5 Awesome Affordable Wildlife Experiences (Under $1000)
Now that it is finally Spring and we’re all coming out of hibernation, it’s time to start trip planning! Whether you’re planning for this summer or later in the year to break up the fall or winter, this is the perfect time to get your plans sorted!
We know you have a lot of choices, but if you’re on a budget and looking for affordable wildlife experiences, you might find yourself trying to get the most out of your dollars. We’ve sourced out our 5 awesome wildlife tours that won’t break the bank.
Photo Credit: San Juan Kayak Expeditions
Imagine paddling around the San Juan Islands and seeing an orca breach in the distance, or a group of sea lions playfully zipping past your kayak. If you’re looking for an active adventure, wildlife encounters, camping, hiking, and a memorable trip, this 5-day kayak tour ticks all the boxes.
San Juan Kayak Expeditions are experts in the region with more than 40 years of experience and have put together an incredible, affordable trip. You can look forward to exciting paddles in top-of-the-line kayaks, remote campsites, land, and marine wildlife sightings, hidden beaches, stunning views, and so much more!
This trip starts at just $850 USD per person and includes tents, kayaks, breakfast & dinner, cooking gear, an experienced guide, and kayak instruction. Check out the link to view the itinerary and to book!
Photo Credit: Love Volunteers
Immerse yourself in the Costa Rican jungle and the presence of a myriad of wild animals. You’ll be a crucial part of the rehabilitation, care, and protection of Costa Rica’s wildlife at this rescue center. You can choose a minimum duration of 1 week, but if you can manage more time, the impact is even more significant.
Many of the animals are victims of deforestation, poaching, and even illegal trafficking; however, with your help, you can make a huge difference in their futures! Your program fee includes your accommodations in a volunteer house, breakfast and lunch daily, airport pickup, on-site support and supervision, and orientation.
Your program fee and registration fee amount to only $608 USD per person for one week or $878 USD for two weeks, making it very budget friendly! Follow the link to see the full inclusions, more info about the project itself, and to confirm your spot at this heartwarming program!
Photo Credit: RED Travel Mexico
If you’ve already planned your trip to Los Cabos or La Paz, Mexico, you may be looking for an unforgettable experience to cap off your trip. RED Travel Mexico has many exciting day trips that you can incorporate, but we’re pretty confident this is one you’ll remember for years to come!
Spend the day snorkeling the hidden beaches of Balandra Bay and alongside the largest fish in the sea, Whale Sharks. These gentle giants will melt your heart, and the crystal clear water, warm sunshine, pristine beaches will refuel your soul. The area is incredibly unique, and an excellent addition to your vacation.
The cost for 1-5 passengers is $530 USD for the day and includes boat transportation, lunch, and drinks (including beer!), snorkeling equipment (including wetsuits), a bilingual naturalist guide, taxes & insurance. The day trip starts at 8:30 am and ends at about 4 pm. Click the link above for more info and to book.
Photo Credit: SaltyCrax
Venturing to South Africa might be on your list this year, and with so many exciting cultural experiences to be had, there are also many options to witness Africa’s iconic wildlife. If you’ve only got a couple of days to work with, this 2-day option is a must!
Start your adventure in Cape Town with fascinating game drives and thrilling safari experience. You’ll move on to the explore South Africa’s Garden Route on a bush walk safari and an opportunity to learn about tracking wildlife and the medicinal properties of plants in the region. You’ll then travel to Oudtshoorn where you’ll enjoy game drives searching for buffalo, rhinos, giraffes and wildebeest.
This 2-day experience runs about $250-265 USD per person depending on the currency conversion from South African Rand. The cost includes one night of accommodation, one breakfast, pick-up and drop-off, transfers to the tour highlights, English-speaking local guide, Garden Route Game Drive, Klein Karoo Bush Safari, and a bush walk. With so much packed into this mini-tour, it’s an incredible value! Check out the link to confirm your dates!
Photo Credit: Bamba Experience
Independent travel is a wonderful experience, but booking yourself a safari experience is tough when you aren’t sure about the local operators and how to get from point A to B. Bamba Experience takes the guesswork out of the equation for you on this 7-day self-guided adventure. They will set up your itinerary for you, with pre-booked public transportation, activities, and accommodation. You’ll have loads of free time to explore, and you can choose the class of accommodation you wish to stay.
Throughout your journey, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the city of Johannesburg on a walking tour, Kruger National Park safari, and the exciting experience of seeing some of the world’s most recognized wildlife and landscapes. Watch for towering giraffes, leaping wildebeest, lions lazing out in the sun, and enormous elephants traveling across the African plains!
Your week-long trip starts at only $929 USD per person and includes a Johannesburg Walking Tour, 4-day Kruger Safari adventure, sunset drive, morning safaris, professional guides and drivers, optional Panorama Route excursion, Entrance Fees, Transportation, five breakfasts, three dinners, and accommodation. Check out the link to book your independent safari!
If you’ve got a little more room in your budget, have a look at our full list of affordable wildlife tours. Our partners have put together incredible itineraries packed full of wildlife adventure that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg!
Sarah is a travel writer, citizen of the world and lover of the Pacific Northwest and tacos. When not writing she can be found searching for her next travel destination or exploring with her dog, Otto.
Read about her adventures on her blog Sarah Seize the World and follow her on Instagram: @sarahseizetheworld