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Going on safari doesn't need to be wildly expensive.

Isis Briones
September 03, 2017

One of the biggest concerns most travelers have when planning a safari is the cost. It may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but not everyone has the means to shell out thousands of dollars for the experience. But what if we told you we finally found a way for you to see some of the world’s greatest animals for under $50. Yes, you read that right.

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To take a Rwandan safari for less than $50, you'll have to fly into Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, and rent a car for the two-and-a-half hour drive to the country’s North Eastern region. Here, you'll find Akagera National Park, a 430 square mile stretch of protected African wilderness where you’ll have the chance to see every animal in the Big Five. (This popular safari term was coined by hunters who identified the five most difficult animals to spot on foot, which are the African lion, elephant, leopard, Cape buffalo, and rhinoceros.)

Related: 10 Safaris That Offer Unforgettable Experiences for Every Budget

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Travelers can stick to the $49 rate — which includes an entrance fee of $40 (per person) and an added fee of $9 for the car — by remaining self-sufficient and driving your rental car through the park to see the wildlife. There's a set path for visitors to drive on, so visitors shouldn't worry about getting lost in the wild.

Related: You Can Sleep in a Luxury Treehouse in the Middle of a Volcano in Africa

The primary challenge with this option is that it may take you longer to find the animals. If you have hours, or even days to spare, go for it. Akagera is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., which means if you get there early enough, you should have plenty of time to see everything. There are also picnic areas along the route where you can have lunch and relax, instead of just zooming through and checking animals off your list.

For those who don’t have as much time on their hands, you can opt for one of the park’s packages on top of the $40 entrance fee. The package includes a car, driver and guide at $175 for a half day (5 hours) or full day for $275. All the guides have a good idea of where the animals are throughout the day.

Related: Trekking With Gorillas in Rwanda

For something in the middle, you can also just hire one of the park’s guides to accompany you in your rental for an extra cost of $25 for a half day and $40 for a full day. There are also activities, such as camping, fishing, night drives, boat trips, and behind-the-scenes tours available for additional costs.

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