FAQ – How Well Did We Budget for Africa?

Leg 13 was our first time visiting Africa, our first new continent since 2019. I tried to budget a little high for this leg since there was a fair bit of uncertainty, even reallocating part of our year-end time-at-home budget to Africa. Turned out that wasn’t necessary and we finished the leg $455 under my $13,700 budget for 10 weeks in Africa. Here’s how the numbers broke down.

Where We Were

Countries visited: 2 – Kenya, Egypt (both new!)

Cities visited (overnight): 6 not including the areas where we were on safari – Nairobi, Giza, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Cairo

Other areas visited (safari sights and day trips): 4 – Nakuru, Ololaimutiek Village, Abu Simbel, Maadi

Number of hotels/guest houses/camps: 5 (3 on safari, 1 Nairobi “staycation,” and 1 in Giza)

Number of hotel nights: 9 

Number of apartments: 6

Number of apartment nights: 76

Total lodging budget: $2,780 (doesn’t include safari nights, which were just part of the whole package)

Total lodging actual: $2,833 

How We Got Around and What We Did

Total transit budget: $5,600

Total transit actual: $5,489

Number of flights: 4 

Number of overnight trains: 1

Total food/entertainment budget: $5,320 ($532/week for 10 weeks, almost double our Leg 12 food/entertainment budget in Mexico)

Total food/entertainment actual: $4,924 ($492/week, but admittedly a lot of this expense (around $1,500) was the safari)


Total budget: $13,700 for 10 weeks ($1,370/week average) (far and away our largest average weekly budget ever)

Total actual: $13,245 for 10 weeks ($455 savings, which basically covered our yellow fever vaccination that we got before the trip)

Number of weeks over budget: 4

Number of weeks under budget: 6

Least expensive week: Week 2, September 18-24, $632, we were settling into Nairobi

Most expensive week: Week 1, September 11-17, $3,915, included our flight to Nairobi and the safari

The Best Parts

Best experiences (chronologically):

  • Our safari!
  • Walks and runs with monkeys in the Nairobi Arboretum
  • Hikes in a Karura Forest followed by nights out in Gigiri
  • Having a Kenyan meal prepared for us in our apartment
  • Gazing at the Great Pyramid from our hotel window in Giza
  • Seeing Seti I’s tomb in the Valley of the Kings by ourselves
  • Morning at Karnak Temple then seeing its artifacts in the Luxor Museum
  • Sailing the Nile in a felucca at sunset
  • Being up close (and inside) older pyramids at Saqqara and Dahshur

Best meals:

Ethiopian food at Abyssinia (Nairobi), seafood at Gropper (Nairobi), dinners at Impresso (Nairobi), our chef-cooked Kenyan meal (Nairobi), dinner with the Sound and Light show at our hotel (Giza), seafood with a view at Sky View Restaurant (Alexandria), vegetarian food by candlelight at Wanna’s Art Cafe (Luxor), Nubia brunch at King Jamaica (Aswan), Nile-side seafood at Osiris (Aswan), our salad and focaccia takeout (Cairo)

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