How to Budget for an Overland Trip to Africa?

Budgeting is probably the hardest part of planning any holiday. We have made it easier by outlining what to keep in mind when creating your budget for an Overland Tour:

Basic Overland Tour Cost:

Tour Price + Local Payment or Activity Package (where appropriate) + Single Supplement (single travellers where appropriate)

Additional Overland Tour Costs:

1. International flights
2. Visas
3. Pre- and Post-tour transfer + accommodation
4. Spending money (guesstimate USD10 to USD15 per person per day)
5. Optional activities
6. Money for curios (optional 100 USD max)
7. Emergency cash-stash (optional 50 USD)
8. Guide tips (approximately USD 3 – USD5 per crew per day)

It can be challenging to budget for an overland, but we will ensure you find the best tour to suit your tight budget.

We can also assist in booking international flights, airport transfers and any accommodation you may need. Just let us know your city of departure and when you prefer to arrive and depart.

More detail on how to Budget for an Overland trip in Africa:

There are many factors to consider when calculating your budget for an overland, so let’s take a closer look at all the things you should consider when drawing up your budget.

Your spending money, visas and optional activities will be paid with a combination of cash and traveller cheques in the currency quoted (tour specific). Credit cards are only accepted at some establishments (mostly larger cities) and throughout South Africa.

While in Southern and East Africa, additional credit card surcharges from 5% to 8% may be charged when using your bank card. We would recommend only using your card in case of emergency.

ATMs are found throughout South Africa and other major towns and cities through Africa. However, you may not have access to an ATM for a few days, or they may be out of order. Please note that when drawing money from a local ATM, you will receive the cash in the local currency.

How to pay Visas on Africa Tour?

Depending on your nationality, visas are paid in US Dollars upon arrival at an international airport or border post. We therefore recommend you contact the relevant country Embassy / Consulate for confirmation on your particular requirements and the visa application process.

You can also have a look at our visa requirement tool below:

How to pay Local Payments & Gorilla Permits?

Local Payments must be paid in US Dollars cash or ZA Rand (South African Rand) as required by your chosen overland tour. Not all tours require a local payment, and only tours to Uganda with the Gorilla Trek Activity will require a permit.

Gorilla permits can be pre-paid (on select tours) and usually in US Dollars cash on tour departure. But rest assured, we will advise you about permits based on your chosen tour.

How much spending money do I need on tour?

Spending money varies on your personal spending habits. While we cannot say for sure how much you may need, we would estimate USD10 to USD15 per person per day should be sufficient to cover snacks, drinks, souvenirs, internet café’s etc. Keep in mind you may spend more on some days and less on others.

Some meals are excluded on tour, allowing you to enjoy the taste of local cuisine from the local markets or restaurants. Light lunches consisting of a sandwich, fruit, snack and cold drink will cost below USD12. While a dinner of starter/desert and main meal with 2 drinks will cost an average of USD30 to USD40.

How to pay Optional Activities?

Optional activities vary based on your chosen overland tour and your personal preference. These will be listed as optional activities on your chosen tour, so add the costs of the activities you choose and see how this fits into your budget.

All your optional activities can be booked with your Tour Leader once you are on tour. Either pay in cash or traveller cheques, based on the currency in which they are quoted.

We also offer semi-inclusive camping or accommodated tours, already including popular excursions available en-route. This makes your budget for an overland tour easier to calculate, as well as meaning you will carry less cash on tour.

What banking facilities are available on Africa Tour?

There are full banking facilities in major towns, these will be open during weekly business hours. Banks will exchange currency and facilitate credit card withdrawals.

Visa and Master Cards are preferential, as other cards may not be widely accepted.

What is the currency called in Africa?

Each country you visit in Africa has it’s own currency, so check which countries your tour travels through.

ZAR: South African Rand
N$D: Namibia: Namibian Dollar
BWP: Botswana Pula
USD/ $: United States Dollars used in Zimbabwe (the Zimbabwe Dollar Z$ has fallen away)
ZKW: Zambia: Zambian Kwacha
MWK: Malawi Kwatcha
MZN: Mozambique Meticas
TSH: Tanzania Shillings
KSH: Kenya Shillings
USH: Uganda Shillings
MAD: Moroccan Dirham

US Dollars, GB Sterling, Euro and select international currencies are used within Africa, with US Dollar being the most popular. You will find food, taxi, accommodation and optional activity prices are all quoted in US Dollars.

It is important to note that US Dollar cash notes must be issued POST 2005. No notes pre-dated are accepted due to fraud in East Africa. You can pre-order US Cash notes from your local bank or foreign exchange office prior to arriving in Africa.

We recommend you bring a combination of larger denominations (USD100 and USD50) to pay for your Local Payment and smaller denominations (USD50, UDS20, USD 10 and USD5) for spending money, visas and optional activities.

How much to Tip on Africa Tour?

Tipping is entirely at your own discretion. You can also follow the below as a guideline:

Driver/ tour leader: USD 3 to USD 5 per person per day
Camp assistant / cook: USD 2 to USD 3 per person per day
National Parks guides/optional activities: USD 2 to USD 3 per person per day
Restaurant or Bar staff/waitrons: 10% of total bill

How to budget for Emergency expenses?

You should also consider emergencies when looking at your budget for an overland adventure. Sometimes political or civil unrest and other circumstances beyond our control will mean the group has to make alternative travel plans. Therefore keep some extra cash on hand for these occasions.

Emergency cash stash will come in handy, which should be budgeted for separately. Usually US Dollars are the best to keep in cash.

Keep in mind that with most Travel Insurance policies – you need to cover the expense upfront and then claim from your insurance.

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