The first thing that comes to the traveller's mind when planning for a Uganda safari tour is its cost. The cost of the Uganda safari package is easy to estimate because some tour operators put price tags on the different safari combos or itineraries posted on their websites. However, the most intriguing thing is what is included in the cost of the Uganda safari package. Most tour companies in Uganda quote the main expenses visitors are likely to incur when they touch base in the pearl of Africa, particularly when under their guidance. The travel items usually included in the cost of the Uganda safari package are the normal expenses incurred by tourists travelling to any destination. We all know that when travelling, you have to pay for where to stay, drinks and food, transport and the fun faring activities you are to engage in. These are the same travel expenses included in the cost of the Uganda safari package.
For clarity, Gorilla Trek Africa explains the main travel expenses that are included in the cost of the Uganda safari package. These include:
The Park Activities
Touring one or more national parks is the main agenda of the Uganda safari. In the various national parks visited by tourists, there are different tour activities arranged. These activities do not come for free, certain rates are charged for one to participate in an activity. The common activities charged in the safari parks include game drives, nature walks, chimpanzee trekking, gorilla trekking, golden monkey tracking, hiking, boat ride, habituation, cultural encounters and many more. Also, park entrance fees are charged at some parks.
Drinking and eating is an everyday expenditure for every human being regardless of what you are doing or where you are. The meals included in the cost of the Uganda safaris are those you have at the safari lodge, on the road and in the middle of an activity. Meals at the safari lodge are normally integrated into the accommodation rates and this is where terms like Full Board, Half Board and Bed and Breakfast come in when booking accommodation. The en-route meals or on the road meals are the feasts you enjoy on your safari trip while travelling from one point to another, it could be breakfast, lunch or supper. There are instances like gorilla trekking, mountain hiking and full day game drive where packed meals are taken or meals are prepared for mountain hiking specifically. These are also included in the price of the cost of the safari trip.
The safari trip in Uganda takes a minimum of three days and two nights and this applies when visiting only one national park. For more than one national park, you spend more days and nights.
The safari nights have to be spent at the lodge of choice. Uganda national parks have a chain of lodges varying from luxury, mid-range to budget. The onus is on the clients to suggest the types of lodges; they wish to stay in. These safari lodges have different rates charged and play a big role in the cost of the safari and the class of it. For instance, when a guest stays in a high-end lodge, the tour operator normally regards the safari as a luxury one. Note that a safari lodge in Uganda does not come cheap, the least rate of a reasonably comfortable accommodation facility is 40$ below that you cannot have the special treatment a visitor deserves.
Ground transportation fees comprise a 4x4 safari vehicles which could be a 4x4 safari Land cruiser, Land cruiser V8/VX/GX, Land cruiser Prado TX or Safari van and fuel. The brands of vehicles mentioned are the commonest travel means used to transport guests from one point to another during their safari. The car hire and fuel expenses consumed are accounted for in the budget of the safari. The guest has a choice of which vehicle to travel by but each brand has a different rate and consumes a different amount of fuel. For example, a 4x4 safari land cruiser hardtop is normally arranged for luxury travellers and Land Cruiser Prado TX or safari van for budget ones.
Safari Driver Guide
To have a convenient and insightful safari, a visitor must have a driver-guide. The driver-guides are stewards that lead the guests to the different national parks they wish to visit and offer advice and help on anything the guest wishes to do or requests during the safari. The driver guides also conduct some park activities like game drives. They ensure that the guests are given the right services at the lodges as agreed by the tour operators. The safari guides are the company representatives during the safari trip everything is managed by them. Therefore, such a mega service comes with a fee and this is included in the cost of the safari. The safari guide fees integrated into the quotation of the safari package include his wages, accommodation and meals.
Mark up or commission of the Tour operator.
Bringing different travel items into one holistic package or product is a substantial task and one has to be paid for the job well done. Tour operators add a commission fee to the cost of the safari package given to the client. Ethically, the commission rate must not exceed 20% of the total cost of the safari package.
Airport transfer is an item that confuses most guests. Airport transfers within the time of starting and ending the safari trip are included in the cost of the Uganda safari package. The airport transfers are excluded from the cost of the safari trip are those out of the time of starting and ending the tour.
There are travel items excluded from the cost of the Uganda safari package but they are part of your travel budget. These include; Air ticket fares, Visa fees, personal travel insurance, tips, yellow fever vaccination card and covid-19 testing fees, gifts and souvenirs, wines and liquor and other items of ostentation.