to plan an affordable Zimbabwe safari

Tweak your itinerary to suit your budget

Are you dreaming about travelling to Zimbabwe…but feeling intimidated by the extortionate costs often associated with safaris? While it is true that an African safari doesn’t rank amongst the cheapest holidays on the planet, we do have some good news for you – there are ways to save money in Zim without compromising on quality! Read on to find out how to plan an affordable Zimbabwe safari without having to remortgage your house back home.

How to plan an affordable Zimbabwe safari

Travel in Green Season

Zimbabwe’s ‘green season’, from December to March, might sometimes be known as being a little wetter but we also like to think of it as ‘secret season’ for several reasons. Firstly because you can save yourself a ton of money during this time of year, with many lodges drastically slashing their prices by as much as 40%. “Hold on”, we hear you object, “but I won’t be able to see any wildlife…” Well, close your eyes and picture the following scene. Following the recent rains, the grasslands are lush and verdant, and brimming with foals, calves and cubs – you’ve arrived in the middle of calving season, which means that predators are on the prowl. It’s early morning but you are not freezing because it’s the middle of the African summer. You have your camera at the ready to catch not only game but also the vivid colours and cinematic light of the season. And chances are that there are absolutely no other vehicles around! Doesn’t that sound tempting? Just make sure to choose your location carefully, as certain areas (such as Mana Pools) basically close down from November. Check out our When to go travel guide for further details, and don’t hesitate to chat to us if you are unsure!

Hwange
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How to plan an affordable Zimbabwe safari

Add extra nights to bag a discount

We know, we know, this sounds like a complete contradiction. And while, strictly speaking, it may not save you any money, adding length to your stay gives you another, highly coveted commodity – more time. How? Many lodges offer so-called ‘long-stay discounts’ – usually along the lines of stay 4 nights, pay for 3, or stay 7 nights, pay for 5. At the time of writing, Imvelo Safari Lodges for example has a special ‘stay for 3, pay for 2’ for all of its Hwange lodges, including Bomani Tented Lodge, Camelthorn Lodge, Nehimba Lodge and Jozibanini Camp, while African Bushcamps offers ‘stay 5 nights, pay for 4’ at its Bumi Hills Lodge in Matusadona. Special offers change all the time and our travel experts will be sure to keep you updated so we can help you plan an affordable Zimbabwe safari.

Matusadona
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How to plan an affordable Zimbabwe safari

Stay loyal to the brand and book with one company

Talking of deals…It pays to stick with one lodge provider when booking your Zimbabwe safari as there are often discounts to be bagged across sister properties, and/or cash-saving add-ons. Don’t be worried about any feelings of déjà-vu, brands will often make sure that each one of their lodges is unique in design, location and atmosphere. As we are typing this, African Bushcamps is offering a whopping 50% off flights in and out of Mana Pools when staying at any of their Zim properties (and with a minimum 3 nights at their Mana Pools properties: Nyamatusi Camp, Nyamatusi Mahogany, Kanga Camp and/or Zambezi Expeditions), and there are also lodges working together to provide deals such as 12 night packages across multiple destinations with some free flights even included. Bargain! Check in with our travel experts to find out more about deals.

Mana Pools
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How to plan an affordable Zimbabwe safari

Choose locations close together

Zimbabwe is an incredibly diverse country and there is so much to do and see that it’s tempting to book a whole round trip. Unfortunately flight costs within Africa can run on the expensive side, so when trying to plan an affordable Zimbabwe safari it makes sense to downscale from a geographical point of view and pair locations that are in close proximity (or even within the same park). So you could combine Vic Falls with neighbouring Hwange and enjoy staying at one or two different spots within the park. Even better, try one of our trips that include flights and transfers and won’t throw any hidden or unexpected costs at you. Take our The Wonders of Western Zimbabwe trip for example, which will take you to Matobo, Hwange and Vic Falls from £3.6k ($4.6k) per person. All of our itineraries are highly adaptable according to your budget and preferences, so you can make sure to book your dream trip without overspending. Chat to us to find out more!

Victoria Falls
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