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How many nights on safari?

Chicago, IL
Level Contributor
74 posts
33 reviews
How many nights on safari?

We are interested in doing a safari next year. How many nights would you recommend for a first timer? I've heard anywhere from 3-10 nights.

Cape Town
Level Contributor
10,373 posts
1. Re: How many nights on safari?

Sorry, but without any more information such as time of year, where you plan to go, what else you want to do on your vacation and how much you want to spend, I think the answer is anywhere from 3-10 nights!

Level Contributor
2,603 posts
6 reviews
2. Re: How many nights on safari?

I agree with VDC. Also, are there any specific animals that you would like to see? Many people who visit South Africa want to see the big 5, in which case a minimum 3 night stay at a good safari lodge would be sufficient. Others want to explore our National Parks and do a self drive safari, which could take longer. Others want to visit a variety of wildlife destinations, so that they can see a variety of animals and habitats, in which case you would also need more nights. If you can give us more specific information, we will all be happy to offer advice!

Tanya * owner * Africa Direct

Cape Town
Level Contributor
733 posts
1 review
3. Re: How many nights on safari?

This is such a difficult question to answer as it really depends on you.

The most time i have spent at game lodges is 12 nights and this was not enough for me. I am a very keen photographer and taking pictures of animals is one of my favorite things to do. In that time i did not miss a single game drive and i honestly believe that it would not have been enough for me if i had twice that amount of time BUT my girlfriend did not share me sentiments and i think 7 days would have been more than enough for her.

Mark September

Small World Tours

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
431 posts
49 reviews
4. Re: How many nights on safari?


We went on our first safari in 2008 and spent 5 nights at the lodge thinking that would be plenty..it wasn't enough! So we are going back in June this year and have booked 10 nights (2 different lodges) and I still dont think it will be enough but its all we can afford! hahaha

I would definately recommend at least 5 nights..some people at our lodge only stayed 2 nights and they missed so many amazing animals!

african bush
Level Contributor
30 posts
5. Re: How many nights on safari?

I am the wrong person to ask on this one If I could I would be on safari all the time .

On a serious note almost all of the travelers that go on safari have said that it has been the most amazing experience ever and they wished they had listened to their travel advisor and upped their budget or stayed longer on safari, so I guess its up to your budget and how much time you have.

happy planning


Cape Town
Destination Expert
for Cape Town
Level Contributor
2,757 posts
106 reviews
6. Re: How many nights on safari?

Obviously it depends on the individual but I find that 5 nights (4 days) is a good average.

Tempe, Arizona
Destination Expert
for South Africa, Sabi Sand Game Reserve
Level Contributor
9,635 posts
65 reviews
7. Re: How many nights on safari?

My career has focused more on safaris to east Africa than southern Africa.. and in the countries of Kenya & Tanzania, a typical safari itinerary would be 10 - 12 nights (maybe even a full 2 weeks) spread over different parts of the country, with clearly different environments and - to a degree - different wildlife expectations. So I am a 'longer is better' person, even for safaris into southern Africa. I would say that if the budget bears it, divide 6 or 7 nights between 2 camps and let your advisor help you use places that are different enough that you won't feel you have just swapped bedrooms with little else to suggest you moved from one to another.

Dave Patterson - Owner, The Africa Safari

8. Re: How many nights on safari?

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