How Much Does Backpacking Africa Cost?

How much does backpacking in Africa cost, Backpacking Africa Cost

Backpacking Africa Cost: Can You Travel on a Budget?

While memories might be priceless, making them often requires a visa card.Or at least it did for me. To be honest though, my backpacking Africa cost was much less than I have spent in many other parts of the world. The cost of living while I was traveling was even less than what I spend at home in the US.

So for those wanting to go, but are afraid of how much it will cost, just relax. It can be done for a very reasonable amount of money. My exact backpacking Africa cost after seven months is here  broken down per category to help you better plan your own budget. But for general cost information, please realize that how much you will spend depends on where you go, what you do, and how you travel.

See Also:  Insiders Guide To the Baz Bus

Where You Go

Where you go will dramatically affect how much backpacking Africa costs. For example, I spent almost as much in South Africa as I do back home. However, I could eat a huge dinner with a beer for $1.50 in Ethiopia and perch my tent beside the lake in Malawi for only $3 a night. So there is a huge gap in expenses depending on where you land on the map.Overall, West African countries do tend to cost more than those in East Africa. Also, a country less developed will be cheaper than a more Westernized country such as South Africa.

Backpacking Africa Cost, Backpacking in Malawi, Sleeping in a Tent by Lake Malawi

Only $3 per night in Cape McClear, Malawi

What You Do

What you do you while you’re traveling will also affect your budget. For example, if you’re spending most your time laying on the beach or chilling with locals, you’ll only be spending pocket change.

If you want to do a bigger tourist attraction like a safari or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, however, then you’ll be making several trips to the ATM. Even if you manage to get a special deal on a tour, you will still be required to pay the park entrance fees which are usually a minimum of $500 USD.

Also, remember that what you do will vary in cost depending on when you go. Traveling during off season might include bad weather, but it will also come with some worth while savings.

How You Travel

The last thing that will dramatically impact your bottom line is your traveling style. Even among backpackers, comfort levels and time frames are quite scattered. Those who plan on using planes to get around, staying at hotels or renting single rooms at the lodges, and eating nicer meals will spend a considerable amount.

For the frugal traveler with plenty of time, however, a little bit of cash can go a long way by taking buses, pitching a tent, and eating somewhere hole in the wall.


Backpacking Africa Cost | Local Style Cheap Restaurant

Example of a local restaurant

Estimated Costs

As I mentioned earlier, how much you spend will depend on where you’re at. However, here’s an estimated range of backpacking Africa cost.


Mini Bus- 10-50 cents for one way across town
Big Bus- $8-30 for a 6-12 hour ride
Taxi’s- $3-15 for one way across town

Lodging Per Night

Tent: $3-7
Dorm Room: $8-15
Single Room in a Hostel: $20-40
Local Hotel: $30-45*
Westernized Hotel: $55-150

*Some local hotels in rural areas will offer a room with shared bathroom for only $5 per night

Food for One Meal

Local Food Stalls: $1
Local Restaurants: $2-4
Westernized Restaurant:$5-12

To sum it all up, there is no universal price tag on a trip to Africa. It’s dependent on so many different factors. If you need more helping planning your budget trip to Africa (or getting a cheap ticket to the continent), I can help! You’ll see how I traveled and how that influenced my total cost which should give you a good baseline. In it, I also mention my top 10 ways to minimize your backpacking Africa cost.

No matter what your budget is though, I promise you that it is worth it. My trip has enriched my life in countless ways and has been worth every penny. So whatever you have to do to get there, just do it. You won’t regret it.